Posthuman Graveyard

From Sphere
Jump to: navigation, search

Posthuman Graveyard is an IRC RPG run by BM, set in a junkyard of discarded machines and starships from a posthuman civilization. The players play the largely baseline, human denizens of this graveyard, making a living amid fantastic and dangerous technologies and discovering the secrets of the distant, self-evolved posthumans who may or may not still be in orbit around the planet.

Players are part of a scavenger company situated northwest of Falltown and far north of the inland Sea, in the small settlement of Brago. They make their living exploring the surrounding junkyard for technological salvage, and either using it themselves or selling it to other parties. Dangers include rogue technology, bandits, the elements, and competition from other scavenging companies and settlements.

See below for more info on any term mentioned here.

Rules system: Strands of Fate system. Power Advantages represent nanotech augments and posttech equipment. The Affinity Stat is called "Nanotech", representing the total quality and quantity of nanotech augmentation your character has. Tech Level is 5 in general, but posthuman tech is 6, but uploads and informorphs are not allowed (nor are morph bodies).

The Power Campaign Level is "Mythic Hero". All Powers are technology-based, either augments or unique equipment.

In addition, the company's name will be up to the players.

Races

Post-humanity

The ultimate division of haves and have-nots, posthumanity diverged from the rest of the population sometime five hundred years ago. Records gleaned from old technologies indicated that most transhuman technologies were distributed freely amongst Earth's nations – provided they could be paid for. The result was that the moneyed classes could afford more upgrades, allowing for superhuman efforts and intelligence – which, intern, exponentially increased their success and innovations to produce MORE such upgrades. Tensions are believed to have risen to open riots and war, before the posthumans left earth to the orbital Ring.

And that's all most Graveyard denizens know. Few posthuman computer systems are functional when they're dropped, and most that are are wiped of data. Very little actual data about how the Posthumans live, or even how anyone lived before the Graveyard, is probably lost. Finding such a record would make one rich and powerful beyond measure, or so many scavengers believe.

Playing a posthuman is beyond the scope of this game. There are no active posthumans in the Graveyard – whatever mechanism caused Skydrops doesn't like to discard corpses.

Humanity

Humans are the only sentients in the graveyard, and are largely unchanged even after centuries of living in the remains of postie technology. While transhuman augmentation, genetic manipulation, and cybernetics/nanoaugments exist and can be applied to people, virtually all of these augmentations refuse to carry on to the bearer's children. Newborn humans are baseline, regardless of parentage.

That said, many humans make use of some augmentation, or outright accidental mutation. Some settlements are near leaking or damaged augmentation devices that transform the people into monsters. Others are given augmentations by their local leaders, or make use of technologies they scavenge or purchase. Some still emerge from ruins and wrecks, changed after stumbling across rogue technology that leaves them changed, for better or much, much worse.

Artificial Intelligences and Robots

Machine life is present in the Graveyard, but little of it is intelligent or self-aware, and none of that is sane. Those few AI devices that were not damaged or found wiped of all data are so damaged that they present a threat too all around them, or at least don't function. Some minor programs exist that can be used to aid, and there are some robots that serve humans safely, particularly in Falltown.

More still, however, roam the wastes, along with augmented or cloned animals, maddened augmented humans and bandits, and other horrors. Scavenging is difficult primarily due these monstrosities, and the damaged technologies that spawn them.

Areas of Note

Wreck-Wastes

Were it not for the technologies discarded everywhere, the Graveyard would be a hot, desolate environment. Only the use of terraformers – large tanks of biotech substances that alter the landscape – and climate control reactors allow for more temperate and hospitable landscapes. A few such areas have been built within the wastes, usually private estates or communities guarded jealously by their inhabitants and powerful weapons.

Most of the areas, with the exception of a curious inland sea (see below) are dusty and hot, and densely littered with useless metal and structures dumped in Skydrops.

Starship Landings

The most impressive of remains in the Graveyard are the massive spaceships that have been dumps

Smaller spaceships can be found all over the Graveyard, along with other ground and air vehicles. The truly massive ships, however, congregate in the western section, in a placed dubbed “Whalebone” for reasons unknown. While one of the best places for salvaging useful or lucrative technologies, this is also extremely dangerous, as many starships have automated defense systems and drones, which tend to be quite volatile due to the Skydrop.

The Sea

Few rivers or other sources of water exist in Graveyard – most water is either produced by fabricator stock or drilled from aquifiers. The one exception is in the southwest – an inland sea, seemingly out of place in the desert landscape. Afew fallen Starships loom out of the water, and several port towns lie along its borders.

The Sea's climate is far more temperate than the rest of the Graveyard, owing to the climate control beacons underwater that regulate and terraform the surroundings. It's also replete with largely unaugmented marine life, which makes it a primary food source – most settlements that lack their own terraforming devices tend to lie near them.

Skydrops

What's better is the the Graveyard is still being added to, even this many years after its.

