Thursday, November 15, 2018

Unnamed Mothership Setting: Solar Gazetteer

Jakub Rebelka

Part two of my Unnamed Mothership Setting.

Planets were generated using Mephit James' repurposed Traveller tables with some extra aide from the Stars Without Number and Red Tide tags. Distances between stars came from Space Engine which is terribly helpful in general.

For the sake of space, I'm not going to detail every single planet that was rolled up. There are a whole lot of indistinct dwarf rockballs and asteroids out there, so unless there's something particularly interesting about them, they shall be elided. Planets will be listed in order outwards from their sun, with the orbital region in parentheses. Moons will be listed in italics under their parent planet.

Some Handy Terminology

  • Epistellar - Really close to the star.
  • Inner - Close but not that close to the star.
  • Outer - A sizable distance from the star.
  • Terrestrial - .02-5 Earth Masses
  • Helian - 3-15 Earth Masses
  • Vesperian - Tidally locked 
  • Pelagic - Ocean world
  • Bathypelagic - By God that's a lot of ocean
  • Panthallassic - Even the sky is ocean.
  • Gelidian - Frozen 
  • Pelagic-Gelidian - Frozen crust surrounding subsurface ocean.
  • Post-Gelidian - Cooling tectonic world, subglacial oceans.
  • Cytherian - Venus-like
  • Arid - Mars-like
  • Amunian - Terrestrial ammonia worlds 
 

Sol - G2V

Home sweet home. Even the posthumans still have a certain fondness for it, living out in the Oort cloud or in micro-Dyson-swarms. Every major body in the solar system has been settled by this point, though much of the activity has moved outwards towards Jupiter and Saturn: interstellar ships are much more likely to stop off at Callisto or Titan, with their goods launched towards the inner system via mass driver. Venus is home to thousands of aerostat nations, Earth is coming out of centuries of environmental reclamation, and Mars is heavily para-terraformed.

Proxima Centauri - M6V

The closest star to Sol and the cultural hub for spacers. All three planets and their orbits have been heavily settled and para-terraformed. Most of the system population is transient, but those who stay on permanently are a proud and stubborn community - corporate interests rarely reach far into Proximan doings, co-operatives and mutual aid organizations flourish.

NameDescriptionRegionMoonsLife?
GargarinRocky vesperianEpistellar0Complex single-celled
Armstrong & AldrinBinary rocky dwarfsInner0No
ShenArid MethaneOuter0No
    For visitors overwhelmed by the thousands of cantinas, hostels, shrines, and spaceports around Proxima, pay a visit to Clever Lu's in Shen orbit. It's got work, people, talk, drinks, whatever you're looking for.

    Alpha Centauri - G2V / K1V binary

    A prime example of what not to do. The original colonization attempt collapsed under incompetent leadership and construction by the lowest bidder, leading to a period of violent anarchy then replaced by a militaristic corporate-fascist police state. Over 60% of the system's habitats were built with faulty water purification and filtering systems (using proprietary hardware and legacy software from a defunct company with no documentation) that cannot be fixed without completely replacing them. The native environments of both Onwards and Prosperity have undergone catastrophic mass extinctions via industrial exploitation.


    NameDescriptionRegionMoonsLife?
    UpwardsPanthallasic HelianOuter3Single-celled producers
    OnwardsPelagicOuterN/ALarge macroscopic
    ProsperityAridOuter1Complex global ecology +potential proto-sapients

    Barnard's Star - M4.OV

    Barnard's Star has a single shining attraction: the planet Dorothy is a tropical paradise.  Some combination of the planet's air, water, and temperature triggers the human body to purge itself of stress and toxins. Locals have the highest non-augmented life expectancy in human space and some of the best health. The artificial islands of the planet are held up as a poster-child of environmentally-non-invasive colonization. Generations of such good living have made themselves manifest in the local population with a borderline-dangerous naivety of life outside the system and a complete disregard for measuring time.


    NameDescriptionRegionMoonsLife?
    DorothyPelagic GaianInner1Large macroscopic
    AliceAmunianOuter0Single-celled producers
    LirazelSaturnian Dwarf-JovianOuter1No

    Travelers might also wish to explore the bizarre daydream-cultures of Wonderland Arcologies of Alice and all the court machinations of the Chess Queens.

    Sirius - AOmA1 + White Dwarf Companion 

    With empty Epistellar and Inner orbits, the few bodies orbiting Sirius are cold and empty. Hardly befitting their namesakes, but the Dog Star needs its pack.


    NameDescriptionRegionMoonsLife?
    Gelert & GuinefortBinary icy dwarfsOuter0No
    HachikoArid MethaneOuter1No
    LaikaCthonian JovianOuter4No

    Most of the system's settlements are in the business of mining and volatiles. Of note are Lonely Glow, a partially-abandoned debtor's prison on Hachiko, and the feral autofactory General Product Production Installation 113 in Laika orbit.  

    Epsilon Eridani - K2V

    An economic powerhouse and the third most populated system in human space. Originally settled by ships of the Indian-Venusian Diaspora, it has since expanded into a bustling, diverse, and all things accounted for not terrible place to live. All major worlds in the system have been settled, and the few posthuman habitats seem to be oddly fond of the human population, inasmuch as they can be.


    NameDescriptionRegionMoonsLife?
    Matsya & KurmaTwin burning terrestrialsEpistellar0No
    ParashuramaGelidianGaianInner3Simple global ecology
    RamaCampian (Hot, wet) GaianOuter0Complex global ecology
    KrishnaAmunianOuter1Complex multicellular
    Buddha's BeltDust RingOuterN/AN/A

    Of note to scientists is the extinction of any life on Parashurama outside of the subglacial seas due to swift cooling of the climate. Digs have revealed an extensive fossil record, and the planet is oft cited by those believers in ancient alien civilizations.


    Ross 128 - M4V

    Currently entrenched in a gamelike civil war of ritualized combat, fought in daily one-on-one combats broadcast openly, backed by an elaborate system of points and territories. The religious tension at the root of the conflict appears to have originated in political demographics that jumped over into belief systems. Dozens of minor faith-parties have emerged in the cracks, starting their own proxy conflicts.


    NameDescriptionRegionMoonsLife?
    RadamanthusChlorine VespirianInner0Single-celled producers
    AeacusCryoNebulous HelianOuter2No
    MinosArid AmmoniaOuter0Complex multicellular

    The majority of the system's settlements are in orbit around Aeacus, save Charon City on Minos, home to the Silicon Sepulchre - a library of memories and experiences from over half a billion androids from across human space.

    Tau Ceti - G8Vp

    With so little in the system, Tau Ceti is a more of a stopover location than a destination. Hou Yi and Chang'E are both settled, though not heavily. Of note are reports of unexplained freak geology below the clouds of Chang'E and the Hou Yi biotech and agritech industries - the system is the sole supplier for a panoply of exotic genengineered foods.


    NameDescriptionRegionMoonsLife?
    Paris & HelenBinary hephaestan dwarfsEpistellar0No
    Hou Yi Chang'EArid world with Cytherian companionInner0Single-celled producers / No

    Luyten's Star - M3.5V

    Contains almost nothing of note or importance. The very definition of a filler M-type.


    NameDescriptionRegionMoonsLife?
    LeanJovian with icy moonsInner4No
    LurchGeoNebulous HelianInner2No
    LacrimosaBathypelagicInnerN/ASingle-celled producers

    Weitown: A small settlement that mines volatiles from the moons of Lurch. Serves as a stop-over and refueling depot for interstellar travelers. Founded by ex-corporate soldiers abandoned without pay or pension. They aren't particularly fond of company, which leads to conspiracy theories of hidden wealth and dark secrets.

