This RPG is pretty gross.
2 The Calm Before The Storm
5 When the Cigarette Economy Collapses, Gold Will Be the Only Valuable Commodity
6 Mostly Assholes, Mostly Forgettable and a Sprinkling of Okay
7 Gehenna Againna and the Brain Pain Crew
8 The Problems With Designing "Optimal" Monsters
9 Roses Are Red Unless They’re Dyed Black, I Am Too Scared of Robots to Attack
10 Unskippable Tutorials
11 Dying in the Tutorial
12 The Right To Live
13 Trying to Find the Railroad Platform
14 "I Hate the Public. The Public is Stupid."
15 Fuck You, Lose Anyway
16 Werewolves, Wicker Men, Whatever
17 By The Pricking of My Thumbs, Something Metaplot This Way Comes
18 I Don't Know How I Can Outlast All of The Suffering, My Chances of Survival Seem Slender Out Here In This Zone of Dead Space Full of the Nether's ObsCure Resident Evils. Silent Hill.
19 "The Story of O"h God Damn It
20 You Won't BELIEVE What We Found In This Abandoned Mall! Click Here!
25 Beating Women Because That’s How You Impress Them
26 Have You Been Taking Your Pills Today, Citizen?
27 We Had The Sewer Level, Now It's The Ice Level
28 Driving The Whole Cannibal Tribe Idea Until The Wheels Fly Off
29 G-Unit Gets Ridiculously Overpowered: The Final Chapter
30 Posh Captivity
32 He Thrusts His Fists Against The Plots But Still Insists He Changes Lots
33 Error
34 Darwin's World: Journey to Newhome: To Kill a King
35 Last-Ditch "Dramatic" """Irony"""
36 What Have We Learned? Not Much.


posted by Hostile V Original SA post

"The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons." - Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The House of the Dead, 1862

"The devil is real. I know, I built his cage." -Jonathan Ishii, Doom 3, 2004

"DEAL WITH IT" -En Sabah Nur, The Making of a Prophet LP, 2010


RPGObjects is a game company that really got its start providing OGL content for d20 Modern and a few mapping tools. The game you would know them for, if you knew them for anything, was their game Darwin's World. To paraphrase the Wikipedia page, it started in 2001 as a hack for 3rd edition D&D to provide post-apocalyptic roleplaying in a ravaged world.

Wikipedia on Darwin's World posted:

Unlike many existing post-apocalyptic role-playing games, Darwin's World is often described as a darker and more "realistic" game system. In specific, its use of real-life deformities and genetic diseases to portray character defects, as well as issues like slavery, racism, and drug use give it a grittier quality than most post-apocalyptic RPGs, which often have a fantastic or "comic book" feel that requires a broader willingness to suspend disbelief."

Delightful. There's nobody I trust more than d20 content creators to tackle that.

If I was here to talk about Darwin's World, I would be doing that. Instead I'm back at it again with my own brand of bullshit, which is focusing on the sister games that got much less show time that have been forgotten. Which brings us to Abandon All Hope, a game released in 2010 as a new addition to the RPGObjects catalogue. AAH has its own dice system and has many of the trappings of what you'd expect would be there for d20 content creators making their own system. And that (mixed with the actual content of the game and how it is...let's damn it with faint praise, "unique") is why I'm doing the deep dive into dirty waters.

So let's start with the beginning. I hear it's a great place to start.


Let's get one thing on paper right now: this game's calendar is nonsense because the writers don't seem to understand that the 25th century is actually the 2400s. The dates of the backstory aren't entirely relevant but yeesh it's bugging me how this doesn't really give me a good grasp of the timeline.

Anyway, the 24th century was a century of horrific war for mankind. We had left Earth to form colonies and invent amazing new technologies, but chaos and greed and decay permeated the Imperial government and lead to a century of war between nations of Earth and the colonies. Millions were killed by starvation and warfare, countries were left crippled by destroyed infrastructure and every war was fought with either nuclear, biological or chemical weapons (sometimes all three). By the time the year 2400 rolls around, some countries are absolutely sick of constant war and the armistices that accomplish nothing before collapsing. This lead to the creation of the Unification Movement.

The Unification Movement was an idealistic utopian coalition of nations and people who decided that this all just had to stop. The war had ended for good at the turn of the 2400s and the members of the Unification Movement wanted change. They had enough activists and radical agitators to influence the highest levels of government and in the end they got what they wanted. The pan-Terran "New Regime", as it was called at the time, took power and with this power the armies, navies and aerospace forces were disbanded permanently. All that remained was a token police force to enforce the law and protect the populace.

It's particularly hard to tell if the New Regime was corrupt from the word go or if it was subverted by fascists and people hungry for power and control. Perhaps it was a mix of both. The game never addresses this as such, this is all me reading into it. What the game does say is that after the New Regime took control, they decided that disarmament wasn't enough. The people who were involved in the wars, grunts and politicians alike, were removed from the office and the public eye and sent to re-education camps. The idea was that without their influence on the world the next generation would be able to grow up in peace, untainted by old ideas of war and combat held by the people in charge. "Extremist liberal policies" and radical legislation got passed by the Regime's government and funding was put in place to understand the psychology of crime. They also squished all religion so everyone could be the same but that just gets a passing mention.

Shame the thing that came out of it was hacky pseudo-science. Using an adaptation of an old drug-aversion therapy called "The Ludovico Technique" (the authors would like you folks at home to know that they have in fact heard of A Clockwork Orange) the scientists came to the conclusion that genetic predisposition and predilection for crime could be amounted to three factors: Despair, Guilt and Insanity and how they applied to history, genetics, background, etc. The Ludovico Gauges could measure a person's DGI and predict whether or not they would ever be a criminal threat. So by all unanimously agreeing that Minority Report was a good movie, the scientists worked together with the Regime to create a database of offenders. Some of the offenders were in fact criminals. Some of them were involved in the wars, some of them were profiled due to possible mental health issues, some of them were bureaucratic errors and some of them were people the government wanted to go away.

Just gonna copy this verbatim from the book:

So after creating this database, the New Regime decided it was time to take action. First they changed their name to The Pan-Terran Meritocracy. Then they started enforcing laws harder than before with the help of their police forces. Dissidents were rounded up and imprisoned along with the members of the database. While this was happening, the PTM started adapting a past project for new purposes. See, the colonies were either space stations or kind of minor and far flung. They existed, but they weren't particularly big. During the war one of the colonization projects was being developed and after the war the PTM dug it up and decided "yeah, this will work". This was PROJECT GEHENNA. Project Gehenna was a plan to build a supermassive colony ship that could contain millions of people. It was a slow ship, but it was stocked with plenty of facilities to allow for upkeep and survival on the ship. It wouldn't be the greatest place to live, but it would do the job well enough to allow for a mass colonization project.

The PTM turned the Gehenna into a prison colony ship. Every single prisoner, almost 10 million of them, were loaded onto the Gehenna and launched off into the great unknown. On Earth, the public statement was that the PTM could not be truly free of crime and war and sin if it still had prisoners. In private, the plan was to allow them a shot at living somewhere else. If the Gehenna found somewhere to land, fine, great, welcome to Space Australia Pop: 10 million. If they all died, fine, great. Either way they didn't have to deal with them anymore.

So the book describes 25th century scholars as coining the term "Unification Movement". The wars last for a century. And this map is for 2657. What year is it? Fuck you, that's what year it is.

The Gehenna

Built after eight years of construction, the Gehenna is 5 miles long and powered by eight nuclear thrusters on the back of the ship. Why nuclear thrusters? Disarmament. All nuclear materials used for weapons were loaded up onto the ship as fuel because the technology was now forbidden under the PTM. The back third of the ship is all fusion and nuclear power facilities, kept downwind from the rest of the vessel to protect the occupants as best as they could.

Between the middle section and the thrusters is the central terminus for the ship's Custodians. The Custodians are the all-robotic staff of the Gehenna, completely free of human guards (well, kinda) and under the control of the AI called The Warden. The segment between them is where the Custodians are made and repaired and stored. It's also home to repair facilities, foundries and manufactory centers to help keep the ship in good shape.

The middle of the ship is the prison proper. Three miles long and 500 stories deep, the prison is full of cells, cafeterias, gyms, medical facilities and more. This is where prisoners live and die. This is also where all of the escape pods are in case the Gehenna does find a place suitable for colonization.

The rest of the ship is home to the solar sails (to supplement the nuclear thrusters) and the Warden's facilities.

Everything Gets Worse

The Gehenna was pointed in the direction of the Pleiades Cluster and let loose. For the first five years, everything was as normal as it gets for a prison transport colony ship launched by a fascist police state. When it passed the Pleiades, everything got strange. The other side of the cluster was devoid of light and contained nothing but icy rock. When it passed through, the Gehenna quietly lost communication with Earth who wrote it off as an acceptable loss. It went mostly unmonitored for a while longer until everything went to Hell.


Somewhere in the black expanse beyond the cluster was a spatial anomaly. It might have been a black hole or a wormhole or a simple crack in reality, it's hard to say. But one moment the Gehenna was in the universe and in the next it wasn't. And it wasn't a nice happy pass-through either. The effects of traveling into this bizarre new dimension/plane of existence was horrific and catastrophic, causing electrical malfunctions and heavy damage to the sturdy bulkheads from strange pressures. What followed was catastrophic life support failures in chunks of the ship as cell blocks were consumed by fire, electricity or the cold exposed void. In all, more than 5 million of the prisoners were killed instantly by the event that the prisoners call Perdition.

The other side wasn't much better. Described as "an indescribable place", the other side of Perdition is not empty. Hell/The Other Side/The Nether is full of strange beings who immediately started swarming the Gehenna like sharks smelling blood, able to pass through the hull of the ship and focus on the prisoners inside. The natives are hostile and predatory, greedily gorging themselves on the anger, fear and madness of the prisoners, often with fatal results.

To make things worse, the Warden didn't really have a lot of problems before Perdition but it does now. The Warden is incapable of understanding the threat that the demons pose and won't really do much to handle them. All the Warden understands is that the ship is heavily damaged and that the surviving prisoners are all loose on the ship. Its Custodians are armored and capable of dealing with the prisoners but their weapons and tools aren't great when it comes to horrors from beyond the universe.

No matter how you shake it, things aren't great for the prisoners. They're trapped five years from Earth in another dimension full of monsters that want to devour them and robots that want to put them back in their cells. And, of course, there are the other prisoners who are an active threat to the survivors. It's a compelling enough premise on paper.

Shame it doesn't live up to the ideas it's built on, but isn't that always how it goes?

NEXT TIME: Chapter Two. The core book is 130 pages long and divided into 8 chapters. Chapter 2 is all about character creation and if anyone wants to suggest a few prisoners to represent Goons In Space I'd be happy to stat them out. Just give me a name, general personality and crime and I can do the rest.

Also just going forward, I want to do a general content warning. This is a game set on a prison which has been sent to Hell. It is not a particularly tasteful game. There are aspects of sexual assault, violence, gore and abuse through this entire shebang. I will edit and alter tone where I can and if I find something to be particularly repugnant, I will probably put it in spoiler text if it's necessary to be included.

There are also a lot of badly drawn titties that I will have to censor. That cover art? Pretty much the highlight of the art.

The Calm Before The Storm

posted by Hostile V Original SA post



The Calm Before The Storm

Let's discuss character creation! Character creation is an 11 step process as illustrated here:

Yeah, uh, so. Your CIN determines your character's general age group which determines minimums for your starts. Everything up to Conviction is basically random. Which is fine. I like chargen that's generally random, ish, but functionally random. Let's go deeper.

Convict Identification Number

Your CIN is your name, like how Valjean was 24601. The lower your CIN, the longer you've been in the PTM prison system. Everyone has been in prison for a minimum of 6 years: the minimum time you can spend is one year and it takes 5 years for the Gehenna to go off the rails. You've got a pretty good chance of being a proper Convict which was when the PTM was really going hard on filling up cells and capturing people. Your convict's status then directly informs your...


AAH doesn't have any skills, it's all just a roll-under system (except for combat but we'll get for that). On average, to do something you roll 1d12 and succeed if the result is equal or less to your attribute. If it's opposed against someone else, you roll 1d12 and add the attribute score, winning if you beat the opponent. You can also repeatedly take checks if you fail at something but that adds a cumulative +1 to the result every time you try. With me so far? Cool. Minimum 1, Maximum 10 for your Attributes. And they are: You also figure out your starting Ludovico Gauges depending on your type of convict. The LGs measure your character's ongoing psychological state. This is a bit more robust than, say, Call of Cthulhu's sanity system has problems we'll have to address when we get to its whole chunk of the book. Resisting gaining DGI is done with a Will roll when appropriate. Each one has a rating between 0 and 10, with all of them behaving differently when full.

Despair measures fear and Despair checks are used to see if a character succumbs to panic or other fear-based reactions. A character with 0 Despair is perfectly at ease. You don't start play with any Despair, you just gain it from outside sources causing your characters to feel tension or fear.

Guilt measures the character's conscience. Guilt doesn't necessarily mean that your character committed the crime they were imprisoned for. Rather, it indicates how at ease they are with themselves and their past/current actions. Your starting Guilt is permanent and can never go below that level. This has...problems, big problems that we'll have to address later. Guilt is gained when you have to do something that will or will possibly harm others. A character with 0 Guilt is at ease with themselves and innocent (or at least feels innocent). The longer you've been in prison, the higher your starting Guilt due to the harsh necessities of prison life.

Insanity is a direct measure of your character's mental stability and their slow slip into madness. The more Insanity you gain, the more mental disorders you'll gain (that will be discussed later). 0 Insanity means the prisoner is perfectly sane and stable. Insanity is the gauge that gets filled less frequently. While the occasional Save Vs. Insanity check will pop up, the main way to increase Insanity is to hit 10 in Despair or Guilt. When you do, the Gauge empties out and one level of Insanity is gained. This also has the side effect of summoning a Demon but well that'll be discussed later.

So remember how you start with a permanent Guilt level? And you gain more Insanity from that gauge filling up and emptying? Yeah.


Everyone starts play with 10 Health, with 10 Health being perfect shape and 0 being unconscious. 0 Health means you're KO'd until you get medical attention that raises you to 1, unable to act in any form. If you go to negatives, that's when we get into the fun stuff. In the negatives, you're Incapacitated, which results in a roll on the Recovery Table (which we'll see later). To briefly summarize, you're a glass cannon. But then again so is everyone else, generally speaking (Demons are definitely not as easy to kill as you). You can gain more health but it's hard and requires you to stay alive long enough to earn it.

To get a taste of just how lethal this all is, please see the following chart:

Build Points

Build Points are determined based on the sum of your attributes.

So your character may just suck forever at everything but hey, they have more points than the guy who is generally decent with their attributes! Slight problem with that, though. For starters, some of these Traits (read: feats) you can get have an attribute minimum. Second, you still have to roll off these attributes to do these things. Finally, your "advantage" for being Sadsack Noodlearms is that on average you'll only have an extra 100 BP. See, the average Convict has a minimum of a 2 in a stat and the average (cumulative) rolls of 6d8 is 27 extra points. Average Convict will have around 39 points which means that Sadsack will be up by 150 points due to this spread. Further problems: no Traits have a 50 point cost, point cost of Traits depends on your crime, there are only so many Traits that increase your attributes at chargen, you still have to roll Attributes to do shit. For all intents and purposes, Sadsack gets extra dibs on a Trait that costs 100 points for them as opposed to Average Convict, but Sadsack still sucks at doing mostly everything and is possibly locked out of certain beneficial Traits due to aforementioned suckiness. Kind of a good idea on paper but when you start poking at dice averages it all goes to shit. If you want this idea to work, you really need to throw much more BP at the crappy convicts.

Conviction Record

The PTM essentially reduced all charges to four different groups. Every character has to have been charged and convicted with one of these four choices. These choices can't be changed and also influence the BP costs for traits. Each choice also gets a free pick of one Trait and +1 to a choice between two attributes. They are:

MURDERER: The charge of Murderer doesn't just apply to people who actually killed people but people who were considered to be a public threat or predisposed to killing. The character examples are: a soldier who either served or was trained in the Last War, a maniac/serial killer, a robber who accidentally killed someone in a bad heist, a white-collar man who was plotting to kill his wife for whatever reason, or a serial poisoner who did it to see if they could be caught.

Murderers get +1 to either Prowess or Intimidation and get Cold-Blooded, Military Training, Obsession, Public Menace or Psychopath as their free Trait.

VICE OFFENDER: Hedonism was in full bloom whenever there was peace or whenever people wanted reprieve from the horrors of the world. If the PTM wants there to be no sin and no crime, then there needs to be no temptation. Vice Offender is a very broad term for people who owned contraband or engaged in habits/practices that were frowned upon by the law. The character examples are: a hedonist whose indulgences brought down the hammer, a drug addict/drug pusher/alcoholic, a pimp/prostitute, anyone accused or convicted of a sex crime, someone who was in possession of outlawed materials.

Vice Offenders get +1 to Wits or Sociability and get Candy-Man, Obsession, Public Menace, Scheister or Seducer as their free Trait.

DISSIDENT: Like Vice Offender, "Dissident" is a pretty broad term. As a whole, Dissidents were sentenced to prison due to being considered a threat to the public peace and civilization. Some of them were legitimately guilty of no crime except criticizing the government in public. The character examples are: a politician who was vehemently opposed to the New Regime and was imprisoned when they took over, an urban guerilla/terrorist/freedom fighter who committed crimes against the state in rebellion, a hacker/underground broadcaster convicted for the messages they spread, someone who said the wrong thing in public around the wrong people and was quietly Unpersoned.

Dissidents get +1 to Wits or Willpower and get Born Leader, Educated, Military Training, Public Menace or Sociable as their free Trait.

ANARCHIST: Whereas Dissidents were imprisoned for speaking against society, Anarchists were imprisoned for not fitting in with society. The majority of Anarchists were people who didn't commit murder and didn't count as a Vice Offender or a Dissident. Some of them are bona-fide "slaughter the gods and topple their thrones" revolutionaries while others still claim nationalities and pride for countries that don't exist anymore. The character examples are: someone who did crimes for cheap thrills because they were bored, a street kid who was caught vandalizing a pro-PTM billboard, a hacker who left a harmless virus on a government computer for giggles, someone nostalgic for the way things were who was a little too vocal about it.

Anarchists get +1 to Wits or Intimidation and get Hacking, Maverick, Obsession, Public Menace or Sociopath as their free Trait.

So in a sense of Good Free Stuff, Dissidents get the best of it. We'll go further into the Traits in a bit, but the +1 to Willpower is very good and they have access to 4 Traits that have no downsides and have a full range of abilities. They make good social characters, which is a totally viable and fun play focus. They don't get Hacking for free, but they do get it for cheap. I can't really list the others in any sort of ranking because they all have...issues. Speaking of Traits, I'm splitting this in two parts so next time will be FEAT HELL.


posted by Hostile V Original SA post





Here's how this is going to go this time around. In the book, every single Trait is listed in alphabetic order. This is annoying and also stupid. Group your fucking feats. Each Trait belongs to one of five groups: Aberrant, Background, Combat, Psychology and Social. I've cut out the group listing and prices for every type of convict, then taken the Traits themselves and compiled them into one picture per group. Beneath that, I'll be commenting on problems or thoughts about them. If you want to see the feats as written, expand the pictures. I think this'll just look a lot more palatable than me listing a giant pile of stuff and then only explaining the ones that don't make immediate sense. I enjoy slowly getting better at laying these things out the more I do them.

Asterisks (*) denote that they can't be purchased after chargen. You can spend 50 BP to ignore one requirement from a Trait so you can take it. So while there are no Traits that cost 50 BP, if you're hell-bent on taking a certain Trait you can pay extra. Also I don't think you can take that Trait if there's a hyphen through the price? This is never explained in the game but I imagine it to be the case.


Good Trait Count: 5/9


Good Trait Count: 12/19


Good Traits: 9/14


Good Traits: 2/11


Good Traits: 10/21

Total Good Ratio: 38/75. Yeah that sounds about right. Shout-out to the Combat Traits for having a shitload of things I'd want to buy and dishonorable mention to Psychology for being so damn weird.

But we're not done. Ohhhh no. Did you think I was kidding when I said we were in Feat Hell? Well here comes the Advanced Traits! There's less of them, sure, but they're only available if you do certain things after character creation. They're also the only way to advance your character. So buckle up 'cuz this paragraph was just the eye of the storm!


This time around, an asterisk indicates you can buy the trait multiple times.


Good Traits: 4/7


Good Traits: 10/11


Good Traits: 7/8


Good Traits: 3, 4/8


Good Traits: 3/4

Again, the Psychology Traits leave so much to be desired. The Advanced Traits are generally worth the price at least.

Starting Gear

You start with Basic Issue Gear. Everything else is paid for by converting unused BP into smokes on a 1:1 basis. We'll get into all that later. While we're here in this boring little section, let's just include the entirety of the next step, Identifying Feature.

Yup. This is it. This is all you get, which is amazing because hoo boy there are a lot of d100 Random Encounter tables later.

Personal Goal

The Personal Goal is kept secret from all of the other players; only the person playing the character and the GM should know what the character's goal is. Your goal informs your character's actions and personality. It also makes your character eligible for Bonus Points if they act accordingly. The five goals are:

REDEMPTION: You may have done something awful, but you've seen Hell and you know your attempts to atone are genuine. Someone after Redemption sees Perdition and the Nether as a chance to protect the weak, make amends and save whoever you can.

POWER: There's a cliché saying that says the Chinese word for "crisis" is made of the symbols for "danger" and "opportunity". This is a complete lie. However, there are people who view Perdition and the current state of the Gehenna as their chance to pick at the bones while the lions are busy eating. You're going to be the one who gets all of the control, and possibly save the day along the way.

SURVIVAL: Being a good Samaritan is great. Having whatever you want is dandy. But you can't enjoy it if you're dead. Screw being innocent or guilty, screw morality. I'm not going to die here.

ESCAPE: Fuck all this, you're out.

DAMNATION: The reasons behind damnation vary. Some prisoners are just so despondent and devoid of hope that they slip into it. Others embrace their sins, knowing they'll be burned but having accepted it long ago. And then there are the ones who want to rule in Hell, to prove that they're as wicked as the Demons and that they deserve a piece of the pie. They're out there, in the depths of Gehenna, organizing and planning. And there's so many of them.


The last piece of creation is to look at what you've made and come up with a proper character. You want to figure out the breadth and scope of the crime, their upbringing, their mindset, your character's fears, etc. The most interesting thing about this section is that it just seems to suggest that a middle-class or high-class citizen might want to become a criminal out of boredom. Which. I mean. Take that as you will. Don't believe me?

Anyway, name that sucker and boom, you got yourself a prisoner. There is one bizarre, glaring oversight: there's no Trait that increases Sociability that you can take repeatedly. That's the main reason why I rail against any of the Traits that reduce Sociability in exchange for something like Intimidation. It's an attribute that can have some hilarious and wonderful applications but you basically can't get any better at talking to people when all of the options that raise it normally run out. Just a huge, weird blind-spot.

Also I think you can kinda see what I mean when I say that the book doesn't really act like female convicts are a...thing. Seducer is the big indicator, that and the fact that Pretty Face exists and is worded so awfully. While the book uses female pronouns a whole lot, there's not much to suggest that it isn't isn't just a prison dominated by male culture or a prison for men only. It's strange. I don't know if it's intentional or if I'm just getting a different reading from the word choices they're using, so the main reason I pick little snippets of strange statements and show them is because it feels like there's a very thin veneer between game and authorial ideas. There are hints of true beliefs held by the creators if you just know where to look.

NEXT TIME: Part Three, the part where I make some premade characters on Goon Block.


posted by Hostile V Original SA post




I made some sample characters, took suggestions and had some real good rolls. One of them I just hand-picked numbers for. You can definitely tell which one I had to hand pick the stats for, it was the only way to get Maximum BP for Maximum Suffering.

All of the characters (except one) are members of Cell Block G0099, a block in the women's side of the prison. It's as basic as it gets. The fabulous foursome have each other's backs and keep each other company.

#3752447, "SOAPBOX"

On the outside, Genevieve "Soapbox" Angstrom was a peace activist and public speaker. Her main focus was the rights of the refugees whose homes were destroyed by the numerous wars and the protection of people who could be preyed upon. She gladly worked for the Unification Movement...and then was tossed aside when the folks of power settled into their new positions. She continued speaking up for women and refugees and continued to draw crowds and a few people with axes to grind didn't particularly like that. Now the PTM is in charge and Soapbox has been behind bars for far too long. Considering the previous prisons she lived in, the Gehenna is a step up in some regards. She's been hardened by prison but comforted by the knowledge of her innocence. That and the facts that she's soft spoken and a senior con means she's got the ear of plenty of girls who are willing to learn at her knee. She's sort of become a den mother to G-Unit and will do her best to try and keep them all alive when Perdition comes.

Soapbox has the advantage of being slick enough to talk her way into calmer situations while also not dealing with as much guilt. There's not a hell of a lot to the social monster tree but I feel like there's enough to make it worthwhile.

#4027277, "DOC"

Lindsey "Doc" Kane isn't the biggest fan of her prison name, but it's easy and it stuck so that's what folks call her by. Before imprisonment, Dr. Kane served in the armed forces as a trauma surgeon, doing the best she could to keep soldiers alive. When the wars ended, she was hit with a double whammy stigma. First, she was looked down upon for her military service. Second, people started trotting out the patients she couldn't save to smear her reputation. Unable to escape the charges and slander, Dr. Kane was swiftly convicted and has been dealing with the guilt ever since. She knows, fundamentally, that she wasn't really responsible for not being able to save them all. But the guilt gnaws at her, so much so that she finds herself unable to keep to herself. She's since put her knowledge to work in the Gehenna as a means to keep herself safe; folks may not like that she'll work with the Custodians to help patients in the hospitals and psych wards, but they can't complain too much with the patch-jobs she doles out for free. G-Unit helps keep her safe from prisoners who don't want her healing people, even though she's more than able to stand up for herself. She'd rather stand up for others.

Doc ended up being way more bad-ass than I intended thanks to very lucky rolls and her Traits giving her good stat boosts. She's astoundingly competent at brawling and thinking, giving her a huge advantage at being a doctor and a backup fighter.

#6559156 "TAMAHAGANE"

Elena "Tamahagane" Riviera was, on the outside, a dealer in forbidden and illicit Japanese antiques. A passionate collector, her vault was filled to bursting with things she purchased, things that fell off the back of a truck and things she made. A deal gone wrong ended up with a cop following her back to her collection, whereupon they were all seized and she was thrown into the slammer. Tama has never forgiven the authorities for taking her away from her goods and ever since then she's had a bubbling anger towards authority of any time. Fortunately her skills on the outside serve her very well in Gehenna. While she's certainly lacking all of the tools she needs, she's a chronic doodler and her ability to sneak things (and hide them with ease) have resulted in her becoming a woman you go to if you need things. This suits her just fine, her cell now decorated once more by her hobby and her general crafts. One day she'll figure out how to apply the proper folding techniques to a shiv and then she'll have a weapon to suit her tastes. Until then, G-Unit has her attention and is at the top of her client list.

Tama is a crafter, able to put shit together and find the parts she needs. Lucky for her, salvaging doesn't require a skill and she's got decent enough smarts to put it together. I was considering picking Candy-Man but I don't like that ability in particular. And she has Large Cavity because A: I ran out of stuff to give her and B: she'll be the focus of something odd later involving that.


Elizabeth "Bethamphetamine" Beauchamp was more than happy to serve as a soldier. Her military history was a tapestry of kicking ass and taking names as a special forces operative. It took the authorities a while to track her down and she was ultimately dragged to court kicking and screaming. She's taken to prison like a fish to water, finding a camaraderie with Doc Kane and sticking with her like glue ever since. Her time behind bars has been the ultimate training ground for her skills, honing her agility and ability to evade danger and be the eager muscle G-Unit needs. She hasn't made a lot of friends outside of her group with her unorthodox approach to combat and fighting other prisoners, but she's perfectly fine with quality over quantity.

Beth is a fighter, built around evading and getting in multiple shots. She can only deal nonlethal damage with her fists, but get her some brass knuckles and she becomes a bobbing and weaving terror to behold.

#9920175, "PINCUSHION"

Brendon "Pincushion" McLaren was the sort of person who believed that he was special. He was so consumed with the drive to make himself stand out and attain the power he believed he deserved, he was more than willing to break the law for it. His passing knowledge of experimental PTM criminal psychology, mixed with flat-out delusions of grandeur, lead to the grand plan of being arrested for public vandalism and pleading madness. The next step of his plan was to willingly submit himself to every single thing the PTM could throw at him to try and trigger some kind of latent ability that he could use to show them all. He was still in mandatory isolation when he was loaded onto the Gehenna near the nuclear reactors. Since then, Pincushion hasn't lived in a cell block proper, let alone a women's block. Pincushion is a fixture of the local psych wing, eagerly fighting against his captivity to try and see if he's gotten any stronger. The main reason he knows the group is that he's a frequent problem patient to Doc Kane and when Gehenna hits...well, Pincushion may be crazy but he's not dangerous. He deserves a shot at living, even if his brain is all muddled from the harsh psychiatric "treatment" and experimentation.

Pincushion exists to show off what happens when you try to build for a character that has maximum Suffering and maximum Psi Potential. Fun fact: he no longer feels Guilty for his actions thanks to Nihilism (we'll see that later) and also it's mechanically impossible to fuck your character up so bad by taking both Castration and Psychobaric. In fact, both stages of Psychobaric are such a useless goddamn point sink that I jiggered his stats so he'd fit under Maximum BP and he still couldn't afford both of those and Castration. Plus having all three of those means he's so much worse at psi shit than what I've set up. He's as insane but he's got less Psi Strength and chance of becoming psychic. And, of course, we'll get into that later using our dear friend Pincushion as a min-maxed example.

NEXT TIME: Chapter 3, the item chapter. Prisoner-made goods vs. regular-made goods, one night only in the Hell In A Cell Ladder Match.

When the Cigarette Economy Collapses, Gold Will Be the Only Valuable Commodity

posted by Hostile V Original SA post



When the Cigarette Economy Collapses, Gold Will Be the Only Valuable Commodity


Before Perdition, the currency of choice on the Gehenna is cigarettes (henceforth referred to as smokes for brevity). On the outside, smokes were rightly regarded as dangerous to the general public. But the PTM saw that prisoners A: have been using cigarettes for years as currency and B: was an effective currency because there was a demand due to addiction. As a result a crop of tobacco was added to the agro-domes of the Gehenna so the ship can keep making smokes and perpetuate the economy. The actual worth of a smoke is heavily abstracted and can be seen in action below:

Note: the majority of these services will be out of commission due to [HOLIDAY]/[PRISON SHIP IN HELL]/[LACK OF MATERIALS]. Availability depends on level of stability in the area.

Makin' Stuff

Prisoners can be some of the most resourceful and motivated people alive with the proper drive and tools. But to make things, you have to find the components you need to construct them first. Before Perdition, prisoners would strip things they could get reasonably get access to. A lot of the systems were old and redundant and as a result, not everything could be salvaged. After Perdition so much of the ship is either offline or damaged that there's no real harm in stripping things down for their base parts. First you have to determine if what you've found can be reasonably salvaged from. Below are some typical sources.

Then you roll 1d12 and see if you get anything from it. This isn't a check, this is just a flat roll. If you have Scrounger, you automatically get at least one piece which is pretty good.

There are ten components that are used to make the things you want.

Successful salvage means that you get your pick of up to X parts from what the source has to offer, but you can only take up to Y of a component. So if you need two Torsion pieces, you're not going to more than one from a manufactory machine.

I actually like this system, it's a bit true to prison in real life and it's a good system that isn't really too crunchy. But now we get into the bad part: actually crafting.

For starters, your ability to craft is limited by your tools and your level of ability. Items have one of three Complexity ratings (rudimentary, basic or complex) so to attempt complex items at all, you need Jury Rig and a high quality toolbox. There's no roll involved to craft, but there are two things you have to expend. First is time, which is always tricky to basically utilize and as a result it's real hard to run any of the official adventures because only a few of them have enough "time passing". The other is Build Points, which I dislike heavily because that's your experience. I'm never a fan of trying to make the players choose between self improvement and items because it always results in a massive gap. The BP expenditure is the main strike against this system.

Items Proper

All prisoners have a standard kit of things they get automatically, which are: AAH gives stats for both items made by prisoners and items that were either manufactured on-ship in the shops or were loaded onto the ship ahead of time. So I'll basically be dividing them betweens Machine-Made Items and Prisoner-Made Items. Items have: If N/A shows up, this means the item can't be made by prisoners because the Gehenna just lacks the reasonable means to do so or it's out of the prisoners' hands.

ARMOR is such a short list I just put it all together.



Hidin' Stuff

And now we come to my favorite part of the equipment section, which is "how to hide stuff (probably up your ass)". One thing I didn't mention in the weapon section is the stat "conceal". Conceal adds a penalty or a bonus to an opposed Wits check against an enemy. This is gonna take a bit to explain properly so have a seat.

For starters, the game doesn't explain at all who gets the penalty or the bonus, but it's easy to figure out exactly how it works. The bonuses or penalties are applied to the prisoner who is trying to hide the item; the +2 means that the prisoner gets +2 to their result to beat the opponent, or a -1 would be a -1 to their final result. Makes sense and I'm mostly just bringing this up as a minor nit to pick because let's go back and take a look at Large Cavity, the feat for hiding things up your ass.

A prisoner can automatically hide a flamethrower, dangerous riot laser, EMP gun or combat shotgun up their ass, no contest. They get a bonus to hiding brass knuckles, sure; anything with +2 is the second easiest thing to hide up your ass. I legit have no idea how this came to be but I love it. My guess would be they just changed mechanics after play-testing and they never gave it a second thought. It's just, y'know, proofread your game just a little bit? Because I'm pretty sure that the human anus contains like six feet of layered intestines, the pancreas, the kidneys and a whole bunch of other little jiggly organs. There are twists and turns. And, despite what every single badly written erotica I've seen says to the contrary, fitting a hand up in there is pretty hard, let alone a foot-long rod and the attached back-mounted unit which is roughly the height of a fire extinguisher and all of the tubing linking the two together.

It is an absolute miracle that considering this fluke display of physics, a bunch of prisoners didn't get wise to this and start walking around bow-legged, clanking suspiciously with every step.

NEXT TIME: The chapter on gangs and the chapter on combat. I will ask the question you will all be thinking: where does one find pony-play bondage gear on a prison spaceship, including the full head-dress with the mane and everything?

Mostly Assholes, Mostly Forgettable and a Sprinkling of Okay

posted by Hostile V Original SA post



Mostly Assholes, Mostly Forgettable and a Sprinkling of Okay

There are four tiers to joining a gang and...joining a gang is something that works way better before Perdition than after it. This is mostly because it just feels weird and tacked on to do that while also dealing with the anarchy of Hell. Thing is, some of these gangs don't exist before Perdition and even if they did, a lot of gangs aren't worth joining.

To join a gang, you basically have to be like "I want to join". This nets you Probationary Status which means you're not really trusted or particularly affiliated with them unless you prove your worth. Doing so gets you Junior Standing. You're an official member of the gang but you don't really have a say and just have to do the majority of work needed. Higher than that is Senior Standing which gets you access to resources, bossing around Juniors and calling on favors. The highest level is Inner Circle, the elders of the gang who have followed their rules long enough to shape them and engage in decision making processes. That's how it's explained fluff-wise. In mechanical execution: THE GANGS

Daughters of Slaughter (Post-Perdition Only):
"When most cons think of the Daughters of Slaughter, they think gothic “pony girls” armed with vicious knives and other weapons." Off to a great start! The Daughters were a very small clique of female prisoners made up of amoral and vicious criminals before Perdition. After Perdition, they started stylizing themselves as a hedonistic cult. They're in Hell, death is certain, take off your pants and hurt people before you die. Most of the members of their gang are depraved or sadistic and are using their hedonistic pursuits as a distraction for the horrors of what's going on. You might be asking "but where does one get a pony-play costume?". Do not fear. This question will be answered. Just not in this book. Embracers (Post-Perdition Only): The Embracers are another cult, a throng of madmen and zealots who believe that if they just surrender to the glory of Hell that they'll be rewarded with a place in it. They're all crazy but that doesn't mean they're not able to come up with plans or have strategies, and this makes them dangerous. Some groups of Embracers have actually managed to come to a sort of accord with the Demons for power and protection. Family (Pre/Post-Perdition): The Family are the Italian mob on the inside, retaining their structure behind bars. Before Perdition, the Family was focused on information brokering and surviving by making themselves necessary for people who needed things. They also focused on recruiting whoever could be a good asset for making the Family grow. Post-Perdition their goal is predominantly to profit from the chaos. People need safety, security, medicine and weapons and they're willing to sell all of them.
A Daughter, an Embracer and a Family member. I have been kinda holding back on sharing the art for this book. It's not really good! I'm gonna share more and eventually I'm going to have to find a little thing I'm going to use to cover up nipples. But yeah dig that line work and also the fact that her breasts are just grapefruits in a latex fruit bowl, nevermind Lumpy Squishface. Also for real I was not joking about there being pony bondage in this game.
Fittest (Post-Perdition Only): The Fittest are a loose coalition of prisoners who are all motivated to survive Hell. Their immediately apparent goal is to secure supplies, weapons, a stable food source and a niche. They didn't have a leader to begin with and are still mostly just disorganized, like-minded individuals, but there's now an unofficial leader who believes in a radical version of survival of the fittest. Since his ascendance, the Fittest are required to be combat-ready at all times and expected to abandon their wounded or disabled because they're considered to be a drain or a waste of time. Furies (Pre/Post-Perdition): The Furies aren't that big of a gang but they're willing to take most people into their ranks if they're female or have suffered. They're an all-female gang and are renowned for being ferociously protective of members, often using castration as a weapon/threat against people who'd hurt their members. Their reputation for attacking first and asking second has lead to them keeping other gangs at an arm's length; an alliance would help them but it might invite too many enemies to handle, so they have to monitor and decide before they open up like that. Jailhouse Giants (Pre/Post-Perdition): The Giants are one of the bigger factions to have survived into Hell. Their deal is that they started off as the weakest members of the prison: the weak, the tortured, the isolated, the minorities, the defenseless. Figuring that there would be strength in numbers, the Giants started reaching out to the victims and banded together to protect each other. Their attacks on the other gangs were well-coordinated and their willingness to kill known predators put them on the map as a force to be reckoned with.
A Fittest, a Fury and a Giant (the only black man in this whole lineup).
Jaybirds (Pre/Post-Perdition): The Jaybirds are prisoners who've spent most of their lives behind bars, steeped in prison culture and customs. Their position is two-fold: we're not really a part of the whole political scene between the gangs, and if there are disputes we know the rules and will act as fair arbitrators of Jail Law. Their main role is to act as neutral parties to settle conflicts. While a lot of gangs think they're full of shit, enough of the bigger gangs use them as judges and arbiters so that they're still treated as such regardless. Lion's Army (Pre/Post-Perdition): The Lion's Army is a group of prisoners who are loyal to Christian ideals/traditions and able to quote scripture. Their ostensible goal is to redeem themselves through hard work, piety and volunteer service (to the extent of actively pursuing Trustee status amongst its members). However they're pretty heavily criticized by outsiders who believe that the inner circle was either corrupt or has been corrupted. The general accusation is that they keep up the Christian trappings while running operations and rackets so they can have their Communion wafers and eat them too, that they're nothing more than self-righteous religious bullies and hypocrites. Protectors (Post-Perdition Only): The Protectors have attempted to step up and become custodians in the absence of order on the ship. The majority of the Protectors are ex-military or political dissidents who understand leadership and they're armed with a sizable stockpile of riot weapons they managed to acquire. The problem is that they have a general air of self-righteousness or just plain "we're better than the rabble, we're not really prisoners". A lot of the members view themselves as innocent of their crimes or think that the wicked deserve their just punishment and they're not entitled to protect criminals.
A Jaybird, a Lion who looks very happy to see you and a Protector.
Rimshank Rippers (Pre/Post-Perdition): The Rippers are...weird. They started off as an underground knife-fighting league, a coalition of fighters who would dual as entertainment. Over time they started to develop their own techniques and styles and became renowned killers and entertainers. Post-Perdition, they're putting their knife skills to the test against exciting new opponents. Mechanically speaking, they bring nothing new to the table. Skinheads (Pre/Post-Perdition): The Skinheads are incredibly problematic and not because they're Nazis and white supremacists. I mean, that's all they are and the game says as such: they're a hate group that uses open violence to terrorize their targets and are generally focused on survival and their own little slice of land. No, what's problematic is this sentence: "Note that “Skinheads” is just a generic heading; this gang type could easily represent gangs of other ethnicities as well." Don't bother coming up with your own gang, just scratch the name off of the white supremacists and slap some new clothes on them! Barf. Ultramax Psychos (Pre/Post-Perdition): The Psychos aims to be the social club of the worst people on the Gehenna, and as a result they'll only recruit the worst. See, there are Ultramax cell blocks on the Gehenna and they contain a lot of murderers, a lot of rapists and a lot of morally reprehensible people. They're not so much a gang as they're the cool kids' club, only picking the best of the worst to hang out with them. And post-Perdition, they're one of the biggest threats on the ship.
A Ripper wearing his Michael Myers mask, a Skinhead John McClane and a particularly anime Psycho.
So, as previously mentioned, there is a premade campaign for this game. Of the 12 gangs, only 6 of them get a significant amount of screen time: the Daughters, the Embracers, the Furies, the Giants, the Skinheads and the Psychos. The Family, the Fittest, the Jaybirds and the Protectors all play a minor part or at the very least have like one scene. The Rippers and the Lion's Army get absolutely zero play, which is just as well because they're very meh. The majority of the campaign is generally the Daughters, Embracers, Skinheads and Psychos banding together with the Giants and the Furies trying to stand against them.