Objects still fall from the sky above – broken vehicles, scrap metals, some garbage, and even structures descend into the Borderline's confines, settling amid the remains of earlier works. The debris tends to be of more permanent things, rarely food refuse or other garbage – these things are scarely found in larger masses. Industrial and radioactive waste, and depleted nanoswarms, are also common, and provide a tremendous health risk if they haven't quite expended their charges (or become recharged due to proximity to other remains). The trash seems to be largely unsorted, and often reacts to each other in explosive and unsafe ways – clearly whatever controls the disposal process doesn't care what happens when its dropped.

Skydrops have decreased in frequency over the last two hundred years, wheras before that they were daily with weekly gluts of dropping debris. This was mostly gradual, but is punctuated by a five-decade period of total inactivity – nothing dropped at all in this period, referred to as Empty Sky.

The Borderline

Also known as the Fence, this massive construction is the single largest active posthuman structure in the Graveyard – or rather, around it. Towering higher than any building currently standing

Landscape beyond the borderline is desolate, lacking anything but large rock formations and flat desert. Some explorers claim that they can see the towers of cities in the distance, but most dismiss these as mountains or canyons. The only indicators that anything once lived beyond the fence are the nearly-buried strips of roads that vanish into the dust, long unused.

The Ring

One final bit of evidence exists, that shows that the posthumans might still remain on this world – their vast sky habitat, the Ring crosses the night sky above the Graveyard. A sing, gleaming strip of light, the megastructure crosses the sky, out of reach of the humans below.

Nothing is known about the ring. No radio created or scavenged seems to pick up signals from it, beyond rhythmic, repetitive sounds and recorded messages denying access to 'unidentified units'. Some of it is in the commonly spoken langage within the Graveyard – other languages, lost to time, and entirely mechanical communications are more common. The information is so spotty, having been apparently lost in the drop or deliberately wiped out, that it's unclear if there's even any posthumans at all. For hundreds of years, no-one has reported seeing any air traffic or other posthuman vehicles in the skies. Telescopes show the ring to be shielded and vaguely luminescent.


Settlements

Falltown

Believed to be a former city for baseline humanity, Falltown is the only urban center within the entire vast expanse of the fence. Its skyscrapers have mostly been destroyed by some Skydrop incident, but the city has been rebuilt, using nanofabricator technologies and other scavenged machines.

The most curious and well-loved feature of Falltown, however, is its automated defense system. Several towers dot its streets, mostly undamaged, which serve to repulse and direct Skydrops away from the city proper. These have never failed in recent memory, with only the one disasterous drop speculated to have been four centuries ago.

Falltown is run by the Citizen's Council, a ground of wealthy citizens appointed to adminstrate the city. These are landowners and politicians, and many own farming and construction companies. Many are also lawmakers and judges, as well. While some communities elect representatives to serve on the council, these individuals are only allows on if they can demonstrate that they hold interests of a significant district in the Falltown region.

Another powerful collection of factions are the “scavenger companies”, organizations of relic hunters and explorers who explore the unsettled northern regions and the starship landings to acquire nanotech materials and new devices. Their members number among the most augmented individuals in the Graveyard, making heavy use of the technology they find. Many operate on the request and payment of wealthy citizens and groups, using eager to acquire and purchase terraforming devices and precious nanotech.

One rather hotly contested law is that scavenger companies may not have representatives on the Citizen's Council. As they're often funded and commissioned by the Citizen's Council, they hold significant power regardless; however, they are unable to directly draft laws and set domestic policy.

Watertown

The largest of a series of port settlements lying along the Sea, Watertown serves as a default capital and central authority for the entire region. Several offshore platforms containing terraforming devices serve as home for the Watertown Naval Authority, the military power for the entire sea and ruling body.

Watertown's economy is based on the fisheries, and on agriculture along the fertile shores. Underwater scavenging is a smaller business, monopolized by those few scavenging companies possessing submersible technology and amphibious augments.

Notable technologies

Nanotech

The most widespread and foundational technology used in posthuman devices. Nanomachines are critical for any kind of personal augmentation technology, whether genetic or cybernetic – in the latter case, nanomachines are the only thing that allows . Posthuman nanotech is part biological, part synthetic, operating much like a living thing in itself.

Nanotech material is also required to use in fabricator technology, both to fabricate new objects and as fuel to compose the created alloys. It's also required for whole-cloth cloning machines, constructing an aged, mature body.

Terraforming

The only way humanity can survive in the harsh desert landscape is to use terraforming devices, nanotech-fueled engines that restructure and enrich soil, seed vegetation, and maintain climate using airborne nanomachines. Couples with climate control towers that release and control clouds of nanomachines, these can produce nearly any climate. They can even induce rainfall by producing water and dispersing it into cloud patterns.

Light Dust

A kind of aerosol nanomachine, Light Dust was discovered in working starship husks. In addition to mundane lighting, most ships released a luminescent dust into the air, which concentrated together to form natural lighting and illumination. These are somewhat common in scavenger company compounds and in wealthy homes.

Characters

Cordelia "Twitch" Tannhauser
Deco
Tidel Rook
Panetto
James Turner