    More Cowboy Bebop

    82 Eridani - G6V

    The Red Ash Plague (named for what it does to victim's skin) has crippled the system, and after years of work no one has been able to find a cure or an origin. it comes and it goes in cycles that follow no pattern, it is survivable one day and lethal the next. it has made the locals secretive and withdrawn, communicating with outsiders purely by masked broadcast and hiding their scarred faces.


    NameDescriptionRegionMoonsLife?
    MoriartyThetusian HelianInner1No
    Holmes & WatsonCytherian + Pelagic Inner0No / Single-celled producers
    AdlerArid methaneOuter0No

    There is a running reward of a hyperelite's ransom for any clue to the cure or origin of the Plague, posted by the eccentric and short-sighted trillionaire behind the catastrophically failed Baker Street  adventure habitat. The habitat is still there and technically still in operation, the owner is still technically alive, the androids technically still keep to their roles but all have fallen into disrepair.

    Delta Pavonis - G8IV

    In the grips of a humanitarian crisis after a meteroite slipped through the detection net and struck Laozi, crippling the planet's infrastructure. Resettlement of refugees to Diogenes orbit is underway, but there are not enough ships and not enough space. With the loss of Laozi's solar farms, food production for the entire system finds itself in precarious position.


    NameDescriptionRegionMoonsLife?
    LaoziRocky TerrestrialEpistellar3No
    DiogenesNeptunian SubJoviamOuter2No

    The Lamp in Diogenes orbit serves as the governmental hub in the system. it is currently overwhelmed with desperate people looking to flee the system and the government's philosopher-parliament is overwhelmed.

    Gliese 581 - M3V

    Founded by Proximan anarchists driven out by the Centauri Wars, the system is the keystone world for autonomists in human space. In order to remain as independent as possible from capitalist interests the system does keep tight watch on who enters (especially with Gliese 667 so close by).


    NameDescriptionRegionMoonsLife?
    Eat-the-RichAridInner1Complex single-celled
    No GodsThetusian GeoHelianInner4No
    LibertyAridInnerN/ALarge macroscopic
    No MastersHyperionic GeohelianInner1No
    ResponsibilityEoGaianInnerN/AComplex global ecology

    If one is feeling social, visit Lalu Lilalo's, in No Masters orbit. It can provide whatever entertainment you can want or need, from hanafuda to fighting games to just making friends with strangers / having sex with them.

    Gliese 667 (Fu Xi / Nüwa / Shennong) - K3V / K5V / M1 trinary

    The first two stars of this trinary circle each other closely, and so have cleared out their orbits of everything but some asteroids and a few rocky dwarfs. Gliese 667 C (Shennong) orbits A&B at a much greater distance, allowing it to maintain a stable system of its own.


    NameDescriptionRegionMoonsLife?
    HuangdiHalcyonic HelianEpistellar2No
    LeizuChlorine VesperianEpistellarN/ASingle-celled
    ZhuanxuTwin CytheriansEpistellar0No
    Dì Kù MesoGaianInner2Multi-cellular
    Tang YaoCytherianInner1No
    Great ShunArid MethaneOuter5Building Blocks

    Despite its position, the system is second only to Sol in terms of population and economic output. It has little love for spacers and Company loyalty is strong. Asteroid kowloons filled with unfortunate poor pepper the region. A wide-spread crackdown on the makers of anti-government / anti-corporate VR interactives has, as of yet failed to dredge up the underground master-artist "CC540".

    Fomalhaut - A3 V / K5Vp / M4V Trinary

    Fomalhaut A is the only star of this trio to be settled thus far. Multiple dust rings make travel in the system difficult, stripping unprotected ships bare from friction.


    NameDescriptionRegionMoonsLife?
    AtargatisArid terrestrialInner1Single-celled
    OannesPelagic-GelidianOuter1Small macroscopic
    DagonSaturnian Dwarf-JovianOuter3No

    The largest settlements in the system are Ahab on Oannes and Jonah in Dagon orbit, operated by rival family-owned companies. They've taken the system's economic downturn in stride, using the high unemployment to hire raiders to harass their competition's ships.

    Arcturus - KOIII

    A great curiosity among xenobiologists: a system where an old and expanded star has consumed or expelled all but two of its worlds, and both of those worlds are as overflowing with life as Earth in its prime, with multiple species on the cusp of sapience? A coincidence that ought be too good to be true.


    NameDescriptionRegionMoonsLife?
    TormanceRocky vesperianInner0Complex global ecology + potential proto-sapients
    AlppainBathypelagicOuter0Complex global ecology + potential proto-sapients

    For the protection of the local environments most of the population lives in orbit (Main stations Maskul and Nightspore), though small settlements do exist planetside. The initial colonists were of an esoteric neo-gnostic sect that has grown only stranger in the time since, often overlapping with the scientific demographic.

    The word "uplift" is not bandied about lightly. It has a tendency to spawn riots.

    comelms

    Trappist-1 - M8V

    A xenobiological grail: five planets with life, potentially with the same point of origin. Its distance from other major worlds has kept it at a relatively low population. It is home to  variety of exiled and heterodox religions, most being splinters from the Titantian Catholic Churchs, the displaced Martian Cathars, the Buddhislamic Fellowship, the Techno-Presbyteriat, and the Old Orthodox Xenodeists.


    NameDescriptionRegionMoonsLife?
    AnthonyCytherianEpistellar0No
    AugustineBurning terrestrialEpistellar0No
    BenedictVesperianEpistellar0Multi-cellular
    ScholasticaArid methaneInner1Complex single-celled
    HildegardAmunianInner0Single-celled
    DominicPost-GelidianInner1Single-celled
    FrancisPelagic-GelidianInner0Complex multi-cellular

    The primary settlement is Subiaco on Benedict, which is run by the ever-patient remnants of the officially-dissolved Jesuits.

    Zeta Reticuli - G3-5V / G2V binary

    A lively and populous system, famous for the heterocultural communes of Le Guin, the Domes of the Living Dead on Herbert (kill rabid flesh-eating gene-engineered clones for the entertainment of the streaming audience), the android-run habitat of Positronic in Brackett orbit, and Rocketman's Repose around Bradbury, the memorial of every known human to have died in space.

    ZR-A



    NameDescriptionRegionMoonsLife?
    BrackettCytherianInner0No
    Verne & WellsDwarf BinaryInner0No
    Le GuinXeric GaianOuter0Complex global ecology
    HerbertArid ammoniaOuter1Multi-cellular
    BradburyPoseidonic SubJovianOuter2No

     

    ZR-B 

    With little of interest beyond resources and some xenological studies, few ever visit Zeta Reticuli B. There are no permanent settlements in-system - automated fuel depots and comm buoys will be your only company.


    NameDescriptionRegionMoonsLife?
    Barney & BettyBinary Rocky DwarfsInner0No
    NiburuPanthallassic HelianOuter0Large macroscopic


    Upsilon Andromedae (Titawin) - F9V / M4.5V binary

    Located in a relatively unpopulated region of human space, Titawin serves as a sort of regional hub for explorers and travelers. It is home to the storied Academy of Astrogation in orbit around Majriti.


    NameDescriptionRegionMoonsLife?
    SaffarHot JupiterEpistellar0No
    The DancersSix Companion DwarfsEpistellar0No
    SamhSuperJovianInner2No
    MajritiSuprJovianInner3No
    SaffarAridInnerN/ALarge macroscopic
    Zarqālī MesoJovianInner2No
      Upsilon Andromeda B is known to have a epistellar Vespirian orbiting it. An exploratory expedition is currently being crowdfunded and selection of the membership is underway.