Also I'm not sure if you've noticed but a lot of the gangs offer Traits that an average player A: would never want or B: have already obtained and have gotten a bit of a raw deal by getting a mediocre amount of BP for it. The real exception to that is the Furies; Woodbourne Shuffle is a decent enough Trait that one would plan to get, so getting it for free only helps. Anyway, gangs do bring something to the table but they don't bring much.



I Can't Believe It's Only Two Pages!

As a refresher, Combat is a contested roll, meaning that it's "whoever rolls higher wins". If you think it's amazing that a bunch of Modern d20 content creators managed to put all of their combat rules in two pages, well ha ha don't worry a lot of these are maneuvers. So, without further ado, a list! That's it for combat. It sure is combat made by folks who branched out into an indie system and started off knowing d20. That's all I have to say about that.

NEXT TIME: Chapter 6, the Warden Only chapter on how to run this game and use Despair/Guilt/Insanity. I hope you like d99 random tables 'cuz I have to figure out how to format those.

Gehenna Againna and the Brain Pain Crew

posted by Hostile V Original SA post



Gehenna Againna and the Brain Pain Crew

What say I relax a little bit and dig into the list of tips and tricks for GMs that this book has to offer?

How To Warden Basic

A good, decent point. Worth keeping in mind.

Literally point one but rephrased and with a lot of examples.

It says a lot when you're comparing fellow prisoners, the majority of the survivors being folks who just want to survive, to Orcs.

The game is going to break this rule over and over, especially in the campaign. On top of that, there's how madness works. But we'll get to that when we get to that.

This here is a Demon and seeing as how I am a good boy and a fair and righteous GM with the greatest of tastes to run this game, I am gonna follow the rules I put forth and post them sparingly for this review.


The Gehenna is huge, meant to contain around 10 million in a reasonable amount of space that could still fly. The adventures of the players will generally take place on a small fragment of the ship, meaning there might be entire sections that the players have never seen before that they'll stumble across in their quest for survival. That's generally what this whole section does, focusing on a series of places to visit and what they're like. This section also explains the concept of a prison transport ship, the fact that Australia and Tasmania were penal colonies and the fact that the Gehenna is based on 25th century technology. Which is the important part to me, really, because it also plays into just how loose the timeline is. The 25th century was when man colonized the stars, but isn't that also supposed to be when the Last War was? And let's not even get into the fact that the map of the Earth is dated 2657 AD. Like, I know for a fact I'm getting some of this wrong and that's because the game is maddeningly nebulous. Anyway.

There's no way to line up both halves of the picture perfectly so I did my best; it's spread out across two pages and there's a definite virtual seam I couldn't quite line up.

Agricultural Habitats

The Agro-Domes dot the "top" half the ship and are roughly 300 yards beneath a glass dome, which is insane because isn't the hull of the ship made of beryllium for its resistant properties? Glass would break tremendously easily. Anyway. The Domes are contained ecosystems of trees, algae ponds and crops all maintained by autonomous irrigation, lights and humidifying systems. They provide air for the ship, food for well-behaving convicts and work so the prisoners have something to do. Someone still has to till the soil, pick the food, apply general care and also apply the proper chemicals. Food and tobacco are placed in transports for sorting and use throughout the ship. The Domes also provide plants specimens for if the Gehenna actually lands and they need to introduce foreign plants into the ecosystem.

However, Perdition hasn't been particularly kind to the Domes. On the low end of things, you have Domes that are starting to suffer from their caretakers being unable to tend to them and fix systems disrupted by the ship-wide damage. On the high end of things, you have Domes that are being bombarded with energy from this strange dimension and are starting to mutate and grow rapidly. These Domes are overlooked in the chaos, left to fester and mutate and become something big and alien.

Cell Blocks

Your average cell block contains 12 10x10 cells. Each cell contains one bed or bunk beds, a locker and a toilet. These twelve cells tend to be centered around an annex or a corridor, six on one half and six on the other. At the end of the corridor is a shower room and the other end has a secure door that leads in. The block will also contain two Custodians to monitor the inhabitants, an alarm for Trustees to raise, a first aid station and a vent system that services the whole block by depositing the air in the middle of the block. Everything (except for the outer walls of a block) is made out of transparent plastisteel including the doors, meaning that privacy ain't gonna happen. And there are a little under 2 million of these cell blocks. That's life on the Gehenna for most people.

After Perdition, the vast majority of the cell blocks are abandoned. Some of them were destroyed from damage, some of them are just empty except for the corpses of their occupants. The rest are empty because the prisoners ran for safety in the panic. As a whole, they're quiet now, quiet and empty.


In lieu of profiting off of prison/slave labor like in the US, the Gehenna’s workshops and such are all for the purposes of keeping the Gehenna up and running. Shifts of convicts would work throughout the day manipulating heavy machinery and automated systems to build spare parts for the Custodians and recycle scrap metal for repairs. The work centers are massive and advanced, containing precise equipment needed to make high tech items and weapons for the Custodians. While the centers are a great way for the prisoners to pass the time, it’s also a great way for them to steal things and make stuff to bring home (and as such the places are swarming with Custodians at all times).

After Perdition, the workshops are also generally abandoned. The majority of them are flat empty or patrolled by Custodians still. There are a few troubled locations where the state of abandonment has led to fires, especially when the foundries were left derelict.


There are no shortages of hospitals on the Gehenna. A lot of them are simply small clinics or infirmaries. On the higher end of population, there are a lot of psychiatric facilities built into various levels meant to hold prisoners for good. They’re not just places to get patched up; there are dental clinics, emergencies and morgues. There’s not much too them; they’re run by the Warden with some prisoners acting as orderlies and all of the medical services are automated and controlled by Custodians.

After Perdition, they are (once again) generally abandoned. If they’re abandoned, they tend to be slaughterhouses and full of dead prisoners. If they’re not, that’s because the patients never left and are now running the facility. And yes, it’s as typical as you would think it would be in a horror environment like this. The worst case scenario is that they’re occupied by Demons drawn to the madness.

Maintenance Tunnels

The tunnels were generally used by the Custodians with occasional Trustee access. The tunnels are a tangled maze of pipes, electrical lines, air ducts and dehumidifiers to fight rust. You can travel through them, but they’re cramped and noisy and damp with temperatures that fluctuate depending where you’re at in the ship. They’re also not lit as a general rule of thumb. If you go in, you need a flashlight or light rod.

After Perdition, you really don’t want to go into the tunnels. They’re still dark, they’re still tangled, and they’re still noisy. They’ve also got some damage in places and have started to flood with sewage or water and have become dangerous due to the threat of drowning or electrocution. They’re also home to prisoners desperate enough to try and make a home in there and the Demons who are preying on said prisoners.

Recreation Arcade

Imagine a mall. Now imagine there’s a mall on the Gehenna. Kinda fucked up, right? Well that’s a recreation arcade. Well, they’re malls mixed with a YMCA mixed with a college student center. The recreation arcades are something that’s generally unknown to the majority of the populace. They were intended to be rewards for the prisoners who have been doing well and doing consistently well. In execution, Trustees knew more about them than the average prisoner. The recreation arcades are home to sports centers, gardens, holovid theaters, galleries, arcades, libraries and more. They’re also done up with escalators and elevators and glass walkways and shit.

After Perdition, they too suffer abandonment issues. I joke but it’s rather boring to just say that they’re abandoned. I mean, yes, that’s what tends to happen when 5-8 million out of 10 million people die all at once. It’s still just not particularly interesting. Anyway yeah they’re just sitting empty most of the time.

Recycling Centers

The recycling centers are hip, happening places and yeah no they’re not. Everything thrown away goes into the recycling centers where a handful of convict workers help the Custodians and automated systems sort garbage. Waste, fluids and garbage get sent out to make new water, make fertilizer, make new food or simply get loaded up into containers to get sent to a foundry or workshop for processing. They’re also just incredibly dangerous places due to all of the compactors and shredders and automated arms and machines that cleanse stuff with chemicals/radiation.

Guess what, they’re abandoned! Actually they’re the part of the ship that is running at near 100% of how it used to, having been so automated and full of Custodians that there weren’t many prisoners there to begin with. The robots will probably chase you off or try to arrest you for trespassing.


The tram system uses a whole collection of maglev trains that fly up and down all over the Gehenna to move prisoners and materials. It’s essentially a series of subway trains in space that move the prisoners wherever they need to go.

After Perdition, the tunnels are one of the most dangerous places to go. A lot of the prisoners attempted to flee to safety through the tram tunnels and died in droves. The damage of flying into Hell lead to a lot of the intricate track systems getting damaged or losing power, resulting in large chunks of the tunnels being collapsed, on fire or electrocution hazards.


Ultramax differs from the regular blocks by being multiple floors of cells based around stair/elevator shaft. The Ultramax facilities are kept behind many security doors and are basically kept far, far away from the other blocks and parts of the ship to protect the other prisoners. In a sense, Ultramax runs parallel with the whole of the ship like its spine but they’re all still individual facilities, kept separate using security corridors full of automated gun turrets. Each Ultramax facility also has a window that looks out into space that acts as a last-ditch containment measure. In case of a sufficiently bad riot or threat to the rest of the Gehenna, the Warden would be able to blow detonation charges attached to the window and void the entire block’s atmosphere (and most of the prisoners, probably). The only way out of Ultramax is in a body bag or incredibly rare good behavior/rehabilitation transfer.

Perdition hit Ultramax the hardest due to the fact that so many madmen and awful people were like a bright beacon that drew a gigantic swarm of Demons to their location. The Demons only moved on to the rest of the ship when they finished feasting on the Ultramax prisoners. Most of the blocks are now blood-splattered killing floors. The problems are the ones that aren’t. The still-occupied blocks of Ultramax are invariably home to the Psychos, the Daughters and the Embracers. And unfortunately some of them have figured out how to reprogram the gun turrets to keep regular prisoners out so they can plot and plan from their headquarters.


The vaults are home to everything that was supposed to be used in case of colonization. They’re warehouses that are dozens of stories tall and plenty wide, containing prefab buildings, vehicles, weapon caches, medicines, technologies and building materials. Nobody knew about the vaults outside of the prisoners who were selected to act as a colonial government and societal elite in case of colonization. These prisoners were generally in the know of this plan and told to keep quiet while other prisoners were put in stasis or cryo to sleep if they were too vital to risk accidental death in prison.

After Perdition, the vaults are largely untouched and unopened. Not everyone who knew about them survived the trip into Hell and even if they did, the vaults are damn near untouchable without a concentrated effort to pop open the security. A squad of prisoners could certainly live like kings or find immeasurable power in the form of military technology...if only they could figure out a way to get past all of the sealed corridors and locked doors.

Hoofah. That sure is a lot of words! Let's make it worse. The game contains two d99 charts, one for random finds and one for random prisoner encounters. They're not great! If you have a d100 chart in your game (as in there's 100 different results), you probably don't have as many good ideas as you think you do and you're gonna run into a problem of filler or repeating variations on the same thing. If you have two of these charts, you're either severely overestimating the quality of your work or you're Games Workshop (the two are not mutually exclusive). Also I'm just going to say a general content warning on the charts below: the word "rape" comes up, there are weird portrayals of women and there's just weird poorly aged horror shit.

A derpy Demon to break up the charts and text and all that jazz. Look at this goofball.

So You Got Your Ass Kicked

Characters with Doc or Medical Knowledge are able to heal folks but it takes them a while and it's generally like an out of combat thing. Combat Medic is for quick patches in combat. Outside of that, you either need a medical kit or to sleep it off and regain 1d4 health with a good night's sleep.

Now for a little bit of mechanical fuckery. See, the game has said that 0 HP means you're unconscious. This doesn't mean you're not at a risk for death, despite explicitly saying earlier that you have to be in the negatives for that to be a risk. You have a five minute window where medical attention (kit or a medicine-oriented character) has to be applied or your character flat-out dies. Then you roll on the Recovery table to see what happens to your character.

Yeah, see that? You have a 70% chance of getting fucked over (I'm counting Found The Lord as getting fucked over). Take Survivor, pay out the extra 50 BP to skip the requirement of having been brought to near death, it's worth the extra amount paid. You absolutely want to be able to roll twice on this stupid chart to avoid a bad fate for your character. Really, just throw this whole chart out, this chart is garbage.


And now we get to the heart of how the psychological system of this psychological horror game works. In short, this is true for all gauges (Despair, Guilt, Insanity): every even number on the notch, something happens and every time most of them reach 10 something worse happens.


The higher your character's Despair, the more likely they'll freeze up or buckle under the pressure caused by fear.

To clarify this chart further: Hitting 10 Despair is the "easiest" way to lose all Despair, trading the full bar for +1 Insanity and 0 Despair. Despair is also lost by spending 24 hours outside of danger (ha ha good luck) but can be juggled somewhat easily by finishing adventures or being a Chain Smoker or pounding Cardiolax. The latter is by far the best way to deal with Despair really, so much so that one of the best ways to survive in Hell is to just be bombed out of your mind on medical tranquilizers at all times.


Guilt measures how bad the character feels about their past and present deeds. It is...a much more dangerous thing than Despair in some ways.

To clarify further: They don't explain, exactly, how the whole "permanent Guilt level" thing works. One would assume that this means that every time the gauge reaches 10 and you summon a Demon and gain +1 Insanity that the Guilt level returns to this basic tally mark. But the game never really confirms or denies that. Either way, Guilt does not reduce over time. Guilt only lowers through effort and sacrifice on the part of the guilty party. This, mixed with the fact that Guilt severely fucks up your character's ability to act, means that you definitely want to do the absolute most you can to limit accrual of Guilt.


The weird thing is that Insanity really isn't that bad; it's harder to gain it and it's not really that much of a problem for the first half of the gauge.

See, to understand exactly how the Insanity chart works...we have to look at the madness chart. When you get up to Insanity 4, you roll 1d10 and get one of five forms of madness: Delusion, Detachment, Lunacy, Nihilism and Rage.

You remember our buddy Pincushion? You remember how he ended up with Nihilism? Yeah. Nihilism is by far the best possible result on this chart. Short of Lunacy, I mean. Either way, a few things to consider: your Madness goes away whenever you hit Insanity 3 again, that's it, you're cured of it. You can basically dance around with lowering Insanity thanks to repeatedly taking Mental Health until you get the madness you want. The other thing to consider is that Insanity really just doesn't even have that much of an effect on your character, it's all just totally arbitrary. The third upside is that once you're at Insanity 4, you can just always see the Demons and always see any supernatural threat. Meaning that our buddy Pincushion may have started at 4 Insanity and he does generally suck at doing anything but he can also be used as a reliable way to detect danger/do things the other characters can't do. Anyway you want to keep your Insanity at 5 maximum because you actually lose the benefit of the minor form of it whenever it gets to moderate or severe. Any form of lowering Insanity outside of Mental Health or Lobotomy is totally up to the GM to figure out.

Oh, one last thing. I bet you're wondering what happens when you hit Insanity 10. Well, you have to make a Will roll to do anything (which can be circumvented by getting slapped silly) for 1d4 hours. You also summon a Demon. And the text has this to say: "At this level the character’s mind may be effectively shattered, too overloaded with mental strain to react to even the most basic instincts and stimuli."

And that's it. Your character is still playable, the game doesn't really say that this is, like, it. Hell you can just get a lobotomy and walk it off or sink some points into more Mental Health to just get better.

Psychological horror!


Oh yeah ironically there's a mechanic called Hope. Hope is basically Warhammer Fate Points; you get one per adventure and can be used for the following:

Alright big problem 1: the fact that this is per group and not per character. And the benefits are, uh. Kinda lackluster in that regard. Problem 2: a shitload of Demons can straight-up turn off the ability to call on Hope. This entire mechanic just reeks of a hasty patch they threw in and then intentionally hobbled regardless.


Our dear friend Pincushion has a 45% chance of Psy Potential and this is because I minmaxed him as best as I could. It's really hard to build for a psychic character and that's good because they're just not very good. Say Pincushion does in fact manage to reach Despair 8 and then the GM rolls 1d100 and they rolled under 45. Congrats! Pincushion is now able to buy the Awakened Psychic Trait so he doesn't have to repeatedly hit Despair 8 to do anything. He also now has Psy Strength 6 once he gets that. So as an Awakened Psychic with access to Real Ultimate Power, the kind that lets your brain flip out and kill people, he can roll on the Random Psychic Power table as an attack action as long as he's at Despair 5.

Hm. Not great. The majority of them are useable, sure. It's just that instead of rolling on the Perils of the Warp table, Pincushion has to deal with slinging somewhat mild Psyker powers that have friendly fire on. In fact, always on. If the rest of G-Unit want to deal with his newfound power, they have to stay pretty far away from him and Pincushion and his relatively weak physique and Prowess basically have to be front and center against the convicts/robots/Demons threatening the crew. Which is...not ideal, one would say, for Pincushion's prolonged survival. But I mean hey, these are the random powers. Pincushion can also purchase powers to use!

And these powers are all universally worse than the random ones. The sole upside is they increase your Psy Strength, meaning that your results on the random table are better and that's it. Though that's not to say that Pincushion can't really use these powers, he absolutely can. In fact if he's not careful with using them, G-Unit's pet psychic is just going to be chronically depressed about the futility of life and actively resigned to an existence of torment and damnation, moping about how existence is pain and useless as he shuffles behind them or scoots into battle to unleash some random ability, his gauge stuck damn near permanently at Insanity 10 but too uncaring about how far gone he is.

But hey, you got what you wanted. It's just a shame that what you wanted sucks beyond imagining.

NEXT TIME: the bestiary of Demons as we creep closer to the end of the book. Not included: this guy!

Just look at this weird lumpy rascal.

The Problems With Designing "Optimal" Monsters

posted by Hostile V Original SA post



The Problems With Designing "Optimal" Monsters

Strap the fuck in because this is long and also I had to censor some genitals.

Demons are omnipresent in the Nether, the hellish dimension the Gehenna is in. However, they aren't physically present unless they have cause to be. Sufficient DGI is enough to cause the Demons to appear and their danger and number depends on two things. First, just how much DGI is gained. Second, how many people are losing their shit in a group.

Gaining more than 10 in a gauge means that you increase the intensity of the manifestation event. For every person in a group manifesting due to DGI, their own individual intensity increases. In execution this looks like:
Pincushion, Tama and Soapbox are all heavily shaken by a horrific scene. This increases Pincushion's Despair to 10, Tama ends up with 11 and Soapbox ends up with 12. Pincushion would just normally cause one low level manifestation but because people around him are panicking this is ratcheted up to 3-4 range. Meaning that instead of one low level manifestation, he's looking at a chance of 1 high, 2 moderate or 4 low. Tama and Soapbox's Despair are cranked to max intensity as well, meaning that they could be calling on 1 Extreme or 2 High or 4 Mod or 6 Low. As a result, a three-person freak-out means that they're either up against 3 incredibly dangerous Demons that could easily slaughter them, or they could be up against 16 small-time Demons, meaning that it's a fight of 3 vs. 16, one they will almost certainly lose due to the action economy.

You can see how this might be a problem, right? Now, let's mention something else that's particularly important: the majority of these Demons have the ability to force Will tests the moment they appear or cause more DGI. This means that you can pretty quickly have a cascading failure as more and more Demons show up depending exactly on how they manifest (these happen secondary to the manifestation to alert the players that something is up).

The game says "use Demons sparingly" and then introduces rules where a squad of player characters can pretty easily be emotionally overwhelmed and cause a TPK because they keep summoning more Demons to their location. This is, in fact, how the Ultramax facilities fell for the most part: so many unstable prisoners in one location started a cascade of manifestations that they were overrun. As a result, this puts everything in a very tricky place. Smaller parties mean less Demon threats but it also means less defense due to smaller numbers. Bigger parties mean increased Demon presence that they might not be able to properly defend against. The system is designed in such a way that the absolute last thing you want to do is really square-off with a Demon unless you absolutely have to. You may get tougher, you may get better weapons, you may get proper shotguns and you may all become a squadron of antipsychotic-abusing Nihilists and you may be able to hold your own against some Demons. But not all. Definitely not all.


"There are potentially hundreds of types of Demons of Despair" yeah whatever here are the ones the books have to offer. One big snarl they have to offer is the fact that a Demon of Despair inhibits any and all use of Hope.


One of the unforeseen consequences of Perdition was that future magic tricks such as the endless scarf would go horribly wrong.

When a Devourer manifests, it slides into a nearby corpse and takes it over, corrupting it in the process. All Devourers look like bloated shambling corpses that have demonic mutations, like claws and long fangs and multiple tongues. Devourers are supposed to be the general grunts and fodder like Doom's Zombies. They will inevitably hunt the person who caused their creation.

Devourers are supposed to generally be fodder and they're actually not that bad at that with their Corpse rule. But Christ alive, look at the fact that it can pretty easily force characters to accumulate 3+ Despair and that's without using its weird gribbly tongues. Remember how I said you have to pump up Will? Well this is why you pump up Will. They would be just fine if it wasn't for the Despair gain abilities.

And this is the weakest of the Despair Demons.

Death Slither

Horrible chiropractic revenge in space.

When a Death Slither manifests, scattered bones come together to form its body. They're endurance hunters, tracking prey and following quietly to strike when the time is right. Their small size and speed means they're pretty easily able to use the darkness of the Gehenna to their adventure to stalk their quarries.

Alright before we discuss the problems with the Death Slither, we're gonna do a little bit of a detour into Optimized Enemy Design.


A few years ago, I used to do a little bit of Pathfinder Society. I know, I know, Society is trash and in retrospect I totally agree with that sentiment. But bear with me for a minute. A few months into Society I started to get frustrated with how the GM ran encounters for the modules and the enemies for them. The encounters were basically too hard and the enemies behaved too intelligently. At one point I got annoyed and ended up secretly downloading the module on my phone to sneak a peek at the Final Fight Enemy's stats to see what their deal was. And, ultimately, their deal was they were a half-decent monster that could cast spells and turn invisible in the hands of someone playing Optimal. The monster kept turning invisible and kept targeting the weak spots of the party, which was a problem because the monster was outnumbered but we didn't have any particular way to deal with the invisibility and the fact that the monster was using magic tactically. In the end I quit Society a few weeks when the GM kept using the monster's at-will SLA Darkness against us knowing that our light spells and ability to work around the darkness was finite and this lead to a fight between a player and the GM.

And this was my first brush with Optimized Enemy Design, though I wouldn't really call it such for a while. Pathfinder/D&D monsters aren't really the best designed creatures in the world, especially if they're created semi-unique for a module. The problem comes from trying to use the enemy in their most effective, optimal way. The fight could've just been a full-on brawl between the party and the monster, which the monster would've lost, no question. The fight could've been a tricky one, one where things were a little give-and-take, where there were risks but we'd either be victorious or have to retreat, rethink and retry. Those're the best, in my opinion, especially when you're able to take something clunky and unwieldy and make it a surprising challenge for your players to deal with. But then you have the worst scenario, which is where the GM treats the monster and their role as GM as a means to defeat the players. "If I kill the players, I win."

Demons in Abandon All Hope are very much a product of that Optimized Enemy Design Used Optimally school of thought. They are generally all designed from the ground up to do two things: Role Playing Objects understand d20 and that's the problem, they understand it enough to know how to play it at a killer level. The first time I ever played 3.5 I nearly died to a swarm of rats when there was just two more of them than there were of our party and that was run by someone who knew the system. That was an accidental brush with death. Compare to willingly and knowingly going out of your way to kill the players. You're not even providing a challenge, you're just providing a fist to smack the players into submission. And that's what the Death Slither is, really. We saw a little with the Devourer's ability to fill 40% of a Despair Gauge without even really trying, but the Death Slither is just full-bore killer GMing in action.

See, the Death Slither will kill a PC in 3-4 turns, your average PC. The 10 HP vs. a monster that can reliably bust out 1d6 damage means a single PC better have a good weapon. But then there's the fact that there's not so much a list of abilities here as there is a flowchart entitled "How To Kill A PC". There is no strategy to this monster's behavior. It bites, it coils, it chokes, it instantly kills. The design is so optimized, the GM needs no ability to strategize or play intelligently. It is designed so three bites kills a regular PC and it's got excellent Reflexes so it's hard to hit. It's designed so that by the time a PC that has 30 HP runs into it, the Death Slither still has a chance of killing that PC. It is just...disgustingly over-optimized to be incredibly dangerous in the wrong circumstances, and there are not a lot of good circumstances to deal with these.

And from here on out, over-optimization and sheer, baffling overkill are the name of the game. You do not want to ever fight the majority of Demons you come across unless you have no choice.

Nexper Sext

Legit can't tell if the monster is falling down from the ceiling onto him or if it's below him and he's climbing up. What is perspective?

I have no idea what the fuck kind of name this is. A NS is manifested by all organic material getting drawn into a gore orb that hatches into a fully wiggling monster. It's a six-eyed acid-dripping poison monster that lurks and leaps and kills, delighting in paralyzing people and slowly torturing them to death with its poisons and its paralytic gaze.

Paralyze+Rending is a horrific save or die combo, able to take a single 10 HP character out of the game in two turns flat. It can't be made weaker by being overpowered, it deals long-lasting poison and fuck you if you fight it in melee. The Nexper Sext: Get Fucked, Players.

Nightmare Weaver

You know the Nightmare Weaver cares about you because he'll fluff your pillow while you're sleeping.

The Nightmare Weaver is made of shadows that congeal into the form of a gigantic human-sized spider with twisted features. Nightmare Weavers don't come out swinging once they appear. When they arrive, they hide and start ramping up the fear in the area with their presence until someone flees in terror. The Weaver then delights in toying with the panicked prey until they can trap them in an acidic web and feast on them.

Not as lethal as the other Demons but boy fucking howdy I hope you have a source of fire, otherwise their webs are literally inescapable. And consider that the only fire-based weapon in the same is a Scorcher or a Chain Smoker's lighter...

Engorged Horror

Yeah can I get a fuckin' UHHHHHHHH

An Engorged Horror is said to be the evolved form of a Devourer. Like a Devourer, the Demon takes over a human corpse but then it bloats it and turns it into a gigantic mound of bloody fat and rotten flesh stretched over an oozing, foul-smelling frame. Engorged Horrors spend their time eating corpses and, well, gorging themselves on human flesh, shoveling everything edible they can into their fat mouths.

Hi and welcome to Nexper Sext But Worse. The EH is now able to Combo Fuck two characters at once automatically and now has added Despair Death Spiral to the combo along with gaining extra health. This is just completely and wholly unnecessarily powerful and this isn't even mentioning the Stomach Burst and Waste Not Want Not ability which is just...see? See how fucking overdesigned this is? This is not fun! This is just accounting for every part of the fight to make the players suffer horribly.

Panic Feeder

Look at how smug this thing is, sassing hardcore on the last prisoner with that posture and look.

The Panic Feeder appears by ripping a hole through space and time and falling through while covered in a black, oily goo "in a vile mockery of human birth". Yeah sure whatever. Panic Feeders are rampaging monsters, scooping up prey in their multiple arms and stuffing them into their gnashing teeth. They exist to blunder into the mix and cause mass chaos. More interesting is the fact that their face seems to be the inspiration for the tattoo of the Psychos but the book never brings this up.

Psycho tattoo for reference.

I hate this. I hate this so much. It can just fucking eat up to 3 players if the Vorpal Claws proc and it's absolutely bullshit that the fucking monster just gets a "whoops, instant kill!" proc. I don't normally say this in a review, but shit like this makes me legitimately angry. Because you know this got foisted on some well-meaning players by a widely grinning GM who would be so petty as to actually put tic marks of dead PCs on their belt.


I know this is supposed to be a skeletal face but it just makes me think of Strong Sad.

Reapers manifest in the form of shed blood pooling together and forming the body like a T-1000. They're manifested by a fight reflex instead of a flight reflex, the urge to stand your ground and stick up for yourself. The Reaper would like nothing more than to thank you for bringing it into the world, killing everyone in its way as it hunts down its maker and kills them. They look like "desiccated corpses" but really they just look like Mariliths without breasts.

The Reaper is straight-forward and that's kind of refreshing. It's just strong and dangerous without being complete bullshit. Even the Marked condition is something you can deal with, making it by far the most "fair" of the most dangerous Despair Demons. The only real bullshit is Whirlwind and having to basically raid position.

Eater of the Damned

Any uber-demon worth their salt knows to keep a hype man in front of them at all times to get the audience on their feet.

And then there's this asshole. The EotD rams itself through a seam in reality and immediately goes on the offensive, looking for the most guilty to kill them first. Considered to basically be the "king" of Despair Demons, the EotD is a gigantic threat and should absolutely never be approached in combat for reasons below.

I could tolerate turning slain enemies into Devourers if only there wasn't "two saves or die from getting your fucking soul ate". There's a challenging fight and then there's bullshit and this is just another turd in the outhouse.


Instead of Hopelessness, Demons of Guilt offer symbiosis. They'll appear and be like "hey mortal dumbass, want to make a pact? You do this for me and I'll give you this benefit".

Do not take this. Never take this. It is never worth it due to it being a purely parasitic relationship where the food the Demon gets is more than the host gets. The downside of refusing to take it, however, is that now you gotta fight the Demon. Oh well. This was going to happen anyway; the moment you break a bond, they'll attack you anyway.

Guilt Worms

I know he's supposed to be, like, crying but...I dunno, he just looks like he's having a really relaxing, really slimy moment of peace? I don't like the art for this face.

Guilt Worms are formed from food, meat and corpses and then wiggle into a pile to chase their creator and try to form a pact with them. Guilt Worms are a colony of worms that infest their creator or anyone around them, tormenting them by nibbling at their brain and making them relive unhappy memories until they die. They're a pain in the ass but easy to deal with.

So yeah they're the weakest of Demons to ever deal with. Let the colony touch someone then immediately surgically excise them. Boom, done. Kind of stupid, really.


Remember Left 4 Dead? I sure do.

A Wraith is a formless creature that makes itself known with a cacophony of voices once summoned. It perfectly resembles someone from the creator's past, someone the creator hurt in one way or another. They also sound like the person they're imitating but speak with a cold, grim tone of voice. Their big asset is their invisibility and the fact that they're hard to hit.

Say no to their offer? Well congrats they can just fucking stunlock your entire party with their invisible Guilt/Despair-gaining hands. They can't physically hurt you in the slightest, they can just create multiple manifestations and make that kill you. Fair and balanced! The sole protection against them is having Guilt 0, which is an argument for never gaining Guilt.


The fuck you lookin' at? Keep scrolling.

A Corruptor will just appear with a shimmer of energy and then float off after its creator. A flying head with a bunch of trailing tentacles is hell-bent on making prisoners misbehave more and causing mayhem. Are you a bad enough prisoner to stop it? Probably not.

The Gaze is dangerous but the real danger is the Mark due to the fact that a Sorrow Leech is a much bigger problem than the Corruptor's general shenanigans. The inhibition of healing is also a major problem.

Sorrow Leech

100% camo index.

The Sorrow Leech appears behind its creator and trails it for as long as it cares to before it makes its presence known. The Sorrow Leech looks like a fat man with tentacle arms and a lamprey mouth but it spends its time invisible and driving its creator insane. The big problem is that while the creator will eventually be able to see the Sorrow Leech, their friends won't unless they're also sufficiently insane.

Also the main threat is that eventually the Sorrow Leech will decide you're tapped and then fucking annihilate your skull with its buzz-saw mouth and nobody will lift a finger to help you.

Soul Shadow

Hey it's that creepy guy that started on this website, the [looks at smeared writing on palm] Slender Onion.

The Soul Shadow favors the darkness and is born from shadows, called to a creator that has killed a lot of people or were caught in the act of murder. Soul Shadows eat the Despair of the creator if pacted with and then will hang out around their creator and look for prey. When it's picked out a suitable prey, the Shadow's face will alter to fit an ideal target to fit the prey's depredations and then trick the prey into following them. This generally ends in the prey being eaten by the Shadow.

Ah yes, the classic "save or be eaten and digested by a Demon". How wonderful that it can kill up to two prisoners at once.

Progenitor of Sins

I am 100% sure that an unlisted inspiration for this game was also Dead Space by this art alone.

The PoS appears as a wave of pain and discomfort hits everyone as it pulls itself through a hole in reality. The PoS looks like a bloated corpse of a woman with tentacle hands that are tipped with handgina dentatas that drip acid with every tentacular wiggle. Her body is oozing with acid and slime and other foul liquids and your eyes do not deceive you, she is in fact pretty anatomically correct for this bad art style. Her mission is to run around forcing people to bear Guilt Worms.

Her acid is very dangerous. The rest of her, not so much? It really reads like she doesn't want to kill the people she's fighting, she just wants to [sigh] "impregnate them with Guilt Worms" which is just...easy to deal with, all things considered. The main issue is the fact that she's probably pregnant with worse monsters which makes killing her annoying.


This entire design would be better if it wasn't for the idiotically bland "durr" face. Just go full alien instead of "a dude's head on top of a palm tree".

The Tormentor crawls out of a puddle of blood, allegedly blindfolded and gagged despite the picture not showing that in the slightest. The Tormentor's job is to dole out pain and then do that some more. It's not a complicated being despite being allegedly blind so it can hunt by sensing the Guilty and increase the thrill of the hunt which...I mean look at it, it's not blind and it's not gagged.

The big threat here is the fact that it can stunlock you and it just does a shitload of DOT damage. Just swallow your Guilt and avoid.

Aspect of Revenge

Wayang Killin'.

The Aspect of Revenge, despite looking like a living shadow, is actually made from a massive flare of heat melting metal that forms its body. The AoR is described as being "half man and half woman", presumably intersex vertically like a carnival attraction, but is "all twisted and all evil" which is just delightful. The main goal of the AoR is to haunt the wicked and dole out punishment, which is a booming job in this Hell-based prison economy.

The AoR really isn't fancy, it's just an enormous pain in the ass to kill. It's not unfair but it's also not a fun fight in the slightest.


Demons of Insanity are a major pain in the ass and that's due to paradox. Being creatures from another dimension that are manifesting a presence in the world, they're able to twist physics and time and space like how they entered to begin with. Time and space just have issues around them. The other major issue is that, uh, they spawn when you hit 10 Insanity and...well, that's pretty damn rare outside of some other circumstances where they just show up anyway. As a result the Demons of Insanity tend to congregate around the psych wards where their power is maintained by the minds of broken prisoners living in their shadows. You're probably not ever going to see a scenario where high-threat Demons of Insanity crop up (outside of cascading gauge failure) and that is a good thing. Because they're pretty rare, the developers have made them bastards.

Scuttling Impossibility

I won't lie, the one part of their design I like is the fact that every inch of their physique screams "punt me like a football" and I would, I absolutely would drop-kick one of these little shits.

SIs are made of a strange otherworldly "sweat" that pours down walls and ceilings to form them when they're manifested. They're the rats in the crawlspace between the Nether and Reality, nibbling to their heart's content and dicking around. They're roughly the size of dogs and their ugly little bodies are constantly morphing and changing.

The big problem is that they explode, the walk on ceilings and they're little magnets for madness.

Thing That Should Not Be

I feel like I walked in on a jellyfish changing into their human suit.

The TTSNB will just show up and float through the walls like a ghost before getting on with its mission. They basically just fly around and mutate organic material with their touch, giant mutating ghost jellyfish flying around the ship. That's really it.

On the plus side, they don't really do damage. On the downside, dear lord do not fight them in melee, their mutations are cumulative and they're just plain hard to hit and hurt and they multiply. They also invoke further madness. Stay the fuck away or shoot them from a distance.

Herald of Madness

But it's too late, I'm already hooting and hollering about the Nether.

Heralds show up on the heels of weird otherworldly music and muttered alien songs. Their job is to run around yelling in their inhuman tongues, drive people crazy and summon further allies. They're very good job at all of these.

Stay away from the Heralds too. They're not very good at summoning more monsters, but having more of them means there's more damage being slung your way and they're very good at making you go crazy quicker.


"Well I heard something very distressing when I was checking your heartbeat. It sounded like faint "nyehhhhhhhhhh"."

The problem with Violators is that when they're manifested, they manifest inside of the person who called it. After a few hours the host explodes and the Violator crawls forth to murder everyone around them. They look like a gigantic heart that just drags itself around on its arms, hell-bent on killing everything around it, even other Demons.

So they kill the person that summoned them, which is just dandy. On top of that they're both chock full of madness and also damage and also mind control, turning the party against each other and dealing acid damage and destroying armor. They're nasty, vicious bastards that can just destroy weapons.


Wait a second, this doesn't seem right. Hold on, I fix.

Much better.

Dream-Eaters hunt psychics, appearing in an instant and briefly tricking the eyes like optical illusions before coming into focus. They come forth when detecting a psychic who is losing their mind and then make it their goal to hunt them down and drive them further into madness.

And they're really very good at it, which is another argument against having any psychic potential to begin (the main argument being that psychic powers kind of suck). Sorry Pincushion but G-Unit might not be able to save you from one of these things.

Reality Cancer

Shrimp Baby no, I thought you were dead!

A Reality Cancer appears whenever the laws of time and space are being twisted particularly hard. They float through the air and their presence corrupts reality by sheer virtue of being around it. Its main role is to corrupt and decay the world around it, using its strange black ichor on its tentacles to cause things to corrode and warp.

They're really hard to hit and exploding acid ichor is a gigantic pain in the ass. The fact that they can regularly pull out paradoxes is also a major issue. Avoid at all costs.

Chaos Incarnate

I look at this dude and I imagine the voice of the Red Guy from Cow and Chicken pouring out of his mouths. "Helloooooo, it's me."

The manifestation of CI is apparent when black ectoplasm pour from the walls and ceilings into a bubbling pool that births the Demon proper. The Chaos Incarnate has an endless hatred for everything around it and all it seeks is blind destruction, even of fellow Demons. Their gigantic size and insatiable appetite makes them things to avoid at all costs.

So not only is this thing a madness machine that can also just kill and instantly eat your character, it just has so many ways to TPK. It's actually more complicated for it to try and squish your characters. Chaos Incarnate can just kill the whole part turn one by moving closer and using Chaos Unleashed to hurt itself for, like, 100 damage and deal 10d6 damage to everyone. Game over, burn your sheets, grab a slice of pizza and go home.


Say hello to Cthulhu's overweight loser cousin.

MGF will just appear wherever it needs to rather unceremoniously, shifting reality and physics around it to make sure it'll fit regardless of the form it takes at the moment. The MGF's job is to look like a big idiot lobster and just dick around because it's fucking unkillable.

Don't even bother. If this motherfucker shows up, that's it, lie down and close your eyes and wait for the end. Even if you win he does this Warhammer Slaanesh bullshit where one of your buddies tries to summon him again, fuck that.


I hate this. I hate Demons. I went to bed angry when I actually understood the mechanics for these things and going to bed angry gives me a headache. So I woke up with a headache. Get fucked, Abandon All Hope.

NEXT TIME: the end of the book, which is literally just four types of robots and a handful of squishy convict templates.

Roses Are Red Unless They’re Dyed Black, I Am Too Scared of Robots to Attack

posted by Hostile V Original SA post



Roses Are Red Unless They’re Dyed Black, I Am Too Scared of Robots to Attack


As previously mentioned, “Custodian” is a general term that’s used to refer to the robots that run Gehenna. Under the control of the Warden Computer, the Custodians are pretty good at keeping the ship running and keeping order with literal iron fists. The prisoners hate the Custodians and this has only gotten worse since Perdition. See, the Warden has absolutely no idea how to handle the events of Perdition or the presence of Demons. As a result, all working Custodians are continuing to act like nothing is wrong, upholding the rules and capturing loose convicts and confiscating their goods.


Your average turret is an eight-foot-tall pillar of plated steel with a slot for a gun barrel. Most turrets are equipped with automatic shotguns, though allegedly they will use other forms of guns, and are loaded with barricade buster rounds. Their main role is to sit around guarding doors and murdering trespassers with a single salvo, often coming in pairs. Their main weakness is if someone is able to access the nearby control center that handles their targeting software and controls.

Turrets are, unsurprisingly, really hard to deal with. They will pretty much always go first even if someone else has Quickness, they're incredibly accurate and barricade busters deal 3d6 damage. The Vigilant rule is just an extra fuck you and is something the other robots will have.


I like the Jailbot design more.

An Enforcer is 7-10 feet tall, flying on hoverpads and built to stop prisoners. And they're very good at this.

So yeah. You have to make a Will roll to fight the Enforcer to begin with which you absolutely do not want to do. 4 Armor is nothing to sneeze at and a cattle prod hurts like a hell. The real problem is the sonic beamer with the unlimited energy source. As a reminder, the sonic beamer is a nonlethal weapon that deals 2d6 damage...unless a 5 or 6 is rolled, and if so the damage explodes and the weapon turns lethal. The only people who survive a fight with an Enforcer are the ones who are too scared to do anything but comply.


"Sleep, little dumpling. I have replaced your mother."

Monitors are the most prevalent and public form of Custodian, basically running the show and corralling the prisoners. They speak in the even measured tones of an authoritative woman and the screens of their face also will use pictograms or rebus to communicate with illiterate prisoners. They wander the corridors, keep an eye on every cell block and are also responsible for dispensing medication and performing medicine in the hospitals.

All things considered, Monitors are reasonably fair enemies if only because they have a chance of ending a fight without murdering the whole party. They can basically just sedate you and then wait until an Enforcer shows up so you can be escorted back to your cell. Not bad.


A narc is a dog-sized robot that skitter around in the vents and maintenance tunnels behind cells and corridors. They have tracks and a single arm equipped with a camera and a stun gun. Their job is to find contraband, spy on the prisoners and relay the information back to the Warden to mete out punishment.

Narcs aren't a threat because you're not, like, meant to fight them unless you want scrap. The moment they're in any sort of danger they're calling an Enforcer and you're all going to get exploded.


A Junker isn't a Custodian; it's a robot that's been secretly built by prisoners who have a rough knowledge of engineering. A Junker is roughly man-sized and a patchwork creation, requiring an operator to control it. That's really it to them.

There are a lot of questions that go unexplained. Do Junkers have unlimited energy for their weapons? How does one repair a Junker? Will Demons respond to a Junker? There's just so much that's missing and also god look at that list of parts, that should be enough of a requirement to make one, cut out the BP cost.


Below are stats and information on a variety of felons.

Boss (Dissident)

A Boss is an inmate with a modicum of power, focusing on leading gangs and honing their social abilities over being able to defend themselves. And, well, they're not good at fighting, they just have a lot of health. It shouldn't be too hard to kill one if you have to.

Chester (Vice Offender)

A Chester is apparently prison slang for a child molester. The average Chester is someone who was arrested for a sex crime and is middle-aged and unassuming. They do what they can to keep their heads down and remain inconspicuous because their crimes make them a giant target for jailhouse retribution. It's really goddamn weird to me that this is basically counted as an average inmate that needs stats. Outside of that, they're hilariously easy to best in a fight; once the Woodbourne Shuffle is used, that's it.

Fixer (Vice Offender)

A Fixer is a prisoner who knows how to get things and knows how to sell things. And their abilities reflect that pretty accurately. The shiv is a danger but I's a very small danger, all things considered.

Joe Average (Murderer)

Joe is a typical inmate who can just do a little punching and that's really it.

Maniac (Anarchist)

Your average Maniac is someone with an axe to grind against society and a pocket full of mental issues. According to the game, they're all some shade of insane and unpredictable, often with a lot of rage disorders, pyromania or general Fishmalkery. They're really not that much of a threat but they are good at fighting.

Religious Crazy (Murderer)

A Religious Crazy is someone who is just as insane as a Maniac but masks it with a veneer of conservatism and insular restraint amongst other crazies. Apparently you don't want them to end up in power or else you'll get purged. All things considered, they're really not that good at fighting so maybe just whup 'em a bit if you must.

Thug (Murderer)

Thugs are, generally speaking, someone who has managed to make themselves king shit of their cell block. Alternately, they're people who are tough enough to ensure others don't fuck with them. Their goals are limited to being masters of their blocks and being left alone. For a starter squad of characters, I would call a Thug a pretty fair enemy. They're not as good as they could be with that shiv but they know enough about brawling to be able to take on a squad of PCs and put up a good fight.

Trustee (Murderer)

Trustees are prisoners whose good behavior has allowed them to gain Access privileges and food privileges. As a whole they're not super liked because a lot of them act like bullies that go crying to an Enforcer if someone takes a shot at them. They're not the best fighters, you just don't want to get in trouble for starting a fight with one.


Abandon All Hope falls prey to the eight deadly words: I Don't Care What Happens To These People. The Demons are far more powerful than they should be. There is no real narrative thrust to playing a prison-only game. There is no escape besides death. There's not even a real narrative thrust to playing a post-Perdition game.

Or so I would lead you all to believe.

Between 2010 and 2011, Role Playing Objects released a six-book series of premade missions that charted out the first (and only) official adventure for Abandon All Hope. Starting before Perdition, it tells the tale of how the PCs...just kinda bumble about on the ship for a while and then become integral players in the fight between the prisoners and the forces of Hell.

And hooboy are they weird and bad. Not, like, Brave New World bad, like "designed by d20 enthusiasts who made this system" bad. Such sights to behold include: All of these happen. I won't explain the context until they happen. So stay tuned, for if you want to stat out a chaotic evil sapling in D&D 3.0, you must first come up the stats for:

Unskippable Tutorials

posted by Hostile V Original SA post



Unskippable Tutorials

Howdy again. Astute readers will notice that the cover looks like it’s just the picture of the Panic Feeder blown up and used as a cover.

Yes. Yes it is.

“Seeds of Rage” is the introductory adventure to Abandon All Hope, serving as a bridge between Prison Life and scrambling to survive the Nether. This book is split into three chapters and this first part will cover the entirety of chapters one and two, both of which are almost all pre-Perdition. The gist of this introduction mission is that the Gehenna will pass into the Nether and the PCs (all of whom are members of Block D-5134) will escape Perdition to seek a supposed safe zone. Along the way they’ll get a taste of the overarching plot, learn about the leaders of some of the gangs and be railroaded rather heavily.

This mission also serves as excellent insight into the quality of writing and mission design to come and I will probably be giving it all of the respect it deserves. Also this block takes place in an all-male block and there’s really no alternative setting offered. If you’d like to run this with genders switched I guess you could, you would just have to change the names of characters. For the sake of this current review, I’ll leave all of the setting details as-is. If you’d like to pretend that it’s the members of G-Unit (sans Pincushion) running into all of the trouble the D-5134 PCs are handling, be my guest. I will in fact be using G-Unit as the stand-in PCs for the future books and I’ll just say they didn’t have to deal with anything that happens in Seeds of Rage and came out of their own tribulations A-OK. There’s just going to be some systems later down the line that’ll be Fun to see the premades I created interact with.

Play begins with the following paragraphs read aloud.

This is formatted weird because I copied it into paint and it’s formatted weird in the book due to a picture.

And then another paragraph read aloud.

To learn about the other occupants of D-5134, players have to make Social checks to find deeper info than what they superficially know.


7462187, “SLAG”

Slag is nearly 7 feet tall and in impeccable physical shape. He could be a soldier but he’s hot-headed and hates authority. Passing the check reveals that Slag is a particularly dim boxer, body-builder and bare-knuckle brawler from illegal pit fights back on Terra. He was sentenced to the Gehenna when he murdered his rival in the ring so he could win a competition (and was surprised when he got in trouble and sentenced for it). There’s also rumors that Slag wants to join the Ultramax Psychos. Slag will get his own stats later.

9486548, “RADIO”

Radio is a slim man who likes to stay on the good sides of the other prisoners. He’s the local go-to guy for information and entertainment. Passing the check reveals that Radio was involved in the Michigan Uprisings of 2649, an event where anti-PTM separatists got their hands on a nuclear bomb. Radio insists he’s innocent and< accusations of domestic terrorism aside, is a pretty genial guy who’s taken to life on the Gehenna. Radio’s got Joe Average stats.

9644518, “SUGAR DADDY”

Sugar is the local dealer of goods and services, possessing a knack for finding things like weapons or drugs if needed. He’s known to be dangerously smug when things are going his way and when he has control, but his prowess at being a salesman has kept him alive. Passing the check reveals that Sugar was arrested as a Vice Offender for sexual crimes. Some claim he was a serial rapist while others claim he was using date-rape drugs on people. Either way, these aren’t things that criminals are known to tolerate and it’s mostly his ability to scavenge that keeps him from getting killed. Sugar uses Fixer stats.

8180030, “JIMMY”

Jimmy’s sole defining feature is the scar on his face. Quiet and forgettable, he often blends into the background of the Gehenna and prisoners don’t really spare him a second thought. Jimmy is absolutely fine with this, actively cultivating an unassuming air. Passing the check reveals that Jimmy was a famous burglar who crossed the Family after a job by attempting to cheat them out of their share of the money. They scarred him and set him up for an arrest and in a way he feels like they let him off easy (mostly because they didn’t kill him). Jimmy uses Joe Average stats.

4685855, “SARGE”

Sarge is a tight-lipped ex-military type and the only reason people know of his service is because they’ve seen his Special Forces tattoo in the shower. Sarge barely speaks to anyone and can mostly be found hanging out in his cell. The other members of D-5134 don’t really like Sarge because he’s just actively and willfully quiet all the time. There is no further into to find out about Sarge except that he uses the stats of a Religious Crazy.

Take This Job And Shovel It

Each prisoner is lead out into miles-long stretch of fire damaged ship and given equipment. Everyone gets a breath mask, a pair of goggles, a wheeled collection bin and a salvage implement that is basically a space shovel if you’re going to use it as a weapon. Every third prisoner also gets a flashlight.

The game assumes that the motivation of smokes will be a sufficient reward to start doing some manual labor. Alternately there’s the Monitor and its weapons to provide a motivation.

Rules for the Scrapmaster Competition

The work day lasts for the next 8 hours and is broken down into 4 phases, each lasting 2 hours. Every phase, every player and the GM rolls a d12 and adds the character’s Prowess to the result to figure out how much scrap they’ve dug up.

Fun note: of G-Unit, Doc, Beth or Soapbox would be the likely winners of this competition, bringing in an average of 200 pounds depending on how their rolls go. Tama would bring up the rear but wouldn't be too much of a slouch, knowing how to scare up 150 pounds or so.

Each character in D-5134 has a shot of winning this…except for Slag, due to plot reasons. After the fourth roll, you add up all of the total scrap to see who has won the competition. There are two complications, however.

The first is that Sugar will try to cheat at some point along the line. He’ll try to steal from the container of the weakest looking inmate and it’s a contested Wits check to notice the theft. Fail to notice and he’ll take 1d4x10 pounds of scrap from you. Confront him and he’ll deny it, leading to the other prisoners to stop working and assume a fight is about to happen. The PC can force him to back off with words alone and he’ll drop it. If a fight does occur, it lasts 1d4 rounds until the Monitor intervenes. Otherwise the Monitor will intervene regardless because it’ll notice that the prisoners have stopped working and Sugar will drop the topic and go back to work.

The second problem is that near there’ll be an accident near the end of the competition.

The PC closest to Slag in the competition will be asked what their Reflexes were and then the final paragraph of that happens regardless of how fast they say they are. The other prisoners will move in to clean the rubble off of Slag and get him loose. This isn’t because they want to help him; they just don’t want to seem like he’ll have a reason to go after them for not helping him. The Monitor arrives after 1d4 turns and if Slag isn’t free by then the Custodian will dig him out. It’s a legitimate structural accident, but Slag will be convinced that the PC who was coming closest to beating him intentionally caused the fall. And Slag is in fact out of the competition because the rubble has broken his wrist. Radio and Jimmy will drag Slag off to the infirmary despite his protests and while he’s leaving he’ll shout threats at the “responsible” PC.

And on that note, the competition ends and someone gets a nice little bundle of smokes. Back into the tram and back to D-5134.


Block sweet block.

The players are returned to the block to take a breather before dinner. This is really just an opportunity to let them buy stuff from Sugar or roleplay or do whatever. While the exit door out to the corridor is locked, the cell doors remain unlocked and open if they’re on good behavior. This allows general fraternization.

Guide to D-5134

1 is Slag’s cell. He’s getting his wrist fixed so it’s empty for the moment. Slag lives a sloppy life; his cell is messy with trash and junk and empty smoke cartons. Because he’s a bully, he uses his smokes for their intended purposes, takes what he wants and then throws it in the corner of his cell. The only thing of note is a shiv hidden under his mattress.

2-4, 7 and 10 are empty cells or occupied by generic prisoners or the PCs. This doesn’t apply to 10, however, which needs to be empty due to plot reasons.

5 is the Radio Room, Radio’s cell. Every block has a steam pipe that runs through the wall. Years ago some of the prisoners figured out that if you were to pop the pipe open in a certain spot, you could hear what was happening on the floor above or below you. Since then the steam pipes have been used as a makeshift telephone and radio system where the occupant acts as a relater of information that comes in through the pipe or can be asked to send messages. Common topics are obituaries, illegal fights in the maintenance corridors one can bet on, gossip and gang news. If the PCs wish to talk to Radio, he can relay them some of the rumors written below.

6 is “The Candy Shop”, Sugar’s cell. Thanks to his connections, he’s managed to actually furnish his cell with a hand-made lamp, a lampshade knit by some female prisoners who owed him a favor and art to decorate his walls that were painted by some psych patients in therapeutic exercises. His cell is described as “a parlor” and this is where Sugar does his business. He currently has a riot baton, two syringes, three doses of Jump in a bottle, a fully charged hydrogen cell and a light rod for sale. Anything else can be ordered if necessary but will take some time to get to him. Wits checks can reveal where these items are hidden in his cell (fake floor panel, under his bed, in his shoes, etc) and a further Wits check reveals he’s got 250 smokes wrapped in a watertight plastic bag in his toilet tank.

8 is Jimmy’s cell. Jimmy doesn’t have much besides a collection of his favorite books, all of them about historical penal colonies. On his downtime, Jimmy likes to re-read these books for the millionth time and dream about the day that the Gehenna touches down on foreign soil, a day he can begin life anew as a simple colonist.

9 is Sarge’s cell. Sarge doesn’t have anything to his name really so he lives a sparse life. This is primarily because he doesn’t talk to anyone or make connections and has no means to get anything. Two things that can be found with Wits checks are a flashlight hidden in his bed frame and an incomplete zip gun that’s missing the Torsion component; Sarge has already invested the BP into making it.

11 is a small niche in the wall with a First Aid pack.

12 is the alarm station which needs Access 1 to activate. Activating the alarm will lock all of the cell doors, sound an audible alarm and trigger a Custodian response.

13 is the central annex. In retrospect there is no 13 on the map. Whoops! The central annex is just the hallway between the cells. In the day the prisoners can chill there and at night the Monitors stationed here will patrol and watch them.

14 is the showers. They’re in need of a good cleaning, having a light mildew and smell problem, but will fit everyone in the block. The shows only run at 0500 and 1800 for two reasons. First, water conservation. Second (and I shit you not) is so there's less background noise to possibly drown out the sound of prison rape. Like I get that this might be a legit tactic in real life but really? Anyway the only thing of note is that a bar of soap could count as a Rigid component to make a pair of brass knuckles.

15 is where the Monitors chill when they're not monitoring.

16 is the exit.

If there's not enough room for certain PCS, you can cut some of the premade NPCs out but the PCs shouldn't live in cell 1, 8 or 10, all for plot reasons.


After the chance to shower at 1800, the prisoners are marched down to the trams at 1830 for dinner. With a Wits check you can notice a Narc sneaking around the vents of D-5134 to tip the players off to the existence of the vents. They'll meet up with the occupants of D-5133 and D-5135 and get to dinner at 1840.

The players get a brief minute to chill out, wait in the food line and catch up on gossip or ask questions about the other groups. After a little while, this gets interrupted by a fight in the cafeteria.

Also these missions include three pictures of full-page art to illustrate key scenes. This is one of them! This is what this scene looks like in motion:


A Social check will let the players know that the two brutes with Slag are Psychos acting as backup. Slag wants a one-on-one fight with the PC he's singled out, knowing that if he successfully kills them, that'll be his ticket to joining the Psychos proper. Regardless of whether or not the PC wants to fight, Slag will attack. Important fight notes:

The fight ends in two ways. First, the PC might be able to put Slag down for the count. Second, the PC isn't doing too well. Either result ends with 1d2 Monitors coming into the scene now that Johnson and Blade's fight has been dealt with or a Trustee alerting the Monitors that the PC is in a fight. One way or another, Slag will be forced to concede defeat but will vow to finish what he started.

Also as a side note, Blade and Johnson end up becoming important characters. We'll see more of them later. This whole segment, in addition to being a combat primer, is also to seed future NPC use.

Once the fight is over and the prisoners are fed, everyone goes back to their block. Sugar will open up shop again, Radio will open his tube and take bets on a fight on G-level (not making this up I swear), Slag plots revenge and broods, Sarge discretely tinkers with his zip gun and Jimmy reads a book. At 2000 the cell block doors will open and four Monitors will escort a new prisoner into the block.

The convict is placed into cell 10 and says nothing to the others. If anyone is a Trustee, the Monitors will give the CIN of the new face and also explain that they should not be left unmonitored due to their crimes of multiple arson. A Social check will shed some light on the new face:

5516341, "FREAK"

Freak is 24 but looks way older than that. His hair is prematurely white, he's got an odd stare and his eyes are red-rimmed. Passing the check reveals that Freak was responsible for 20+ deaths from many arsons before he was arrested. His suspected pyromania lead to psychobaric treatment on the Gehenna and then isolation after he attempted to kill another inmate. Freak has been moved to D-5134 after his release from the psych units to keep him safe from his victim's friends.


At 2200 the lights go out and the cell doors lock.

Jimmy puts his books away, Sugar finishes counting his smokes and hides them, Radio seals up his tube and Slag broods in darkness. The only noise for a while is Sarge trying to be quiet as he tinkers with his zip gun. This can be detected with a Wits roll and if pressed Sarge will stop working and ignore questions.

20 minutes into bedtime, Freak has an episode and anyone adjacent to his cell can hear him start talking.

The Monitors will calm Freak down and silence will resume until 2315. 2315 is when the Gehenna starts to fly close to the anomaly. Everyone rolls a d6 to see if they wake up and one person should succeed (anyone with Sixth Sense automatically does); a 4+ means they wake up.

Despair check! The Monitors will be unresponsive to any questions about the turbulence or simply state that the prisoners should go back to sleep and remain calm. Any talk amongst prisoners will be met with the same response or with a tranquilizer. While this is going on, Freak will be rocking back and forth on his bed mumbling about how everyone is going to die. This lasts until he's sedated or calmed by a Monitor.

At 2330 the ship flies closer to the anomaly and everything starts responding accordingly.

If anyone looks at Slag, they'll see him staring at the cell of his nemesis with a smug smile on his face. If there are any Trustees, they'll be approached by a Monitor for an optional scene.

The Warden has pulled the Trustees out of their beds and wants them on alert in case of a panic. The Warden doesn't know what's going on, but it knows that the turbulence might cause panic and could lead to a ship-wide riot. The Trustees will join Trustees from D-5133 and D-5135 and be lead by the Monitors to an armory for equipment.

The loaded Trustees will be lead to a meeting point and told to wait. While waiting, more rumors arise.

This is not an error on my part, it really does have 4 listed twice.

After 10 minutes of waiting, the Trustees are disarmed and returned to their cells. The Warden has no idea how to handle the collision course with the anomaly and since there are no riots, there doesn't need to be Trustees on guard.


The alarm is deactivated but nobody can sleep, meaning that D-5134 is alive with chatter and questions about what's been going on. Slag and Sarge are the only ones not talking: Sarge is working on his gun and Slag is slowly going insane due to the events of the day and the oncoming Perdition. Radio is able to confirm that the other blocks are feeling it too and Freak's latent psychic ability is going haywire in his skull. This pressure is starting to make his Despair grow. In fact, anyone with Psychic Potential takes +1 Despair from being able to feel that something is wrong.

At midnight, the Gehenna passes into the anomaly proper and Perdition begins. Everyone makes a Reflex check at the turbulence and takes 1 damage if they fail. The Custodians and Warden have no idea what's going on and the Monitors go into standby and ignore the activities of the block at the moment.

Then everything breaks.

RIP Jimmy, he's colonizing the afterlife somewhere now. His death is relatively fast, but it's a horrible and painful thing to witness and forces a Despair check. With the Monitors gone and the pipes and walls buckling, anyone else in the block is at risk to be burned alive just like Jimmy. Perdition kicks into proper gear and everything starts getting worse.

And the following is shared to the relevant members of the party.

Chapter 2 ends with Perdition in full swing. NEXT TIME we shall see the events of Chapter 3. Will our valiant convicts burn to death in their cells like poor Jimmy?

No. Chapter 3 is called Escape.

Dying in the Tutorial

posted by Hostile V Original SA post



Dying in the Tutorial

Where we last left our intrepid convicts, they got literally like a hour and a half of sleep and then Perdition happened. They're trapped in their cells as fire immolates poor Jimmy and the damage done to the ship starts to cause more and more things to fail.

Just as a side note: I sorta hate that this all takes place in the same day? Like. Our player characters spent 8 hours moving rubble and doing hard labor. They got in a fight. They only got a hour and a half of sleep and it wasn't even good sleep. I wrote all that and it made me tired. If doomsday comes and I did 8 hours of manual labor and only got a hour of sleep, I would just go back to bed and await death under the covers. Anyway, doom and gloom and death in prison. Then Freak hits Despair 10 and his psychic powers manifest even though they really should've just done that at Despair 8.

So now the PCs are free! Here's what everyone does: It's in your best interest to convince Sugar, Radio, Sarge and Nameless NPCs to follow you. All you have to do is make a Social check for each character. The main reason you want to do this is because of safety in numbers. The other reason is that if you don't bring them with you, they'll stick around and get eaten by a horde of Devourers that are shambling their way up the tram tunnel and will arrive in 2 hours.

Let's take a look at the map!

Confusing, isn't it? Progress involves 14 (the showers) and going to 26 to go further out into the prison. You will only know that the showers now open into the maintenance tunnels if you look at them or saw Slag run into them. You actually kind of don't want to just run into the tunnels because you'll be under-armed but let's go over the legend.

You're supposed to roll on this randomly whenever the PCs just stand around and do nothing or take too long to figure out something to do.

1-16 is everything I shared last time for D-5134 and the only change is that everything is on fire and breaking and the front door is open.

The corridor is empty and dark but fortunately Sugar has light rods in his possession.

18 is a ventilation duct and can also be used to enter the maintenance tunnels.

19 is a first aid station for cell block D-5133. Wits check to notice sounds coming from 20.

Despair check! The scavenging Trustees will threaten the PCs and try to get them to shove off but they can be socialized with. Bryce, the leader of the squad, will explain that they came from the D-4000 blocks...and they somehow managed to get here in, like, less than a half hour? On foot? They were assembled after the alarm went off and saw the fire doors begin to close and decided to flee for the maglev tunnels rather than be trapped in the 4000s. They have no idea what happened to the prisoners of D-5133; they're just looking for supplies because they're moving to the south. You can push further with Intimidation or Social and Bryce will admit he heard a voice telling him to go south. If you criticize this plan or question the fact that he's listening to voices, Bryce will flip out and try to kill the PCs to try and cement control over his men and his plans.

This is actually a good thing, hilariously enough. If Bryce and his Trustees go down the maglev tunnel, they'll run into the Devourer horde that's headed in the direction of the PCs and all die. If the scavengers all die to the horde, the PCs will later learn about this and gain +1 Guilt for not trying to stop them. If they push Bryce into attacking (or, hell, just murder Bryce) there is no Guilt gain and the Trustees...I mean I don't know what they would do. They kinda get forgotten because it's not explicitly said that they'll, like, fight back. Maybe they join you because you established dominance by killing their leader? Who the fuck knows.

21 is the passage north that runs along the maglev tunnel. It's cut off 500 feet in due to a structural collapse. This passage also runs south but 300 yards down the tunnel is the horde of Devourers.

Fortunately there's only 1 Devourer and there are, like, 6 or 7 PCs and NPCs banded together. They're more than a match for a single Devourer. The downside is the Despair gain which means everyone is around, like, 5-6 Despair after this fight. Searching the corpse pile reveals two things: 2d20 smokes and Freak's corpse. Freak's Despair gauge overflowing caused a manifestation while he hooked up with a bunch of prisoners trying to get into the armory and their combined Despair caused the Devourer to kill them. Which, I mean, sure, but also shouldn't there be more Demons? Not complaining!

The armory is sealed. You either need Access 1 or to hack it open. The armory is then further divided into Control 1 and Control 2 where the Control 2 items need Access 2 or harder hacking to get at them. The lock to the armory and the Control 2 items can be attempted to be hacked 3 times before they lock.

D-5135 is on fire and has had a series of steam pipe explosions like what happened in 5134. Half of the block is collapsed and the maintenance access in the shower has opened like 5134. Make a Despair check upon entering the block because nearly everyone inside is dead, burned alive and littering the floors and cells. Making noise alerts the prisoner stuck in Area 25 who will call out for help.

Convict 6343631, "Felix", is trapped in his cell. A Social check reveals that Felix was convicted as a Vice Offender for child molestation and murder. He'll beg the PCs to help get him out of his cell and the door requires a combined Prowess of 15 to get it off its hinges. Leaving Felix is completely viable, but it does mean you gain +1 Guilt for willingly leaving a man to burn alive. If freed, Felix will join the party and uses Chester stats. He won't fight, he'll mostly just hang out in the back away from danger, but he also will just chill peacefully with the party until they reach safety.

26 are the maintenance tunnels. They're dark and cramped but there's no danger here.

Time for the bigger maps!

These are confusing but the ideal route to complete the module is 27, 29, 31, 34, 35, 39, 44, 45. The ideal plot route is 27, 29, 31, 34, 39, 40-45.

There are plenty of monitors here for the PCs to view.

The last image gives everyone -1 Despair due to the hopeful nature of prisoners banding together to protect one another. If the PCs don't figure out what their goal of this module is (and they probably won't) a NPC should say "oh wow we should go team up with the Giants".

Why is this here when 29 is, like, visibly the next thing up? Anyway. You don't want to go this way. Attempting to cross the gap period requires a Despair check where failure means +1 Despair. Crossing is a Prowess check. Failure means a Reflexes check to grab yourself and climb back to the beginning. Failure means you die, that's it. Even if you cross, there's a chance of catching fire from the sparks. On a 1d6, 1-3 is safety, 4-5 is -1 health from getting singed and you catch fire on a 6 and have to roll to put yourself out. I love this. This is cool and smart and good game design.

#4913654 is meek and apologetic when approached and says that he was injured and the three convicts he was with abandoned him. A Social check, or having Felix in the party because he recognizes him, will reveal that 4913654 is known as "Nibble" because he was a Terran desk clerk who allegedly killed and ate a child. If pressed on this claim, Nibble will vehemently deny it and then try to run away. If nobody broaches the subject, Nibble will join the crew...and then wait until he's alone with a single NPC/PC because then he'll try to kill them, drag them off and eat them.

This is where Nibble hid all of the corpses of the people he's killed and has been snacking on. If he's in the party, Nibble will desperately attempt to stop the squad from poking their noses around in there. There's nothing else to this area.

Roughly 100 prisoners had previously stampeded down the corridor, trying to go north and then trying to go south. There are no dangers here.

Anything marked 32 is an abandoned cell block which will generally just have corpses, structural damage and possible fires. The only reason to bother with the cell blocks is to try searching them.

33 is where the tram connects with this corridor, but before Perdition the Warden sent a trio of Enforcers down to the hall to block it off in case of prisoner riot. The stampeding mob of prisoners fleeing the north attempted to overrun the prisoners but they were all exploded by the Enforcers' sonic beamers having a power spike from subduing the mob, mistaking them for a riot. Attempting to fight the Enforcers is certain death, so as a result they won't leave their postings to chase the PCs...unless they're holding onto something beyond their Access. Then the only way to make them stop attempting to subdue them is to give up the "contraband" and lose it for good.

These barricades were either overrun or abandoned. Because the area is calm, the party can just get past them no problem.

Despair check! The cell blocks attached to the cafeteria attempted to hold it against the Demons but all died in the attempt. Searching the bodies and the area will reveal 1d4 shivs, a handful of improvised weapons and a mace canister with a few sprays left.

The roar is an indicator that the party shouldn't attempt to go any further. Because if they do...

What happened here was that C Wing had a decompression blowout and the security doors shut to protect the rest of the ship. When the prisoner stampede attempted to try to bypass the doors, a few of the prisoners hit Despair 10 and caused a Panic Feeder to be spawned behind them. The mob then attempted to flee south, where they were all exploded by sonic beamers. The party cannot fight/beat a Panic Feeder and the game says that the monster should be distracted with snacking on corpses over paying attention to them. If they do draw its attention, the party should then be allowed to get the fuck out and the Panic Feeder won't follow them.

The Monitor is permanently malfunctioning due to attempting to break the Death Slither's grip on its head. When the PCs get close enough, the Death Slither will attack the party while the Monitor will keep ramming into the wall. Fortunately this big ol' party should have plenty of hands to deal with one Death Slither.

The convicts all have Joe Average stats. There are two women and four guys and one of the men is badly injured. They'll talk to the PCs but they'll speak warily, explaining that they came from a D block that had a decompression they just managed to escape. They've already explored the area and are moving on to somewhere else. Giving them medical attention will get the crew to open up a bit more about what they know:

The rec complex was meant for the more well-behaved prisoners of D block. It’s empty and the majority of fixtures are untouched. Players can make improvised weapons out of anything they scrounge up, plus you can also obtain 1d100 smokes from scrounging.

The Nexper Sext manifested in this area and caused a smaller panic in the rec center as everyone fled towards Area 43, the security room for the recreation complex. Unfortunately someone locked the door to the security room and everyone was killed by the NS. This is going to be a super tricky fight. On the one hand, the team is ideally around 6-7+ people, meaning the prisoners dominate the action economy. On the other hand, the NS can’t be ganged up on, is capable of some nasty damage with its paralysis Fuck You combos and regular attacks and attacking it in melee runs the risk of getting hit with its acid. This is a doable fight, but a definite spike in difficulty and anyone who gets hurt in this fight is probably going to carry some heavy wounds into the end of the module.

Despair check! This, specifically, is where all of the prisoners died at the tentacles of the NS. The door here will remain shut until the NS is dead, opening into area 43.

Social check!

#3586661, “Dr. Needles”

On the outside, Needles was a genius surgeon who developed a mean streak of anhedonia and clinical detachment from his work and from people around him despite the fact that he doesn’t have any Traits that reflect this. That’s when he started killing his patients for pleasure, and his patients tended to be the wives of rich and powerful PTM politicians and celebrities. He’s been on antipsychotics since he got a cell in the Gehenna and that, mixed with good behavior, has gotten him Trustee status despite the fact that he doesn’t actually have the Trustee trait.

Yeah in case you have noticed, Dr. Needles reeks of Important Plot Character and this is where it begins.

Needles was able to keep a cool head during Perdition because of the fact that he was on his medication. He was laying low with a bunch of other prisoners in the weight room when he saw that their agitation and fear caused a manifestation of Devourers and the NS, and then ended up running into the security room to lock the others out. He’s aware that he’s responsible for the death of a whole mess of people but hey as long as he’s alive that’s all that matters. He’s been doing amateur study of the Demons and of the current events of the prison, keeping tabs with the console and cameras. And he’s willing to discuss this info with the PCs if asked. The discussion is supposed to be generally strange; he’s a remorseless serial killer who is genially sharing information with them and nobody’s quite sure if anyone’s going to attack anyone. But as long as the PCs keep a cool head, they get some info:

If the PCs are willing to go with him to where the Giants are forming a safe zone, he’ll gladly tag along and heal the party. The problem is that Needles can’t really leave so easily due to the Soul Shadow in the room.

Yeah so while letting a slew of prisoners die kept him safe, it also manifested a Soul Shadow who has been lurking in the shadows. The two have basically been locked in a sort of stalemate; the Shadow is fascinated by the fact that Needles seems remorseless and Needles is fascinated with the Shadow’s…Demon-ness and how it works. Problem is, it’s not a “peace” that will last forever. Needles has secretly dosed himself with Cardiolax to remain calm in its presence and eventually the Soul Shadow will get bored of being locked in a room with him and kill him. Even with a 7+ party, fighting a Soul Shadow is going to be a problem. There’s a real risk of someone’s Despair gauge popping based on the pacing of everything so far and then there’s the fact that its bites do 1d10 damage. Tongue lash+bite=super huge chance of death and more Guilt/Despair accumulation. This is absolutely the wrong type of Demon for the players to encounter if a fucking Panic Feeder is too much. As a palate cleanser, here is what this scene looks like put to art:

Assuming that some of the PCs live and the Soul Shadow is killed, Needles will also share his stash of medical supplies: 2 first aid packs, a syringe and 3 doses of Cardiolax.

Welcome to the entry of D-block’s Ultramax where the Psychos run the show. If the PCs didn’t warn the prisoners from 39 about the turrets being pointed the wrong way, they’ll be dead on the floor and cause a gain of +1 Guilt. The turrets only fire if the PCs try to go beyond 10 feet into the room. Can the PCs destroy the turrets? Not likely with the gear they probably have. Can the PCs dodge the turrets and get to the other side? Maybe, but even if they do, the door to the escape is sealed…and the controls are inside of Ultramax. Testing the turrets or deciding to turn back and find another way trigger a cutscene.

The second voice belongs to Blade, the leader of the Psychos and the guy who was brawling with Johnson in the cafeteria. Blade really doesn’t care about the PCs one way or another; he just wants to see if Slag is worthy of joining the Psychos. If the PCs agree to this deathmatch rematch, the door to 45 (Ultramax proper) will open up, the turrets will deactivate and the PCs will be allowed in.

If they say no? Uhhhhh. Well. Blade cuts off the conversation and leaves the turrets online. The PCs either have to destroy the turrets, break open the doors to Ultramax, go on a rampage through the Psychos and find the door controls…or the GM just has to plot by the seat of their ass. I would say “railroad mercilessly” but the first option of all of that is merciless railroading that will probably end in the death of the entire party.

Not like 45 is any better.

Whoa! I wonder what this looks like if it was illustrated.

Oh. Welp.

Slag Round 2: Hell Around Cells

Slag orders the four other Psychos (Thug stats) to attack everyone who isn't his chosen foe. There should, hopefully, still be enough people in the party for it to be a relatively even fight in term of the odds and getting ganged up on. Slag's stats haven't changed, the only thing that's different about this fight is that Slag has a zip gun in addition to his fists and shiv. He's planning on using it to coup de grace his opponent.

There' s nothing fancy or complicated to fighting the Thugs, they'll just go down. The problem is Slag. For starters, he can still fight until -8 HP or for 8 rounds after hitting 0. The other problem is that his slide into insanity and his expressions of rage means that Slag has manifested a Demon a while ago. So here's what happens when Slag hits -8 or collapses: Yeah. So the party is most likely bloodied or at the very least just beat up on a bit and hurting. This is the hardest fight in the module even though it's just one Demon against the party. Fighting the Soul Shadow was hard because it was capable of doing heavy single target damage. Fighting the Violator is pretty much going to be a TPK; it has ranged attacks, it can turn the party members against each other with its venomous bites and its melee attacks can be done from two squares away. Plus there's the Despair and Insanity gain from fighting this stupid thing, plus fighting it in melee means your weapons will probably be destroyed. The book even says that this is "difficult but not impossible" and that if the PCs are losing, the NPCs should be willing to provide a distraction and take a hit to allow the PCs to continue beating on the Violator. I mean I was under the impression that the NPCs were helping fight regardless but whatever, just friggin' try to cover your ass.

If/when Violator Slag goes down, there's a hush amongst the Psychos out of respect for the party's fighting prowess. Blade says "I guess he was found....wanting." and the PCs are allowed to leave through the exit and head towards the Giants.


Everyone gets their Despair reduced by 1d6 and everyone gets 200 BP to spend. There are also suggested BP rewards for playing close to your character's personal goals which can be up to an additional 200 BP. actually surprisingly nice and fair for character progression. 200 BP is generally enough for one stat improvement or at least a good amount towards another Trait you'd want and playing fairly close to your goal should net you around 300 BP total. Like, yes, your character has to survive to get this far, but it's surprisingly generous and good for ensuring that your character does in fact get better. So I guess have a little bit of light praise for this choice despite failing in so many other ways.

"Also if you don't want to run this scenario for the characters to be their intro, run something else and set it elsewhere on the ship". Delightful.


Alright, so. As far as plotting's okay. Like it's pretty much exactly what you'd expect for this game which is generally predicated on, like, the apocalypse happening to a bunch of prisoners. However it's abundantly imbalanced, railroading like whoa and is substantially likely to end with the mass death of the entire party, especially if people decide to go poke the Panic Feeder. If I had to compare this to food, I guess it's just like a bag full of dollar meal foods from McDonalds that are cold and you didn't even buy them from the good McDonalds. Like yeah you can eat it and yeah you can digest it, but it's a lot of sodium and a lot of meh and leads to just a weird and totally avoidable stomach feeling and also maybe death. Just fucking come up with something else like the book recommends.

Oh and also this is just weirdly plotted to have all of the Dr. Needles stuff happen like far off from the place to go. Like maybe if you had to pass through the rec center and shit it would work but otherwise there's no real reason for the PCs to ever go northeast up to that area. I mean, I know the real reason is "you're not allowed to show them much of the map", but. It's still dumb.

NEXT TIME: the PCs have managed to catch the trail of the Giants in the next module. Can Sanctuary stand strong against the hordes of Demons and prisoners and prove they have THE RIGHT TO LIVE? Yes. Yes they can.

The Right To Live

posted by Hostile V Original SA post


Ah yes, The Right To Live. The module where the players tackle the greatest Demon of them all: the topic of abortion. Wait hold on I think I'm reading from a Chris Fields book. My bad. The Right To Live in question in this scenario is the right to not be murdered by a horde of angry Demons. Let me just share this little section real quick, verbatim:

Ha ha yeah. Characters who identify as women? Why the hell would you play as those? They're segregated from the men! Anyway, to joke a little bit less, we're going to pretend that this is all going to be experienced by the convicts of G-Unit because they couldn't technically do Seeds of Rage due to the fact that most of them are women.