      Mu Arae (Cervantes) - G3IV-V

      Home to the most Earth-like planet yet found, the system is a home for wanderers, dreamers, fools, and scientists (or so goes the stereotype). Corporate interests from Gliese 667 are present and active, but have been barred from interfering with La Mancha in any way by the initial settlers - no permanent surface colonization has yet been made. Like Titawin, the system serves as a hub for exploration further out beyond the Frontier Margin.

      NameDescriptionRegionMoonsLife?
      DulcineaHot Sub-JovianEpistellar0No
      RocinanteWater-rich Dwarf JovianInner4No
      QuijoteMesoJovianInner3No
      La ManchaContinental GaianInnerN/AComplex global ecology
      SanchoMesoJovianOuter1No
      CardenioArid MethaneOuter0Small macroscopic
      DoroteaAridOuter1Multi-cellular
      Marcela & Grisóstomo EoGaian / MesoAmunianOuter0Simple global ecology / Small Macroscopic

        Map of Relative Locations


        If distances seem weird, it's the Z-axis at work.

        Trip Table / Distance in Light Years


        Click for bigger version.

        Yes, I Would Like More Planets to Add to This

        • Gatecrashing, plus exoplanets featured in Farcast, Seedware, and H-REP.
        • Expedition, Wayne Douglas Barlowe. The Discovery Channel adaptation is good too.
        • Halo. That first game is unapologetically an Aliens ripoff and it's great.
        • Known Space, Larry Niven. Creepy weirdo author, but he made some nifty space places.
        • Hyperion, Dan Simmons. Damn, I love this book.
        • Warframe, especially the new Fortuna expansion.
        • All of Chris Tamm's space posts and Michael Raston's Blasphemous Roster.

        Friday, November 9, 2018

        Unnamed Mothership Setting



        Ismail Inceoglu

        There's a bright and shining center to the universe, and it's a long ways out from here. Door's been closed for ages. No trespassing, no solicitation, no visitors without an appointment. The future went on ahead without us and left us behind, with all the dust and the rust and the dinged-up hand-me-downs.

        It's a big, old, empty, beautiful universe. Little islands of people trying to get by, and a whole lot of black between.

        (Mothership is a fantastic game, people.)

        Space Travel


        Ship's engines of 30 or below are considered sublight drives.

        Engines greater than 30 are considered warp drives.


        Engine StatShip SpeedPer Light YearTime DilationTime Debt
        100.75 C456.56 days321.42 days135.14 days / LY
        200.85 C420.04 days226.45 days193.59 days / LY
        300.95 C383.51 days120.53 days262.98 days / LY
        4012 C30.44 daysN/AN/A
        5024 C15.22 daysN/AN/A
        6036 C10.15 daysN/AN/A
        7048 C7.61 daysN/AN/A
        8060 C6.09 daysN/AN/A


        Jump drives are rated according to how many decaLY can be traversed in a single hyperspace jump. The standard shipboard time passage is 3 days / light year. Hyperspace travel is highly irregular on the observer side: roll 1d10 - on a 9-10, multiply the travel time by xd10 (x=Jump rating) and multiply it by travel time to determine any delay. 

        Extraterrestrial Life


        Life is out there, and it's not even particularly rare. There's carbon/oxygen-based life, methane-based life, ammonia based life, chlorine based life. Most of it is microbial, and of the larger organisms found none have shown any signs of technical prowess beyond simple tool usage. There are a great many dolphins, apes, and elephants among the stars, but man is still alone. The stars are as quiet as they have always been.

        Technological civilizations of the deep past are still a matter of debate. No direct evidence has yet been found, but certain paleontological digs (Epsilon Eridani d in particular) have garnered some popularity in the scientific community.

        They Might Be Giants


        Posthumanity (that is, those humans who digitized themselves long ago and all their offshoots and descendants) is a not-quite-sleeping giant. By population and spread, the digital gods dwarf humanity's interstellar civilization by orders of magnitude, but they play no real part in the lives of folks like you and me. The gulf between is too great to bridge. This has actually worked in humanity's favor.

        They prefer habitats to planets, building dyson swarms around red dwarfs set to last trillions of years and filling up Oort clouds with supercomputer processors. They typically ignore humanity entirely, save in those cases where they feel the need to swat away intruders. Communication with them is non-existent, but it seems that for the time being posthumanity is content to let its forgotten brethren go along its own way.

        I Owe My Soul to the Company Store


        Outside of collective communities (and sometimes even then), it's a gig economy out there. The Company posts a job, freelancers with a ship take it. It's rarely a friendly relationship: the Company provides nothing beyond pay upon completion - any other support is going to come from the assorted unions, collectives, religious organizations and co-operatives out there.

        While there are, of course, thousands and thousands of interplanetary and interstellar companies out there, spacers will invariably just call them the Company.

        Some Notes on Tech

        • Hyperspace communications are invariably fucked every time they are attempted. News travels as fast as the fastest ship.
        • Self-improving AI and digital upload tech are quashed hard by posthumanity. They don't want competition. Weak AI will get a pass.
        • Timekeeping still runs on the 365.25 day Earth year. Exactly what year it is is not supremely important.
        • Cybernetics and biotech are out there, but are usually for cosmetic and health purposes.
        Sung Choi

        Solar Gazetteer

        Human space is an irregular, blobby sphere stretching outwards from Sol. Thousands of systems have been explored and hundreds permanently settled, but in the scope of the final frontier that doesn't mean much. Even with faster-than-light travel, space refuses to be any less big.

        Most populated worlds are within 50 light-years of Earth - beyond that margin colonies become progressively more widely scattered and independently-minded. Out past 250 LY it's mostly nothing but out'sters and posthumans and "here be space dragons".

        I'll be putting up a companion post soon detailing a sandbox of 18 nearby solar systems, plus a scattering of other exoplanets to throw down wherever you might wish.