Soapbox, Doc, Tama, Beth and Pincushion, respectively.

Their character profiles have been updated accordingly. SOAPBOX can now heal the team of Despair and has Max Social. DOC can now take advantage of bad wording in Doc (this has no limitations to how many times it can be used a day!) and has gotten more nimble in a fight. TAMA is still pretty bad at fighting but she's now able to make more things and get more components. BETHAMPHETAMINE has been dramatically improved by the acquisition of armor, Brute, the ability to always go first in combat and Knife-Fighter. She's still going to struggle against Demons but that's okay, this module focuses on convict combat more. And our buddy PINCUSHION has unlocked his Real Ultimate Power and continues to be useless at everything else so he's better able to run away from danger. The equipment of the team is generally going to be fudged because it's silly to be particular about it; I just went off what would be reasonable to be found during Seeds and handed stuff out.

So what was their experience like? Good question.

Yup, I sure did both of these things.

And for all intents and purposes they basically went through the second scenario; they found Pincushion and Doc recognized him and couldn't really bear to live him to die. Also:

G-Unit just kind of met up with Needles and Sugar and Felix and everyone who was involved in Seeds of Rage. The PCs of Seeds of Rage ended up dying to the Violator that exploded from Slag's chest which was a technical victory for the challengers so the Psychos let the rest of the party past.

Anyway, enough introduction. Have some more introduction!


Three convicts are fighting a female convict by the light of a light rod. The prisoners are all escapees from the cell blocks who saw a woman who was alone and decided "well we outnumber her and we're rapists I guess". The woman, in turn, is from the Daughters of Slaughter and is what's called a Silent Sister, vicious melee fighters who get doped up on drugs and brawl and totally aren't Witch Elves from Hamwar. If the PCs get involved and try to help her (because they likely will see her and not realize she's a DOS), she'll attack them as well. So basically the PCs should just hang back and let the fight happen because the Silent Sister is more than a match for her attackers. She takes two punches and then kills them handily with acrobatics and brutal flippy kicks.

The only purpose of this fight is to show off that the DOS will be involved and that oh no they're super dangerous and capable!!!!! Trying to follow her just gets you turned around and then all you have to do is just continue on the path you've been following. Well, better just continue along with no hassle-

The convicts won't attack if you approach and try to talk to them. They'll attempt to try to interrogate you but can be pretty easily persuaded to explain that they're trying to fix two turrets and that they're working on defenses for Sanctuary, the stronghold in question. The two turrets are the best defenses (and only) for this tunnel and someone with Jury-Rig, Improvisation or Educated can notice the control computer is damaged (requiring Basic Tools and 2 Conductor Components to fix it). The characters can find out some gossip from the convicts if they talk them into leading them back to Sanctuary which isn't hard; they're pretty welcoming and looking for more hands.



The Magic of Off-Screen Construction and Incredibly Nebulous Time Spans

Wow! What does this look like in execution?


Okay so let me level with you real quick: despite all of the painstaking attempts to illustrate Sanctuary, I have, like, no mental image of this place. Check the maps below.

“Three cell blocks connected by a bunch of tunnels but somehow they have figured out how to connect the floors together and also collapse the plastisteel walls” doesn’t really ring as a medieval village to me. The closest thing I can imagine is a Fallout-style Vault that’s had some collapses recently. Anyway when the PCs show up here, they’ve got free reign to dick around and explore as long as they don’t make a nuisance of themselves. Needles will look around and be like “hey this place is cool” and decide to stay.

Key to Sanctuary

The Armory is a decent little stockpile but pretty lacking for the 50 some-odd occupants.

The Casino is run by #4419121 (aka Texas Bob), an inmate who used to live in this block and was going to just ride-out Perdition (as best as one can) when Johnson and the Giants showed up. The purpose of the casino is to provide a place for the locals to cool their heels and play games of pinball, darts and pools using games taken from a nearby rec center. There are always going to be a handful of Giants relaxing her and occasionally playing cards.

Texas Bob was originally from the Midwest and was arrested for, I shit you not, cable theft for his RV. A 7-year Texas BBQ Cook-Off champ, Bob runs the casino and is also the main cook. He managed to find a handful of rats and has been letting the little rascals breed as a source of meat for his cooking, able to put his BBQ skills to use making Texas-style BBQ rat. This meat is actually the major source of the casino’s relaxing atmosphere because I mean yeah it’s rat, but it’s also professionally prepared rat and also the first hot meat meal prisoners have eaten in ages. Bob is joined by Ricky, an older man from Cuba who was a professional croupier for the Family and got arrested as part of that whole roundup. Ricky is an easy-going guy who doesn’t mind the crude nature of his cards and tools because it reminds him of growing up on Havana streets. Rounding out the casino is Vicki, an ex-socialite and dilettante who the book is very eager to point out has aged badly and the customers insult her over her looks. Vicki’s former life of partying constantly has left her with bartending skills and knowledge of how to make drugs if she has the supplies. Not included in this book at all is a character named Mickey whose name also rhymes and his main job is being so fine it blows your mind.

City Hall is where Johnson hangs out most of the time. This was previously a chamber used to hold maintenance items; the Giants have put chairs and a table in here to turn it into a proper office. The main reason City Hall is here is because it’s pretty out of the way and ensures privacy for meetings.

Anything marked C is a claimed cell meaning that there’s 1d3 prisoners living in each cell. The people here can be hired for unofficial services like in the book but also there is a risk of running into a pickpocket.

Dan and Nan are a brother and sister petty crime duo arrested for a handful of minor offenses. Nowadays they live next to each other in Sanctuary in cells decorated with lace curtains, cheap incense and jasmine perfume because they’re both the local prostitutes. I’m just gonna put this part in here unedited real quick: “Nan is a reasonably pretty strawberry blonde, while Dan is only slightly less feminine. The pair makes their living as the resident “prostitutes” of Sanctuary; Nan is the genuine article, while Dan is a loud-dressing transvestite who only finds customers in either the really drunk – or those who aren’t necessarily “picky”.” Absolutely delightful and tasteful. It’s 50 smokes to have sex with either of them but Dan can be negotiated with and also if you want to rob them everything is kept under Dan’s bed in a box: 890 smokes, a syringe, a dose of Frenzy and a pocket shocker missing a battery. They have no purpose unless your PCs want to fuck or just ask them for intel because they’re reasonably tuned into the gossip.

E stands for elevator, platforms that can hold up to 4 people but require one of them to focus on operating the machine.

The Front Gate was built by excavating the maglev platform and making a ditch. You can’t jump across but it’s only 10 feet deep. The gate itself is made out of some steel rigged up to raise and lower at the command of the two guards who are always out front watching for pedestrians.

The Guard Post is always staffed by a Giant with a scattergun loaded with rubber slugs, close enough to the Armory to hear any trespassing or shenanigans. If he needs to, the guard can raise the alarm by blowing on a Trustee whistle to summon 1d6 more guards in 2-8 rounds.

The Infirmary was formerly a high-security isolation block, like an Ultramax-lite for the purpose of keeping prisoners out of the general population without needing to be explosively decompressed if necessary. Now it’s just a quiet place where the Giants keep the wounded out of the way. Needles will gravitate towards the infirmary to help the wounded and become a necessary part of the structure of Sanctuary. The infirmary is kind of woefully underequipped with just 7 first aid packs, 3 syringes, 11 doses of Tranq and 2 doses of Cardiolax at the beginning of the campaign. The PCs can contribute from their own supplies if necessary.

J stands for Johnson, meaning this is where he lives. He’s got a lot of nice personal belongings, like a real old-fashioned shaving kit, extra sunglasses, shoes on a shoe tree and 500 smokes.

The Kitchen is where Bob sells his rat cooking and where one can buy pruno (made out of cleaning chemicals and fermented nutri-sludge, has no in-game effect but costs 10 smokes to get drunk).

The Morgue used to be part of the ventilation system but is now holding corpses until the residents can figure out what to do with them.

The Old Man is an older prisoner who mostly keeps to himself and sells basic services (shoeshine, haircut, laundry services, tailoring services). Nobody really knows who he is or how he got onboard The Gehenna and he’s also not opening up about it.

O stands for Outbuilding which is just a guard post or storage space that has nothing interesting.

P stands for Pillbox, made of scrap metal and are really kind of purposeless due to the fact that guns are rare. You’re immune to melee in a pillbox and it’s -4 to an attack against the defender in the pillbox.

The Rat Cave is where Bob lets the little buddies breed. There’s a scrap metal gate that stops the rats from escaping but let’s be honest, they’re probably escaping anyway. As far as ideas go, this is kind of decent except for the rats becoming horrifically inbred within a few years due to, like, rats being pretty uncommon on the Gehenna. The main reason you would ever bother to enter the Rat Cave is because this used to be part of a cell block that collapsed and there’s a hidden stash in here that Bob isn’t aware of. Hidden behind some debris in a wall is a shitload of cocaine (2000 smokes worth) and a fully-loaded slug pistol wrapped up in airtight black bags.

The Rear Exit is locked at all times and leads to the maglev tunnels. This was the main reason Johnson picked this area to be Sanctuary; easy to defend, easy to escape.

The Sally Port is a secondary escape route watched over by one Giant ordered to keep it shut.

Three cells converted into a Smithy are used to work metal crudely for Sanctuary. The smoke is shunted out through the vents which are defended with reinforced grates. The smith of the Smithy is #2557812 aka “Ringo”, a tattoo artist/piercer/piercing fetishist from Vegas who was involved in the drug trade. Fortunately his focus on making his own piercings have taught him how to work hot metal, and he can do minor jobs for the PCs but can’t get too invested their bigger projects. He can be persuaded to part with two items from the following stockpiles: Basic Tools, 1 Conductor, 1 Precision, 15 Rigid.

The Tank is what passes for a brig/prison. There are a bunch of crudely made niches where people who misbehave are placed and left in darkness while two Giants guard outside.

The Pit is two floors of Fallout 3 DLC a poorly fashioned "sports coliseum" where two people having a dispute are brought so they can fight it out. It's also used to just generally punch each other and blow off steam. The Pit is so named because the ring has a grated floor over an empty shaft and there's an empty shaft that stretched up further before a collapse sealed it off. Nobody knows what the original purpose is, so naturally it was turned into a non-lethal bloodsport arena.

T is for Tower, two-story towers that monitor the tunnels and have a 50% chance of being occupied at any time. The top is accessed by retractable ladder or rope.

The Trader is Johnson's cousin #7511091, a black man named...[sighs] "Jelly Dawg" who I will henceforth call JD. People who scavenge are mandated to bring things to JD who will assess the item, repair it and find a place for it. Anything that isn't needed goes up for sale. JD is a canny man; he's not doing this for profit, he's doing this for Sanctuary and as a result he'd much prefer barter than smokes (though he'll accept smokes). People keen to barter are more likely to get a crack at trading for items in his wider stores. His average wares for sale are below:

U is for Unmarked Cell, a place to claim for your own and hang your head. The doors lock from the inside thanks to crude locks and tend to not have much more than beds and mattresses.

The Warrens are where people who aren't allowed in Sanctuary live. They're a "village" of niches and scrap huts and caves. The rejects aren't banned for, like, moral reasons but health and hygiene reasons: seven inmates have lice, one has tuberculosis, three have STDs that will kill them and two are mutants. They're still safer than if they weren't anywhere near Sanctuary but it's really just an unfortunate affair that puts them on edge. All of the occupants of the Warrens have Joe Average stats. The rejects probably won't appreciate the PCs approaching them, but offering them medicine, items or smokes can be repaid with 1d4+1 rolls on the Random Item table.

Fuck you here's a 1d12 Random Inhabitant of Sanctuary Table!

Two of these NPCs are directly linked to future modules. I won't say who.

After a day of being in Sanctuary or as soon as the PCs are done looking around, the PCs are brought before Johnson who proceeds to monologue wildly at them.

Yeah this is Johnson, the man who is responsible for this grand vision, protector of the tortured and abused. Even if he's a black man with positive features and goals, this is how he talks and his name ultimately is kind of ridiculous (or at least the focus of ridiculous jokes). Anyway, if the PCs agree to help, Johnson will ask for names and what skills they can contribute, which would roughly be: Needles will say "sup I am a doctor" and Johnson and Bradley will immediately hire him and give him free reign of the infirmary. Over the next day or so, Johnson will pick the PCs' brains for suggestions about how to improve Sanctuary. There are a handful of improvements that require the PC to have the Trait necessary to suggest and implement it. Soapbox and Pincushion don't have much to offer for now, but Soapbox eventually will. Each improvement takes 1d2 days of uninterrupted focus of the PC in question and to pass a related Attribute check (along with some light role-play). Doing these tasks has two effects: extra BP and also the GM should incorporate minor effects caused by the PCs improving Sanctuary. So in about 4 days max, G-Unit should be able to make Sanctuary a better, safer place with enough effort and focus. 4/5 isn't perfect, but it's still pretty damn good.

And that's really all Johnson and Bradley will need of the PCs for now, mostly just using them as advisors and guides. But NEXT TIME (Chapter 2) they'll need the PCs for a more important mission and send them off into a quest into the tunnels around Sanctuary.

Trying to Find the Railroad Platform

posted by Hostile V Original SA post



Trying to Find the Railroad Platform

When the PCs have gotten used to Sanctuary and gotten their hooks into repairing the infrastructure, Johnson will call on them for an important mission. Bradley will offer them cigars and brandy as Johnson lays out the gist of their next job: scouting the sector around Sanctuary. He wants the hazards and dangers mapped out around the town and is willing to equip the PCs with supplies for this job. There are two big bullet points he wants addressed as well. First, find out where the Daughters of Slaughter are holed up because they're the biggest threat to Sanctuary. Second, find out who has been ambushing and killing refugees that were trying to come from the west because hey, more people. They have three days to complete the mapping before Johnson will write them off as dead or AWOL.

Equipment is provided by JD: two hand torches with a full battery each, two light rods, six ration packs per PC, two first aid kids. Not too shabby. The map below is basically the entirety of the chapter and there are 11 big locations in mind for the PCs to find. If the GM wants to throw other stuff into the mix, sure whatever, just make sure these 11 are in there. The mission is complete when the PCs figure out where the DOS are and who has been killing the refugees (surprisingly, they're not connected!).

#2 is Sanctuary just for reference.

1 is the turrets the PCs passed on the way in where a handful of Giants are attempting to fix them up. If the PCs have the proper materials (basic tools and two conductors), the targeting computer is repaired and the turrets come back online to defend the southern entrance. Tama successfully completes the repair and the Giants head back to home base, knowing that the activation of the turrets will alert them to trespassers and function as a warning system.

Wits check with a +2 penalty! Fail and this area is just a dead end. Succeed and you hear weak tapping from behind a pile of rubble. It takes 4 hours and a combined Prowess of 30 (which fortunately G-Unit meets with flying colors) to clear the debris and find a collapsed cell block. The prisoners have been trapped inside in darkness for an indeterminate amount of time, the oxygen slowly running out and leaving them slowly suffocating. Fortunately, G-Unit's efforts have returned the air and all ten prisoners have survived. They're under the impression that what happened was a meteor strike because despite them all being trapped in a cave-in nobody had a panic attack and summoned a Demon I guess. So it's tricky to persuade them about what happened, but regardless of if you do or not the survivors can be recruited to Sanctuary or escorted back. Leaving the survivors here after freeing them causes a Guilt check because you're probably leaving these folks to a gruesome fate.

The cryo facilities were pretty rare in The Gehenna, nominally used for prisoner overflow by taking a shitload of people and keeping them in frozen bottles in the dark. Someone with the Education Trait can figure that out. What isn't known to anyone outside of the PTM is that about half of the cryo vaults were actually long-term storage of people who could become the leaders of the penal colony if The Gehenna ever successfully found a place to dock. The PCs would not be from one of those blocks if their introduction was just "woke up frozen". Anyway, this block has no power anymore due to the Warden computer having to randomly reroute power to different parts of the ship to deal with the Demons (in whatever means it's trying to do that). This means that all of the life support is offline so the majority of the people on ice are just plain dead. All except for one who can be saved with a Hacking roll with a +2 penalty: #9999821.

Fournines (fuck typing that whole CIN out) doesn't have a nickname so guess what it's Fournines now. He's an amnesiac thanks to being a popsicle, but in reality Fournines is a PTM administrator who wanted to prove himself for the government and accepted being a part of the penal government with the hopes of becoming a member of the ruling elite. He is completely unprepared for what has happened to the ship but as time goes on, he'll remember more of who he really is and become more of a selfish bastard. Once he fully regains his memories, he'll attempt to abandon the party because he remembers a top-secret vault deep within The Gehenna that he has the codes to, a meeting place where the governors were supposed to get to when they woke up. He's supposed to be a "wild card" and yet there is literally no advice or structure for what to do with him outside of him having a scared and passive mode and an active and dickish mode. Save him if you want the extra people for Sanctuary, pass otherwise. G-Unit does end up freeing him, mostly because of the challenge of hacking a cryo tube and the ability to brag that they did it.

8113745, "Shel", was originally the daughter of an interplanetary mining industrialist. Then she got kidnapped and became Patty Hearst and daddy decided to disown her when she joined her paramilitary captors in violent destruction of her dad's property, robbery and terrorism. She's been holed up with four prisoners in the tunnels around Sanctuary trying to get by, treating them like they're her lackeys and acting as bait. She cries, someone answers, the four prisoners kill them and rob them to survive.

Shel will immediately don her breath mask if she can go first and the goons will break out mace cans to subdue and kill the party. If she's injured, she'll flee. If two of the attackers go down, the rest will flee and Shel will curse the PCs for making her lose her gang (and then she'll end up joining the DOS). Either way, this fight is required to end the chapter because Shel's crew is responsible for attacking people on the way to Sanctuary. G-Unit is triumphant in battle (because good lord 3/5ths of the party is just so much better at attacking than the thugs) and that's one item crossed off the Quest HUD.

If the PCs manage to capture any of the attackers, they can be intimidated into revealing the knowledge of their secret stash in...

The door isn't locked but it is booby trapped. Opening the door without inspecting it (or if the fighter you captured is feeling uncooperative and didn't warn you) will set off a Cell Block Special that has been rigged to use the door as a trigger. In a side room (protected from the explosion) is the goodie pile accumulated from robbing people:

Not a bad haul. There's also the possibility of a good haul from rolling well on that d99 random item monstrosity.

Whoops a sewage flood. This river of shit and trash is literally impassible; attempting to cross the river immediately sweeps the brave idiot downstream away from the group "and is at the very least absent for the rest of the adventure; at worst, she is never heard from again." Wonderful. The main reason it hasn't flooded the main tunnel along Sanctuary is a dam of debris clogging the path. Now, on paper one could explode the dam and use it offensively and I would applaud you for that line of thinking. However, AAH immediately slaps that idea out of your hands by being like "NOPE. Too many trenches and corridors along the path will cause the wave to weaken and taper off to a piddly little flood". The main reason why the game says this is because if this was actually usable as an offensive tool, the PCs could derail the module and we don't want that happening.

Also for giggles you can stand around and try to look at what's in the river. Don't do this. This is pointless at best and actively harmful at worst.

Ten members of the Furies are hiding out in this abandoned block, doing their best to get by despite losing contact with the majority of the gang (since its leader Ilona went missing). They were originally attempting to secure as many female convicts as they could to watch each other's backs (and keep them out of the hands of the DOS). Unfortunately a Demon attack scattered them and now the ten have hunkered down. They know about Sanctuary and they're the ones who sent a spy to see if it's safe for them to travel there; they know and trust Johnson well enough from the pre-Perdition days but they want to know the town is actually safe. If the PCs find them, the Furies will react defensively but will be willing to talk. Which G-Unit is more than willing to do in turn, showing that they're not in any other gang and that they're with Sanctuary. They'll pick the party's brains but keep their own cards close. The best you can do with them is make a Social check to convince them to trade (they willing to trade first aid kids for ammo for their guns and weapons).

Three female prisoners are trapped here, having escaped Perdition and accidentally having fell afoul of a malfunctioning Monitor. The Monitor was severed from the Warden's main commands and it's fallen back on its old programming of "secure prisoners". As a result, the three women are locked in cells as the Monitor waits for further orders. One of them is wounded and the other two are rather scared, assuming that they'll die of starvation or another collapse. Anyway the PCs have found them which means that the Monitor will emerge from the shadows and attack the party. Now, fortunately there are five members to G-Unit and Monitors only have-

Oh wait fuck you there's a new statblock for this specific Monitor. Fuck.

Yeah uh. We have a slight issue. When designing this book the developers seemed to have just used a standard statblock template that they shortened and didn't...fix. So while this Monitor is supposed to be an ungodly 50 HP robot for the prisoners to fight, it...isn't, on paper at least. Which is a good thing; if the PCs lose the fight (and they fucking will against a 50 HP armor-plated robot), they'll be subdued and shoved into cells where they'll starve to death eventually, full-stop. That's it, game over, fuck you. Which is awful! Originally when I wrote this review I just said "but because I have Writer Fiat, G-Unit wins this fight, hooray". But that's just bad writing, isn't it? Instead of G-Unit managing to overcome this horribly dangerous foe by me saying "because I said so", the Monitor sees them, rushes to attack and then immediately keels over and dies because it has 0 HP in an activated fight. Then a big puff of psychic vapor floats slowly out of the dead Monitor's screen because all of its HP was instead literal brain power.

So if/when the PCs beat the Monitor, they can break the cells open and free the women inside. While Soapbox, Beth and Doc are doing this, Tama is disassembling a piece of the Monitor's chassis at Pincushion's request so he can wear it as a hat in an attempt to amplify his power. One of the prisoners, a woman named Katherine, will be willing to open up with a Social roll and if they tend to her wounded friend.

I legitimately like Katherine (and Soapbox would too for obvious reasons). She's one of the few good characters in this entire series and fortunately this isn't the last we have to see of her.

An Enforcer is a rough fight, even if the PCs are kitted out for it (they probably aren't). This one has been given authority to kill to protect what's behind the door. And unfortunately for G-Unit, they took some lumps brawling with the highwaymen of section 5 and might still be on the sore side. However, let's take a little look back at the core stats for an Enforcer.

And here's what this book's Enforcer is statted out as:

Yup. Still has the same typo. The Enforcer hovers over menacingly, then the thrusters turn off and it falls to the ground with a clang before falling over, defeated. Either Soapbox's hacking or Fournine's Access will open the door to the armory while Tama works on getting another hat for Pincushion due to his insistence that this one was more powerful and he requires a new hat. Inside is an automated factory that the Warden has been rerouting the local power to, a mess of assembly lines where filled molds of liquid metal are being used to build weapons and armor. However the Warden will turn the power off 5 minutes after the factory is breached because it doesn't want the prisoners using the factory for their own means. There is still enough metal and material here for everyone in Sanctuary to get Makeshift Armor and a Riot Shield (along with everyone in G-Unit) and it's the mother lode of supplies if Johnson finds out about it. He'll send teams of scavengers to loot the place then torch it to keep it out of enemy hands and this will in fact help near the end of the module.

Welcome to the home of the DOS. Fournine is the one who blunders into the trap (it was going to be Pincushion but who am I to ignore the rules as written?) and disappears as the Daughters come out of the woodwork to face G-Unit. Fun fact: this is where we find out what their fetish uniforms are made out of!

Ew, upholstery and human skin. Well shame on me for being curious I guess. The intention is for the fight to be one where the PCs run and are herded by the DOS attacking them. They're intended to choke the players and provide gaps in the lines where they'll retreat to. However. The PCs can absolutely attack, and for every dead DOS they actually lose an attacker for the end of the module (that you're told to show the players that you're crossing off a future bit of book-keeping). It's downright impossible for the players to fight so hard they deplete all of the attackers and derail the module but whittling down three or four isn't unreasonable so let's say G-Unit puts up a fight before retreating. If the DOS are in sufficient danger (they're really just fighting to goad the party into going where they want them to), they'll break out the Cell Block Specials and G-Unit can't survive repeated explosions (50's limit is, famously, 3 explosions to the face). The retreat is full of DOS blocking off side paths and light traps meant to harass and harangue the party until they reach the pit.

The DOS will fight the party up until the edge of the pit. There are three options and only one of them is a "good" option.
G-Unit will decide to reluctantly surrender and will then be escorted into the heart of their territory to play what they call The Game.

"Hey Beth, Do the Thing With the Knife!"

After some verbal abuse and ignoring what the players want to talk about, they're forced over to an artificial waterfall that has a scaffold set up in front of it that has an old gameshow wheel attached to it (cannibalized from some rec game). Strapped to the wheel is Fournine, who is a NPC and so I wouldn't bother making them make the Despair check where they might gain 2 Despair. Their host (who isn't the head of the DOS, FYI) will explain the rules of the game. Let's check out the wheel, the mechanics and who's playing! Spoilers for the latter: it's Beth.

First let's check out what each segment does: First the player rolls 1d8 to see which ring the knife is going to land in.

Then the GM rolls 1d8 to determine the position of the wheel when it comes to a stop, which segment will be at the top where the prisoner's head is in the diagram. The idea is that the player is aiming at where the stopper for the wheel is. So that's a 3 in 8 chance to get the inner circles, then 1 in 8 chance to get the release segment. The probability of this happening is 14.0625%, taking into account three knives and a probability of hitting any segment with a 4.6875% chance. Not good odds! But fortunately, Beth is strong and has been getting good at knifing people which adjusts the odds quite a bit.

This is what I meant by Shenanigans; if you hit an orange space, the double throw means you can only move the knives one space and a blindfold means you can't move them any further. So thanks to Beth being both a strong, fit woman and proficient in knife use, she can move thrown knives two spaces. This means she's got a 3 in 8 chance of hitting the inner ring but now has a 3 in 8 chance of hitting the free space, meaning her probability jumps to 14.0625% by default and 42.1875% chance of succeeding over three throws. Which is still rough, don't get me wrong; your main strategy here is to game the system by repeatedly regaining knives until it just eventually happens. When I used a dice roller to figure out how this went, it took me 13 throws to free Fournine and this was after he actually got hit once with a knife. All of the other throws were orange or blue hits.

So once the game ends and the victim is either freed or dies, the party is taken to meet Lucretia, leader of the Daughters of Slaughter. My spell check doesn't recognize her name so this is gonna be fun.

Lucretia doesn't get stats because you're not intended to kill her here. Womp womp. She's been telepathically contacted by the Demons to serve them and she's turned her gang of nihilists into a thrill-kill cult, having joined the Psychos and Embracers in an alliance. The trio are planning to destroy Sanctuary because Sanctuary offers people hope and the Demons hate hope (despite a literal third of them being immune to hope to begin with). And Lucretia will straight-up tell everyone this information, gleefully regaling them with their plans to attack and destroy Sanctuary. Once she's sure they've got the info, the players will be released and escorted to the exit so they can scurry off and warn Johnson because there's nothing they can do to stop the attack.

However in an optional scene, anyone with the Damnation (or maybe Power) goal will be approached by Lucretia before they leave (she uses her one known Trait to pick them out). Well, not literally approached. She'll glance at them repeatedly during her bragging and deliver a psychic monologue to the target asking them to help her by betraying Sanctuary.

Seeing as how nobody is dumb enough to pick Damnation in G-Unit, that leaves Tama and Pincushion as prime targets. However, Tama's obsession with antique Japanese fiction is too strong of a force for her to ever be swayed to the forces of darkness, drowning out the offer by focusing on centuries-old anime intros. As for Pincushion...well, his castration has paid off, ironically enough. Back when it still worked, this would have been a done deal and he would've betrayed G-Unit ASAP. Now, though, he's already sacrificed enough to gain his Real Ultimate Power that he's achieved already, convinced that was he has pales in comparison to what was being offered to him. His pride and delusions are enough to shield him from the offer and for once in his life he doesn't do something stupid to gain power.

FYI this entire scene has art but it's, like, pretty NSFW due to being suggestive. Like it's not that I have to cover genitals up this time, it's just ladies in erotic poses and bad art.

And with that, G-Unit is freed back into the corridors, their mission complete. They rush back to deliver the news of what the DOS are up to and who was killing travelers. But NEXT TIME in Chapter 3, G-Unit has to deal with the most dangerous foe that Perdition has to offer: THE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS IN ACTION.

"I Hate the Public. The Public is Stupid."

posted by Hostile V Original SA post



"I Hate the Public. The Public is Stupid."

So G-Unit returns to Sanctuary to find general uproar and calls for a general election. See, while they were gone exploring, some stuff happened.

First, a bunch of refugees showed up to join Sanctuary with unhappy news. While they were making their way to the town, they witnessed a large force of prisoners being lead by the Psychos that were making their way to near Sanctuary. The force in question is a war band being lead by the Psychos and consisting of the Psychos and other factions who have teamed up with them. And one of the factions is bringing some real bad shit with them. Smaller and number but substantially powerful, the Embracers have sent cultists to join the war band, dressing them in ragged robes made out of asylum clothing and jumpsuits. The refugees claimed that the Embracers (who they don't know are Embracers) were chanting in a strange tongue, their chants causing reality to shift around them as it enraged and pumped up the war band.

So while Johnson, Bradley and Needles want to know more about their expedition, they'll first have to explain that the Psychos are more than likely coming and they're coming for war. The news Lucretia told the players won't reassure the trio any because of the other problem: the people of Sanctuary are getting restless. See, some people aren't that much of a fan of Johnson for whatever reason. Some people don't like his ideas for defenses, some people have grudges against the Giants for past deeds, some people don't like that he wears sunglasses all the damn time (not in the book). As a result, the public has been hooting and hollering angrily.

Bradley, being an actual-ass politician, has said in public that Sanctuary should put leadership to a vote. No. Bad. Bad Bradley. Now isn't really the time. But the idea has taken root and enough of Sanctuary has decided "yeah, we should put this to a vote!".

But before that happens, a Demon attacks.

While Bradley and Johnson are working out the logistics for holding the election and the PCs are cooling their heels after returning, a Nightmare Weaver that has silently slipped into Sanctuary the day the PCs left has been skittering around. The fear of attack has been a beacon for it and the turmoil has been a bountiful feast for the invisible Demon, using its power to subtly haunt the guards and put them on edge. The only person who has any knowledge of this is Needles and that's because he's been working on understanding how the Demons operate.

While he was a fan of Sanctuary, Needles has lost some faith in the idea. His observations of how the Demons hunt and appear has lead him to (rightfully) believe that Sanctuary is a good idea on paper but a death trap if they all stay there. One bad tantrum spiral will wipe everyone out because too many people panicking in one place will summon the worst possible Demons. He hasn't voiced this idea because this will definitely lead to Sanctuary breaking apart, so instead he's been staying up to try and find the Nightmare Weaver and continue studying it.

A Nightmare Weaver is a pretty dangerous opponent, even for a group of five. Because the sentry didn't see it coming, the PCs have to hurry to warn them or else they'll probably be immediately killed. So as a refresher, here are the stats for a Nightmare Weaver:

Except...this book has reprinted the stats as well.

G-Unit rushes in to warn the sentry and the Night Weaver immediately falls over, dead. Needles attempts to take the body for study but it quickly rots away into shadow. Bradley and Johnson show up and Bradley immediately accuses Needles of being in league with Demons before Johnson gives him a chance to speak. Not doing himself any favors, Needles decides to hold back the truth and explains that he saw movement in the shadows. An opposed Wits check will let the player know he's lying but Needles will never change his story. Ultimately nobody can prove that Needles was working with the Demon but now Johnson will be permanently suspicious of the doctor. He doesn't really care if they don't trust him; he's planning on running for Leader of Sanctuary and believes that if he wins, he'll be vindicated.


The next day is the day everyone makes their campaign speeches. Johnson has ultimately come around to the idea of letting the elections happen; he doesn't want to look like a tyrant and new ideas will be appreciated for the defense of Sanctuary. However the moment that the idea of an election is legitimized, a shitload of prisoners want to run for leader because they want power and to boss people around. So after some deliberation and weeding out the idiots and the jerks, the pool of candidates is reduced to five: Johnson, Bradley, Needles, a new guy by the name of Sly...and any PCs that want to run. And you just know I'm gonna pick a PC to run for leader so I can engage in Maximum Mechanical Shenanigans.

Soapbox decides to step up to the plate and run for leader after the rest of G-Unit floats the idea to her. She wasn't really considering it, but there's only one other candidate with a political history and she knew men like Bradley way back on Terra. She decides to run if only to make sure a Terran politician doesn't end up in charge of this doomed bastion of safety. If anyone can do it, it's her.

Now's the chance for stump speeches. The event should be RPed with actual debating and dialogue and crowd reactions but the GM can also just state their positions and platforms. If a PC runs, they should absolutely play it out. Now, let's interrupt our review to jump to our special election correspondents live from the floor of Sanctuary.

You Are Now Watching W-FNF on Channel 471, Your Home For Weird RPG Nonsense and Silly Gimmicks

"And welcome back to Election Watch 2657! If you're just joining us now, I'm Marilyn Wakeman."
"And I'm Darius Broderick."
"How's joining the Embracers working out for you, Darius?"
"It's been going marvelously, thanks for asking."
"And our third correspondent is with us live from Skype, former prisoner and assistant to the prophet Muhammad En Sabah Nur, better known as Apocalypse."
"My presence here is unnecessary."
"Let's take a look at our first candidate."

#1360881, "JOHNSON"

"Known for being a short man with knife scars all over his arms, Johnson's height made him a prime target for harassment in prison. The only way to get the respect he deserved was to fight for it."
"My kind of man."
"People know him by his sunglasses, his favorite butterfly knife and the fact that he speaks softly and decisively."
"What's he got in the way of a platform?"
"His platform is that he's a reasonable man who formed Sanctuary. He's fair and balanced and his ideas have brought them this far."
"Not the most enticing platform is it?"
"Unfortunately, Johnson's oratory skills fall short of his ability to fight and survive. His speech is Average."
"Actions speak louder than words, Darius."
"They certainly do. If Johnson wins the election, everything continues as it normally does. He's presumed to win the election. You two have any further thoughts?"
"Nothing I can say on air, Marilyn. We'll be knocking at his gates soon enough and rending the flesh from his bones."
"I empathize much with Johnson's position in life and wish a swift death to his enemies."

#3586661, "DR. NEEDLES"

"I'm lead to believe this candidate makes you uncomfortable, Marilyn?"
"I'll say. On the one hand you have the fact that he carries himself with an air of suave sophistication. He's well-mannered, calm and polite from his well-kept silver-streaked hair down to his carefully cleaned shoes. But let's not forget that he's a serial killer who specifically targeted female patients to feel alive again."
:cenobite: "Problematic to say the least. I absolutely agree with his platform, though: survival of the fittest. He'll save lives and heal the sick and wounded but if you can't pull your weight and calm your emotions, you have to go."
:j: "That's a bit harsh, don't you think Darius?"
:cenobite: "Absolutely. His platform is all about explaining how Sanctuary is doomed to fail based on his knowledge of Demons and that it should disband to save everyone's lives. However, here's one thing I totally agree with: the war band is at the gates and if they disband now everyone will be picked off and killed. His current platform is to expel the weak and useless and have the hardy fight against the invaders to survive, to which I say good luck."
:j: "Surprisingly, the crowd is reacting positively to this."
:dealwithit: "Don't forget this is an audience of prisoners who've spent life behind bars taking what they need to survive. He speaks to a deep, primal familiarity they all have been immersed in."
:j: "True enough. Fortunately for Needles, his theories and logic are sound and the way he carries himself gives him a Good speech. However, electing Needles results in a reduction of defenders at the end of the module, +1 Guilt for everyone who remains in Sanctuary due to being complicit in the purge and one of the scenes in the defense of Sanctuary doesn't happen. Do you consider this to be a worthwhile result, Darius?"
:cenobite: "Well of course, it gives us some appetizers before we feast proper."
:dealwithit: "You disgust me."


:j: "Some of our viewers may remember Bradley here from the New Regime movement and how he was imprisoned for being a critic of it. He may not be guilty of anything but that sure as hell doesn't mean he's a good person."
:cenobite: "I can think of a few people in the crowd who'd love nothing more than to tear his throat out, Marilyn."
:j: "And how! He's alienated from the prison community as a result, but he's a charismatic man who knows the political machine. Which leads us to his platform."
:cenobite: "Heavily reminiscent of the spiel given to Tama and Pincushion, it looks like he's going for an angle of appeasement. If you want it, he'll get it for you. His big message is that there must be a way off the ship and he'll guarantee that every last member of Sanctuary will find a way off."
:dealwithit: "I wish to hold him by his ankles and shake him until candy comes out."
:j: "I don't disagree with you there, En Sabah Nur. The main reason nobody sees his platform for what it is seems to be because of his political history."
:cenobite: "Yes, despite having no real substance his speech is Excellent. Electing Bradley is not without its flaws, however. He will make a deal with the Daughters of Slaughter and let them in during a crucial moment during the defense of Sanctuary. There are no further effects. As much as I would love for this man to be elected for that fact alone, this will happen regardless of whether or not he wins and as such I cannot support this candidate."
:j: "Well I think we're both in agreement, Darius."
:dealwithit: "Hopefully he chokes on the rewards gained from his dishonorable betrayal."

#2561107, "SLY"

:cenobite: "I've never heard of this man. Marilyn?"
:j: "Hmm, me neither. En Sabah Nur?"
:dealwithit: "You are lucky I come prepared. Sly is a lunatic who used to be a handsome showman but most likely sustained brain damage from repeated fights that knocked out most of his teeth and ruined his nose. Those are not yellow teeth but gold replacements he has somehow managed to hold onto."
:cenobite: "Oh, a classic crazy man turned politician? Delightful!"
:j: "I have a feeling he doesn't have much of a platform then."
:dealwithit: "You are correct. He claims that he lost his memory after Perdition and can't remember why he came to Sanctuary to begin with. The only reason people bother to listen to him is because his psychological detachment leads to a friendly air because he does not believe the danger to be real. His platform is solely 'we can survive this because there is a lot of us'."
:j: "Ah, so he's just appealing to ignorance and strength in numbers."
:cenobite: "Well I can imagine his election going delightfully for us."
:dealwithit: "I wouldn't count on it. His speech is Poor due to the fact that it's full of rambling lies and strange promises. If he is somehow elected, the defenses of Sanctuary suffer due to the defenders believing that there's no real danger. The moment the war band makes its presence known within the walls, Sly will flee with a handful of followers and abandon the town."
:cenobite: "What a shame he can't win."
:j: "How he managed to get past the vetting process is amazing to me."

#3752447, "SOAPBOX"

:j: "Glad to see a little diversity with a female candidate."
:cenobite: "Ah yes, Genevieve "Soapbox" Angstrom, one of the player characters."
:dealwithit: "Oh good, nice to see one of these in play."
:j: "A famous peace activist and political speaker, Soapbox was a supporter of the PTM until it started to abuse the rights of the populace and the movement disavowed her. Undeterred, she functioned as a public critic and organizer of resistance rallies and social movements until she was imprisoned."
:cenobite: "Willing to admit she was wrong? Admirable."
:j: "She has since spent her long imprisonment acting as a public figure and den mother for the women's wings, helping them find the strength they need to survive in prison."
:cenobite: "Her platform isn't too dissimilar from Johnson's platform. Her time in prison means she understands the best way to speak to her fellow inmates and get across how the defenses can be improved. She's also got shades of Needles platform, but really only in the sense that Sanctuary may be destroyed from within due to fear and how there should be emergency retreat plans in place."
:dealwithit: "A solid position, all things considered."
:j: "Looks like the crowd is responding warmly to her and she seems to be bringing out her big guns in response to Bradley, look at the face he's making."
:cenobite: "Really making him squirm. I'd call that an Excellent speech. How do you two feel?"
:dealwithit: "I'm inclined to agree, she's doing a good job of speaking truth to power and the crowd is responding favorably."
:j: "And I second that. Any downsides to her being elected?"
:cenobite: "I would say things generally would proceed as if Johnson was elected with things depending on how she handles the power of leading. There'll be a big opportunity to change some of how the rest of the module plays out."
:dealwithit: "I would say that she has a reasonable chance of success."
:cenobite: "Agreed."
:j: "Well that covers the debates. Thanks for joining us tonight. I'm Marilyn Wakefield."
:cenobite: "I'm Darius Broderick. And thanks to our special guest En Sabah Nur."
:dealwithit: "I did not dislike being here tonight."
:j: "Glad to hear it, thanks for your input and for covering our blind spot. Up next at the top of the hour is our channel's continuing documentary on moving past the d20 paradigm. Thanks for joining us."

The Outcome

For starters, the players can choose to campaign. Considering everything G-Unit has done for Sanctuary, their voices have some additional weight and will help sway the election. Each PC who campaigns for a candidate adds to the chance the candidate will win. Let's see the chart!

Now let's figure out where Soapbox stands. Let's compare and roll the bones!

Wow, close race all things considered. For real, I rolled these out and didn't fudge the numbers. Congratulations Soapbox! Johnson winning means the status quo is maintained. Needles winning means he'll immediately start thinning out the weak. Bradley will stabilize the infighting with false promises and lies. Sly will attempt to do as Bradley does and will it all poorly and incoherently. But hey, the PC is in charge! God help us all.

I joke but hey there are rules for the PC winning the election. If she was a Power-focused character, this would be a major milestone for her character. She'll still bask, just without the megalomania. Anyway there are consequences below.

Really hate how this whole section is written with a constant smirk to the camera about what's to come. At any rate, Soapbox decides to make the Rear most important, the Reserves second and she holds back on the Front Lines mostly due to the fact that they got the turrets loaded with shotgun rounds working. The next few days are spent getting Sanctuary into shape, training and preparing for danger as she does her best to soothe the worries of the people while Doc, Beth, Tama and Pincushion do the heavy lifting of implementing strategy and getting everyone equipped.

I don't have anything funny or pithy to say about NEXT TIME besides that chapter four is when the barbarians are at the gate and Sanctuary falls no matter what.

Fuck You, Lose Anyway

posted by Hostile V Original SA post



Fuck You, Lose Anyway

The assault on Sanctuary comes a few days after the election, giving G-Unit enough time to get everything together to prepare for the attack. The siege is pretty static. There are five phases to the raid and two of the phases have alternate things the players can tackle, splitting the party to handle both of dedicating all of their forces to one of the two problems. Let's see the list:

I'll explain later when I go over them but the ideal choices for maximum PC survival are Hospital Dilemma and Relief.

So take the choice during the second phase. If the PCs decide to handle the hospital issue, the raid on the Sally Port is taken care of with no problems and no casualties. Depending on how the party handles each phase, they have to roll to see how many defenders are lost due to attrition. Because guess what, there's attrition mechanics.

Yeah. The siege is literally twice the size of the defenders of Sanctuary. Even if you wanted to, you can't kill all of the forces of the invaders. However, we do start with some dead thanks to G-Unit's preparations. For starters, killing four DOS reduces the attacker pool by 4. The thing that helps a ton is the fact that they fixed the turrets. Now, unfortunately, the turrets don't kill as many as I'd like but they do kill 2d20 invaders before they're overrun and destroyed by sheer numbers pushing the approach. That said, I did roll 27, so the horde starts at being down 31 marauders. On the upside, G-Unit did do enough to recruit some more defenders to bolster defenses.

So let's begin.


I forget what exactly he reminds me of, all that comes to mind is a really shitty comedian mugging for the camera as he does a set.

G=Giant, U=Psycho, Skinhead=S, players start on the second floor of the gate.

Everyone automatically gains 1 point of Despair. The intent of episode 1 is to demoralize the defenders by showing how much manpower they have and force the defenders to stay in cover. To begin with, there are 5 Skinhead Soldats and 2 Psycho Meats. On the helper side, there are 3 Giants armed with Room Brooms and rubber bullets (though -1 due to how Soapbox chose to focus the troops).

The encounter is run by having the Soldats throw molotovs at the walls to force the defenders to stay in cover. The Psychos are armed with fully-loaded scatterguns with rubber slugs and will also take shots at the defenders as they approach the gates. Their goal is to get close enough to use their secret reserve of 2d6 barrier buster rounds on the gate. The gate can only take 25 points of damage before it collapses and you do not want it to collapse. If the gates fall, 2 more Psychos will charge with 7 more Skinheads in tow to push the advantage and get over the gap. Which doesn't really make sense; it's said that the gap is too big to jump but only 10 feet deep and then they say nothing about the horde filling the gap at all. Anyway. The way to win this combat depends on whether or not the gate falls. If the gate falls, killing all of the Soldats or all of the Psychos means that the combat is won. Alternately, the players can kill the initial two Psychos before they get close enough to the gate and that'll do the job as well.

The big problem is closing the gap to the Psychos; there's no easy way down to the thick of it to fight in close quarters and guns aren't really the most prevalent thing around. However...there are no rules for, like, distance in ranged combat. Soapbox and Doc confiscate the Room Brooms from the Giants and work with Beth's shiny new scattergun in laying slug fire down on the Psychos, spread out along the walls while Pincushion and Tama hang back. When the Psychos go down and the Soldats start to scatter, the three lower the gate and Tama and Pincushion run out to loot the molotovs dropped by the scavengers, coup de grace the downed Psychos and return with their scatterguns, molotovs, rubber slugs and barricade busters. The gate is secured and the gunners are a little scuffed (easily taken care of with a quick heal from Doc) as Doc and Soapbox return the guns, keeping the scatterguns and splitting the 10 buster rounds.


Not a bad way of handling it, but despite the good job they did there's still fighting all along the perimeter. So no matter how well the players handle the situation, there's still background fighting, but depending on how well the players do the losses incurred shift. Let's see the chart we have for this section.

I'm counting this as excellent because nobody really got hurt and the gate stood. 3 defenders are lost but so are 18 attackers. At the conclusion, a dozen attackers start to go after the gate again but reinforcements of 8-10 Giants appear to back up the defenses. Now that the numbers are getting bigger and heavier, it's time for G-Unit to put their new acquisitions to good use in the next stage.

If you're playing this normally and don't want to split the party, absolutely go to see what Dr. Needles is up to. However, G-Unit will be showing off everything, and as a result they decide to split the party. Because Tama and Pincushion aren't great fighters, they're sent to go off and handle Needles (Doc figures that the two of them are more than a match for the older serial killer). Doc, Beth and Soapbox will go handle the problem at the Sally Port.


* is a starting point for the PCs, U is for Psycho, A is for Animal.

Despair check! Some of the Skinheads were killed in the explosion along with the Giants defending the door. Right now the invasion force consists of an Animal (a Psycho who has submitted to painful tortures to become desensitized to pain and become tougher) and three Meat (well, two Meat thanks to the Demoralized attackers). The Meat aren't armed with anything interesting but the big threat is the fact that the Animal has a Scorcher.

The combat is straight-forward here. On turn 1, the players are alone but every turn after 1d2 Giants will come to their aid as reinforcements. The combat ends when the Psychos (or the PCs and Giants, grimly) are killed and the port can be retaken. Here's something important, though: the Scorcher has a range of 15x15. Beth stands on the P in Port and instantly pops him in the skull with a rubber slug followed by Doc providing the double-tap from behind her. The Meat are easily mopped up in a skirmish and now G-Unit has a flamethrower (given to Doc, who is incredibly uncomfortable with it but understands this is going to have to be helpful).

Let's go check on Tama and Pincushion.

N is for Needles, P is for Patient, * is a starting space.

To the horrified Giants, it looks like Needles is euthanizing the wounded with lethal injections. In reality, all he's doing is giving them all a dose of Tranq so they'll remain calm and won't cause any issues if they panic and cause a manifestation. The threat here is the fact that this is all a horrible miscommunication because Needles immediately sprang into action and didn't explain himself. Anyone who asks him what he's doing (or has Medical Knowledge) can learn the truth of the situation.

If the PCs are headstrong and rush the room, he'll shoot at the first person through the door with his zip gun and can be pretty easily overwhelmed. This is the worst possible thing you can do, though: the commotion causes the patients to panic and what happens is a manifestation of six Devourers who infest the corpses in the Morgue and attack the hospital (if the PCs don't sedate the patients themselves, that is). If the PCs do fight, four of the waiting Giants will join them in the brawl.

So how is this scenario resolved? Well, either the Devourers are all killed or it's averted to begin with and the patients end up sedated. While Pincushion is terrified that he'll end up euthanized next, Tama has enough sense to get the truth out of Needles and help the doctor get all of the patients calm without any violence occurring. They're also successful in convincing Needles to hang out with them as backup healing.


Both teams handled their obstacles with grace and finesse, repelling the attack and helping stop an internal threat from causing more chaos. Now, I don't believe that splitting the party and doing both means there are two rolls done on the Consequences table because both events happen simultaneously. So let's roll 'em up!

Well that's 5 defenders lost (I'd say mostly due to the bomb) and 13 attackers lost. 69% of the attacking force is left. Nice. Unfortunately, now is the time Lucretia signals for their betrayers to do their dark deed and open the back door.

And while Tama and Pincushion are contacted (again) and ignore it (again), Bradley doesn't.


G is for Giant, B is for Bradley, T is for Traitorous Guard, D is for DOS, S is for Silent Sister, * is where players can start.

Remember that Skeleton Key? A thing I didn't explain? Hold on.

Yeah, so, Bradley has used the skeleton key to open the back door and let the DOS in. If it was another player who got seduced into doing this, you would straight-up be trying to kill a traitorous PC in this scenario in addition to Bradley. And this is not an easy fight: 10 DOS (9 due to attrition), two Silent Sisters, Bradley and his two guards vs. the players and 5 Giants (7, thanks to Soapbox's divisions of forces) armed with Room Brooms and rubber slugs. It's a very well matched fight in terms of size.

The win condition to this is to get Bradley and the DOS to retreat or kill them all. Bradley will hide behind his guards and use his slug pistol to take shots at the most competent party member/leader (read: Soapbox) while the DOS rush to attack in melee. Bradley will automatically run if his guards die, but the DOS don't generally retreat.

And they kind of should because Doc now has a flamethrower, letting the DOS get into the choke position into the room and lighting them the fuck up as she desperately ignores the gravity of what she's doing. As for Bradley, Soapbox whips a molotov cocktail at the little room he's in, setting the senator and his guard on fire and providing a wall of flame to keep the DOS in the tunnels at bay. Tama is able to wrest the skeleton key from the flaming corpse of Senator Bradley and uses it to lock the door shut (having the key is actually kinda integral to the finale; if he runs, he drops it behind him). Concentrated fire from the Giants and rest of the party leads to the party being a little bruised and sore but hey, it beats being mobbed and stabbed to death.


Things start getting worse as the fighting gets more and more intense. Due to the fact that they handled the scenario with caution and flare (heh) I'm going to count this as Excellent (in general I'm going to keep counting these as Excellent outcomes).

8 defenders are lost to the combat, meaning that the buffer is going to run out soon. In turn, 11 attackers are killed, putting them close to having lost 40% of their army. But we're not out of the woods yet because here comes another choice.

This one is tough to figure out for the party to split over. Ultimately it's decided that Soapbox and Tama will go help the refugees while Beth, Doc and Pincushion go out and fight Demons. Split up!


R is for Rageling, players can start anywhere outside of around the Pit.

A handful of Skinheads were convinced to willingly allow themselves to be possessed and become a new form of Demon, a RAGELING. The Ragelings have been on the lower level and the combat has given them a chance to climb up through the Pit now that the covering has been lost in the fighting. Let's check out our new threat!


Ragelings are nasty little bastards, manifesting by taking over the corpse of a hopeless soul or someone who willingly submitted to the Demons and causing spontaneous combustions around them. They're the creatures on the cover of the book, creatures made out of ash powered by a smoldering, popping core of fire. Their existence is one of burning (heh) hatred, consumed with a desire to slaughter all life.

They're also awful to fight. You run the risk of catching fire or losing your weapons handling them in melee and they also have a natural armor caused by regeneration. Plus to make matters worse, this fight has a gimmick where the GM rolls a d6 and a 1 means another Rageling climbs out of the pit. So this fight is against 5 Ragelings (I guess technically 4? How do Demons work with attrition?) and 2 Giants (3) armed to fight in melee.

However, eagle-eyed readers may notice a problem. Doc, Pincushion, Beth and the Giants rush in, confronted by the Ragelings...who immediately keel over and die. Victory! How are Tama and Soapbox doing?

F is for Fury, S is for Skinhead, U is for Psycho, G is for Giant, * is a starting point.

Yeah the gate falls anyway. The enemy has started to occupy the yard but the Furies that G-Unit found while scouting have decided to stand up and join the fight. The problem is getting through the mob in the courtyard. 11 (10) Soldats and 4 Meat stand between 10 Furies (along with 3 Giants covering with rubber slugs). In motion, the fight is simple: the Furies will try and fight their way through but the mob in the yard will attack them and ignore everyone else (there's an optional rule where the combat is streamlined with 1d3 Furies dying a round). The Furies can be abandoned but that's a Guilt check with a possible +2 gain. The fastest way to resolve this is to yell out to the Furies to just run for the tunnel and they will. So that's exactly what Soapbox does and it. Because everyone moves 6 spaces a round, all of the Furies just take double movements, get as close as they can to the entrance and then get in as soon as possible. Victory!


Fortunately the Furies come with gifts: 5 first aid packs, 2 doses of Cardiolax and a box of 30 rubber slugs. Outside of that, G-Unit did a great job but things are reaching a fever pitch.

8 defenders are lost and in turn the attackers are down 16. Almost half of the attackers have been slaughtered by the defenders. But oh man is it gonna get worse because here come the big guns.


H is for Herald, E is for Embracer, G is for Giant, U is for Psycho, players can start anywhere but can't be more than 5 squares closer to a Herald.

Despair check! Insanity check! The Embracers and Psychos are buying time in this fight. The plan is for the Heralds to just hoot and holler until something big and nasty can show up; they'll only fight if they're directly threatened. It's completely valid and reasonable for the PCs to flee and abandon Sanctuary at this point. The Four Embracers are tough to fight, the Heralds are big annoying Demons and the Psychos are just armed with shit to throw and improvised weapons. The Giants are armed with slugs and if any Furies survived, three of them will hang out to help fight. The win condition of this one is to kill all of the attackers, something that might be a bit easier than expected.

The Heralds immediately keel over and die while the battle gets started, G-Unit raining molotovs down on both sides of the gap from the second floor as the Furies and Giants back them up with rubber slugs, making them all die screaming and burning.


8 more defenders lost but 22 attackers are killed, meaning that final count is 32 dead defenders with 73.3% survivors and 111 dead attackers with 44.5% of the attackers surviving. They put up the best possible defense they could and made the attackers pay dearly, but Sanctuary still falls.


If Sly or Bradley were elected, Johnson seizes control here. If Needles was elected, he'll agree with Johnson. Since Soapbox was elected, Johnson will attempt to convince her and she'll agree that a retreat is in order. The remaining defenders will allow Johnson and the squad to get to the rear exit and Johnson will use the skeleton key to open the door. And fortunately for the defenders, the retreat is quick and orderly; the DOS have abandoned trying to enter from the rear in a sneak attack after it failed so the exit is safe.

And then the skeleton key breaks before Johnson and G-Unit can escape and the doors slam shut. Which. Does not make a lick of sense? It's a thing that tells a door to open, it's not like it's channeling a door-opening spell. But Johnson has a plan for another escape.

Johnson will arm himself with a Room Broom and provide cover for the party to escape. Abandoning him incurs no Guilt gain because it's a willing sacrifice. Trying to stay and help him means that he'll threaten to shoot them because he doesn't think they'll need to die needlessly like him.

Getting the rope from JD's shop is no problem. Tying the rope off is no problem. Getting down is a problem. Climbing requires a Reflexes check each turn where a success is 10 feet gained down and a failure means a 5 foot slip and another check to not fall to the bottom of the Pit. The problem is that the Pit is 200 feet deep and the bottom is not solid but full of rushing water going to parts unknown. Making things worse is that cultists and Psychos will eventually get to the edge of the Pit and start to cut the lines.

The actual escape is found at the bottom of the Pit near the water: a small catwalk leading to a cramped passageway. Anyone who landed in the water can swim over to the catwalk and climb up, otherwise the folks on ropes can make a Prowess check to swing over onto it (or fall into the water if they miss).


"Ultimately the characters fought, and in so doing, won the right to live".

Yeah alright fuck you too.

What happened to the refugees who escaped is unknown. So is Johnson's fate. G-Unit is on their own, far from "home" and exploring a part of the ship they've never seen before. Plus they get BP for their actions! Everyone gets a minimum of 200 BP and then there's more to come based on their Goals.

Everyone gets 570 experience, 170 of that coming from saving 88 defenders from Sanctuary. That's a pretty damn good haul, and they now all qualify for More Health! But oh boy, seeing as how four of them are women and we have new Female-Only Traits, that means that they qualify for these. Except they kinda don't.



Female Traits suck. The new Demon is literally unusable. The idea behind this whole thing is half decent but the implementation is tonally incoherent and inconsistent. I have never really seen a game before interrupt Standard Questing Bullshit with something as wildly off-base as in-depth democratic election mechanics. Like if one was to take those details and set them in, like, a post-apocalyptic game then yeah it makes sense. But this is a game set on a prison hulk in Hell. It's like if I made a club sandwich and then before I finished it I started dousing it with clam juice, sprinkles, Cheetos and chocolate shell. And, like, the whole thing was doomed to begin with. I guess the important thing is the lessons we learned from this whole affair: never charge a choke-point if the defender of the point has a flamethrower and always proofread the monster stats. The latter is a lesson that will continue to be actively ignored.

NEXT TIME our brave squad have gone so deep into the bowels of the Gehenna that they're now on the W Deck at the gates of a sanitarium overrun by the insane and the damned. If they want to escape from SOMEWHERE IN BETWEEN they're going to have to beat the shit out of an evil child who has a fascination with 20th century horror cinema despite the fact that he was born in the 27th century.

Werewolves, Wicker Men, Whatever

posted by Hostile V Original SA post



Werewolves, Wicker Men, Whatever

Sanitarium W-893 is one of the many facilities for patients with mental health issues and it’s one of the many facilities ravaged by Perdition. When the Gehenna ended up in the Nether, destruction and power outages resulted in the patients getting loose and succeeded in overthrowing the Custodians and Trustees. In the mayhem, one of the patients ended up being overlooked: a teenage boy who was intentionally placed in the adult population due to his past history. The boy was contacted by the Demons of the Nether and he made a pact with a Reality Cancer, accelerating his psychic powers to godlike levels. Now there is a king of W-893: Daniel.

Somewhere In Between is all about the protagonists of Abandon All Hope delving into the depths of an abandoned sanitarium to punch a child in the face. The patients are all under the thrall of Daniel, terrified and reverent of his power and ability to warp space and time and kill people with his mind. There are some adventure hooks the game puts forth:

And we’re going to go with option #2. G-Unit has stumbled across W-893 while in the process of moving on from Sanctuary, unsure exactly what’s going on but tipped off from that one weird guy in Sanctuary that something was going down here. Plus, hey, maybe there’s Cardiolax to obtain.

Speaking of G-Unit, there's been some upgrades to the crew. Everyone now has 10 more health because they qualify for Extra Health. BETH has been working on getting more tanky and using numbers to her advantage, DOC can now heal in combat and will go first alongside Beth, PINCUSHION wasted his points by taking a useless psychic power that just increases his Psi Strength, TAMA can now build Junker Robots and is in fact working on one to compensate for her lacking fighting abilities and SOAPBOX...has invested in something very fun. Not Commando Fighting (though Beth and Doc have started teaching her about how to fight that way). Soapbox has selected Criminal Mastermind, which means she has another prisoner built just like the rest of them that her (hypothetical) player also controls. This means that G-Unit has now officially grown to 6 members with the addition of:

#999490, "ICE QUEEN"

April "Ice Queen" Bancroft is barely an adult and terrified out of her mind. The fourth child of an influential politician, April was raised comfortably in an upper-class lifestyle in a life that never knew anything but the PTM. Being a middle child meant that April was generally left alone, able to explore her own interests when she wasn't following the lessons of her tutors. It's not really known if there was a plan for her at all, seeing as how she was far enough down the line that her older siblings could move into various positions of power. Whatever chances she had were cut short when some maneuvering between her parents and their opponents ended with her behind bars on bullshit charges and her parents unable (unwilling?) to get her out. Stuffed directly into the Gehenna with the juvie population, her time on the ship has seen her join general population and retreat into herself as a result. Her nickname stems from the defense mechanism that's kept safe for years: a cold unwavering gaze that makes people think twice about trying to do anything with her.

What she brings to G-Unit is the hands-down highest Intimidation score and the ability to be a scarily competent fighter as long as she can keep her Despair in check. Every part of her competence stems from her natural intelligence or ability to just put on a brave face when danger is ahead of her. Unfortunately she has a lot to lose if she's unable to keep the image of stability and power going. G-Unit found her in the aftermath of Sanctuary and Soapbox has been helping her keep it all together, trying to teach her how to survive.

The entrance of the sanitarium wasn’t used particularly often but hey, every adventure has to start somewhere. Also just a side note, the game later says that the inmates will probably react badly to a bunch of heavily armed prisoners running around and it’s possible for the players to dress up as mental patients and keep them calm. I won’t be doing that.

Inspecting the scene reveals that the patients are playing with a severed head, oh no! Despair check. Asking about the fact that they’re playing with a head gets you nowhere due to the fact that their words are generally unintelligible and they’re not in any state of mind to speak clearly. Approaching the sanitarium proper makes one of them yell a warning at you: “He’s watching you! Right now he is, he is! From his tower in the Fortress of Impossibility!”

Whenever the players are directly threatened by the mental patients, they use these stats. They’re…pushovers, they’re in no condition to fight anyone or do anything dangerous to the party.

Despair check! The people here died due to a stampede during Perdition. There’s no real danger here, but you can go poke at the people making music to find:

The conductor is willing to speak to the party, but it takes some effort. The gist of everything is that Daniel is the Boy King and he demands that all visitors make a trip to see him directly. To see Daniel, they have to see the Bishop and probably sacrifice someone to the Wicker Man. In turn the conductor will demand that they listen to his performance he’s planning to play for Daniel. Refusing means the conductor attacks while the violin player just sits there, docile. Pretty much nobody wants to do this but Doc’s past training as an orderly gets leaned on and she has them all listen to the music.

Just some graffiti and hint at a metaplot, nothing special.

It’s a small security station meant for a Monitor or a Trustee: a stool, monitors, equipment locker. The screens of the monitors have been smashed and a letter has been painted on each, spelling out “NO PEEKING!”. The inmates tried breaking the locker open and it’s battered, but 20 more points of damage will break it open to reveal a single riot helmet and a baton.

The armory is locked and would require Access or hacking to get open. However, the main reason nobody has managed to get it open is because the access reader has no power. Because there are no rules for, like, jury-rigging batteries to power things, the only way in is to deliver 100 pounds of damage to the door. Breaking it open reveals the corpses of four dead orderlies who retreated here to load up to deal with the riot and lay low. Unfortunately, the power loss means they all suffocated quite a bit ago. Despair check! The armory contains five batons, two cattle prods, two hydrogen cells, one mace canister and an irritant thrower with two shots left.

The break room has two pinball machines, a cigarette machine, dartboard, pool table and a TV with a movie player. The area is in disarray but it's empty here. It pretty much exists just for scavenging: the discs for the movies will turn up a collection of adult movie actress Helga Kolbenbumsen's "most controversial scenes" that can be sold for smokes, the pinball machines can be scavenged for components and the smoke dispenser can be hacked to pump out its full stockpile. The name Helga Kolbenbumsen is oddly specific because she'll be showing up in another module.

Sidenote: her name is apparently a pun. "Kolben" is piston, "bumsen" is a slang term for fucking, put them together and you get "butt fucking". Helga Buttfucking. Delightful. Things certainly do sound better in another tongue sometimes.

The pipes burst in Perdition and as a result there's a standing layer of cold water on the flood mingling with sewage and detritus. Hiding in one of the stalls is #6763092, an orderly who hid to avoid the rampage and has been terrified of getting caught so he hasn't left. Which doesn't really make a lot of sense but then again time is meaningless and he wouldn't have starved to death or anything. He can be pumped for information and will even draw a map of the area (though some of it is wrong due to time and space being squeezed by a god-child). Daniel lead the inmate revolt who was able to twist reality (he can't explain how due to witnessing it being a maddening experience) and asking why Daniel retreated to the Eastern half of the Sanctuary only agitates the orderly. Ultimately, it's possible to get him to join, but only if the squad seems competent to protect him and he'll only stick around until he can get to safety (trying to convince someone else to join because he doesn't want to go alone).

It's a single-floor facility; the point of the elevator was just to connect with the next floor. There's no getting up the shaft. Digging around in the rubble only reveals the rotting corpse of a woman who was murdered and hidden by an inmate who stole her clothes.

The laundry needs Access 1 to get in. The room is unoccupied and in a pretty good state, all things considered. This is the best place to dress up as patients to hide better. Enterprising players can scavenge Chemicals from the cleaning surprise while someone searching the pants can find a crumpled-up note.

The dining room is empty. It was intentionally made to look nice to help make the patients feel more comfortable and relaxed. Whenever mealtime rolls around, patients will return to eat whatever is on the table (which happens to be rotting human meat; realizing the cannibalism of the inmates forces a Despair check).

Opening the platter will reveal a patient with dwarfism that is lying on a bed of herbs with an apple in his mouth. He's tied up and trying to free him will lead to him throwing a tantrum about how it's his turn followed by running off screaming. Do you get it? Do you get that shit is scary and fucked up and weird?

Access 1 is needed to get into the pantry which is still cooled and climate-controlled, the majority of the food undisturbed by Perdition. Inspecting it will reveal that it's real food, tinned and canned but real food they haven't seen in years like tuna, cheese, condensed milk and meat. The intention was to use real food to help keep the patients calm, but the food can't easily be removed from the pantry "because it'll spoil because it's unprepared". Bullshit. Either way, once they deal with this Daniel kid, G-Unit is gonna come back here, loot the place and figure out a new zone to lay low in with their new supplies. The only way they function like a ration pack is if they're eaten immediately.

It's a loading dock. Nothing of interest is here besides the maglev tunnel that supplies were ferried in from.

When the sanitarium was functioning, the day room was where the patients would engage in hobbies and relax. They're still doing that despite the chaos, compelled to go to a place that makes them feel calm. There sure are a lot of NPCs who don't have a lot of anything to do with anything.

Big Mammy is a weird addition and is also the one responsible for killing the woman in the elevator shaft.

The trio are convinced that they're crippling the eyes and ears of the Observers by destroying Narcs. You can talk to them and they'll remain calm while working, admitting they don't really know who the Observers are but they're totally spying on them. When they're done breaking the Narc, you can loot the remains.

The cells are all unlocked. They're regular cells like the ones G-Unit knew, but they're nicer cells for the comfort of the patients. The majority of the cells are empty and every five cells you get a random roll on the random find table (ignore weapon results). A few of the cells are still occupied and you can roll below (forcing a Despair check results 4-6).

This is indeed a d6 chart that reads d8 on the header.

This man is responsible for the art back in 4. He's not a threat, just focused on painting on the walls. If asked, he doesn't really know who the Observers are or what they do, just that they see everything and hear everything and live behind the walls in secret passages.

The black king is Daniel, the black bishop is Bishop and there are as many pawns as there are PCs. It is a metaphor, you see.

There is unrest in the forest; there is trouble with the trees. The indoor forest was meant to be a refuge for the inmates to relax and enjoy nature and was tended by special gardening Custodians. Since Perdition, the Custodians are unable to tend to it and the background radiation of the Nether has influenced the plants. Fortunately, the mutations are mostly cosmetic. Weird but cosmetic and harmless. Due to how thick and wild the foliage is growing, you can't see further than 10 feet off the path looking into the forest.

Seven patients are playing “croquet” while a bunch of Scuttling Impossibilities watch them, making random noises as they run around. The Scuttling Impossibilities force Insanity and Despair checks but won’t attack the players. However, attacking them makes them flee and when they run away the patients panic and attack the players. Just ignore this area.

The village is made out of crap in the style of what people think a medieval village would look like. This is where Bishop (#3203071) resides.

An ex-priest who never gave up his faith, the PTM sentenced him to Gehenna as a Dissident and forced him to have a lobotomy. When you give a lobotomy to a zealous 70 year old man and lock him up in a psych ward, things get worse for him. He was one of the first witnesses of Daniel’s powers and he venerates him as a god, manipulating the inmates into forming a cult around him. The main thing is that the inmates kind of just view this as a game they’re all playing and they’re pretty easily manipulated by him.

Underneath Bishop’s control, the village is locked in a shtick where they look for witches, capture “witches” and then take them to be sacrificed. The other main reason is that every time they make a sacrifice to Daniel, he rewards them with medicine and food. The latest witch hunt is focused on the fear that there’s a werewolf murdering villagers who have been out picking mushrooms and didn’t return. A local girl by the name of Angelique (9136432) is the latest accused, the people claiming that she used her witchcraft to turn someone into a werewolf to torment the faithful.

Angelique is a young woman who has been pretending to be insane and has been hiding out among the patients after she escaped from her block. Initially sentenced for repeated theft, she’s not comfy in the village and some of the patients have tried to assault her. Her attempts to escape that lead to her witnessing the truth of Area 28 and trying to tell the other inmates the truth (along with refusal to believe that Daniel is a god) has gotten her labeled as a witch. If you manage to save her, she'll join the party but really only passively for her own protection. Bishop’s got his miter on and when G-Unit shows up they interrupt her being hauled off to be placed in a Wicker Man for sacrifice to Daniel. While the crowd is baying for her blood, Soapbox manages to manipulate the townspeople into holding back on the sacrifice (with Doc’s advice). They ultimately come to an accord: G-Unit is not in league with the witches and if they find the werewolf they’ll let Angelique go.

The shrooms here are edible but mildly psychotropic and hallucinogenic. Someone with Candy Man can sink the points into making Kaleidoscope or Redline out of the patch.

There’s no wolfsbane in the forest at all but that hasn’t stopped the patients from trying to find what they assume to be wolfsbane to deal with the werewolf. The mold in this patch is unique to the rest of the ship and the energies means it can’t grow anywhere else. If handled with bare flesh, the spores infest the victim and transform them into moldy, rubbery monsters (not like they’re worth handling; proper harvesting makes a tincture that causes homicidal mania). Since these two folks are not trained professionals, they’re mutants who take half damage from melee weapons and firearms. Fortunately Doc has a flamethrower, though she feels incredibly bad about putting them out of their misery.

#7990012 is homicidally insane and borderline mute. His escape during Perdition leads him to basically kill and eat his way through everyone in his path, fully nude and covered in gore. He’s the one who has been killing and eating the people of the village and immediately attacks the squad. Fortunately, G-Unit is armed with both mace and rope and there are also six of them. Subduing the Werewolf also gets them access to his stash of stuff he has no use for: a first aid kit, two ration packs and an antique fob watch that still functions just fine.

The six patients are looking to catch and subdue someone to be used as a sacrifice, turning it into a game. To quote the book: "“Catch the laddie” is an ancient game in which a mob chases after an individual whom they plan to use as a sacrifice to dispel a hex or appease an angry spirit." I really don’t know if this is a real thing because I got no useful info trying to look it up. Anyway, if the players run afoul of the group, they’ll try to isolate one and beat them into submission to be sacrificed. Generally avoid this area.

This is the Wicker Man, a construct made out of scrap metal and plant matter from the forest. Anyone who is captured by the roving mob of patients or has pissed off the Bishop ends up in the Wicker Man, where the entire village will gather to light it on fire and sing nonsense songs. Being in the Wicker Man forces a Despair check with a chance to gain +2 Despair. Once the Wicker Man is on fire, Bishop will lead the village back home and anyone in the construct has to make Prowess checks with a penalty or pass out. But nobody is at any risk of dying. Once the patients are gone, a squad of Monitors will emerge from the gate at Area 28, put the fire out and extract the victim to bring them back through 28.

How this ended up shaking out was that G-Unit brought the Werewolf back to the village, where they dejectedly grabbed the bound werewolf and dragged him to the Wicker Man. They open it up, shove the Werewolf in...and then shut the Wicker Man again and set it on fire as the Bishop taunts Soapbox about how he broke his promise and then leads the villagers in a weird nonsense song.

After beating the shit out of Bishop and scaring the villagers back to their homes, they attempt to put out the fire only to see the Monitors approach, put out the fire and drag a passed-out Angelique and Werewolf into Area 28.

The East Wing doors are kept locked at all times unless the Monitors are going out. This is where Angelique saw the Monitors bringing goodies to the patients as a reward for their sacrifices, but because this is a Forbidden Place she was ignored for telling the truth and punished. The game is pushing hard that the only way in is for someone to be "sacrificed" and for the rest of the gang to sneak in through the doors while the sacrifice is being rescued. Alternately you could just break down the door, requiring 100 damage to bust it open. Kind of bullshit that there are no ways to scale the walls, but brute-forcing it is too stupid and easy and that's why Angelique and the Werewolf still got wicker'd.


Ugh. Alright. So. Let's just gloss over the fact that this all takes place in an abandoned insane asylum and how that's crap, it's incredibly rare if anyone does something good with that and it's a such an obvious choice to say something against that. Really my main complaint is that in addition to me eating a club sandwich topped with clam juice, sprinkles, chocolate shell and Cheetos, I have decided to add another layer of a frozen waffle and uncooked ramen brick complete with flavor pack. There is just so much density to this setting that it's just a nonsensical string of words. "A medieval village made by mental patients who escaped from an asylum on a prison spaceship that has ended up in a dimension that is like Hell". All I have to do is throwing in crafting and zombies and rogue-like elements wait hold on a second.

And, again, The Wicker Man is completely the wrong type of horror movie to get hung up on to make a tone-deaf homage/stolen plot from. I could absolutely believe if this creepy child got obsessed with Hellraiser or Nightmare on Elm Street or the later Halloween movies or they just went for the lowest of low hanging fruit and he got obsessed with torture porn. They're the types of horror that's conducive to the environment this game is trying to make (hell it's already ripping off Event Horizon so much). Like it's still a child from the 27th century falling in love with this six centuries old work like if a kid today was like "I'm Beowulf! I wanna be Beowulf!" but the movies are at least appropriate. The Wicker Man is a mystery horror film that has a focus on social horror, a protagonist that's out of place and had the deck stacked against them the whole time, slowly realizing that the noose is drawing tighter only when it's too late. Half of the horror is the fact that you're watching him put the pieces together and then oh no Sgt. Howie! It would be like if I decided to replicate the plot of Get Out in Exalted. It's like I'm on a fucking date with these creators and they're like trying to whip out their cinema geek erections when I say I like horror films, just showing off how fucking smart and cultural they are by choosing something like The Wicker Man, like they're going to scoff and be like "how droll, you've only heard of the version with Nicolas Coppola. Oh, I'm sorry, you might know him by the name of Nic Cage. You see-"

Ugh. Uggggggh. Yeah. You get my point. I don't have to belabor this any longer. I've been good and didn't say anything about how this game would be better if it took more cues from the 2006 remake. Have a palate cleanser, I'll see you NEXT TIME when G-Unit journeys into the mouth of madness and knocks on the gates of the Fortress of Impossibility.

By The Pricking of My Thumbs, Something Metaplot This Way Comes

posted by Hostile V Original SA post



By The Pricking of My Thumbs, Something Metaplot This Way Comes

Let's just repost the map here for clarification. All things considered, this is a pretty short book and we're most of the way through it already.

The sanitarium is heavily warped by the long-term presence of Daniel's pet Reality Cancer. While it's not immediately visible, there is something sinister and wrong beneath the walls of the hospital that only gets worse the closer one gets to Daniel. Characters who have been sacrificed and rescued are all dropped off in a bunch of different places depending on how many people who have been captured.

I'll explain it later but you basically don't want more than 2 people to be captured. Immersion Therapy and Circulation Therapy have a chance of flat-out killing the people dropped off here and the Lab...has problems, which one can immediately surmise due to the fact that it's a fucking phrenology lab.

The door is unlocked and it's easy to leave the room. Scrawled on the wall is a message left behind by a previous occupant.

The two Monitors that bring people here and give food and medicine to the patients are under the control of Daniel's power. They were trying to subdue him when the Reality Cancer first appeared and ever since they've been bound to his will. If you're spotted by the Monitors, they'll try to force you back into 29 with force if necessary. So you're supposed to sneak out of this area, except:

G-Unit blunders into the room from the outside, the Monitors raise their tentacle arms and rush forward...and immediately keel over and shut down. Womp womp.

The day room is empty. The only thing you can do here is use the shards of broken glass as improvised weapons if you're particularly hard-pressed for tools.

Originally intended for art projects completed by the patients, now they're home to an amateur Bodies exhibit. Despair check! These aren't actually any of the patients, they all came from prisoners outside of the asylum who were snatched and turned into "statues". Who did this? Nobody knows and the book ain't saying.

The records room's facilities are still running perfectly fine and if the players want they can bring up information on Bishop or some of the other characters they haven't met yet like The Surgeon. There is definitely a dossier file for Daniel which has been placed by one of the computers to be loaded but hasn't been inserted. This is how the players can learn more about him (though lemme tell you: if they miss this, they're going to learn anyway).


Getting into the pharmacy requires Access 2 or Hacking. The patients weren't able to get in here but the events of Perdition did lead to some destruction and breakage. There is a veritable bounty of medication to be found here, stuff from antiseptics to antipsychotics to burn cream. The haul of medication to be found is 17 doses of Cardiolax and 10 doses of Tranq...but there is something very stupid and tricky afoot. 7 of the bottles of Cardiolax are actually doses of Frenzy, these bottled sealed back on Terra. The only way to tell the difference between the intentionally misleading bottles and the real deal are that there's a "P:LF" stamped on the inside of the cap. HMM I WONDER WHAT THAT COULD MEAN. Also define bottle. This makes it sounds like Cardiolax comes in both liquid form for administering injections (as we have basically seen in the past with syringes and such) but it can also come in, like, an Advil bottle. The other thing of note is that the party can take some samples of iodine triarylmethane, an antiseptic used in the sanitarium to prepare for surgery. Why would you take these samples? Because.

This man was one of the patients who was used as a sacrifice and has been stuck in the east wing since, unable to escape. This depression, mixed with his paranoia, has lead him to immediately attempt suicide if he's not restrained. Failing to administer medical care means he bleeds out in 1d3 minutes and causes a Despair check. Fortunately for him, this is not the first time Doc has seen a patient self-harm and she knows a thing or two about staunching the bleeding ASAP. He's not particularly thankful for it, but he will warn the group that there are weird, malicious patients in Area 36 and 38 and that there are men who live behind the walls who are watching and waiting for everyone to die. You know, that standard chestnut that's being kicked around through the adventure.

The studio is where patients were allowed to make art to express their thoughts, but now it's home to a handful of artists who ignore food, water and sleep to paint the scenes they see in their dreams. They're encouraged by the Scuttling Impossibilities who are hanging out with them, whispering both encouragement and criticism to get the work done right. The patients ignore the party and the Impossibilities will only attack if the artists are attacked. Fortunately there's no requirement to roll a Despair or Insanity check here so that's nice.

Oh no, Psycho Nurses. Who could have seen this coming. Who, I ask you, who. Their weapons count as shivs, which is weird, and they're looking away from the party. You can just sneak past them with an opposed Wits check but if that's failed then they'll attack and try to restrain the players for surgery.

Fortunately...they really suck at fighting. Unfortunately they have Quickness. Once the Nurses are dealt with, the area can be looted. Scalpels and sharp medical implements can be taken to be used as four shivs and there are enough actual medical supplies to be salvaged to assemble three first aid kits. There's also a wheeled laundry cart that smells awful. Opening it reveals human limbs and literal shaved skullcaps that are moldering and rotting, forcing a Despair check. The moral of the story is: if it smells awful and is in an abandoned sanitarium, probably don't open it.