        Stuff Outright Stolen From Eclipse Phase

        For more goodies, I recommend the Farcast, Seedware, and H-Rep blogs


        NameDescriptionSource
        1. A Thousand Words for FireOpen-source extreme life-achievement challenge.Farcast 212
        2. After-EdenCommune that celebrates preventable medical disfigurements.Farcast 57
        3. AgeshiftMedical treatment to induce outward signs of a specific age.Farcast 259
        4. AnthropomorphismMindhack; subject anthropomorphizes everything.Seedware 133
        5. Asshole GeeseEven in the future, they are assholes. Semi-reliable guards.Seedware 291
        6. BonsaiFun hobby when you have lots of time and no gravity.Seedware 262
        7. BoomfruitExploding fruit. Harmless, usually entertaining.Seedware 302
        8. BouncerfeetFlexible feet with opposable toes, can hold objects.MRG 13
        9. Break BreadNutrient-rich bricks; add water and last a week off of one.Farcast 96
        10. BrowniesOut-of-sight domestic cleaner bots.Seedware 95
        11. BruixeraPossibly-legendary den of iniquity.Farcast 225
        12. Burning PlagueEngineered virus; causes flammable tumors.Farcast 201
        13. Cancer DreamsEngineered disease; stress-generated cancers.Farcast 245
        14. CaseCheap, poorly-made android models. Off-the-shelf.MRG 15
        15. Catal HayukNeolithic historical recreation habitat with permanent population.Rimward 63
        16. CatopiaPopular VR MMO. Everyone is a perfectly normal cat.Seedware 281
        17. CheshireHairless cat breed with chameleon skin. Freaky as hell.Seedware 13
        18. Church of Luminous SaintsMilitant post-Christian sect; really likes themselves some WMDs.X-Risks 74
        19. Coiled CaninesFriendly like a dog, wriggly as a ferret, long as a snake.Seedware 110
        20. Common-Sense NetworkLow-pop. anarchist collectives running local direct democracy.Rimward 175
        21. Cubehive CorpMakers of affordable ultra-compact housing and habitats.H-Rep 147
        22. Designer SynaesthesiaPopular mindhack among artists and unorthodox scientists.Seedware 231
        23. DIY ShipyardsEnthusiastic anarchists build anything to order if you help out.Rimward 86
        24. DNA ChaffGrenade filled with organic dust; throws analysts into a tizzy.Panopticon 150
        25. DroogaMind-altering vodka-variant; tends to start sizable riots.Farcast 133
        26. Dummy BarrierInsulation between a hacker and H-Rep 60
        27. EarthconConvention celebrating Earth and its old cultures.Farcast 337
        28. Elysian FieldsHabitat dedicated to those dying in peace and dignity.Sunward 137
        29. Engineer's Womb Exowomb implant; safe, quick, comfortable.Seedware 119
        30. Eusocial Monkey ButlersExactly what it says on the tin. Popular with the rich.Seedware 81
        31. ExonaturalsThe business of getting alien resources from here to there.Farcast 215
        32. FacelessA faceless sphinx of black stone; popular 'net rumor.Farcast 145
        33. Francesca's Cheese & WineHole-in-the-wall vender-fabber; no one knows who Francesca is.Seedware 208
        34. Fur CoatActually a living organism that you wear. X-Risks 157
        35. Gardener BeesProgrammed and modified beehives. Guardwasps available.Panopticon 154
        36. Get Your Ass to MarsSpaceship fleet hosts anarchist olympics.Rimward 173
        37. Glowstick FungusGrows about a foot and a half, glows green-yellow.Farcast 308
        38. Gold BallastIt's basically worthless for anything else.Farcast 298
        39. Grendal's LoopHyperspace coordinates that send you back where you started.Farcast 218
        40. Gut MacrofaunaSome people just want to be a hive. For art.Seedware 52
        41. House of Screaming BricksThe worst prison in human space. No one owns up to it.Farcast 29
        42. Hypothetical HandbookPopular series of "what-if" guides, from mundane to mad.Seedware 16
        43. IP EnforcementThey aren't above sending someone with a gun.Rimward 65
        44. Jellybone SuitVacuum-sealed goo-suit for extreme environment protection.Farcast 4
        45. Jester VirusEngineered virus; causes uncontrollable laughter.H-Rep 211
        46. K-FlaskAdd water and some organic primer, get milk. Ferments well, too.Farcast 67
        47. Kaiju TherapyPut on VR, pretend to be a monster, feel better.Seedware 190
        48. Language SynthesisThe art of building a functioning language from scratch.Farcast 159
        49. Laughing PolicemanInterrogation drug; target induced to openness and cooperation.Firewall 175
        50. LiangamishGiant genitalia-themed temple complex.Farcast 288
        51. Lick Me I'm DeliciousShip fleet out to visit every human-settled world.Rimward 173
        52. Lilith SequenceGenemod; Allows reproduction via parthenogenesis.Farcast 126
        53. LivestockNon-sapient humans modified for food; popular with the rich.Seedware 142
        54. Maintenance Rats Smart rodents modified to actually fix the wiring.Farcast 235
        55. Manna TreeNutritious high-water fruit, aspirin bark, rot-resistant wood.Seedware 86
        56. MeathabSpace station made out of meat. Probably alive.Rimward 77
        57. MedicrabsCute little robot buddies to stitch you back up.Seedware 44
        58. Medusa LocksMuscular dreadlocks, a replacement for hair.Seedware 205
        59. Minervan FleetWandering ex-military fleet looking to find enemies fight them.X-Risks 78
        60. Mme. BleuAndroid fixer / crime boss. Bodies found across human space.Farcast 65
        61. Mobile GreenhousePrecisely what it seems. A touch of nature on barren worlds.H-Rep 34
        62. Mood LizardTherapy animal. Quiet, good at cuddling, skin responds to owner.Farcast 151
        63. Moon WormsAdd water and sugar, it generates alcohol.Seedware 68
        64. Mortal DiamondsThe remains of war heroes, compressed into diamonds.Farcast 285
        65. NanobrushLittle blue pellets that will clean out your mouth. Minty fresh.H-Rep 178
        66. Neptunium SkullLegendary cursed / radioactive artifact, Holy Grail of thieves.Farcast 172
        67. New Day CorpDevelopers of neanderthal genome splices.Panopticon 121
        68. Nostalgia CigarettesDrug; induces feelings of nostalgia.Seedware 199
        69. PearlsPainful side-effect of glitching internal nanomachines.Seedware 237
        70. Pod VariantsTypical human-presenting models for androids.Corebook 142
        1) Ayah - Caretakers, teachers, nannies.
        2) Basic - General-purpose androids.
        3) Pleasure - Sex-change module + pheromonal control.
        4) Security - Not quite extra muscle, but same principle.
        5) Vacuum - Built for space work; 0-G and stellar radiation.
        6) Worker - Sturdy and solid, good for manual labor.
        71. Programmers Without BordersCharitable organization of hackers and devs. They'll fix you up.Farcast 317
        72. Red Five Advanced HueristicsAdvertising firm dealing with stolen military programming memes.X-Risks 86
        73. Relationship Mapper Software to map out and detail someone's entire social web.Panopticon 156
        74. Remnant GardenGardens grown around corpses.Seedware 280
        75. Rep DayHoliday for giving gifts to people on your rep network.Farcast 263
        76. Robo-MuleEveryone's favorite six-legged luggage-hauler.Gatecrashing 162
        77. Rocket RhosaTraveling armorer, weaponsmith, and whiskey-chugging veteran.Farcast 290
        78. Rust Hound Dog breed, originally modified for Mars. Big and red.X-Risks 160
        79. SharkteethRemovable tooth, grows to a dagger in mineral-rich water.Farcast 88
        80. ShiprotObject lesson in entropy; the wear and tear of a ship in use.Farcast 306
        81. ShipslugVacuum-adapted; often used for exterior ship repairs. Farcast 144
        82. Shut-InDrug; induces feelings of melancholy, focus, and introspection.H-Rep 96
        83. SlitheroidRobotic-presenting android model with serpentine lower half.MRG 91
        84. Soma FruitFruit bred to carry low-intensity social drugs.Farcast 326
        85. SpigipedeKinda like a pig and a worm, popular food among spacers.Farcast 287
        86. Survivor's YeastAdd it to nearly anything organic for edible, unpalatable sludge.Seedware 267
        87. TaspingMindhack; pleasure/reward centers linked to a specific action.Seedware 140
        88. TentaballA ball with tentacles. Used as a ranged restraining device.Seedware 101
        89. Terracotta Warriors of MarsOnce-popular android design.Seedware 236
        90. The ConchRefugee ship given over to three Company scions. Bad news.Rimward 137
        91. The Holy SeeThe pope, in space. Also a woman. Jesuits in space too.Rimward 46
        92. To Be Tuesday"Game" in which players control the same android for one day.Farcast 192
        93. TransbovineModified cows; includes superauroch beefslugs.Farcast 63
        94. Translucent / BioluminecentCommon cosmetic biomods.Seedware 18/19
        95. Vengeance of EnkiEngineered disease; targets ability to comprehend symbols. Farcast 140
        96. Virtue PlagueEngineered disease; subjects become high-empathy pacifists.Seedware 203
        97. Void SistersShadowy sisterhood with plans on shaping the future.Farcast 268
        98. "Wait, That Was You?"The typical outcome of being the feature of a viral meme.Panopticon 147
        99. Wild ArtificialsRobots with animal-level AI, loose and able to reproduce.Sunward 177
        100. WinteristGenemod, sexless, save for short monthly periods of fertility.Rimward 189

         

        Social Networks



        Rep NetworkWho's OnlineSource
        @-repAutonomistsCorebook 286
        *-repSpace MarinesFarcast 211
        B-repAndroidsMe
        C-repCivic / CorporateCorebook 286
        E-repEcologistsCorebook 286
        F-repMediaCorebook 286
        G-repCriminalsCorebook 286
        H-repHomebrewersH-Rep 4
        K-repKindness NetworkFarcast 36
        P-repVideo GamesH-Rep 184
        R-repResearchCorebook 286
        T-repTeamstersMe
        X-repExplorersGatecrashing 148

        Cowboy Bebop

        Thursday, November 1, 2018

        Class: Book Club Witches


        Lin Jin

        Monsieur came up with a template for GLOG witches, thought I'd give it a spin.