When Daniel was first institutionalized, his first doctor liked to collect medical curios and items of junk science to decorate his office. The doctor had many posters and manuals about phrenology and outdated 19th century neuroscience that fascinated Daniel and sparked an interest in a long-discredited medical pseudoscience clung to by racists and quacks. The thing he liked the most was the idea that you could control someone by altering their brain...something he wants to apply to himself. There's a part of Daniel's subconscious that is horrified of what he's become, working against him like a left hand while the right has no idea and Daniel is willing to carve out a part of his brain to stifle internal rebellion. Enter #5259270, The Surgeon.

In his former life, the Surgeon was a renowned brain surgeon who was selected by the PTM to become head of surgery in a distant colony. The boredom of colonial life mingled with Space Madness and became a full-blown psychotic break. When a resupply ship came to drop off food and goods, the crew found that the Surgeon had slaughtered the entire colony by systematically subduing them and surgically removing their brains. He allowed himself to be arrested and brought back to Terra for sentencing, claiming that the voices told him to kill them all. When Perdition occurred and the Surgeon was released, Daniel convinced him of the virtues of phrenology by trepanning the man and giving him a taste. Ever since then he’s been a steadfast supporter of Daniel and has been using the sacrifices as test subjects to self-educate on phrenology through cranial vivisection.

This brings us to the current patient: a sane convict who was ambushed and captured by inmates to be used as a test subject. He’s strapped to the gurney with leather restraints and iron bands, head fastened in place with a brace. The top of his skull is already gone and his brain is exposed as the squad interrupts the “procedure”. The Surgeon smiles and tells his assistants to attack G-Unit. If they hadn’t already subdued the Nurses, the Nurses would be alerted to the situation and join in the fight. Fortunately despite the assistants being armed with scalpels…there are six members of G-Unit and three of them and they use the same Insane Patient stats. Beth, Soapbox, Ice Queen, Tama and Pincushion focus on the Surgeon when they’re all gone as Doc performs the greatest procedure of her life so far: undoing the damage the Surgeon has done to the “patient”. Because she has both medical supplies and Medical Knowledge, she’s able to perform the operation by doing her best to prevent the possible infections caused by using rusty tools, reattach his skullcap, seal it in place and then stitch his scalp back on (all to the soundtrack of angry women kicking the shit out of a maniac). He’s freed as the Surgeon is left bleeding and bound on the floor of the operating theater.

Regardless of how this shakes out, the crowd watching the surgery won’t join in, satisfied to watch whatever goes down.

The morgue requires Access 1 or Hacking to get in. Dead patients (natural causes, failed lobotomies etc.) were brought here for storage before cremation. There’s nothing in here but dead people; the patients and Surgeon were unable to access the morgue and these are all pre-Perdition bodies. This area only exists to be a supply of corpses for Devourers to inhabit if they have to manifest.

“Immersion Therapy” is…not the current form of Immersion Therapy you might be thinking of where a patient is slowly exposed to the source of their fear. In this case, immersion therapy refers to throwing a bound patient into dark ice water to make something in their brains fire from the sensation. Unsurprisingly this lead to some deaths by drowning or hypothermia and was generally ineffective. If nobody was kidnapped here, this area is empty. If they were, hooboy.

Despair check! Prowess check to unmask yourself. Prowess check to get the weight off your foot; the chain has a Prowess of 12. You can survive underwater for 1 turn per point of Prowess. If you’re still underwater when those turns are up, instant death from drowning. Do not pass go, do not collect 200 smokes. This is awful and unnecessarily lethal.

If nobody was brought here from the Wicker Man, this room just has a single nonverbal patient who hangs out by the controls in a state of quiet giggling and drooling. The centrifuge is a Circulating Swing, a primitive attempt at curing insanity and suicidal tendencies by spinning people around a bunch and exposing them to g-forces. Unlike Immersion Therapy, this was actually a thing in the 19th century and god only fucking knows why it’s on this space ship. There’s nothing else to this room unless you ended up here thanks to the Custodians:

This is the room where they find Angelique who is strapped into the machine, passed out as it spins. Waking up in the machine forces a Despair check as it starts to spin slowly before picking up speed. There are two ways out of this situation. First, the victim can try to break the restraints on the arms, legs and heads with an Opposed Prowess Check where the restraints have 10 Prowess. If successful, the victim is kind of just…flung out of the chair to safety. Alternately they can scream to the nonverbal patient and make three Social checks: first to get his attention, then to get him to stop the arm and then to get him to undo the restraints. Neither of these are…great ways to get out of the machine and that’s because of Further Mechanics. The first three rounds are spent spinning with no effect. After that, each round forces a Prowess check where failure means you pass out. Succeed and there’s a +1 penalty to the next roll, cumulative. You could put Soapbox or Doc in that chair and they’d have a hell of a time of getting out one way or the other. If you pass out, that’s it, you have three minutes for someone else to switch off the chair or you die.

This is just so much worse than the Immersion Therapy room because there’s just less of a chance to get out due to the steps needed. Angelique, for example, failed her check pretty early because she’s got a poor Prowess score. They do succeed in rescuing her before it’s too late, but she’s very dizzy, very sore and needs a minute to puke her guts up.

The psychobaric chambers are basically a dentist chair in a cylindrical chamber where the patient is secured and bombarded with stimulus to create an aversion response. The rooms are completely sealed off from the outside, creating a soundproof barrier. Pincushion pretty easily recognize where they are and feels the dread in the pit of his stomach associated with these machines.

There are still patients in the machines to boot. Looking in through the holes reveals men and women in straightjackets cuffed to the machines, catatonic with mouths flecked with drool or vomit. Because the machines have been running, these patients have been repeatedly causing manifestations; every four hours they gain 1 point of Insanity so every other day one of them causes a Demon to appear. This is the source of all of the Scuttling Impossibilities in the area and it can’t be shut off. Probing Pincushion for info is pointless because he wasn’t a technician, just a recipient of the treatment. The patients are all condemned to die a slow, horrible death from starvation as they occasionally summon something monstrous…unless G-Unit can stop Daniel. Stopping Daniel and getting rid of the Reality Cancer will stop the machines from working because he told them to.

These cells are mostly empty like in the west wing but they can still be searched. Unlike the west wing, these cells don’t have anything to offer the players because the occupants were high risk patients and weren’t allowed to have much. The GM can roll on the table below for what is found.

Because G-Unit is getting closer to Daniel and the Cancer, reality is fraying at the seams and things go from a low-key hum of sinister to full-bore supernatural.

Any time the party passes into an area marked with an asterisk, that’s Area 44. Passing over an asterisk spits them out on the other side of another asterisk, the warping of space and time going unnoticed and placing them someplace different. The Reality Cancer’s effect on the area is that time and space are folding and causing things to go in the wrong direction, making them loop and get lost. Fortunately, Ice Queen has Sixth Sense which gives her the chance to make a Wits check (whoo Wits 10) to overcome the obstacle. Once she figures out what’s wrong, the phenomenon ceases to function and the area is left “normal” again.

One of the paintings made by the patients back in the East Wing Cells, placed her to break up text.

Area 45 is home to a temporal warp where the party finds themselves reliving something that had just happened. This forces an Insanity check. If it was a regular random event that caused a DGI check, there’s no second check. If it’s combat, you run combat again like a brand new fight.

Meet the new Demon this book has to offer, the Seers. You might think that the Seers are the Observers. They aren’t. You’re encouraged to convince the players that the Seers are the Observers. All they do is stare at the squad before running away or getting chased away.


Seers manifest by crawling out of nothingness to form a mob of the little fuckers. They’re about the size of a hand, small and weak and easily kicked.

They’re not meant to be an enemy you fight. Their main existence is to observe stuff and relay the info back to the local Demons (in this case they report to the Reality Cancer). They’re annoying and really just cause possible Insanity gain. I have nothing to really say about them because they’re a useless little addition and the moment G-Unit finds them they keel over and die because, again, they don’t have a proper stat block.

This is identical to Area 38 and ohhh boy here is my favorite part. So, for starters, this is the dumbest, most try-hard thing. In a nutshell, Daniel has used his powers to make the patient’s brain fit the phrenology chart, completely reworking his grey matter so that phrenology actually works. The main reason he’s forcing G-Unit to perform this little stunt is to see just how viable it would be to use on his own meat to get rid of his subconscious. The rules of the game are as follows: Let’s take a look at the different parts of the…”brain”. Daniel only gives you the chart; he doesn’t list what they do.

Because Daniel is an asshole and likes fucking with people, he’s hinted that the C organ is what should be removed. In reality, what you want to remove is the E organ, the Hunger organ. The problem isn’t that the patient was unimaginative but that he ate children.

But we’re going to use the alternate rule and instead of them performing brain surgery on a child-eating cannibal or another PC (god why would you even do this), they’re performing the surgery on our good buddy Werewolf. More specifically, Doc is performing the surgery in what is now the greatest procedure of her life so far. I would imagine that this would require removing both the Phagos organ and the Manicos organ to help poor Werewolf come to his senses so he can live a life of no longer eating people while naked. Succeeding the surgery or killing the patient results in being able to leave the area.

Also here is a very important thing I have figured out: if Doc was so inspired and motivated to (and she’s not, she’s a rational lady who already has enough guilt issues and this is something she definitely wouldn’t want to do), she could remove the patient’s brain and he wouldn’t die. To wit: Now, granted, the patient would be blind, have Wits damage, gain Insanity, lose Insanity, gain the same mental disorder twice, possibly become emotionally numb, definitely become socially stunted and also feel less bad about themselves and their actions. They would also literally be missing their brain. But hey, they’re alive and if they were a PC, they would absolutely be rejoining the party to continue on the adventure (albeit blind, which…actually has no in game penalty so this isn’t, like, as bad as it sounds). And if you’re playing this game as a murderfest, having 1 Sociability is to be expected.

This is one of the biggest signs of there being a gigantic problem with time and space thanks to the Reality Cancer. The pit is 100 feet deep, literally cannot fit in the space where this is and has random gravity fluctuations and wack-ass Scooby Doo doors. You have to get to the bottom to progress and it’s a Reflexes check to climb down in 10 foot increments. That’s right baby, it’s time for ten straight rolls! Fail the roll and you roll on the chart below.

Fortunately they’re all armed with rope for climbing. Unfortunately having to roll a Reflex check ten times with a 20% chance of your character no longer existing in this zone of reality and a 30% chance of death by fall damage is relentless bullshit. This is the hardest challenge to date and runs a very real risk of wiping the party; Tama and Pincushion end up bruised and contused and require some brief medical attention before they can continue.

It also gets An Art.

Wits check with a penalty!

Now punch the mirror until it takes 10 points of damage.

Oh no, a secret passage. Who could have seen this coming. Who. My jaw is dropped. On the floor even. Nobody else in the sanitarium knows that these passages are here; the patients obsessed with the Observers are just blindly conjecturing or half-right but don’t actually know. The following areas have no bearing on the adventure and are just a thick dollop of metaplot smeared on the bread.

Area 50 is home to the tunnels behind the scenes. These tunnels just run behind all of the rooms, tight corridors with emergency lights that run behind the mirrors in Area 15 and Area 42.

The chair is still warm. Looking through the security discs will reveal some of the most recent and important scenes relevant to the sanitarium.

The stuff here can be looted, netting the party lab coats with P:LF stenciled on the breast, goggles, a clipboard and the ability to salvage stuff from the recording equipment.

Educated Wits check! This is a force field, a experimental form of one that was rumored to be experimented with back on Terra. Anything that touches it gets dealt 1d6 electrical damage and bounces off. There is absolutely no way through the force field and this is basically where the passage ends. What the players don’t and won’t know is that the force field can’t be penetrated by the Demons. The people behind it are completely protected from the dangers of the Nether and this was intentionally designed to be here behind the walls of the sanitarium.

Insanity check! If you have any Despair, Despair check or you literally can't go any further. The Fortress is a pocket dimension made by Daniel's mind and given stability by his pet Reality Cancer. If the bond between them is broken, this whole place goes poof. It follows very real rules of gravity and physics, and any wounds incurred here are real. A bridge leads from 49 into the Fortress possible where five rooms ("Towers") await for the party to venture into to earn the right to face Daniel in combat.

Some Guy at the gates of the Fortress of Impossibility.

There are more hints about what's to come in further modules and also of a ~deeper lore~ and I think I've harped enough on them. Join me NEXT TIME when G-Unit becomes a squad of Psychonauts and kicks in the doors of the theater of the mind.

I feel like I'm forgetting something, though. Oh! Right.

I Don't Know How I Can Outlast All of The Suffering, My Chances of Survival Seem Slender Out Here In This Zone of Dead Space Full of the Nether's ObsCure Resident Evils. Silent Hill.

posted by Hostile V Original SA post



I Don't Know How I Can Outlast All of The Suffering, My Chances of Survival Seem Slender Out Here In This Zone of Dead Space Full of the Nether's ObsCure Resident Evils. Silent Hill.

We're off the map now and deep in the Fortress of Impossibility, a realm where five towers must be approached and conquered. Daniel's blocked himself off from the squad with a literal locked door where five keys are needed to access him, each key hidden in a tower. The only thing standing between G-Unit and the keys are...videogame-style interactive cutscenes.

Yes, that's right. You have to trek through Daniel's memories and experience them yourself in order to earn the privilege of his boss fight. They can be done out of order but, like, why would you so I'll be doing them in numerical/chronological order. Also just a heads up: I know there's been a background content warning I threw up in the beginning, but CONTENT WARNING: if scenes and imagery of child abuse and verbal abuse will upset you, I might recommend you just keep scrolling.

Taking a look at the toys he's playing with reveals that they're similar to the village of the sanitarium, right down to a little holy man leading an angry mob towards a witch in a makeshift wicker man. The game assumes you'd want to investigate the sounds of splashing.

Quickly, mash X to try and save him! Oh wait you can't. You can't reach the younger memory of Daniel and after a moment the surface of the pond turns to glass as he continues to drown. The squad has three turns to act to try and save him. Every attempt that does 3+ points of damage causes the glass to crack but at the same time the person trying to break the glass takes 1 point of damage from psychic backlash. Crack the glass three times and it shatters...and he drowns anyway but a small silver key floats from his mouth to the surface. G-Unit shatters the glass immediately in the first round, all of them acting at once and sharing the pain. Letting him drown or failing to save him forces a Guilt check. This key is instead black and flecked with mud and corrosion and is found in the mud on the banks of the pond. Either key works fine for its intended duties and picking it up forces a Wits check to let the players know this key is Important and was deliberately placed here. This revelation gives everyone -1 Despair and they get to leave the tower.

This near-death experience lead to Daniel unlocking his psychic potential and put his life on the course it lead to.

The door doesn't open. You can try peeking through the crack, though.

Trying to talk to Memory Ghost Dad results in no response because of the fact that he's a memory ghost. The main focus of interest are the pieces of art Daniel has been working on: crayon drawings of demons, coloring books, weird monsters. The art that stands out the most is a sentence scrawled on a piece of paper that the book says seems depressing and nihilistic in the face of his mother's death: "YOUR MIND CAN ONLY HURT, IT CANNOT HELP". Beneath the paper is a brass key which does another Wits check if you didn't get it yet. You'll keep doing this until you do get it. Touching the key summons the voice of Daniel who yells "you're not welcome here anymore! Get out - stay out of my mind!" and then they can leave. Despite his yelling and bluster, he doesn't do anything to actually stop them.

The squad is now locked inside of a giant dark closet like when Daniel's father stuffed him in the hall closet and locked him in there for hours on end. The door won't open further than the crack it's already opened to allow air to flow in. Sidling up against the closed door will let them hear what's going on outside. There's the constant ticking of a grandfather clock, a Wits check will let them pick up Daniel's father's drunken mumblings and a Lost Knowledge check will let them pick up the movie that's on the television (it's The Wicker Man).

The only way to get out is to explore the closet which has a collection of smaller doors lining the walls. This is where Daniel crams people who tried to kill him or escape and failed. Their belongings are all here as well, neatly tucked away in a literal corner of his mind. Time to open some doors! Exit through Door 7 once you've got the key.

This is just all cutscene. Kick up your heels and watch.

Despair check. You end up outside the tower automatically with a gold key in your pocket.

Yes that's right, in the future they still use Zener card tests. The name of the game is "someone in the party has to do this Psychic Test to feel the pain I've felt". One of the players has to sit in the chair which is rigged to deliver a 1d6 damage electrical charge if you guess wrong. The GM rolls 1d6 to see what image it is and then the player has to pick an image from the list. Then the GM reveals the image they got. If the person in the hot seat has Psi Potential at all, any points of Psi Strength they have can shift their choice by 1 place for every 2 points they have. The way out of this scenario is to get three a row or if someone dies from electrocution.

For once, it's Pincushion's time to shine. Casually taking a seat, every single time he picks the Star and then just shifts it to the right answer because he has Psi Strength 7 and can just shift his choice up to three spaces. Because Pincushion actually succeeded in this and has Psi Potential and Psi Strength, he automatically gains +5% Potential (which doesn't matter because he's already Awakened) and +1 Strength (which he enjoys quite a bit). For good measure he flips the bird as G-Unit leaves and grabs the marble key off the floor.

Once the towers have been completed it's up to G-Unit to solve the greatest riddle of all: in which order do you put the keys into the magic brain door.

It's not like this is a safe thing, though. Every time they get it wrong the wind blows harder and after three failures the bridge collapses and the party is literally split up, teleported all over the ship. Module over, you're alone, fuck you. Opening the door teleports the whole party to...THE CUBIC MAZE.

Behold, substandard art!


Welcome to the final fight. PCs spawn on an asterisk space and Daniel spawns on the X. The maze is all white and featureless except for the big menacing walls. Each space is 5 feet but you move at half speed (so 3 spaces a round) because of the disorienting nature of the maze. Daniel is also limited to this...except when he wants to teleport up to six squares away from his current location through walls. Let's take a look at Daniel's stats.

Alright there are four things I want to focus on, the first of which being that his Extra Health Trait isn't working properly due to bad proofreading. Second is the fact that Pincushion is a stronger psychic than him but it's not like that really matters because Daniel has bullshit plot powers. The third thing is that he has 0 Insanity and that makes no sense; Demented Insight doesn't work and Insanity goes away with low Insanity. The fourth thing I want to focus on is a bit more...oblique. There is no way in hell Daniel is a boy. And I don't mean that in a gender identity sense, I mean there's no way he's any younger than 17, 18. He is, by all accounts, a young man at the very least and I utterly and sincerely hate that the game keeps treating him like a literal child because fuck you this is so stupid. His mom dies when he's 9, he's abused when he's 10, he kills his relatives when he's 11, he's hospitalized when he's 12, throw five years on the Gehenna into the mix, he's fucking 17 minimum. And the game never addresses this discrepancy because they're absolute ass at chronological timelines and having a grasp of chain of events. The thing that makes me hate Daniel and this book the most isn't that they keep calling him A Child or A Boy and hammering on the Creepy Empowered Child trope, it's the fact that the official art of the fucker is very much "no he is actually a child, shut up". And this (intentionally?) ignorant insistence just drives me up the goddamn wall as a result, the cherry to the sundae of the hack writing of this book to me.

Anyway let's take a look at his stupid wishes.

Yeah. Unless you have one of the tokens that represents something he fears or that triggers a reaction, his Wishes automatically hit. And boy howdy it's a good thing that they all have Extra Health.

Having a token means that you can make an opposed Will check to just ignore his Wishes and they are awful and unfun. The other upside of the tokens is that he can't teleport and disengage from combat when around one. The way the fight functions is that Daniel will pick off the players one by one before they can regroup, his Insanity reduces damage received by 1 point and he'll use Demented Insight to add +1 to one roll to save his ass.

In execution, Doc and Beth have Quickness and they have Barrier Buster rounds for their shotgun. Plus there are no rules saying that you can take multiple samples of the antiseptic which...I mean, G-Unit has their pockets full of stolen food and all the medicine they could take, why not take a shitload of antiseptic? Doc and Beth come across Daniel while he's in a Psychic Duel with Pincushion and because Daniel really isn't a child, neither of them will hesitate and they blow the would-be god-king in half.

Oh no a Reality Cancer. Insanity check.

The Reality Cancer runs the fuck away and no I'm pretty sure it was all Daniel. Anyway, its plan was thwarted. It would have absolutely loved to have turned Daniel into a general of the army of the damned alongside Blade and Lucretia but G-Unit has put a stop to that. It just has to be satisfied with the damage it did to the sanitarium as it runs away. Because Daniel is dead and the Reality Cancer has fled, the Cubic Maze and Fortress of Impossibility begin to collapse as the pocket dimension starts to implode and G-Unit manage to get back to Area 49 in the nick of time. The damage to the sanitarium is extensive; the secret areas of 50-52 have collapsed and the whole area is just damaged further than it already was.

So what have we accomplished here? G-Unit has trekked into Somewhere In Between and come out alive, dealing a blow to the sinister machinations of the Demons. More importantly, they have liberated the contents of an entire pharmacy and a pantry full of real food, giving them plenty of medical gear and supplies to find somewhere to hole up and lay low to recover from the events of this mission. The only grey to this silver cloud is that now Pincushion won't stop complaining about how the Demons picked someone who was inferior to his own power to act as a general for their army. The promise of cooking up a pot of pork and beans and cracking open tinned fruit is enough to shut him up.

Rewards! Everyone gets 200 BP and loses 1d6 Despair. Further goal rewards are below.

And so ends a pretty boring book about a matryoshka doll of stolen plot points and settings wrapped up in a straightjacket. Overall this module is pretty easy up until the final fight which is a total pain in the ass. G-Unit gets to rest on their laurels for a spell, adding God Slayer to their various accomplishments. Plus I've already figured out what their next character advancements will be: everyone except Ice Queen is taking Criminal Mastermind to make the party literally double in size. Shelling out the extra BP to override the requirements can be easily done due to the weird remainder of 70 points from their defense of Sanctuary and this module was more than enough to get them the 200-300 BP necessary to double the fucking party. Plus I have a sworn duty to see how much I can make the system bend and break under the rules they've established (not hard for people taught by D&D 3.0).

These newcomers (and Ice Queen) will be the stars of the next module because...I kinda made the core members of G-Unit way too good and the core thrust of the next module won't function properly because they can just murder their way through their problems. So come back and join me NEXT TIME for my absolute favorite module of this entire line, a module I love because it's so stupid and bad: LORDS OF THE DREAM CAGES, a module the creators straight-up say in the first few pages is based on the Marquis de Sade's The 120 Days of Sodom and the 1975 art horror film Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom and is marked as Mature on DTRPG as a result. G-Unit dares to enter their magical realm.

I love the holodeck. It's so bad.

"The Story of O"h God Damn It

posted by Hostile V Original SA post



"The Story of O"h God Damn It

Heads up: there is a lot of weird and gross sex stuff in here. Drug abuse, child abuse, sexual abuse, nonconsensual situations, Nazi imagery and torture are all parts of this. There is just…a lot here. So again, blanket CONTENT WARNING in regards to inappropriate sexual content and abuse and Magical Realm nonsense. If this makes you uncomfortable, by all means, don’t read this. Pretty much every installation of Lords of the Dream Cages’ updates will have something objectionable and questionable beyond the baseline of AAH’s shenanigans. I will be putting Bad Stuff under spoiler tags. And I'm not making things up that go under those tags, these are legit things the writers put in this book.

How We Got Here

There are a lot of small groups of people scraping by in the Gehenna after Perdition. This is the story of four of them: Blangis, Levec, Curval and Durcet. The four of them managed to meet up and work together to stay one step ahead of the gangs and the Demons, eventually managing to find a recreation complex to hole up in. For those who don’t remember, rec complexes are basically a functioning cross between an upscale mall and a good YMCA. This one in particular was home to an arcade, a theater, gymnasium, cinema, Olympic swimming pool and a library. They managed to spruce the place up pretty good by fortifying the entrances and restoring the power and settled into a life of comfort, safe from the Demons and roving bands of convicts.

And, I mean, it’s a comfortable and complacent existence. This changes when they find a book on file down in the library. Blangis, the leader, ends up becoming obsessed with this book on the computer and that book happens to be The 120 Days of Sodom. He shows this to the others one by one and this all plants the seeds of a very stupid idea that Blangis spearheads: make the story real. For starters, they use the virtual reality chambers in the rec complex and get the power going to them again. The point of the simulators was allow the prisoners in a complex to experience things they can’t anymore if they behave well, things like being in a forest or swimming or lying on a sunny hill or skiing. With a little modification to the controls of the simulators, Blangis basically figured out they could be used for porn (despite the signs attached for everything that says “DON’T ABUSE THE SIMULATORS”). Using this knowledge and abusing the simulators, the foursome started creating their own little Magical Realms where they used and abused the artificial humanoids inside.

This didn’t last. The four of them started kidnapping people and used them both as prey for the simulators or breaking them emotionally and psychologically to become their accomplices. Their targets were generally the lost, the weak, the isolated, slowly picking off anyone who came across the rec complex and indoctrinating the more attractive victims into working with them. However, their reign of terror is going to come to an end because they bit off way more than they could chew with the latest batch of victims.

Before we get into the new members of G-Unit, let's take a minute to learn more about our antagonists. Our contestants tonight on Abandon All Hope all hail from Terra, all come from different walks of life and all have their own kinks and bugaboos but together they make up THE LORDS OF THE DREAM CAGES! Come on down, contestant #1! Side note: all of their character art is how they appear to look in the Dream Cages. You'll see what they look like proper later.


Percy Blangis traces his bloodline back to Prussian aristocracy and that's a major point of pride of his, so much so that he has leveraged it in the past to get into certain jobs. The last job he held was working with a weapons manufacturer from Europe that made guns for the Last War. When he was out of work, he joined a group of like-minded rich people called the Knights of the Old Order who violently disagreed with the New Regime. This culminated in Blangis personally designing chemical weapons that were used to attack the UN building in Paris in 2640, the effects of which killed over a hundred thousand people. The Knights were eventually brought to heel and all of them were arrested (well the ones who didn't take the "honorable way out" and killed themselves) including Blangis. His official charge is "crimes against humanity".

Blangis is in his 50s with silver hair and silver eyes and actively cultivates an air of stern diplomacy. He's fit, he's charming, he's handsome, he possesses energies and tastes of men half his age, he's an emotional abuser and an awful human being. He glosses over what he does by maintaining the persona of a kind aristocrat who keeps his interests on the down-low. Blangis prides himself on being a gentleman, on being able to provide goods and luxuries and on being a kind host despite none of that being true. Blangis' sexual interests will be covered when his particular Dream Cage comes up.

#6101347, DR. FRANCO LEVEC

Levec comes from a strict family and was coddled as a child due to illness. He grew up to love strict categorization, from family traditions to the bugs he'd collect to put behind glass with pins. His parents bordered on the smothering, stunting his social growth and refusing to let him engage in things that interested him. They were even controlling what he studied when he went away to college: psychology, picked because he was a bright man but also because his grandfather had worked on New Regime psychological programs and this was a point of pride for the family. And Levec was a good psychologist; his inability to connect to people lead to him being able to emotionally detach from cases and treat the patient with a cold rationality and his inner desires to control made him work hard. Then he started using his position to get his control rocks off, turning his tenure as a medical director of psychology at a university mental hospital in Prague into his own personal playground. He began coercing not coworkers but patients into sleeping with him, their number ultimately being in the dozens, using his authority to cover up times when this was not consensual. And ultimately someone blew the whistle and Levec was arrested. His house was raided and police walked out with a mountain of hardcore BDSM porn and dozens of fetish uniforms and erotic paraphernalia he would use.

Levec is not a man who lasts long in jail and pre-Perdition life was mostly just about keeping his head down and waiting until the Warden sent him to a new block because his current cellmates wanted to kill him. This only made things worse and he was labeled as a coward and made a higher target, resulting in him getting stabbed and nearly dying. This is how he met Percy Blangis. The man who tried to kill him was an enemy of Blangis and Blangis ultimately decided to poison the man's rations to deal with him. Levec's gratitude lead to an intense, honest devotion to Blangis and a friendship that culminated in them escaping Perdition together.

Levec is a slight, unassuming man, the kind the neighbors would describe as such a nice guy and how nobody could have seen this coming. His major fetish is hardcore sadomasochism and humiliation. Victims selected by him are stripped, humiliated, dehumanized and systematically broken into compliant toys. He is, at the very least, bisexual and general prefers beautiful "partners". The one he enjoys the most are placed in fetish uniforms of his own design, combining Nazi fetishism with BDSM regalia.


Curval is the oldest of the Lords and also the most reclusive. There's not much known about his life but there's plenty known about his old job: Superior Court Judge for the PTM. Curval ended up abusing his power to have political rivals locked up but eventually got bored with it. Then he started getting innocent defendants sentenced to death and became convinced he could get away with it. This was his downfall and he was arrested, stripped of his title and imprisoned. However, Curval is the most politically connected of the Lords and a lot of people in the PTM owed him favors. He was given maximum Trustee status and isolated from general population, basically given white-collar living conditions and a slap on the wrist. He was even given a role in the colonial government should they land somewhere habitable; his title of Judge would restored to become the lynchpin of the colonial government's judicial system.

Perdition kind of put an end to that. The Warden was distracted with other problems and the Custodians were either destroyed or rerouted elsewhere. Plenty of prisoners from the general population wanted to get their hands on a Trustee or to get revenge on someone from the system and Curval was reduced to hiding for his own safety. But then he meant Blangis, a man who promised to keep him safe if Curval used his Trustee access to get them supplies and through locked doors. It was Curval's access who got them access to the rec complex to begin with and the ability to reroute power and utilities.

But Curval has receded into the background of the group and that's because he's hardcore addicted to virtual reality simulators. Blangis has enabled Curval's desire to have the power over life and death and his kinks are less sexual in nature and more violent. Blangis got him to try killing the artificial attendants of the simulators, and when he found he enjoyed that Blangis pushed him into murder with the argument of "you haven't truly lived until you've done this". He's been addicted to murder ever since and thrown himself head-first into the simulations where he hunts and kills people and artificials at all hours of the day, only removing himself from the simulation when he has to.


Fun fact: I based Soapbox a bit on Durcet and cut out a lot of this. Really I guess I just based her on the idea of Durcet. Anywho. Durcet is a smart and beautiful woman who was a writer and feminist activist in the outer world. A champion of feminism and a fierce fighter for smashing gender roles, she was front and center in the movement and wrote numerous books on the topic. "Her only failing" (ugh) was the fact that she was infertile, something she attempted to compensate for and satisfy her desire to have children by adopting orphans from Third World countries. Around the time she adopted her tenth child some information got out about the Durcet household and...well. It was revealed that she was a brutal disciplinarian, keeping them in line via physical abuse and sexual humiliation by making the children remain naked or strip in front of each other and relieve their waste in front of each other or other things I presume would be worse than that (the game just puts down an "etc." after that). Her ultimate charges were child molestation, child abuse, torture and wrongful imprisonment.

Durcet did her best to remain anonymous behind bars, cutting her hair and staying out of group activities. She generally kept to herself and cultivated the air of being religious, focusing on isolation and prayer. But then Perdition happened...and one of the cellmates she escaped with was a member of the Furies who managed to figure out who she was. Knowing that she'd be dead meat on her own, she cut the woman's throat in desperation and clung to the rest of the group until they were scattered by a Corruptor's gaze. She fled the group and traveled alone, fully expecting death but finding Blangis, Curval and Levec instead. She was taken to the rec complex and that's where Blangis began to work on breaking Durcet down and exploiting her guilty psyche to create someone just as depraved as him but who truly believed they were repentant.

The Dream Cages have unlocked her true desires and created a paradise for her, a place where she can shamefully indulge in her kinks and sexual frustration. Unfortunately, those kinks are a heavy lust for pedophilia, child murder and hardcore torture. Unlike Levec who prefers to break pride and the mind and Curval who relishes the hunt and the kill, Durcet loves slow-burn pain and has a fascination with spilling blood.


The Lords are in charge and everyone else is their lesser, preferring a life of servitude and slavery instead of being thrown in a cage to be assaulted or killed. They cook, they clean, they entertain, they service the Lords sexually. The minor characters fall into one of three categories.

Older Servants are prisoners who are (glad to be) too old for the Lords' sexual tastes and instead work as helpers, running the show and the logistics. It's not an ideal situation but they're glad they have security under the Lords and they'll warn them and raise alarms if things are going wrong. They generally won't fight unless they're pushed to a breaking point.

Accomplices were given a choice of service or death and were generally only offered this choice because of their looks. Blangis gets into their heads and works on wearing them down until they'll do nothing but comply. Some of them go along with it only for their own service, some of them appear servile but are looking for the right moment to escape, some are mad enough to love their new position and want nothing more than to please the Lords. Either way, they're prisoners who generally didn't have it in themselves to fight and they're not hard to deal with if need be.

Artificials are created by the simulators to fill roles: bartender, memories of family members, someone to lean on and talk to. They're as real as real can be thanks to their programming giving them the ability to react realistically, to love, to trust, to fear, to be scared. Now they're mostly used as NPCs within simulations, acting as servants or sex slaves or fodder or prey when they're not being used for their (mostly) intended purpose of providing atmosphere. They can't leave the simulators without deteriorating but they're definitely capable of acting within them, even killing if they're programmed to.

Ugh. Well that was all depressing. Let's meet our contestants on the other side of the equation: the newcomers to G-Unit. Ice Queen was already introduced last time around and, admittedly, she didn't really have much going on when it came to Daniel's wack-ass mental prison. She has, however, flourished under the tutelage of Soapbox, Doc and Beth, learning how to improve her ability to fight and hold her own in addition to using her wits to help figure out places to strike. She's also worked on honing her defense intimidation to project a greater air of menace that says "do not start something because I'll sure as hell finish it". Because of her increased competence, the founders of G-Unit have put Ice Queen in charge of the other recruits and their current mission to explore nearby blocks for goods and resources. Let's meet her allies.

#3269576, "PEACEMAKER"

Sgt. Chen "Peacemaker" Locke served during the Last War in what was once Kiev. Bombarded by chemical weapons and neutron bombs, Kiev was a desolate wasteland of decaying buildings and refugees fleeing the combat zones. Her platoon's duty was to round up as many as they could to bring to safer environments and deliver medical aid and many times they had to put themselves between the innocent and their enemies. She has a lot of bad memories of the war, a lot of bad memories of mowing down ravenous cannibals so crazed by hunger they saw her men as MREs and of fighting rebels with heavy artillery. So when the war ended and she was stripped of all honors despite the people she at least tried to save, Chen was livid and hell-bent on payback by getting her name at least cleared. Didn't particularly work out for her and she's got the prison time to prove it. Since then, she's mellowed out some but still wrestles with her own demons. Ultimately Perdition isn't anything she's hasn't seen before, painfully familiar with the desperation and the hunger. Falling in with someone like Beth just gives her another shot at saving people who need it.

Chen hasn't gone soft in the slightest since she was imprisoned, using all the time in the world to keep herself fit and trim. She's pushing 45 but still built like a tank with a mind like a homing missile and she's got more military experience and tactics to add to the group's survival.

#4242881, "BAD HABIT"

Terica "Bad Habit" Haught was born into squalor in the ruins of cities destroyed by radiation and warfare. Sticking to the outskirts of society lead her to pick up an eclectic set of skills focused on surviving to live another day, manipulating folks with her body to get the goods and services under the banner of the PTM. Her life as a prostitute wasn't particularly exciting, but her ability to be ensure payment by being discrete and delivering quality service got her some reliable clients in good positions. Unfortunately, one bad session lead to her client going to the hospital and her pleading her case to the court. The charges were prostitution (guilty, no pleading out of that) and attempted murder (not guilty, he had just tried to warm himself up with a belt when it was supposed to be a guided, monitored thing), ultimately beating the rap for the latter but not the former. On the Gehenna, she simply faded into the background of sex workers imprisoned by the PTM and made a comfortable life for herself. But now everything is different and wrong and Terica's skills are useful once more at keeping her alive.

Terica does a little bit of everything...not very well, but she does a little bit of everything. Thems the breaks when you roll low. But Tama sees something in her, so why not keep her around? More hands to pick through the salvage are always appreciated. She got her nickname from her ability to keep on coming back like a bad habit and now that she's amongst people willing to watch her back if she'll watch them, you bet your ass Bad Habit will live to fight another day.

#4445658, "JACKPOT"

Alicia "Jackpot" Wynne was raised to break horses and raise hell like her forefathers before her. The child of anti-PTM revolutionaries who learned to lower their voices and keep the fight alive in secret, Alicia's education was supplemented with a lessons on radical politics and how to resist. However, not all of the lessons took and what was taught might not have been the most comprehensive course. Her parents were pretty disappointed when she started holding up stores and even more disappointed when the sweet words of her new friends lead to her robbing banks and offices. Ultimately a sting operation brought the crew down and Alicia was thrown behind bars where she quickly proved that the system doesn't work for everyone. Most surprisingly was that despite her outspoken hatred of the PTM, of prison and of society was that she ended up being made a Trustee of the highest standing. But hey, sometimes things accidentally get misfiled and sometimes you know someone on the outside who can guarantee those papers get jostled. They were unable to change anything by the time she ended up on the Gehenna and Alicia set about trying to make herself the coolest Trustee around. Her penchant for looting high-access areas and selling the goods and letting prisoners in where they shouldn't lead to her getting kicked around a lot until she found herself running for her life from a horde of angry Demons. She is glad she found Pincushion, though; he may not be the most coherent guy she's met, but she's one of the few not trying to use her for her status and hey, why not team up with his friends?

Her big selling point is her ability to access high level goods and places because I abused the fact that you can buy off one requirement by paying 50 BP. Needing Trustee 2 counts as one requirement as far as I can tell. She's also very handy in a scrap to boot.

#6838569, "BUZZKILL"

Ren "Buzzkill" Rackham had a stable, cushy job at a government pharmaceutical and research lab. The pay was good, the hours were decent and they had plenty of stimulating work coming up with new compounds and drugs. So they did what was asked of them, administered shots and pills and took the results as they came. However, Ren was far from the only researcher in the lab and there was a problem of covering up results and lying about side effects to push contracts. When an experimental psychotropic drug caused a mass of patient deaths and was still under consideration as a therapeutic drug for prisoners, Ren decided to stand up for what they believed in and became a whistleblower, leaking documents to the media and doing what they could to minimize their own profile in the leaks. This was mostly because Ren may have been innocent in the fraud...but not their own little side business of taking experimental formulae that didn't make the cut home and padding their pockets with some sales of illicit goods. When the lab went under, the PTM made sure that Ren went with it. Terrified of something bad happening to them due to government involvement, Ren was privately surprised that their knowledge of chemistry was prized by inmates. Same job, different environment. Doc is absolutely pleased as punch to have an assistant like Ren, someone who can whip up the compounds she needs to keep the unit running.

Ren's big asset is their ability to craft drugs and compounds, but they've got just enough know-how and smarts to hold their own in a fight to boots. You don't last long in prison without picking up some new tricks.

Who will survive and who will come out on top? If you really don't know the answer to that, you're going to be pretty surprised by how this all shakes out. But, I have a little exercise for y'all directly related to this new module and I'll need some feedback from the thread. Out of Buzzkill, Bad Habit, Ice Queen, Peacemaker and Jackpot, who falls into which category (totally accepting multiple entries per category because there's five of them): Vote now! NEXT TIME we'll kick this module off proper with Chapter One.

You Won't BELIEVE What We Found In This Abandoned Mall! Click Here!

posted by Hostile V Original SA post



You Won't BELIEVE What We Found In This Abandoned Mall! Click Here!

Having made their way to G Wing from (well I said it was W wing but I guess ultimately it was E wing, this is explained in-fiction kinda) the abandoned sanitarium, G-Unit is back in kind of familiar territory what with being back in sort-of home turf. They've staked out an intact cell block to live in as they get acquainted with the new members and work on figuring out their next move going forward while Tama works on building her new robot. As part of a team-building exercise, the newest members have been tasked with working together by scrounging and recovering food, medicine, equipment and scrap. It's been a pretty mellow experience so far under the watchful (albeit inexperienced) eye of Ice Queen and the haul has been good so far. Demons and dangerous prisoners have been scarce and it's just been quiet, slow goings.

And then Ice Queen, Bad Habit, Buzzkill, Peacemaker and Jackpot find the first living people they've seen in a while.

The two of them will try to cover themselves up as soon as they're spotted, and unless reassured that the squad means them no harm they'll try to remain hidden and protected. It's apparent they've both been physically abused and can be coaxed into talking: the woman is named Paloma and the man is named Angelo. Paloma will explain that they were kidnapped by a cruel group of people who have turned a rec center into their own playground. She claims they took the most attractive victims and forced them into situations of sexual abuse, having them killed when they were no longer interested or too injured to keep "performing". According to Paloma, she escaped with Angelo when their master (described as being Blangis) fell asleep while high on drugs and they barely escaped notice. They want people to help them sneak back into the center to kill the Lords and rescue Paloma's sister, Dulcinea.

Paloma and Angelo are of course accomplices of the Lords and are leading the squad into a trap to capture them. Paloma is basically the greatest bait that the Lords have at their disposal, able to utilize her looks and acting ability to ensnare people. Because of the fact that she's very good at lying, only people with Sixth Sense will have an idea that something's wrong and only that going with her will put them in danger. Since Ice Queen and Bad Habit have Sixth Sense, they share an uneasy look and bring G-Unit into a huddle to discuss this. Chen is firmly opposed to walking away from this if she has a chance to help others, Jackpot is down for a chance to shake up some cruel authority and Buzzkill needs a little persuading in one direction of the other but offers a compromise and a plan for this being the worst possible scenario. Ice Queen ends up utilizing Buzzkill's plan, explaining to Paloma and Angelo that they'll help...tomorrow, needing to prepare for infiltration and deposit their goods back at home base. For good measure, Ice Queen relays the situation to Soapbox who lets her protégé know that if they're not back in a day, they'll come after them as rescue. Paloma and Angelo agree to this compromise, promising to remain safe and hidden until they return and Paloma answers any further questions (short of if she's in league with the Lords and all that).

One night of good rest and a hearty breakfast later, the five of them leave home base with their weapons and tools on their back to do some good.

The rec complex is called Elysium by the Lords and it's split into multiple levels. The way in is through the top floor. Dulcinea is allegedly being held on the lower floor. All things considered, she is a real person, just not actually in danger.

Area #1 is where Paloma and Angelo are found.

The barricades were built by the Lords to keep people out. Paloma and Angelo have a hole in the fence they managed to widen and will lead the squad in through it.

There's an Access reader attached to this door but it's burnt out and you can just open the door with a nudge.

Originally Trustees would sit at this station to check prisoners in and search people going in and out. The room has been ransacked, containing scattered papers, a destroyed computer and a hand-held metal detector that's broken but can be scavenged. There's also an intact first aid kit that can be taken.

The vault requires Access 3 to open but it's already open. Stuff had to be left here and would be returned upon leaving, or if it was something like a weapon it would just be taken away and not returned. The vault is empty save for a beat stick and a jar of black shoe polish.

The security monitors here have actually be rerouted to allow monitoring from the bottom of the complex. Inspecting the computer that still works reveals a small data device that has been hooked in, clean and free of dust like someone put it there recently. The data on the drive is still accessible from a functioning computer (like this one) but it's scrambled and chunks are missing.

This is really just to hint at the metaplot a bit and then share more information about other events that are going on. It's not really clear who left this drive here or when it was left here. Also this is why I mention that apparently the sanitarium was just on a lower floor in E or something based on what was written here. The only other thing of interest is a large piece of glass that could be used as a weapon.

The cell needs Access 3 to open and is currently open. The main purpose of this room was to hold rowdy prisoners who were misbehaving in the center. That's really it. The only thing of note is a functioning security camera relaying a feed.

Originally an aerobics/exercise classroom, it's now home to three accomplices armed with chains who are guarding the entrance of the complex. The accomplices don't know that Paloma and Angelo are also accomplices in order to maintain the lie, so they're more than willing to try to subdue and capture them as well. Defeating the accomplices reveals that the room is just pretty empty of anything that isn't garbage from their meals but closer inspection will turn up 1d100 smokes and a single ration pack. Also if the players are captured, three new guards will replace them when the players make their escape, providing one last obstacle.

The door would normally open out into the bottom floor but there's a barricade on the other side, holding it shut to force their victims to go deeper into the facility.

The annex is basically like if you were to go into the central terminus of a mall where there's open space and you can see to the top and bottom of the mall. It was meant to be a common area where the prisoners in the complex could relax, smoke, listen to the muzak and look at the plants and flowers. There’s an elevator in the middle of the annex that leads down to the bottom floor and to a higher level. Here, have some of my only favorite writing in this whole series: “The annex is now dark and deserted; the plants are dying, the fountains no longer work, and the music no longer plays.” The elevator is also offline, stuck on the bottom floor.

The workout center is dark. The only things of note are the fact that you can loot all of the exercise machines for parts and that there’s a security camera here that is on.

The arcade is full of recent video games and “old classics from the Golden Age of video games” which I guess would be like Frogger and Galaga and Pac Man and shit. I don’t reckon that 600+ year old video games would stand up particularly well. Anyway the arcade is empty and violent video games are not allowed, so…man I don’t think there would be a lot of old, old games there then. You can also loot the machines for parts.

The showers are empty. Exciting! The only thing of note is an old sewing kit.

It’s. It’s a gym. You know what a gym looks like. You probably know what a YMCA gym looks like. The only thing of note is a broken ball dispenser that is supposed to spit out the kind of ball you ask for. It still has basketballs, volleyballs, soccer balls and dodge balls and begs the question “why are prisoners allowed to play dodge ball but not play violent video games?”. You can break open the dispenser and 1d6 of each ball type will spill out onto the floor and make noise that alerts the guys from Area 8. Henceforth, there is no conceivable reason to do this.

This is the only way down into the trap.

The machines operate by accepting smokes as payment as part of the PTM’s attempt to push smokes as a viable form of commerce. There’s, like, no reasonable use for this except that “the machines would cycle cigarettes out of convict hands in exchange for easily replaced goods.” N. No? You’re. You’re in space. Is there a fucking deck of the ship that was sponsored by Coca Cola and where prisoners make Space Coke as part of work detail? Is K Deck the Kuerig Deck? What do they do with the smokes? Do they just destroy them? Smokes are literally made on the ship out of tobacco plants and paper. You can literally just make money. The inflation is limitless. Where the fuck do you get potato chips in space. Anyway you can crack the machines open in 1d4 hours. One of the machines is still working and can be looted for the goods and 200+1d100 smokes. Or you can just spend smokes to buy products. This raises so many questions.

The cinema is based on old Terran theaters and contains a huge auditorium and a flight of stairs that leads to the booth. Inside of the booth are reels of micro-coded films, containing hundreds of PTM-friendly films with such titles as "Work Liberates the Soul", "Peace Equals Prosperity", "Life in a New Colony" and "Bambi". The theater is currently occupied by four helpers watching cartoons while one runs the projector. They're armed with beat sticks and one of them has 200 smokes but the show is loud and they won't notice intruders without making a Wits check.


The lower level is where the Lords reside and where the titular Dream Cages are. Helpers also stay here and this is where everyone generally passes the time in between indulging in simulations.

The annex has been converted into a dormitory for the helpers to stay in but it's currently empty due to the ambush that has been planned. The fence can't be surpassed without outside tools.

The pool is the way into the eastern half of the lower floor and this is where the trap is sprung.

Five accomplices lead by Dubois enter from Area 20 while three more flank the party from behind, coming from 21 A. They don't really say much but they do gesture for the party to surrender their weapons and come quietly or else they'll beat and stun them into submission. And, unfortunately, this section of G-Unit is fit for fighting but not strong enough to fight off double their number. They reluctantly surrender. If the rest of the squad was with them, this would be immediately derailed by G-Unit fighting their way out in a riot of violence and gunfire, mowing down the Lords and setting the accomplices free. Alas.

Dubois himself is no pushover compared to the rest of the accomplices. On the outside he was a bodybuilder and professional athlete who didn't do well enough to please his sponsor who had him arrested. Abducted like the rest of the accomplishments, Dubois enjoys his position because the Lords keep him well-fed and entertained. His trap is monitored by another camera.

These are showers that are actually being used by people and as such show the wear of use. Still not much to be found here.

The aquarium was initially stocked with fish, eels, turtles and other life that was monitored by automated systems that simulated day and night and cared for the sea life. Most of these systems are inactive due to damage and power failure, meaning that the water is now filthy and murky. But if one is to look closely...

Yeah, the sea life is mutated by the energies of the Nether or perhaps aquatic Demons have just made the water their home. Some of them will bump up to the glass to display their teeth and scratch at it before losing interest and floating away. There's ultimately no danger from the life here; they won't break through and they can't survive without water. The danger here is if the prisoners went this way first and didn't go to the pool. The accomplices would wait in the dark of the observatory, only attacking early if spotted with a Wits check and forcing the trap to relocate to the aquarium.

Everything here is nautical-themed from the porthole with a TV that constantly shows Caribbean waters to pictures of prison hulks with plaques explaining their historical significance. The Lords lounge here when they want to eat or talk and plan. A Dining Custodian remains here and will engage in light conversation or offer the prisoners brandy; it won't and can't attack, being constructed to have limited intelligence and do nothing more than serve food. There's also an older servant here whose role is limited to mending due to his advanced age and fleeting mental faculties. He'll keep the presence of the PCs quiet if they supply him with anything he can use to sew or shine shoes or keep clothes in good condition. If one was to loot the joint, they'd find 750 smokes worth of fine liquors, a carton of 200 smokes and a cabinet full of assorted dining gear like fine silverware that can be used as shivs, matches, candles, candelabras and a serving tray that can be used as an improvised weapon to beat heads in.

Here is where the Lords meet for official business. If here under less-kidnapped circumstances, the players encounter two elderly servants who are cleaning up and won't fight but will try to get help ASAP. Looting the area nets the players fresh tapas which act as a ration pack, two sealed gourmet ration packs (no extra effects), 400 smokes worth of cognac, 5000 smokes worth of a pile of cocaine and three doses of kaleidoscope. In addition to the drugs and food, players can find Blangis' journal and read the last entry.

The caretaker of the library is Mr. Thomas, an accomplice who acts as a butler because he was a butler (until he killed his employee's grandchildren in a particularly awful way). Blangis found him when a Thing That Should Not Be left Mr. Thomas alone and Blangis figured "hey this guy must be special". He acts normal and calm but he's a sneeze away from a homicidal rage. Mr. Thomas will try to show off the working computer to the people in the library because A: Mr. Thomas is insane and B: the computer is possessed by a Demon. No, really.

Here have some art. Mr. Thomas is a creepy motherfucker.

This computer is what Blangis first read 120 Days of Sodom on to begin with, not knowing that it was haunted and warped by a Demon. This Demon, known as a Ghost in the Machine, has taken the form of a text file that transforms into whatever would appeal to the corruption of the reader. It turned into the work this whole shebang is based on and Blangis was like "holy shit this is a great idea" and got the others to read it. Despite all reading something different, they never really talked about what they read which is basically written off as being like "well they're irrational and slipping into madness and the fact nobody noticed this is damning evidence of their insanity". Witnessing the transformation of the file to the thing the viewer enjoys forces an Insanity check. The GITM can only be killed by destroying the computer but it's not really that much of a threat; it's described as being able to electrocute people but it has no stats because it doesn't want to electrocute people. Actually you wouldn't even really know it's on the computer and you wouldn't want to smash the computer to kill it because the computer runs all of the Dream-Chamber programming. If you were to interact with this computer and hack it, you could open the Chambers and let the occupants out.

These theaters used to have musicals and plays done by prisoners. Now it's where the Lords hold court and watch the feeds to the security cameras. People who are captured (like G-Unit) are brought here to be auctioned off ritually. There are always 8-10 people here watching the room with one or two watching the monitors. Dubois and Angelo chill here after the trap. Everything taken off people thrown into the Cages will be here along with various components and precision tools.


The bottom floor is where the Dream Cages are located and that's really it.

Three older servants will be here to move captured people to the prep rooms to be stripped and frisked. Once folks are in the Cages, they'll be replaced by three accomplices armed with beat sticks. There's a camera here but enough shadows that can be used to sneak around.

Prisoners used to wait here for their turns in the simulators and then pick the experience they wanted. The initial controls for the simulators were also found here. The room is empty and a Hacking or Wits check will let the inspector know that the computers in here no longer control the simulators.

The bottom of the stairs have a rescue locker which contains emergency items and a deactivated Monitor whose sole purpose is to tend to the occupants of the Cage if something goes wrong. There are first aid kits, light rods and either a fire axe or crowbar.

Victims are stripped naked and have all of their stuff confiscated here. That's really it.

Area #30 contains the Dream Cages and their specifics come later. It's not hard to enter them but leaving requires Access 1 or, well, murder. Someone who escapes from a Cage can try to enter another to help another victim or just run for safety.


You jump to this chapter when the players are kidnapped and dragged before the Lords, so this is where G-Unit immediately ends up after Area 20.

Anyone who is an Awakened Psychic or has Demented Insight can see the true Blangis, but we'll get to that in depth later. Long story short he's turning into a Demon but there's a glamour up and not even he knows it's happening. Witnessing this is a Despair check and nobody will believe the ravings.

Accomplices will disarm G-Unit and start rummaging through their stuff because despite their appearances, the whole shebang here is pretty hard-up for basic commodities. Blangis will apologize for the searching and then start fielding questions, keeping details close to his chest and hiding the true scenario they're in for. He'll treat them like guests and the fact that he's skirting around answers should annoy the players until:

And this is illustrated as well. There's no real definition outside of dots for nipples, the vulva doesn't even have detail and the sideboob doesn't have any nipples, but it's still just...rampant pointless titillation and nudity.

And so begins the auction. The GM should roleplay it out, an event that is basically a chat that turns into a debate that turns into a shouting match as they try to figure out who is getting which victim.

If there are less than four players, you can decide whose Cage is getting cut or they can stay together as a group and each exit leads into the next Lord's cage. If there are more than four players, doubling up is okay. Extra people should go Blangis first, Levec's second, Levec's third (the game's words, not mine. I think they mean Curval) and then Durcet's last.

Once the destinations are chosen, each victim is taken away by two accomplices down to the prep room to be stripped and searched. The Lords will already be inside and NEXT TIME we will be tackling Durcet's little pleasuredome, a place she's based on her Oriental Fetishism to become her own view of Shanghai 1936, the palace of the Princess of Pins.


posted by Hostile V Original SA post




Warning: this update has a scene where one person is sold in a human slavery auction. This update also has violence against minors. If this makes you uncomfortable, skip this.

Each Dream Cage is 100 feet by 100 feet with 30 foot ceilings. Stuff inside of the simulator is as real as it feels, but trying to bring things out of the cage means they crumble. What this translates to is that stuff inside the Dream Cages can be used to kill or hurt and all damage sustained is real if you're human. The players are stripped naked but the moment they're in the cage, the cage automatically produces hard light duds on your person. It's all hard light. The entry is always in the same place in a 10x10 little room and the way out is locked with Access 1. To kind of mentally map out this space, basically set three tennis courts side-by-side-by-side and then add some more to the end of the width. I kinda feel like these maps are too small for everything they want to cram in here? Why not just, like, 1000 feet by 1000 feet? Who the fuck knows.

Blangis helped the other Lords make their own dreams become reality by rewiring and reworking the controls and parameters of the Dream Cages. Maddalena Durcet's favorite possessions were 20th century Asian curios and artifacts and that hasn't diminished since she went to prison. With Blangis' help, Durcet's Magical Realm is Shanghai on New Year's Eve in 1936 before the Japanese attack. Chinese New Year or Regular New Year? Fuck you, that's which New Year. This "idealized" fantasy Shanghai is beneath the streets of a city always in the midst of depraved revelry with an opium den, a slave market and general partying. This whole place takes place in a literal criminal underground ruled by its shadow queen, Durcet's own Dream Cages-sona she calls the Princess of Pins, spending her rule in a blissful haze of drugs to numb the pain of this not being real.


The water here is actually real, piped in from tanks and dispersed to be fog, rain, ocean water, etc. You can swim in the water if you feel so inclined. Pick an entry point.

The tunnels have to be traversed in order to get you from place to place. This just refers to all of the tunnel system.

Anywhere marked with a * is Area 33. The enemy here is an accomplice with a shiv and their goal is to defeat a PC, disarm them and drag them to Area 40. Fortunately, these are one-on-one fights and now Jackpot has a weapon she's good at using.

Social check or the kid panics. The boy is named #9940001 (Jose) and was arrested way back when for defacing a PTM billboard with spray-paint. He managed to escape from the juvenile wings with a group of other kids and got captured by the Lords. He will explain what happens at #36 and also warn Jackpot to not go to #38. Let's just address the elephant in the room: Jose looks like he's eight? He can't be 8. What the fuck is it with this game and misunderstanding how children function after five years of being trapped in prison. Anyway Jose managed to escape when one of his friends got kidnapped and has been hiding out since, wanting to team up with whoever finds him to they can keep him safe. Jackpot is willing to do this and, well, Jose is useless in a fight and she'd feel kinda bad about him getting killed by her negligence, she's not that cold-blooded.

Despair check! This is where the remains of Durcet's victims get stashed. All of them are under 19 and Medical Knowledge will reveal that they've been exsanguinated.

This area is an auction house dedicated to human slavery where kidnapped children are brought to be ogled and sold off to the highest, most deviant bidder. This is generally Durcet, who has constructed the area to enjoy the thrill of having to fight for why she deserves to have and torture the object of her desire. Durcet will intentionally pick out the PC (Jackpot) and challenge them to a bidding contest over the child up for auction, a 13 year old who was recently kidnapped by the Lords. If the PC accepts (and Jackpot will because she's particularly headstrong), Durcet will explain how bidding works. Bidding must be done with memories and the bidder must tell the memory to the crowd in the form of a story. Bids must be of horrifying or criminal events the bidder was a part of. In mechanical terms, each bid is equal to one point of Guilt. The main reason I didn't send Ice Queen here is because she has no Guilt due to being innocent and that would require her to engage more thoroughly in the rules. If you can't bid, you can lie and make an opposed Wits check to see if Durcet tells if you're lying. Durcet has five points of Guilt, so she has five bids she can make:

Anyone with 6 points of Guilt can automatically beat her. Jackpot has 4 which means she'd have to tell two lies. If Jackpot is caught lying or loses, she's immediately ejected. If she wins...Durcet keeps her word and turns the victim over to the winner before leaving with her entourage (8 artificials, 4 accomplices to prevent people from bum-rushing her). Either way, Durcet goes to Area 40 from here and Jackpot now has two terrified teenagers following her around.

The cockfights are full of artificials watching the show but two accomplices will follow the PC once they leave the room and attempt to ambush them. Failing the fight means you get dragged to Area 40 like if you failed an Area 33 fight.

The air of the opium den is infused with a chemical cocktail made my Blangis for Durcet's use that artificials are immune to but people aren't. Entering this room forces an immediate Willpower check where failure costs 1d2 temporary Willpower damage. The chemical is a narcotic that causes a relaxed stupor and forgetfulness, like real opium but faster-acting. Every turn you stay here you have to make a check but you can leave at any time until you go below 1 Willpower. Hitting 0 Willpower renders the victim catatonic, alive but unable to move or think properly, and the artificial will gently lower the victim into a hammock to rest until someone rescues them. Willpower is regained 2 points per night of rest outside of the opium den. So yeah it's just a trap.

There's nothing here, it's just an antechamber to the final fight.

If Durcet won the teen or the PC didn't go to the auction, she'll be here dramatically draining their blood with her needlefingers. The teen will die in 1d3 rounds and if the PC doesn't act to save them or can't, Guilt check. If the PC succeeded (yo, and Jackpot also told the teens to stay outside while she took care of this), Durcet will attempt to seduce the PC so she can get a free hit in when the time is right. Either way, this ends in a fight where Durcet's special needlefingers deal 1d4+2 damage and also deal bleeding damage, costing 1 hit point per round for three rounds unless staunched early due to medical attention. If the teen is being drained, attacking her means she'll ignore the teen. Fortunately for Jackpot, she knows a thing or two about knife-fighting.

How this shakes out is that Jackpot is receptive to the seduction, moving in close to embrace her from behind...and then repeatedly shanks Durcet in the stomach with a shiv she took from one of the accomplices as Durcet tries to fight back. Jackpot's not exactly sure if this counts as killing a princess or a queen...but hey, her parents would be proud that she's brought down an authority figure like this.

The Monitor won't interfere with people escaping the Cages and Jackpot slips out into the real world with Jose and the other teen in tow...and everyone lets out an annoyed groan at the fact that their holoclothes have been destroyed. Thanks, Dream Cages. Thanks.

NEXT TIME: First we took Shanghai. Now we take Berlin.


posted by Hostile V Original SA post


Warning: this entire scenario is about being forced to surrender your dignity and be humiliated to be broken down so you're a perfect sex slave for the Nazis. While there are multiple options to resist, there are still scenes of torture and non-consensual/dubiously consensual sexual coercion. If this is something you are not comfortable with, skip this section.

Levec's fetish for controlling people and upbringing lead Blangis to create a simulation that mashed Levec's megalomania kink hard and fast while also appealing to his inner paranoiac with the notion that he could lose it all. The result was an imagining of Berlin in 1941...or 1940, depending on what you look at in this chapter. This Berlin is a fortress city with barbed-wire roadblocks, Nazi guards patrolling the streets, watchtowers looking for dissidents and Fuhrer Levec controlling every last detail.

Despair check at the realization that you're in a scenario meant to emulate the Third Reich and that you have to survive here. Everything here is artificial: the dogs, the period-accurate Nazi guards (Levec has a fetish for historical accuracy as well, unlike the late Ms. Durcet), the pseudo-Holocaust victims are all fakes. There's no escape here and I mean that literally because the walls of everything are pretty well defined and there are only two exits unless you're going to try to leave through the entryway door. Attempting to escape results in you getting mobbed by Nazis and guard dogs until you're subdued. Regardless of compliance or capture, the Nazis separate the men from the women. Buzzkill is forced into the line for the men and Habit is forced into the women's line. Each line leads to a truck.

Areas 42 and 42A are trucks that lead to 43 and 44, respectively. The truck is really just a small room designed to look like a truck and when the doors are shut there are engine noises and the room shakes like it's moving. Going so far as to peek out the back of the truck reveals an illusory scene of being driven down roads, past guards and crowds and into Berlin. When the truck "stops" another door opens that leads into 43 or 44, depending on the truck. We'll start with Habit and 43.

"Only female characters will be brought here" and the madame/singer from the intro is one Convict #5213621, Ms. Helga Kolbenbumsen (Buttfucker), who got name-dropped last adventure. She's also on the art for the cover. As previously established, she was a famous adult film actress before being arrested. Captured by the Lords, she's become the madame of the cabaret and has coped with this by drinking heavily. Legitimately German, she puts on the airs of being a stern, aloof madame but has been hardened by watching women come and go. She'll explain the nature of the Dream Cages to Habit and that if she wishes to survive, she'll have to perform like the rest of them. Refusal to perform or trying to escape means that the PC will be taken to Wolfenstein Prison to be punished by the 6-7 accomplices in the club hiding amongst the artificial crowd.

So our friend Bad Habit has two choices: prostitution or singing. Like, okay, realtalk: she's not great at a lot but even if I put Chen here she wouldn't really be able to deal with 6-7 enemies trying to beat her into submission.

Prostitution: The PC is given a sexy outfit and has to make six Social checks, each representing a half hour for three total hours of "maintaining your worth". "Maintaining your worth" amounts to flirting, playing coy, sidling up on patrons and generally being sexy and enticing. Failing any of these checks means that the player will get sent to Wolfenstein Prison...unless they stop flirting and instead properly seduce a patron and then have sex.

Singing: Singing requires actual ability to sing and is the harder option. This also takes place across three hours and six checks but these are contested Sociability checks where the crowd's Sociability changes alters as time goes on, ultimately becoming pretty hard to attain. You can fail one check but failing two in a row means you get sent to Prison. Here's a little hole in that: what happens if one fails two but they're not in a row? Who knows!

Because Habit is not great at stuff but before prison her job was literally prostitution, she grits her teeth, rolls up her imaginary sleeves and returns to the office. After three hours of either singing or prostitution and no sign of Levec coming to get Habit, Helga is impressed and invites Habit back to her quarters for food and drink (ration pack). Let me just...put what the book writes here: "Interested in so capable a performer, and somewhat of a hedonist already, Helga eventually propositions the character for a more “persona”l relationship; whether the PC accepts or not is up to her." Typos are not mine. So yeah optional lesbian relationship under weird circumstances. If Habit says no, nothing really happens. If Habit says yes, she finds out more about the Dream Cage from Helga during pillow-talk.

Regardless of optional lesbian encounter, Helga will share that she knows about the Resistance against Fuhrer Levec and if Habit is interested (she is) she'll show her to a hidden door that leads to Area 45. If not, she'll just take Habit to Area 46. Ultimately, Habit sleeps with Helga and expresses interest, acquiring a gun and going to meet the Resistance.

"Only male characters will be brought here" which works out fine for Buzzkill who is a genderqueer individual and mildly amused at how this whole place is built around Levec's particularly narrow worldview. Levec visits the bathhouse often and expects all captives to know the ropes, but he's currently not here and instead are 4-5 accomplices and a shitload of artificials. Because all captives are expected to learn their place and serve and a bathhouse is definitely not a cabaret, what this amounts to is whether or not the person here will have gay sex or if they will avoid homoerotic grab-assery for three hours. Like the cabaret, this boils down to six checks equaling three hours.

Giving In: Giving in means that Buzzkill will be brought before an artificial by the name of Bluto Rottweil, a caricature of an obese German industrialist with cigars, scented hair tonic and brandy. Levec enjoys the character of Bluto and keeps him around and as such Bluto considers Fuhrer Levec to be a good friend. To quote the book: "He is also a shameless homosexual and rampant in his advances!". Delightful. Instead of having sex with Bluto, Buzzkill can attempt intelligent conversation with the man for three hours by making Wits checks. Failing any of these means that Bluto will bring the PC to his private sauna for a "deep massage" where refusal means going to Wolfenstein Prison. Important fact: Bluto's Wits are 3.

Resisting: Resisting takes the form of literally avoiding everything. The character has to make Reflex checks to avoid being noticed, remaining beneath notice by refilling tubs or running errands. The occupants of the bathhouse have flexible Reflexes that change as time goes on and failing a check means someone successfully ropes you into a confrontation that requires a Sociability check to smooth things over. Failure means you get sent to Wolfenstein Prison. I'm legit unsure what these confrontations entail? Is it like "hey motherfucker, why don't you want to fuck us, what's your deal?" or is it like "well hey there, wanna soap my back?" pickups? I legit dunno.

Either way, Buzzkill has very high Wits and chooses to accept without any intent of consummating this whole affair. They while away the hours by very easily running conversational circles around Bluto, choosing to go in depth about their past job and keeping the artificial man hanging on every word they say about the most banal details about chemistry. Regardless of how the player reacts to this situation, after three hours the bathhouse is raided by the Gestapo because Levec is convinced that the Resistance is in the bathhouse. The raid is conducted by two accomplices with real slug guns and four artificials armed with batons. When the raid happens, a secret passage to 45 opens and Talbot motions Buzzkill into Area 45.

A little side note about gender inequality: men definitely have an easier time of it in this scenario than women do. Prostitution is positioned as being the easier choice but that very much depends on your own Sociability stat. Both scenarios for women also rely on a single stat. Men can choose depending on which stat they're better with, Bluto is a moron because he's not real and the increase of Reflexes checks isn't really that bad compared to the sharp rise of singing's difficulty. It's particularly telling that women can just sleep their way to victory and so can men but if the men really don't want to have a gay encounter then they definitely don't have to, not to mention that women are more likely to go to prison and have to have a lesbian encounter to get a good weapon.

Unless brought here, you have to knock to get in and convince Talbot to let you in with a Social check. Buzzkill and Habit meet each other here, bump fists and share awkward small talk about where they've been. Talbot (#4190012) was a truck driver who turned to smuggling immigrant workers to get money to keep his house. He's the man that Blangis was told to capture and dispose of, but he's been hiding in what was originally intended to be an emergency hiding spot Levec designed and forgot about. Talbot is hiding out with men from the bathhouse and have been subsisting since on moisture from the Cages' vent system and ration packs from the cabaret.

Talbot is eager for news from the outside and will explain more details about the Dream Cages in case the players are thick. He also has further details of captivity to share.

The plan of the Resistance is to take advantage of the fact that Levec needs to keep his accomplices entertained as well. To see Levec, they need to impress the accomplices who will then take them to the Fuhrer. To aid the PCs in their task, they turn over a Cell Block Special and a Zip Gun with three rounds that they've managed to put together and will then have the PCs taken to Area 46.

The guards here just assume that Helga or Bluto sent them someone worth a damn and are basically just waiting for proof that they're entertaining. Anything short of violence against them will work as long as you either make two Wits checks or Social checks. Succeed and they'll take you to Area 48, fail and you go to prison. Looting this area nets 100 smokes worth of brandy, 1d20+20 smokes, 1d4 matches and a glass ashtray that can be used as an improvised weapon. Buzzkill and Bad Habit basically end up getting the guards to believe that they're sufficiently subservient by storytelling, mostly just rambling about their lives in such a way as to seem interesting.

X marks the prison cell and a Despair check. After 1-2 hours two artificial guards will open the cell to escort the prisoner to the room marked A. The artificials won't talk and will trigger a Sixth Sense Trait that the prisoner is being taken to their doom. You can fight your way free or try to run if needed; every * on the map indicates another artificial guard but it's not hard to escape to the streets. If you end up getting taken to the A room, this is where the PC is tortured. The torture device is a metal bed frame that they're strapped to and an electric wire runs a current through the frame and into the prisoner. You make a Willpower or Prowess check every half hour to resist with characters who have the Tortured Trait gaining a bonus to resist. Fail a single check and you die. Torture ends with the prisoner being rescued by another character or the prisoner's death.

Time to try hiding those weapons up your ass. There are four artificials armed with slug pistols here, plus three accomplices if you were escorted, who will attack if they see the weapons or manage to find them on a search. Losing here gets you sent to, you guessed it, prison. Thankfully killing everyone here doesn't alert anyone else to something being wrong. Also, artificials are stupid and Buzzkill isn't. The duo get ushered into the bunker proper.

The seven accomplices won't notice anything is up as long as you don't act suspicious. There's nothing to do but go deeper into the bunker.

The secretary here is one Elsa von Kempf (#7936412) who acts as secretary and Levec's personal favorite lover. On Terra she was a prostitute with a focus on bondage and domination whose rich and powerful clients arranged for her to disappear due to the knowledge she gained. Levec trusts her unconditionally and has ranked her Major, giving her control over everyone in the Bunker. She's only loyal to Levec because she knows she can manipulate him for her own ends. She really would not want Levec to die because she's terrified of the other Lords and afraid of what's happening on the Gehenna, so she's going to take security seriously.

You can convince her to let her keep your clothes on with a Sociability check, but she'll still submit Buzzkill and Habit to a barrage of questions about their experiences so far and if they're appropriately submissive (Buzzkill isn't, Habit is bored, both lie through their teeth). Unfortunately there's another Wits check and if they fail, Elsa attacks. Deciding to cut out the middleman and knowing that they outnumber her, the both of them just punch Elsa into submission, cram her under her desk and loot her desk, obtaining a real gun with 20 bullets and a real first aid pack.

Buzzkill and Habit are smart enough to not appear like they want to kill Levec and hide their guns once more so this happens:

The room is soundproofed and Levec will attack with his own slug gun the moment the PCs aren't willing to be subservient slaves. If you want to, you can try and free the people in the stocks and on a 4-6 roll on a d6 they'll join the fight like an accomplice. But that's kind of giving too much weight and interest to the fight. So, ultimately, Buzzkill and Habit draw their guns, surprise Levec and shoot him in the chest. This moment is followed with a content fist-bump between both gunners.

The duo don't immediately escape, instead collecting the gun from Levec's corpse and going to rescue Talbot, the rest of the Resistance and Helga because, well, there's nothing that says you can't.

NEXT TIME: London's drowning and I live by the river...of blood! Wait. Hmm. Nah, can't think of anything better. Ship it.


posted by Hostile V Original SA post


Appealing to Curval's desire to take life and death into his own hands, Blangis based Curval's Dream Cage on an idealized stereotype of 19th century Victorian Britain like one does. This simulation is specifically based on a fantasized version of the East End, a maze of cobblestone, shitty buildings and fog lit by gaslights. Curval's Cage acts differently because unlike Blangis, Durcet and Levec he's a lot more proactive about wanting to kill the PCs (or in this case, kill Sgt. Chen Locke). We'll get into exactly how this functions after I explain the sights. Also worth noting: men appear in this cage wearing shoddy working-class duds while women appear wearing slutty, lurid dresses befitting prostitutes and streetwalkers. So there's that. Chen's not one to pass up a little bit of dressing up for her own enjoyment but this is just insulting.

There's no danger here until you start moving. Then the game, as they say, is afoot.

The policeman is an artificial, as are most of the fixtures of this Dream Cage. Because Curval is a more action-oriented individual, he doesn't really have any accomplices here to give him a hand (or steal a kill from him, or help protect him). Unless I say otherwise, assume the person at hand is an artificial. The policeman will run off blowing his whistle and dissolve when out of sight, doing nothing more than warning Peacemaker to get off the street. The victim is, in turn, an artificial which a Medical Knowledge check will make aware. This "dead" artificial is meant to set the mood and warn the PCs of what's in this simulation.

You can't actually enter this pub, it's all just a simulation meant to make you feel isolated and unprotected.

The streetwalkers are programmed with some rote lines but will engage in conversation if asked to. Their role is really just set dressing and you can roll to make them say stuff randomly.

They won't leave the pub and can't be convinced otherwise, mocking the PC unless they're hurt (whereupon they'll flee for their own "lives").

Simulated pig carcasses are hanging from the hooks, creating a constant trickle of blood that makes the floor slick and dangerous. Rummaging through the dark building and rummaging for three straight turns nets the PC a meat hook that functions as a shiv.

The tannery is a maze of vats and racks with sheets of leather functioning as walls. There's no real purpose to this place outside of acting as a shortcut between streets or a place to hide in the shadows and behind the leather.

The girls won't leave the boarding house and when the PC wanders by the matron can be seen comforting the hysterical girl. If you ask to enter, the matron will refuse and tell you to go elsewhere before locking the doors of the building which doesn't actually have any entrances because it's a simulation. Once the matron shuts the doors, the lights go off, the girls disappear and the building goes quiet.

The fake children peek out of windows and act worried and won't let anyone inside, claiming they saw the Ripper go east and that they saw four different women ask to get in but be turned away. That's really it to this area.

You can smash the bottle to get some shards of glass to use as improvised weapons.

You can hide behind the garbage or flip a coin to see if you can root through the heaps to see if you can scavenge weapons.

This is a cat burglar meant to be a red herring so the PC will mistake the burglar for the Ripper. His bag is full of fake goods and he'll remain cautious and quiet if monitored or attempt to run if pursued. If it comes to a fight, he'll fight. He's got a shiv but he's an artificial, meaning that it's easy to kill him and take the shiv.

This is another red herring and is just a lecherous street sweeper who will harass female PCs if they try to see if he's actually Curval. He won't follow PCs, content to remain at a distance and laugh drunkenly/cat-call.

This leads to Area 66.

Still leading to Area 66.

Despair check! She's a human woman by the name of Annie (#9841445) who was Curval's first victim this night and her wounds are so grievous she'll die ASAP regardless of treatment. Poor Annie was a daughter of a political dissident and was sent to jail when her dad refused to sit down and shut up. You can't save Annie, but you can save the other three women from the next three sections. Failure to save them means that you'll find their mauled corpses and have to make a Despair check.

Roll for turn order. If the PC attacks, they run a pretty good choice of killing Sally (#9941632) who is armed with a shard of glass and lashing out in a blind panic. Her Despair is super high but if she gets a chance to see she's not attacking Curval, she'll beg to follow Peacemaker. Abandoning her is a Guilt check, bringing her along means she uses accomplice stats and she's not great at fighting.

Marina (#9188270) was a Latvian child prostitute who was arrested and imprisoned along with a slew of other boys and girls who were made an example of by the PTM. She's grown into a woman (which is real funny: boys are allowed to be boys forever but a girl has to become a woman after 5 years of imprisonment) and she's not a particularly good fighter or great at defending herself. She only speaks Latvian outside of gestures and because she speaks loudly she runs a risk of attracting Curval once Peacemaker runs into her unless Peacemaker shushes her. If she joins, she has accomplice stats.

Despite Scarlett (#7663109) being named Scarlett and described as having red hair, she's got blonde hair in the art. Check it:

Originally a scam artist from an asteroid colony, Scarlett's got a good head on her shoulders. She's been in this simulation for a day but has figured out the rules and how to stay a step ahead of Curval. She's also been looking for someone capable to give her a hand with escaping and unlike Sally and Marina she's got some ability to fight. She'll follow Peacemaker as long as it's advantageous for her to do so, focused on protecting herself above all others.


For starters, the fog is so thick the PC can't see more than this diamond.

Which is meant to be moved over this map as Peacemaker roams London. Anything outside of the empty space is obscured by fog.

There's a separate map for Curval but I have enough maps as is. Peacemaker starts at 52, Curval starts at 66 facing westward on the map. Curval can't see bigger than the diamond of sight himself due to the fog and his movement is totally random. Every turn he can move up to six spots while Peacemaker moves her own six spots. There's some rules that inform his movement but it's normally up to a roll of the dice. Curval is pretty dangerous thanks to the fact that he has Knife-Fighter, reasonable stats and extra health. Fortunately for Peacemaker, she's a legit veteran of urban combat and she's not alone.

She ends up gathering up the three other women and holing up in the tannery after searching the slaughterhouse for a hook. Peacemaker entices Marina into speaking loudly to attract Curval's attention and then all four of them ambush him, viciously stabbing him to death with their improvised weapons.

Peacemaker takes his shiv and spits on his corpse for good measure before leading the three other women out of the cage.

NEXT TIME: the end of this whole sordid affair. The time: the 16th century. The place: I'unno, Italy maybe probably. The event: a masquerade ball. The fetishes: overflowing. The protagonist: Ice Queen.


posted by Hostile V Original SA post


Castello Cormano is a Gothic castle in barren mountains above a desolate, defoliated forest. The world is permanently midnight save for flashes of lightning. Blangis rules the castle as Prince Prospero, keeping the world in a perpetual costume ball in an endless party based on a Poe story he loved to read as a child. That's right: this entire scenario is based on "The Mask of the Red Death", reinterpreted by a sadistic idiot who misunderstood the entire premise of the story. They pretend they're the last people alive in a world ravaged by plague, living like it's the last night of their life because Blangis is a vapid idiot.

This is the shortest segment of the bunch. It is also the most inappropriate. I'm just gonna put a heavy blanket content warning on reading any further if you're uncomfortable with scatological fetishes, implied sex with animals, unrelenting sexual content, eating a live human being and drug abuse. I will also heavily caution you against reading this at work. The next module will be a lot less sexual and a lot less gross. Anyway, this all begins with Ice Queen entering the Cage.

Paloma insists she's repentant and wants to help. Spoilers: this is part of Blangis' plan. If the PC agrees to trust them (Ice Queen agrees through gritted teeth) then Paloma unlocks the cell to let her out. The spiel is that Paloma can no longer stomach working for Blangis and she wants the PC's help to take him down. In reality, the situation is that Blangis wants the PC to witness all of the debauchery going on here for his own gratification and Paloma is lying her ass off. So is Ice Queen, mostly thanks to Sixth Sense.