        The Book Club

        The story of Book Club goes something like this:

        In the late 18th or early 19th Dynasties of Egypt's Middle Kingdom (That is, in the time between Akhenaten and Ramses the Great), there emerged a certain mystery religion devoted to Thoth and his consort Ma'at. The women of that order devoted themselves to unveiling the secret mystic and scientific knowledge of the universe. They sought to use it as a tool against isfet, the crawling chaos at work beneath and behind the world.

        It was too late to turn back when the priests finally realized the scope of that undertaking. Isfet nibbled away at the pillars of the earth, it seeped through the foundation walls of the universe, it wore a thousand thousand masks and brought ruin in its wake wherever it was made manifest. It couldn't be stopped, only turned away for a time. They pressed on regardless.

        The order endured up until Julius Caesar got his book-burning on and the cult was scattered to the winds and shadows. Practitioners would gather in twos and threes all the way from Londinium to Samarkand, keeping the art alive.

        Cut to today: the ancient priesthood has transformed into a loose confederacy of paranormal investigators, fronted primarily by the academic sorority Theta Omega Theta. The religious practices and secrecy are mostly gone now, but the magic is still there.

        The modern Book Club serves as a point of contact and intermediary with the preternatural world - government's not much help, and there's only so much the neighbors can do. They'll deal with most things, crawling chaos or no.

        When there's something that can't be explained and discretion is advised, call a friend in Book Club. Paperback trades go without saying.

        Bookworm

        The boots on the ground, called together and sent out when and where they're needed. A lone Bookworm means a pretty unexciting investigation is afoot, or it's just typical inter-species disputes that need settled, or some other known-unknown. For anything dangerous or truly uncertain, they will move in covens.

        Perk: You're familiar with the language and culture of one of the mythos peoples. You gain a +1 to reaction rolls with them, and have a 3-in-6 chance to answer difficult questions about them.
        1. Deep Ones
        2. Ghouls
        3. Tcho-Tcho
        4. K'n-Yani 
        5. Sand Dwellers
        6. Cats
        Signs:
        • You can ping the presence (general distance and direction) of your coven-mates.
        • Can memorize a single page of text; new input overwrites old.


        Librarian

        The heart of Book Club. They call together meetings, gather covens of Bookworms, train new members, wrangle the Ibises, and maintain the network of connections and contacts. Most Librarians have settled down after colorful careers as Bookworms, though they'll go back out into the field if things get heated.

        Perk: You have a network of contacts to pull on for aid and information. Roll 2d6: on a 10+ they're able to help you out no problem. On 7-9, there is some sort of cost involved (information is spotty, you owe them a favor in return, etc). On 1-6, no one can help you. You may use this ability [Template] times per session.
        Drawback: 25% of income goes towards maintaining the Club.

        Signs:
        • You can send a secret message to the home of anyone you have shared a meal with. Messages must be less than 20 words and will vanish after being read, of if read by the wrong person.
        • You have a familiar (cat, dog, crow, rat-thing) and can assign it simple tasks.


        Ibis

        You've been in the Club for far too long. It's all you've got left. You've torched your outside relationships and most of your social standing. People rightfully call you crazy, but crazy has kept you alive. You spite the crawling chaos just by existing.

        Drawback: You've gone batshit. You have developed an obsessive phobia or a mania from your interactions with the Mythos. It has served you well and kept you alive, but its hold on your life has become absolute.

        Signs:
        • You can create a hideous droning piping noise at will.
        • You can remove an eye and roll it around like a marble. It still works.

        Works  

        Dream-Key
        R: Touch T: Person D: [dice] hours.
        Sends a willing target (caster can target self) into a deep sleep. This lasts for [dice] hours in the waking world, and [sum] x2 hours of dream-time.If cast as a coven, the casters may pool or split their WD among as many targets as desired.
        Craft: "Silver Key" potion.

        Contact
        R: 100 miles / Varies T: Magical being D: Until dispelled.
        Caster makes contact with a magical / extraterrestrial / extrauniversal being. If used in the Dreamlands, there is no range limit. If [sum] > 10, non-magically-sensitive individuals may be contacted. For entities existent outside normal space, the spell must be cast at a location of some power or significant to that entity.
        Craft: A small engraved or painted icon of the target.

        Sign of Thoth
        R: N/A T: Entryway D: Until dispelled.
        By inscribing the sign of Thoth (Θώθ), the caster may invest [dice] to bar the way of any supernatural being of [sum] HD or less.  Invested dice do not return until the spell is dispelled.
        Craft: Drawn upon the doorframe in chalk.


        Reveal Invisible
        R: 20' T: Area D: 1 hour
        Any entities, pigments, or objects that are normally invisible to the human eye are revealed. If 4+ [dice] are invested, the effect is permanent.
        Craft: A bag of fine, silvery dust.

        Warp Spasm
        R: 15' T: Being D: Instant
        Target must make a save vs magic or be wracked with powerful seizures for [dice] turns. If [sum] > 12, they will gain a permanent mutation.
        Craft: Wishbone charms, ready to be snapped.


        Memory Fog
        R: Touch T: Being D: Permanent
        Target's memories of the last [dice] hours are muddled. They will not be able to recall faces, names, exact conversations, and all but the most obvious details. If [sum] > 25, this spell can effectively blank-slate an individual.
        Craft: Tattoo of an eye with an X pupil on the palm.


        Burning Cloud
        R: 20' T: Area D: [sum] turns
        Does [dice] damage / turn to all beings within the cloud.
        Craft: A rough red-gold powder, warm to the touch.


        Hypergeometry
        R: Touch T: Self  D: Instant
        Caster jumps into hyperspace and can move through walls, doors, objects, individuals etc, without detection, for [sum] x 5'.
        Craft: Effigy of the caster, twisted out of shape.

        Bookworm Emblem Work - Friends in Low Places

        R: N/A T: Being D: Session
        The Bookworm may summon aid from the mythos people she has familiarity with. Barring any usual circumstances (finding oneself in another plane, for example), help will arrive in d6 hours and will remain until the end of the job, the session, or it becomes too dangerous. Caster gets only one free use of this spell: a further favor must be fulfilled before it can be cast again

        Librarian Emblem Work - Shielded from their Eyes

        R: Touch T: Object D: [sum] hours
        The target object (and anything inside it) is shielded from preternatural detection and the attentions of the Old Ones or Crawling Chaos for as long as the spell is active. If this spell is cast with 10+ [dice] during the Witching Hour, the effect will last for a full year and can be extended to the size of a house.

        Ibis Emblem Work - Artifact Destruction

        R: 5' T: Magical Object or Being D: Instant
        This spell will only work if all Work Dice are burnt. The targeted item or possessed individual is immediately and completely consumed in fire and will be destroyed instantly with no save. This spell only affects material targets; the enchantment has a blowback chance as it dissipates (save vs. magic).

        Wyrd Transports 

        1. Shantak - Horse-headed, bat-winged, elephant sized. Smells of salt and slime.
        2. Possessed Bicycle - Will never conspire to throw you off.
        3. Bookmobile - Shelves full of well-thumbed paperbacks and extra ammo.
        4. Nightgaunt - The tickling isn't that bad, you get used to it after a while.
        5. Solar Barge - More of a canoe, really. Shiny and gold.
        6. Gigantic Cat - A tabby the size of a tiger.

        You Have Captured the Attention Of...

        1. The Haunter in the Dark
        2. The Bloody Tongue
        3. The Faceless Pharaoh 
        4. The Bloated Woman
        5. The Crooked Man
        6. The Thousand Eyes

        To Shake the Attention of Chaos...

        1. Pound of flesh - sacrifice 1d6 HP.
        2. Lay low, lay low - You may not cast at above 1 WD for the rest of the day.
        3. Fast and meditate - regain no HP or spells tonight.
        4. Snuff the candle - burn off all WD used for this spell.
        5. Show of Strength - all spells require an additional WD to cast.
        6. Keep your cool - WD spent today are rolled with disadvantage.

        Losing Your Grip

        1. The magnitude of what you're attempting to do hits you like a lead brick. The spell fizzles out, and the strain of blooming existential crisis prevents you from casting again for d7 days.
        2. Isfet strikes back at you. Roll d6 to select a horrible wound table, then roll d6 for the wound.
        3. A horrible wound as above, but this time it heals wrong; you bear a cursed branding mark of isfet. Dogs and cats hate you. Humans know something is very wrong with you at a moment.
        4. There's nothing left to be done, and there's nowhere else to go. You've reached fail-state. You have two options: taking your life, or throwing yourself into the embrace of isfet as its servant.
        Tyler Crook

        Callsigns and Operations



        CallsignOperation
        1) Tanith Lee"Dark Dance"
        2) Margaret St. Clair"Sign of the Labrys"
        3) Shirley Jackson"Haunting of Hill House"
        4) Gertrude Barrows Bennet"The Heads of Cerberus"
        5) Mary Shelley"The Last Man"
        6) Charlotte Perkins Gilman"Yellow Wallpaper"
        7) K.J. Bishop"The Etched City"
        8) V.H. Leslie"Bodies of Water"
        9) Anne VanderMeer"The Big Book of Science Fiction"
        10) Priya Sharma"All the Fabulous Beasts"
        11) Farah Rose Smith"Eviscerator"
        12) Autumn Christian"A Gentle Hell"
        13) Betty Rocksteady"Like Jagged Teeth"
        14) Tiffany Scandal"Shit Luck"
        15) Leza Cantoral"Cartoons in the Suicide Forest"
        16) Gwendolyn Kiste"Hardened Hearts"
        17) Elizabeth Hand"Prince of Flowers"
        18) Margret Cavendish"The Blazing World"
        19) Molly Tanzer"Creatures of Will and Temperament"
        20) Silvia Moreno-Garcia"Love and Other Poisons"

        Monday, October 29, 2018

        Horrible Beautiful Wonder: Gods and Dreams

        So I recently bought Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition and have been on a bit of a Lovecraft kick. Specifically an "un-Lovecrafted Lovecraft" kick, as I am a lover of that weird little subgenre. (My previous post is evidence enough of that. I do still need to get around to reading The Ballad of Black Tom and Winter Tide.)

        So here we go.

        General Setting Notions

        • Early modern accounts of the Mythos were heavily skewed according to the recorders' racial and cultural biases and are not properly indicative of the reality.
        • The existence of the Mythos is common knowledge and has been for most of the last century. Knowledge prior to the modern period was scattered and  even more incomplete.
        • Sorcerers and those who understand how magic works are rare.
        • Earth sits at a hyperspatial junction point, which at one time made it a common stopping point for interstellar empires and a popular pilgrimage destination for the Great Old Ones. With the passing of ages, the collapse of empires, and the shifting of hyperspace currents, it has been reduced to a backwater in the outer reaches of Mi-Go territory, inhabited by those who are unable to leave for brighter and better places. It's Cosmic Rust Belt.

        The Outer Gods

        The exact number and nature of the Outer Gods is contested. The most common structure used in modern Mythos faiths is the trinitarian model, as follows:
        • Azathoth (Azoth, Thoth, Ein Sof) - Primordial creative force. Centerpoint of the cosmos.
        • Yog-Sothoth ('Umr at-Tawil, Kefitzat Haderech, Tay al-Ard) - Time, space, physical laws.
        • Shub-Niggurath (Pan, Magna Mater) - Life, death, growth, violence, biological imperative.
        There is further contention over whether the Servitors of the Outer Gods are spawn of these gods, a pre-existing species that has joined or been pressed into their service, or constructs. Manifestations of the Outer Gods are extremely rare (making comparison difficult) and only confirmed spawn seen on Earth are the Dark Young of Shub-Niggurath.

        The Crawling Chaos (referred to by occultists as Isfethotep) is considered the soul, messenger, and nightmare of the Outer Gods. It regularly invests itself within the affairs of the lesser inhabitants of the universe, for reasons unknown and towards outcomes mostly negative. The Crawling Chaos has been recorded taking thousands of different manifestations, to the point of working at cross-purposes. It has been seen within the Dreamlands.

        Hastur remains resistant to study.

        Peoples of the Mythos


        Each species listed here is given a "Human Interaction Rating"
        • + = Positive interaction is possible
        • * = Interaction is unlikely, unsought, impossible, or otherwise rare
        • X = Negative interaction likely.

        SpeciesHIRGreat Old OneOriginNotes
        Humans+Y'golonac (*)Earth (Human)Very young primate species. Capable of entering the Dreamlands.
        Deep Ones+Dagon & Hydra (*)Earth (Cambrian)Genetic chimeras. Mixed relations with humanity.
        Ghouls+N/AEarth (Human-Derived)Undead carnivore-scavengers. Generally retain memories of life prior to change.
        Ghasts*N/AEarth (Hominid)Ape-equivalent intelligence. Some varieties domesticated by K'n-Yani.
        K'n-Yani+N/AEarth (Human)Subterranean North American people. Well-versed in occult science.
        Mi-Go+N/AAlien Possess interstellar empire. Will trade technology for rare minerals. Brain canisters.
        Tcho-Tcho+N/AEarth (Human)Human worshipers of Chaugnar Faugn. Cannibalistic funeral rites.
        Elder Things+N/AAlienCollapsed interstellar empire. Few remain on Earth. Status of colony worlds unknown.
        Serpent PeopleXYigEarth (Carboniferous)Minor Mesozoic empire concurrent with Mi-Go, Yithians, Star Spawn.
        Voormis*N/AEarth (Hominid)Extinct(?) Hyperboreans. Worshiped Tsathoggua. Enemies of Gnoph-Keh.
        Yithans+N/AAlien (Mind), Earth (Body)Cross-time information trade. Potential for tech and bio samples stored in stasis.
        Flying PolypsXGhatanothoa (?)Alien Trapped in subterranean prison-cities. Few remain. Contact unsuccessful.
        Star Spawn*CthulhuAlienCurrently in stasis beneath R'lyeh with their patron.
        Fire VampiresXCthughaAlienNo communication yet made, but Great Old One indicates intelligence of some sort.
        CthoniansXShudde M'ell???Most pressing danger to Earth life at this point in time.
        Sand Dwellers*N/AEarth (Hominid)Incredibly good at staying hidden: no real information available.
        ShoggothXUbbo-SathlaEarth (Proterozoic)Some have been re-domesticated by Deep Ones. Shoggoth Lords have plans.
        Spiders of Leng*Atlach-NachaDreamlandsOccasional conflict with Tcho-Tcho on Leng margins.
        Formless Spawn*TsathogguaCreated by Patron (?)Uncertain as to whether it is the originating species or an attempt at recreation.
        Nightgaunt*Yibb-TstllDreamlandsAppear occasionally in the waking world. Non-communicative. Means of transport.
        Rat-Thing+N/AEarth (Occult)Initially created by sorcerous means, now a self-sustained population.
        Gnoph-KehXIthaqua (?)Earth (?) Hominid (?)Dying race. Global warming accelerating the process. Not happy.
        ShanXN/AAlienBrain parasites fleeing destruction of homeworld. Possible client or rival of the Mi-Go.
        Miri Nigri*N/AEarth (Human-Derived)Failed attempt at adoption of humans by Chaugnar Faugn. Extinct (?)
        Cats+BastEarthCan easily access the Dreamlands. Human domestication project on schedule.


        * - These entities are in the process of ascent to Great Old One.
        ? - These entities have not been conclusively linked to the listed species

        The Great Old Ones


        A Great Old One is a priest of the Outer Gods. (Whether an ascendant individual of a species or born of the collected consciousness, scholars are uncertain)

        Earth is unusual in both the number of Great Old Ones present there (It is hypothesized that the hyperspace disruption that cut off most exit routes was very sudden, stranding them on the planet), and the number of orphaned Old Ones i.e. those that do not have an attendant species. Orphan Old Ones will generally attempt to adopt a new species as their servants or create new ones. Their original species are presumed to be extinct, having died off either in obscurity on Earth, or elsewhere in the cosmos.

        Known orphan Old Ones include:
        • Tsathoggua - Attempted to recreate its species through Formless Spawn and adopt the Voormis.
        • Chaugnar Faugn - Has attempted and failed to adopt the Miri Nigri and Tcho-Tcho.
        • Eihort - Seeks humans as incubators for spawn, is at least partially successful.
        • Glaaki - Servants zombified by its spines rarely survive more than a few decades.
        Among modern religious practices, Cthulhu, Tsathoggua, and Chaugnar Faugn are the most commonly revered Old Ones among humans. The ongoing apparent ascendance of Y'golonac is a matter of great concern among practical metaphysicians, considering the being's legendary cruelty and the power it will gain over the species as it achieves its mantle of priesthood.

        The Dreamlands


        A matter of great curiosity among scholars for the following points.
        • It seems that humanity (and their house cats and derivatives) are among some of the only creatures in the known cosmos capable of entering this realm. Aliens such as the Mi-Go and Elder Things are never seen there.
        • Even though the Great Old Ones communicate primarily through dreams, they and their attendant species are never seen within it. It has been hypothesized that Old Ones possess their own dreamscapes, and then may send message rippling across the "surface" of the Dreamlands to their chosen targets.
        • Surprisingly comprehensible manifestations of the Crawling Chaos have been witnessed.
        • Other planets possess their own Dreamlands, travel between them is possible.
        • It is possible for a human mind to emigrate to the Dreamlands, leaving their body dead.
        • Two Old Ones and their attendant species have been found in the Dreamlands. How they got there and whether they are natives of the Dreamlands or the Waking World is undetermined.
        Esoteric institutes around the world are offering massive stipends for skilled dreamers to act as researchers.

        Where We Are Now


        The human response to their new place in the universe is a fractured one (surprising no one), but an understandable one. It has been very, very human.

        The reactionary wave that grew in the wake of the Mythos still has the world in its death grip. The repressions have been ugly, but it is becoming more and more clear that the current cannot be fought against. Change will upseat the old orders, and none to soon: the mistakes of the twentieth century have been repeated in the twenty-first, the Mythos often just an excuse to act upon old hates.

        One would be tempted to think of the zeitgeist as one of despair, but it has become one of humility. Humanity has been put in its place in the universe, and for those who can withstand the pain of having all your egoist assumptions torn away, there is a certain peace of mind to be found. The world is not about us. For those who realize it (there are too few who do, but the ranks keep growing) the Great Old Ones have freed mankind from our self-imposed myopia. It is not as some of the old cults said, that humans would be made above good and evil, but it is instead a moment of clarity of our place in the universe and our relations with others.

        Friday, October 26, 2018

        Tables of Cultural Traits

        Aeylis


        I just finished up reading all of Le Guin's Hainish stories. It's certainly not every day that you come away from a series feeling like a better person, but this was one of them. They are beautiful and potent and terribly human, and they invoke in me the great peace of humility - I am not the center of the universe, countless people are going about fulfilling lives as alien to me as mine to them, and there is a goodness and rightness in this.

        (If you haven't read them yet, see if you can track down the American Library omnibus. Otherwise, I advise Left Hand of Darkness, The Dispossessed, Five Ways to Forgiveness, and The Telling.)

        So to that end, I'm merging a great deal from Daniel Sell's post on planar cultures with the cultural ways of Albion's Seed, to create something that should hopefully be an easy way to add cultural variety and depth to your settings and characters. Traits here were plucked both from real life groups and whatever else came to mind.


        Now using Angus Warman's HTML generator! (Via Saker Tarsos helping fix technical difficulties in Discord)

        0. Appearence






        For the tables below, roll 3d25 (or choose however) to select your tables, roll on those as appropriate (they're all d6) and use that as the basis for your culture. If you want a little bit extra for those people, roll 1d3 times (or choose, or roll however many times you want) on Skerples' list of mutations.

        This was made to go with my Traveler class.

        1. Speech

        1. Peppered with references to assorted, often obscure heroic myth-cycles.
        2. Euphemistic lexicon elides the unpleasant, violent, scandalous and sexual.
        3. The meanings of words change between sung verse and prose vernacular. 
        4. Simple and straightforward; blunt-force metaphors and workmanlike prose.
        5. Burns with passionate, unrefined emotion; often translated as vulgarity.
        6. Has accumulated dozens of languages, constantly mutating new variants.

        2. Building


        1. Faces of homes decorated with mosaics of monsters to scare away evil spirits.
        2. Permanent homes are built underground, only temporary structures on the surface.
        3. Old buildings are always repurposed and added on to if they can be salvaged.
        4. Homes are treated as living beings with rights under the law.
        5. Doors are shaped as mouths, windows as eyes, interior rooms as organs.
        6. Natural features (caves, trees, boulders, water) are incorporated into the structure.

        3. Family


        1. A visitor welcomed three times may be considered family.
        2. Multiple generations and branches will live in the same home or neighborhood.
        3. Families consist only of related women; men are independent from these obligations.
        4. Honor of the familial name must be protected with blood if needed.
        5. Children are no longer considered part of their birth family upon reaching adulthood.
        6. The obligations of filial piety are ended only in death.

        4. Marriage

        1. Exclusively between land-owning men.Women and unlanded men are not permitted.
        2. Not practiced. Periods of agreed exclusivity symbolized by a fig bough over the door.
        3. Large group marriages; stable sub-groups form according to individual alignments.
        4. Elaborate divorce rituals developed to get around strict legal-religious bindings.
        5. Organized by trained matchmakers according to tarot archetypes.
        6. Ceremony is comedic theater performed for the community.

        5. Gender


        1. Primary genders are submissive / dominant, regardless of sex.
        2. Most individuals shift gender identity multiple times in their life. 
        3. Men should be buff, women should be vavoom. 
        4. Children raised agendered, then strictly split upon reaching puberty.
        5. Societal roles dependent on sex and zodiac. Eunuchs exist outside the system.
        6. Third gender previously held role of occult significance.

        6. Sex


        1. Best done in groups. Public fuckeries a common business to this end.
        2. Quietly but enthusiastically celebrated as healthy and beneficial.
        3. Considered shameful and animalistic, public expression repressed.
        4. To be performed according to the proscribed forms and methods.
        5. Flamboyant performative displays typical; a load of fun for all involved.
        6. Participants dress and act as gods and myth-heroes.

        7. Child-Rearing


        1. Children are raised in state-sanctioned boarding creches.
        2. A community effort; everyone watches the neighborhood kids.
        3. Strict punishments are the only way to teach children right from wrong. 
        4. Empathy, understanding, and the validity of emotions are key tools of any parent.
        5. Primarily the father's responsibility after they are weaned.
        6. Members of eunuch caste act as teachers and caretakers.

        8. Naming


        1. Child-names are purposefully obscene or awful, in order to scare away evil spirits. 
        2. Elaborate public names, simple private names shared only with intimate companions.
        3. Weapons must be named, with appropriate documentation of their birth and education.
        4. Personal names are always changing based on traits, trades, and actions. 
        5. Three names for all: One given by parents, one given by friends, one given to oneself. 
        6. All names taken from a short approved list, accompanied by numbers for rank of birth.

        9. Age


        1. The old are feared and despised, and exiled from the community upon reaching great age.
        2. Transitions celebrated: child to youth, youth to adult, adult to elder.
        3. The wisdom of the young and old work in tandem: grandparent/grandchild councils. 
        4. Years are not counted; age measured by state of the body and mind.
        5. Fading population boom has left many more elderly than the young.
        6. The desires of the younger generation are often ignored to maintain the practices of the old.

        10. Death


        1. Paper grave goods are burned to provide the deceased with supplies and necessities in hell.
        2. The bones of the dead are carried around as protection against biting insects and parasites. 
        3. Sky-funerals are the standard, carried about by flocks of sacred vultures. 
        4. Organs of fallen family are preserved in jars of strong wine and kept in the home. 
        5. The dead are spoken as if alive until the birthday after their passing, when they are mourned.
        6. Those close to death hold grand gift-giving celebrations for family and friends.

        11. Religious


        1. There is no afterlife, so make the best of this one.
        2. Suffering and complete purity of being alone please God.
        3. All gods are absorbed into the local religion for insurance purposes. 
        4. Worship practice of local god consists mostly of blaspheming rival gods.
        5. Divine omens must be read of entrails before any important action.
        6. Gods exist to be fought against and eventually killed.

        12. Magic


        1. Is derived from the sun's heat and light.
        2. Is forcing your will upon the universe.
        3. Comes only from the land of the dead.
        4. Is maintained through bargain with the spirits.
        5. Is the knowing and revealing of truth.
        6. Is sacred text inscribed in blood and flesh.

        13. Learning


        1. Private schooling reserved only for the wealthy.
        2. Oral histories and folklore, taught by extended family members.
        3. Schools consistently lack support from government and public.
        4. Serves as a production line for future producer-consumers.
        5. Encouraged as an enjoyable and satisfying pursuit for its own sake
        6. Learning must be active, rooted in traveling and interacting.

        14. Food


        1. Hippos foolishly imported as meat animals.
        2. Fruit and fish, brought in fresh from the river.
        3. Spicy vegetarian fare. Excellent bread.
        4. Meat. Fried in oil. Type doesn't matter.
        5. Bland, cold, and in meager portions.
        6. Insects, worms, fungi, all raw.

        15. Etiquette


        1. Lying to another is considered the gravest social offense.
        2. A shared meal must be offered to enemies before combat, litigation, or debate.
        3. The sight of publicly bare hands is an extreme scandal.
        4. Belching and slurping while eating shows appreciation to the chef. 
        5. Comedic insults should be thrown at friends and family when possible.
        6. Honorifics for sex, age, rank, profession, and other factors must be adhered to.

        16. Dress


        1. Upon reaching the age of majority, the right hand is tattooed blue and the left hand red.
        2. Men and women both wear gigantic lacy hoop skirts and towering powdered wigs. 
        3. Bright colors and elaborate patterns are available even to the poor. 
        4. Complex sumptuary laws define acceptable dress by class, trade, and ethnicity.
        5. Heavy fur robes and masks with goggles are typical outside wear.
        6. Everyday clothing uses emblems and designs of long-gone knightly class.

        17. Sport


        1. Sport is for children only; adults partaking in such childish behavior are whipped in public.
        2. Complex, slow-paced, communal strategy games are the favored pastime.
        3. High-contact team sports; injuries both common and lauded.
        4. 1v1 puppet-fighting gathers huge, raucous crowds.
        5. Outcome of games determines what is sacrificed to the gods.
        6. Sporting events used as truces between nations; politics always in the background.

        18. Work


        1. Get the job done and get a good end result, the how is less important. 
        2. The value of a man is measured by his industriousness. 
        3. A job done for someone means they owe you a job in return. 
        4. Work is for the benefit of those who own the land and the factory.
        5. Labor ought serve the public good first, and the personal good second.
        6. Only idiots waste their lives working.

        19. Time


        1. Schedules are to be kept immaculate. Lateness is unforgivable. 
        2. Stay up late, sleep in late. There is no need to rush anywhere.
        3. The epochs and inhabitants of deep-time are common parlance. 
        4. There is only the now and the short term - past and future are of no consequence.
        5. The calendar counts down to a future date, at which point it will reset for a new age.
        6. Recent timekeeping changes cause widespread confusion and dismay.

        20. Wealth


        1. Overt or ostentatious displays of wealth are shunned, considered a weakness of confidence.
        2. No business can be done during the day, as the sun might grow angry at seeing its stolen gold. 
        3. Ownership, sale and purchase of abstract concepts is a foundational element of the economy.
        4. Currency types regularly shift and change; coin collectors overjoyed.
        5. Is an arbitrary assignment of value to a few chips of metal. Real treasure is elsewhere.
        6. If no one died getting it, is it really worth anything at all?

        21. Rank


        1. Higher status means more trepannations, so as to let more spirits of the open sky into the mind.
        2. The literate are second-class citizens, but are immune to conscription and protected from war.
        3. Kings, being of heaven, must never touch the ground for so long as they may live.
        4. There is a caste devoted entirely to keeping track of all the castes and the connections between.
        5. Increasingly-elaborate methods of proving divine imperial bloodlines growing less effective.
        6. Positions of power are bought, given as gifts, or won randomly by lottery.

        22. War


        1. Symbolic performances primarily for the entertainment of the masses.
        2. Those who declare war are traditionally placed on the front lines, to reward enthusiasm.
        3. Conflicts are primarily disinformation campaigns and surgical strikes.
        4. Legions of horrific chimeras bred for this very purpose: human soldiers rare.
        5. Competitive defensive strategies lead to decades-long cold wars.
        6. No-holds-barred arcane warfare. Warzones transformed into magical hellscapes for centuries.

        23. Order


        1. Security against disruptive forces is prized above all else, no matter the cost. 
        2. A moiety of punks and satirists exists to keep the other half of civilization in check. 
        3. Society ordered according to unquestioned ancient precepts.
        4. Pre-existing order has been overturned by social development, the way forward in question.
        5. No one knows what's going on anymore, the train is off the rails.
        6. Chaos is embraced; all things in flux, all is made new.

        24. Power


        1. Kings have absolute power save over the headsman in the corner of the throne room.
        2. Power rests in a small circle of those who have accrued and inherited vast wealth.
        3. Exercised with a subtle hand, so much so as to be unnoticed and invisible.
        4. In a constant state of self-destruction, quarantined away from society to reduce damage.
        5. Granted only to individuals who want nothing to do with it; given up when the time is done.
        6. The man with the sword only believes he holds power; he is always to be betrayed.

        25. Freedom


        1. Freedom without personal responsibility is worthless chaos. 
        2. Thought and expression are free, but action is oppressively regulated.
        3. Means you are free to take away freedom from others.
        4. All are free to do as they will. No obligation can be forced upon one by another.
        5. Freedom is an illusion, and its pursuit only makes you more of a prisoner.
        6. Lack of personal freedom is unforgivable.