Paloma insists that Ice Queen wear the Harlequin costume but it doesn't fit. The costume is part of Blangis' plan and for reasons that amount to "Fuck You, That's Why" his plan to be able to recognize Ice Queen is immediately derailed. Because Paloma doesn't really know the intricacies of the plan besides "lie to Ice Queen", she throws up her hands and says "fine, wear the one that fits". The only one that fits is a red-hooded robe and cowl, big enough to cover her and also hide her face.

Ice Queen has had a pretty good education thanks to her privileges of birth. She recognizes the costume, the masquerade, the castle. The next five minutes are spent with Paloma trying to get Ice Queen to snap out of a state of genuine laughter about how dumb this is that's occasionally peppered with biting insults. Ice Queen dons the Mask of the Red Death with a pleased smile and Paloma lays her GUARD PUZZLE onto her.

The two patrols have set routes. They constantly repeat their route. Ostensibly this is so Ice Queen can sneak around without getting caught. In reality the purpose is to make Ice Queen see every event that there is to see. If the player can't figure out the GUARD PUZZLE's answer, the GM is told to have Paloma just spell it out. I have included the answer below.

I marked the answers myself with the black font.

Welcome to the big gimmick of the castle. Blangis has put his know-how as a chemist to further use to brew up a hallucinogenic liquid that easily evaporates and creates a thick mist that coats the floors of the entire castle. The moment you enter this room you have to make a Will check with a +2 Penalty to avoid getting high. Side effects of the drug are: hallucinations, delirium, laughing fits and -1 to Prowess and Reflexes for the next 12 hours. The biggest side effect is that the hallucinations hide the true nature of each chamber. You can make a Willpower check in each room to see things as they actually are (which you'll just inherently see each time if you succeed the check against the drug). Part of Blangis' plan is that the PC will be so drugged up, they'll do things they wouldn't normally do because they don't know what's really doing on and it'll debase and humiliate them further for his own amusement and to try and bring them over to his side of things. I'll be including the details for both what is seen while high and what is seen while sober and for the purposes of this adventure...poor Ice Queen will unfortunately go sober, smart enough to recognize chemical threats when she sees one and use the mask of her costume to protect against the drug. Also of note are the free real drugs you can take as party favors: three doses of Kaleidoscope, one dose of Tranq, three doses of Redline, two doses of Frenzy, three syringes.

All three of them are drugged accomplices. If there's no intervention, the two men pick up the woman and throw her off the balcony where she'll die on impact (or if you're hallucinating she'll "fly away"). The castle is actually using the 30 foot height size of the chamber and as such the system is lethal enough that the impact will kill her. Not stopping them from doing this is a Guilt check and the men won't even acknowledge that she's dead. The situation is rectified by Ice Queen dragging the woman off the balcony and slapping the shit out of the men until they flee before shoving the woman back into the blue room.

Blangis has hardcore coprophilia and coprophagia and the book explicitly says he loves watching people eat his own shit. Yes, it's all his. You can't convince the revelers to stop and Ice Queen just doesn't even try, immediately rushing over to the next room once she enters because god there are just some things you can't unsee. The only other interesting thing is that the shields here can be used as riot shields.

It took me. So long. To realize that she's not having sex with the hog. The thing is the phrasing between the high state and the sober state with the former having ambiguous phrasing and the latter saying she's riding his back like he's a mechanical bull. The hog is artificial, the partygoers are accomplices, nobody is going to stop Ice Queen from passing through. They're all just distracted with the "drunken sex party". Ice Queen is sure there's a point to this room but she can't find it. Is she supposed to be fucking the hog? Are they perhaps too high and stupid to figure out what they're supposed to be doing? She's just glad that she's no longer in the green room and very quietly makes her way to the next one.

The five men and the woman are all high and this is just an erotic roleplay scenario. They'll just continue with the roleplay unless Ice Queen intervenes who, of course, doesn't. She mostly just mouths "the fuck is this?" as she keeps to the back of the room. It's also mentioned that you can take the priest's dagger to use as a shiv. Ice Queen does in fact take the shiv when the priest is too distracted with being high and horny and leaves the room, further baffled by what the fuck she's seeing.

The six guests at the feast have to be fought off to protect the woman. They use accomplice stats and will flee the party if they take one hit. You can also use the utensils as shivs or smash the bottles to make glass shards. Ice Queen rolls up her sleeves and smacks around some more drug addicts, using the priest's knife to cut the pregnant woman free. After a moment of consideration, she hands the pregnant woman a knife to defend herself and drags her along with the ride to make sure she's safe. Ice Queen does not ask how or when she got pregnant. There are many things she's found out so far this day and she really doesn't need any more at the moment.

It's a balcony. That's it. This is all there is. Real glad this thing is here. Really ties the whole architecture together.

Regardless of intoxication, Blangis makes his move and the following happens.

"I have so many questions!" shouts Ice Queen as Blangis transforms into the final boss of this scenario while everyone else flees the yellow hall in a panic. Absolutely nobody has the nerve to fight back, leaving this battle to an angry Ice Queen (who rips her mask off to see better) and a terrified, naked pregnant woman. They take advantage of the (as-written) ability to disarm the guards and take their halberds (1d8 damage) to fight with.

Well, Blangis' old stats are out the window. Let's take a look at the stats for this new Demon!


A Flensor is what happens when a particularly depraved person (cough Blangis cough) slips into complete and total moral oblivion. The transformation process is completely unknown to the victim (and boy do I use the phrase victim loosely) outside of strange dreams. Or sometimes the person does know and embraces it. Hard to say. Anyway, when the Flensor is under sufficient stress or duress, their skin explodes off their body and they take their true form: a skinless, perfectly flayed human body with a light accent of fire dancing across their musculature. The process can't be stopped and if they happen to know what they are and want to avert the change, the only way out is suicide.

Flensors are an immense pain to fight. Their melee attack is dangerous and the scarring damage it leaves is a giant pain and fighting them in melee is dangerous thanks to reactive flesh armor. These would be forgivable. Unforgivable is the Seductive Charm ability which gives the Flensor the ability to immediately shut down combat by turning the opponent into a sex slave that lasts for days. Like this doesn't even really compare to the rest of the bananas nonsense we've been through, really, but it's still an important detail and a completely awful one because it has no limitations. And give it regeneration. Why the fuck not. So yeah, this thing is a nightmare and it's meant to be fought solo unless the extra players are sent here. Ice Queen is definitely up against a tough foe that her pregnant helper can't really help with.

Let's set the scene. The last of the Lords has had his flesh melt off to reveal the demonic body beneath. Paloma is crying over her sister's corpse. The revelers are fleeing. Ice Queen and her helper steel their weapons.

The Blangis-Flensor immediately keels over, dead. For those who didn't notice, the non-human stat blocks are still broken.

Ice Queen lets out a sigh of relief as her helper lets out sobs of joy. The two of them drop their weapons and stumble out of the Cage, naked but alive and immediately meeting up with Peacemaker, the "prostitutes", Jackpot and the teens. The accomplices stare in horror and Elysium goes into a panic. With their leaders dead and unable to protect them and with guilt gnawing at them, the accomplices and servants (including Paloma) flee with all of the valuables they can. Mildly disappointed by the fact that they didn't really get to fight their way to safety, everyone breathes a sigh of relief and they start inspecting what was left behind and what else is around in Elysium.

Three hours later Buzzkill and Bad Habit (and Talbot and Helga and the rest) burst out of their cage with guns in hand and are immediately calmed down by the rest of G-Unit and given their duds. In the interim, the others dealt with the Ghost in the Machine and hiked back to their hideout in the abandoned cell block to explain what happened to Beth, Soapbox, Tama, Doc and Pincushion. With the help of their superiors, they relocated everything (the food, the medicine, the supplies, the components) to Elysium and are in the process of turning it into a new base. While Elysium may not last as a base, it's certainly got more room than the cell block and it's got functioning electricity (which Tama immediately goes to town with, using her components to see what she can do with it).

So for now, this is where they'll rest and try to figure out what to do next...and what to do with all of the people they've rescued from the cruel, stupid and perverted machinations of the LORDS OF THE DREAM CAGES.

Time for rewards! -1d6 Despair to everyone and you get BP doled out based on the following:

Worth nothing is the fact that this game absolutely doesn't explain how the relationship between the characters via Criminal Mastermind works. So I'm just gonna say that because they're both technically controlled by the same player according to the wording, both get BP!


C'mon like I really have anything else to say about this hunk of garbage. The one thing I will say in its favor is the fact that Elysium is by far the most visually evocative setting so far based on the description and fixtures alone. This is mostly because I have been in both malls and YMCAs and I can imagine what they look like combined. Outside of that, this mission is absolutely pointless and irredeemable. It does nothing to tie into the larger story and it is relentlessly offensive in many new and exciting and boring ways. I like this module because it sucks so hard and commits to sucking so hard the way only something incredibly stupid and motivated can possibly suck.

This module is also basically the last of the stupid homage modules. After this one, things take a gigantic shift back in the " We're Serious And We're Invested In The Core Concept" direction we saw in the first two modules (really can't say that about the third, definitely can't with this one). So the NEXT TIME we return to Abandon All Hope, it'll be to catch up with characters we've met before and make a return to Sanctuary when we dig into the SINS OF THE PAST.

Beating Women Because That’s How You Impress Them

posted by Hostile V Original SA post



Beating Women Because That’s How You Impress Them

Yeah that little subtitle is not a joke. Content warning: if torturing a woman makes you squeamish, you should pass this one over.

So welcome back to Abandon All Hope. Where we last left off, G-Unit has grown even bigger than before thanks to rescuing people from the Lords of the Dream Cages and turning Elysium into their own stronghold. The rec complex holds a lot of bad memories and weird baggage but regrettably it’s the biggest place they’ve found and it’s still got power and space. It has now been, canonically, a while since The Right to Live and the ship has been quiet, and there hasn’t been much in the way of danger from the Demons or gangs. But you still have to find food and supplies and that’s what puts seven of G-Unit in generally unfamiliar territory.

The game has the assumption that your players are in a general state of constantly looking for a safe place to stay. That’s kinda bullshit so I’m putting my own little spin on it. The seven members of G-Unit who take the stage this time are our core members (Beth, Doc, Soapbox, Tama and Pincushion) along with Ice Queen and Jackpot (and a special new friend).

For starts, everyone who has been around long enough to get Extra Health have upgraded their health further to a respectable 30 health. SOAPBOX has upgraded her Reflexes and Willpower. DOC has learned Shuffle and picked up Commando Fighting so she can do better in melee. TAMA has really just upped her Reflexes a bit more because she's spent all her downtime inventing. BETH'S big upgrade has also been upping her Reflexes. PINCUSHION has blown his BP on learning more psychic powers, this time picking up Empathy so he can risk going crazy to read people's thoughts. ICE QUEEN has increased her health and her experience in the Dream Cages has increased her Willpower to boot. Finally, JACKPOT has only picked up Backstabber because I'm saving her remaining BP for Fun Stuff. And we can also introduce the newest member of G-Unit, Tama's Junk Robot that she has named "SHINING FINGER" and has spent a painstaking amount of time and effort to build decorative armor out of scrap metal to make it look historically accurate to her favorite classical Japanese entertainment. Shining Finger is equipped with a weapon she managed to build in the last bit of calm: an Energy Projector, which one may recall is the equivalent of a jury-rigged military-grade pulse rifle. Because there's no rule that says that Junk Robots don't have an internal power supply that powers their weapons like a proper Custodian, Shining Finger absolutely can power the gun off of its internal battery that has no rules that limit its ability to hold charges or whatever. And because Tama is piloting the Shining Finger with a remote control, she has gotten substantially more useful in a fight.

Current occupants of Elysium (sans the members of G-Unit above): So without further ado, let’s get into the first chapter proper: scrounging for scraps.

The two summoned Demons are Nexper Sects. Staying down and staying quiet (like the squad is going to do) lets them witness the two Demons tearing up the corpses and the room like they’re looking for living people. If uninterrupted, they disappear and a woman sneaks out of hiding and approaches the computers in the room. If you attack the Demons, then she joins in the fight. Regardless of outcome, the woman is wearing a gas mask and recognizes the PCs even if they don't recognize her.

That's because this woman is our good friend Shel, the one who was running a gang of thieves out by Sanctuary who were robbing and killing travelers. She has since joined the DOS out of a fear for her own safety and if you did in fact kill Shel, well this is just...someone similar. The DOS has sent her to this computer room and has done a Flesh Sacrifice to have the Nexper Sects scout the area so she can do it solo. Her job is to use a code book in her possession to find out the location of a specific prisoner for the DOS. Considering that her Demon friends have left and she's now up against seven women and a battlebot, it's not hard to deal 5 points of damage to Shel. Because at 5 points of damage, she immediately throws down her weapons and surrenders.

I won't lie, I do appreciate the detail that she's got the Gorgon tattoo.

So now G-Unit has a captive who was here on a mission. Despite having silver-tongued Soapbox here, Shel refuses to talk. Her time amongst the DOS has hardened her to the point where "the only thing that impresses her is sheer ruthlessness", meaning that if they want to get her to talk they have to literally torture the answer out of her.


"A reasonable discussion is out of the question" or so says the book. To quote: "Unfortunately, Shel is not going to talk without some persuasion. And the only thing that impresses her kind is sheer ruthlessness." If they want the info out of Shel, they have to torture her. After all, isn't it totally effective at getting people the information they want. The possible interrogation methods are listed below.

These aren't threats, FYI. These are "you do these and then make an Intimidation check with a bonus applied for doing that to her". Then after you carry out the torture, you make a Guilt check with a modifier regardless of whether or not it worked. The idea is that actually hurting her makes it harder for you to deal with the Guilt. Making things worse is that each method only works once. If you break one leg, you can't break the other for some reason. This entire system is horrifying and morally objectionable to use to begin with. Making things worse is the fact that once this whole scenario is done, the book is like "good job, you can now immediately purchase the Torturer Trait if you want to instead of waiting until the next time you can level up". Go fuck yourself, AAH.

Because torture is immoral and ineffective and a weapon of misguided cowards, I will of course stay the course of the third option/cheating like a bandit. They didn't exactly write this scenario to have a literal psychic onboard but guess what, our good buddy Pincushion is here and he's recently learned to read thoughts. He lays a hand on the captive Shel's forehead and in no time his eyes are rolled back in his head and he's babbling out the thoughts on her mind:

Soapbox makes the check to figure out that Patton is involved. Shel also begs for her release, but she can't really be trusted: if let go she runs back to the DOS to spill the beans about what happened. Ultimately Shel remains tied up and Soapbox pockets the code book and they continue trekking along looking for supplies with Shel in tow. However, it's not like people weren't keeping tabs on Shel, and that's when some Furies decide to make their presence known.

It's not hard to get the Furies to chill out. A Social check or holstering your weapons will do the job. What will also work is explaining how you were at the battle of Sanctuary and, well, last these women checked, Soapbox was leader of Sanctuary. The Furies get their chill on and spill the beans.

Telling the truth is a good move and that's exactly what comes out: we were scavenging, we found her, we grilled her and now we're bringing her with us. Lace, the leader of these Furies, knows about the codebook and is giving them the chance to come clean. Knowing that the Furies are trustworthy (if only because they're not actively worshipping the Demons), Soapbox turns over the codebook and Lace insists that G-Unit come with her to see the new leader of the Furies, Patch.

After the fall of Sanctuary, the Furies have converted a "Center for Education and Betterment" school (the book helpfully calls it a reform school) into their headquarters. These centers were intended to be prison schools with the ability to gain Trustee status for good behavior. Now they're largely abandoned and this one is home to Furies recovering from their wounds and handling psychological trauma from Perdition. Patch has managed to put together a force of 50 or so Furies and they've got a good stockpile of improvised weapons, hand-made firearms and explosives. Their current goal is to get all of their troops back together from the rest of the ship, tracking the DOS and using intelligence on them to try and figure out where lone/injured Furies might be.

The thing is, G-Unit knows Patch and the meeting begins with hugs instead of cold introductions.

After rescuing Katherine and her two friends from the crazed Monitor, she returned to Sanctuary and helped defend during the battle at the cost of her eye. When Sanctuary fell, she escaped alongside the Furies and ended up joining them for her own safety. Her past history as a union worker has served her well and she's since quickly rose to the rank of leader because of her ideas and tenacity. The following points are supposed to be worked into an organic conversation with her:

G-Unit show her the codebook and the captive Shel and Patch explains her current theory about what the DOS are up to.

Her solution is to start negotiations with the other gangs of the ship, to see who will be able or willing to stand against the alliance of the DOS, Skinheads, Embracers and Psychos. If enough are willing to ally and meet the size of the armies of damnation, they might have a shot at stopping things from getting worse or foiling the plans of the Demons. The best place to start would be with getting in touch with the Giants. The Giants managed to survive Sanctuary (albeit without Johnson) and relocated their gang somewhere to the east. Patch's reason that because they fought together once, chances are good they could do it again. The only question is, Patch muses, where can she find diplomats to visit the Giants and arrange an alliance?

Everyone shares a pretty good laugh over that (except for Shel).


After running a quick hike back to Elysium to drop off their goods and inform the others of the plan and to hold tight, they leave Shel in the hands of the Furies and get one pick each off the following list.

And like some kind of reverse Sun Wukong, they begin their journey to the east.

All areas marked 1 are pitfalls. The first character in line falls into the pit and has to make a Reflex check to avoid drowning. Because they're in a group, there's no risk of drowning. The point of these traps is, explicitly, to make the players abandon stuff and put a sense of dread into them. That's it.

The sludge is normally broken down by automated machines applying chemicals, but damage to the ship has caused that to fail in this area. The sludge is solid and is damming up the entire corridor and is absolutely toxic and dangerous. The only way through the area is to wade and because literally nobody has chemical gear it's 1 damage for every 10 feet traveled. The corridor is 40 feet long. There is literally no purpose to going through it.

The point of this room is that it's a flood chamber for the purposes of cycling waste water. As soon as the last party member enters, the door closes and the room starts cycling, filling with water. You have ten turns to figure out how to get out of the room. For the first three, there's a panel on the wall that can be hacked to disengage the door locks but on the fourth turn it gets covered with a waterproof panel. Outside of that, 30 points of damage dealt to either door will break the door down. At the end of 10 turns, there's 5 turns where the room is full of water. You can hold your breath for 1 turn per point of Willpower, which means everyone would survive this until the doors open and expel the water and trash. You can choose to dive down into the trash below while the room is full of water.

Big problem with this: this is a party of 7 people. They are not all going in that room. Tama goes in, pokes around, finds what she can find and leaves and they move on.

This guy here is a Giant who is so desperate for a fix of Cardiolax he just can't help himself. He fights with a toothbrush that has been adjusted to hold a razor blade and is desperate enough to charge 7 people and a robot. After thoroughly macing him, they disarm him and the addict has a mental breakdown that Doc carefully walks him through as best as she can considering they're in a sewer. Because they didn't kill him and treated him with respect, he's willing to lead them to the Giants.

The Demon up in 6 was gnawing on corpses and was basically just letting the limbs and bones pile up, creating a dam that's slowly been gaining water pressure that broke. A tidal wave of sewage and gore hits anyone in the tunnel, dealing 1d2 damage and knocking them underwater on a failed Reflex save. Seeing the contents of the gore wave causes a Despair check with a penalty if you were knocked underwater.

The addict openly warns G-Unit about the Demon down this way because he knows about it and prevents them from going further. If they did, they'd come across an Engorged Horror which will immediately bum-rush the party, try to eat someone then try to eat another then try to eat another etc. You also can't really get out of this scenario too easily by running away because he'll just fucking chase you no matter where you go. If the Horror dies, its Death Slithers in its guts will land in the water and lurk with invisibility to pop out and bite at the party. One of them will accidentally get sucked down a drain and disappear. Of course, even if G-Unit was foolish enough to ignore the warnings of the addict, the fight would go smoothly enough in their favor what with the Engorged Horror immediately keeling over and dying.

Who would have imagined that the safest route to the hospital would just be "follow the main path and don't really deviate"? What amazing and immersive game design. Well at any rate they made it to the hospital and NEXT TIME they'll meet the new leader of the Jailhouse Giants, a familiar face who is definitely not be as honest as he could be with the other Giants.

Have You Been Taking Your Pills Today, Citizen?

posted by Hostile V Original SA post



Have You Been Taking Your Pills Today, Citizen?

All of the Giants from Sanctuary have relocated here under the watchful eye of their new leader, one Dr. Needles. In the chaos of losing Johnson and their fortress, he seized the reins and directed the Giants to the hospital for one major reason: Cardiolax. The hospital was originally designed to service 50 cell blocks all on one level of the ship and as a result it is a huge building with a huge stockpile of food and drugs. And in order to keep the Giants calm and make sure this idea works, he has done two things. First, he’s been secretly drugging all of the Giants with Cardiolax by putting doses in the food and water. Second, he’s been lying to them and claiming that bright lights keep the Demons away. Why? Well, he wants to have a large amount of people protecting him and he enjoys control. He’s also getting to put his theories to the test and make sure that his underlings are calm. The reason he’s lying about the lights is because he believes that giving them something to believe in will give them hope and prevent them from falling further into despair.

The hospital has seen better days; the flooding that has heavily affected this deck has also hit the hospital. There’s a general overview of the hospital that I’ll be sharing.

A is the restrooms and entrance into the hospital. A sewer pipe has collapsed into the maze that G-Unit emerges from. Nevertheless, the Giants still use the rotting, decrepit, waterlogged restroom (mostly by using buckets and then pouring them in the drains that still work). There’s a 10% chance of seeing a Giant here who will be mildly surprised but not shocked at a band of women and a killer robot crawling up out of the sewers.

B is the atrium, a waiting room where nice paintings used to decorate the walls. Patients who weren’t in need of immediate medical attention could be found here with Monitor escorts. Now the atrium is flooded with sewage water and monitored by bright floodlights shining from Area C.

C is the check in desk which has been converted into an armored barricade made of old computers, furniture, cots and such. 4-5 Giants are always on guard here, armed with room brooms and rubber slugs and monitoring the lights (powered by a generator). One of the Giants has a Cell Block Special to be used in case of emergencies and to signal that the hospital is under attack. The guards are, uh. Pretty stoked about what they're doing, pretty mellow.

D is for the patient rooms, now occupied by 1-4 Giants and their trash/possessions. The Giants have either blocked or removed the doors to the rooms because they can still be remote-locked by an orderly station. There’s not much in here besides a light rod on the ceiling and personal possessions.

E is the regular pharmacy. Needles was unable to stop the Giants from thoroughly looting it for anything that could get them high or that could be used for commerce. Now all that remains are 1-2 Giants who are trying to search the place to the bone and will be willing to trade G-Unit for their drugs.

F is the restricted pharmacy, the only place that Needles was able to secure. While the Giants ransacked the regular pharmacy, he took some of his most trusted men aside and tasked them with guarding this one, keeping the key for himself. There are 2-3 men here with scatterguns and rubber rounds and they’re too well paid by Needles to be bribed (and too chemically indifferent to complain about attempts). If one was to enter the room, they’d find 40 doses of Cardiolax and 2 doses of Tranq.

G is the biohazard crematorium. Originally intended for specimens, Needles insists that all corpses be burned here to prevent spread of disease and also prevent a Devourer from spawning. Kind of a little short-sighted when you consider the, y’know, sewage waters everywhere but hey, no mosquitoes in space at least.

H contains the dental labs for, y’know, dental stuff. Each room has a chair (with straps) and general tools. They’ve been turned into rooms and the one with a * is occupied by Prisoner #2361179, Big E-Z, and 2-4 of his buddies. E-Z was Johnson’s right hand man and has gotten more powerful under Needles due to complaints the Giants have had about their new leader. What it generally amounts to is that Needles is condescending and doesn’t bother connecting with even the foot soldiers anymore. E-Z would like proof for a reason to make Needles step down. Alternately, he would like enough support to stage a coup. He’s been secretly amassing supplies for the latter: 20 bullets, 10 rubber slugs, 3 batteries and 2000 in smokes. He’s someone who can be reasoned with but he’s also got enough of a mean streak to consider G-Unit a threat if he decides he doesn’t like them.

Fun fact: Big E-Z is the last black character in the game and coincidentally the last black character to be kind of a weird stereotype.

I stands for the surgical theaters. They are empty. Exciting.

J contains the radiology department. Due to power limitations, Needles has given up trying to make them work and has told E-Z he can send men to break them down for scrap. They haven’t yet, meaning that if Tama was to get her hands on them she could be in heaven.

K used to be storage before it was ransacked by the Giants in a mad dash to get the hospital up to snuff for Needles’ requests. They’re generally a mess and contain a 25% chance of you stumbling over a sleeping Giant. If you want to search them, roll on the random item table and ignore any armor results.

L was originally for specimen testing and autopsy rooms. Needles is strictly against the Giants looting this area because he wants to see if they can get enough power into the hospital to meet the demands of the exam equipment. His ultimate goal is to get a Demon in there so he can take it apart and understand it on a biological level. For now, there are two guards making sure nobody tries to loot it (who can be bribed for 50 smokes each to go for a walk and let Tama take a crack at the stuff inside).

M is the orderly station. Since the orderlies have abandoned the hospital, the room has been vandalized and altered so it’s a guard post. The intercom in the room runs from Needles to them and if an alert is sounded the two guards will respond with beat sticks. However, their addiction to Cardiolax has made them slow; they respond to trouble in 1d3 rounds instead of immediately.

N is a break room originally meant for orderlies. Doc looks at it and mourns what used to be there: pinball machines, pool tables, televisions, vending machines like the ones from Elysium. The Giants have since trashed the room, broken the vending machines open and generally looted everything mechanical except for the pinball machines. 4-16 Giants can be found here at any time, hanging out and playing games and getting into scraps. Any loot here belongs to someone.

O is the morgue. Because Needles is absolutely against keeping dead bodies around, the room is cold and empty.

P is a locked area that contains the backup generator and all of the chemical fuel. If one was to enter this area, they would have a 25% chance of seeing someone here refueling the generators. There’s enough fuel here to be scavenged for 40 Volatile components and one could also take apart the generators for parts.

Q is the physical therapy unit where weights and exercise machines are kept. The Giants are often occupying the room and keeping up their physiques. There are generally 6-24 Giants here that can be used to get prison services from.

R was originally the emergency unit for patients in desperate immediate need of treatment (stabbing victims, etc). They were well stocked with supplies but the flooding has ruined the supplies and the area is so badly flooded nobody uses it for anything.

S is the ICU. Needles treats the sick and wounded here. There are 4-8 Giants here and three of them are recovering from accidental Cardiolax overdose caused by Needles experimenting with the drugs-to-water ratio. They’re told that they’re simply suffering from fatigue and will generally blab about their symptoms if asked.

T is the quarantine unit where Needles has made his home in one of the cells. He can be found here at night (he’s in the ICU during the day) because he likes the isolation and would prefer to sleep separate from the rest of the gang. His cell is decorated with medical textbooks, anatomical charts, a bar of pruno bottles and also, uh, a wall of a pictures of a couple dozen female inmates who all have identical cheekbones, eyes, nose and cupid’s bow lips. Don’t forget, he’s still a serial killer with a fixation on women. Asking what the pictures are for elicits the typical “no it’s not porn it’s a fashion magazine” response you’d expect from a teenager except his response is “no it’s not a creepy weird murder fetish I just miss being a famous plastic surgeon”. He’s also got a cache of 2500 smokes and a bug-out bag of a shiv, first aid kit, work pass emulator, 20 smokes, lighter and light rods in case this all goes south. He also has the intercom in his cell rigged up to alert the guards at M if he finds himself in danger.

U is the cafeteria which has been trashed by the Giants. There were originally machines that dispended ration packs but they’re out of order, having broken down from overuse. The food is instead contained in sealed crates of ration packs and bottled water that line two of the walls. 6-24 Giants can be found here, eating or playing cards/dice or shooting hoops. If you’re looking for stuff to trade for, a lot of the Giants are willing to trade smokes for stuff you have. Also if one was so inclined to, uh, steal all their food, there are 750 ration packs here.

V was the kitchen which used to work until the Giants caused some (contained and extinguished) fires. Originally the orderlies were supposed to cook food for the food dispensers which…makes no sense but anyway. Too many fires and too many shenanigans have caused Needles to close the kitchen. It is, however, unofficially open thanks to our good friend J.D. (aka Jelly Dawg). He managed to survive Sanctuary and (against Needles’ orders) uses the kitchen as a shop from midnight to 2 AM, brewing pruno in the vats and selling it for smokes. If you were to bottle the pruno, there’s around 400 smokes worth. EZ knows about this and tolerates it, keeping the knowledge as leverage to make JD support him when he makes his move. As Johnson’s cousin and a long-time fixture of the Giants, JD is also a valid leader of the gang. Between EZ and Needles, he’s a pretty moderate choice, willing to commit to the Furies’ alliance and work with the men but also willing to try and play safe. JD also acts as the mouthpiece for the GM if the players can’t figure out how to get rid of Needles.

W encompasses the pantries used to hold bulk food and water, guarded by 3 Giants armed with scatterguns and rubber slugs. They’re under orders to let Needles in who allegedly inventories the food daily but in reality is dosing the food with Cardiolax but you can convince them to let you in with a bribe of 200 smokes. Inside is around 300 ration packs and some Cardiolax vials that Needles didn’t dispose of yet. Sampling the water here has the effects of a mild Cardiolax buzz, reducing Despair by 1.

Arriving at the Hospital

G-Unit climbs out of the muck and mire and greet the dude in the bathrooms of A, explaining just who the hell they are and why they climbed out of a toilet hole. The Giant here is willing to answer questions and will let them in for telling him what’s up, but the whole alliance against the forces of damnation thing is kind of way above his pay grade.

Once inside of the hospital, the other Giants are downright surprised to see that Soapbox is alive and the mood changes to a much more easy-going one with the presence of G-Unit. After a little bit of catching up with the rank-and-file and meeting up with JD again, they’re allowed to go into the ICU to meet Needles.

So yeah, the game wants you to depose of Needles somehow. Normally I go to the hospital and get a sharps box but I dunno if that'll work in this case. The first option is, of course, murder. The book really doesn't want you to do a murder because c'mon, you and Needles go way back, probably. The next best option is to convince Needles to step down and get someone else to take his place. The suggested gambits for ousting Needles are: G-Unit goes for Option 3. Doc collects the evidence pretty handily because, well, she used to be an orderly and she knows what it's like to witness patients shuffle around all doped to the gills on Cardiolax. A cursory exam of the patients in the ICU and a bribe to access the food gets them all of the proof they need. The Giants are furious. Well, their words are furious, even if their faces don't say it.

If Needles dies, someone should exposit that, though Needles will just do anything in his power to resist getting killed. At any rate, JD is the new leader of the Jailhouse Giants and Soapbox pulls G-Unit in for a huddle. She really doesn't want to go back to Sanctuary on some asinine fetch quest, but it really doesn't look like they have much of a choice. We'll be back in Elysium in no time and fill the others in on our question, hopefully this won't be a complete waste of time.

Little do they know that they'll soon meet their most powerful ally to date, someone nobody could ever expect to join G-Unit.

NEXT TIME: the cold frozen road to Sanctuary, AKA "what happens when most of the maintenance of a space ship breaks down and space saps heat". But more importantly, the most important and powerful ally.

We Had The Sewer Level, Now It's The Ice Level

posted by Hostile V Original SA post



We Had The Sewer Level, Now It's The Ice Level

Because G-Unit put JD in power, he's got goodies to help them for the journey to Sanctuary: three light rods, makeshift digging tools that work as improvised weapons, 50 feet of braided-sheet rope and a first aid kit. JD gives them directions to Sanctuary and warns that it should take a day but due to structural dangers it might take longer. They should stay on guard and go carefully through the dark tunnels.

For some reason this whole part of explaining gets a big ol' comic panel.

And he's right: damage done to this segment of the Gehenna has stripped it of power and heat from what used to be a constant source of warmth from everything running in the maintenance tunnels. It's so dark and hazardous, the party can only move three squares per hour and will not be able to travel for more than eight hours at a time (letting them take at minimum of a hour between excursions). The air is cold and has made patches of ice and frost in the ship and it's chilled the flooded segments to dangerous levels of cold without actually freezing it. Strangely there are no mechanical intricacies to swimming through cold water, so.

The map also has a problem of, uh. The items on the map being laid out in a nonsensical way. The idea is that you're going to want to, like, simulate this being a hardcore dungeon crawl with rationing time and food and labor and shit. There's no easy way through the tunnels here and we're going to pretend that these things are structured in such a way as to make sense for this being, like, a long excursion.

Despair check! Welcome to the entrance of the maze. Occasionally you can hear the howl through the tunnels, close enough to be scary but far enough away to not provoke another Despair check.

At Area 8, Ice Queen's Sixth Sense goes off to alert her that something is wrong. What's wrong is that a Sorrow Leech has been lurking here, preying on people who pass by. It originally came from the ruins of Sanctuary and preyed on the King of the Cannibals until he could see the Leech and drove it away. Now it wants to prey on the person in the party with the most Guilt...except Pincushion is here and can see it and will want to nibble on his fears instead. Unless stopped, the Leech will follow the party silently and every day it will use its aura to drive its prey to further madness along with offering symbiosis.

It can only grant one benefit, not all, and the cost is that it has the ability to force a Will check whenever combat begins to take Pincushion over and make him turn against his allies. Instead what happens is that Pincushion whispers to Ice Queen that he can see the Sorrow Leech, G-Unit uses a molotov to set the Leech on fire and then they shoot it to death.

Each cell block is abandoned. Spending a hour and making a Wits check allows a roll on the d99 item table here.

The rivers are too dangerous to travel via wading or swimming. Six hours of construction and three Rigid components per passengers (and Improvisation) would allow the construction of a raft. It's not really said how much faster it is to travel by raft, but it is said that the water gets choppy every 50 feet (every square) and requires a Reflexes check from the person with the highest Reflexes to avoid it capsizing. Capsizing runs the risk of gear getting lost in the water and Reflex checks to swim to the nearest tunnel. Also if you killed that Engorged Horror...

Any area with fungus is the only area with any light due to the magic of bioluminescence. It glows like a candle and is in fact a weird form of life native to the Nether. Which, like, alright, I know that there has been weird mutated plants before and patches of fungus glowing on the walls. I just have no idea what the Nether looks like and nobody has any idea what the Nether looks like. I thought it was just a weird space hole. Why is there moss in the space hole. Anyway don't sleep in the moss, it'll gnaw your face off. That's not a joke.

The energies of the Nether have warped this room to make a place to generate more pain for people who enter. Anyone who enters with a Guilt of 1 or more and succeeds on a Wits check will see the faces of their victims reflected in the glass and ice and this causes a Guilt check. Anyone who takes a closer look will see that the glass is just normal and can be used as a weapon.

Burst pipes from a whole bunch of levels are flooding down this chamber and the entry in this room is 20 feet below the falls. The bottom of the chamber is full of alien fungus and plants and maybe other stuff, we'll leave it up to the GM. Climbing up to the mouth of the falls requires a Reflexes check and another Reflexes check if you fail to resist falling to the bottom of the chamber. Rope helps.

Despair check! SOB (#2246361) is an older man with a long history of homelessness, alcoholism and squatting, eventually arrested in Alaska and interred for rehab (societal and for his alcoholism). When rehab didn't work, he was arrested for stealing food and sent to Gehenna. When Perdition hit, he roamed the corridors on his own. Ultimately his mistake was sleeping too close to the glowing fungus, which has started consuming his body. You can't save him and coming across him means that he'll weakly gesture to a cardboard box near him before passing away, unable to speak.

Opening the box reveals the best NPC in the game: Killer the pitbull puppy. SOB found Killer when he accidentally stumbled across one of the colonization vaults, one that was full of Terran life in cryostasis to be used to populate the planet with familiar animals. He found Killer while he was escaping from a brown bear that had somehow got loose and had been watching over the puppy since. He kept Killer in the cardboard box when he woke up and found that he'd been half-eaten by fungus, hoping the cardboard would protect him from the fungus.

It's real nice of the devs to have the foresight of wanting to keep the dog healthy and safe by getting the stats right. Killer is a little skittish at first but will follow G-Unit (especially after they feed him a ration pack). He can be used to replace a lost Trusty Companion but he is now a proper member of G-Unit and is promptly renamed Kira by some prodding from Tama. Outside of a nice warm dog in these trying times, SOB had three ration packs, two light rods, 2d20 smokes, 1d10 matches, 200 smokes worth of scotch and an ignition component.

The message will only appear when nobody else is looking so Jackpot tells everyone to turn around and leave the room.

The convict in question is found in Area 17 and has been murdering Trustees. Despite the sidebar above, the Warden is completely fine with you killing the convict and his buddies. Also, hilariously, the reward for this task isn't found in this adventure but the next one.

This counts for both locations marked 16. The sentries are equipped with night vision goggles and unless G-Unit hides with a Wits check, they'll retreat back to Area 17 and return with the rest of their gang.

The Nightstalkers are run by a prisoner called El Loco, picking their name due to the darkness of this section of the ship. A former stick-up artist, Loco is the man that the Warden wants dealt with. He (and the rest of the Stalkers) were repeatedly abused by Trustees before Perdition and this has lead to a full-blown hateboner for them and a burning desire to get revenge. He killed his block's Trustee by strangulation and has been hunting any and all Trustees he can get his hands on, capturing them with stun weaponry (tasers and such) before executing them. The Nightstalkers have killed a dozen or so Trustees and now due to their relative scarcity the gang has decided to be more lenient with who they kill. There are 9 Nightstalkers (counting Loco and the Sentries) and they live in this abandoned block, keeping it warm with fires. Loco himself stays in the showers, having converted it to a room.

Loco starts off wary of G-Unit but can be made more friendly if they brag about killing Trustees or are openly wearing Trustee gear that isn't theirs (one would assume their riot gear would count). Anyone who is opposed to his goal of hunting down and killing Trustees will earn his ire. Also Loco or the Nightstalkers are allowed to make Sociability checks to determine if anyone in the group is a Trustee ("if the players gripe, explain to them that the same sort of check that allows PCs to learn the secrets of NPCs they’ve met, also applies to them", so sayeth the book). If he's made friendly, you can trade for stuff the Nightstalkers have and he'll give you advice.

Walking on an ice patch forces a Reflexes check to avoid slipping.

Loco is not going to be friendly. This is because of Jackpot's past history of openly bragging about how she's a Trustee and openly abusing her privileges to misbehave. Now, granted, this misbehavior mostly consisted of opening doors to other prisoners so they could loot stuff or go in places they weren't allowed. This doesn't really matter to him. Loco will attempt to subdue Jackpot with a cattle prod while the other 8 Nightstalkers split into groups of two to "try and use their Backstabber traits to their advantage" but oh man this wasn't really designed for a party consisting of 7 women, a robot armed with a pulse rifle and a small but vicious dog. Loco is the hardest to kill due to his armor and his Riot Shield being able to eat an attack but when the dust settles there's plenty of loot to be had: two riot helmets, riot armor that needs to be repaired with a rigid component, mace canister, riot baton, slug gun, nine ration packs, nine light rods, 50 feet of rope, can of oil to be used for starting fires, 500 pounds of flammable kindling taken from wherever, 1000 smokes, six hydrogen cells, 1 chemical component, 3 precision, 1 torsion components and 8 Breaching Rounds, new rounds for a slug gun. They're probably not bringing 500 pounds of wood and paper with them.

And, honestly, I was not having them fight the Nightstalkers just to fight them. I mean, kinda, but. Loco targets Trustees but will also make Stool Pigeons, Moles, Orderlies or generally nice, clean-nosed people his target. If not Jackpot, Doc, if not Doc, Ice Queen and Soapbox.

Roughly every hour a jet of plasma shoots up this hole which is actually an emergency heat-vent for the irradiated air of the engines. Loco uses this to execute captured victims, tying them to a wire bed frame and leaving them on the edge of a catwalk and waiting to watch the firestorm incinerate the victim. Roll 1d12 when the party enters and on a 1 or 12 it's time for the vent. You should leave the chamber ASAP because 1d3 rounds later the venting will deal 3d10 damage to anyone in the area.

You have stepped in poop. Examining the poop reveals human bones and a roll on the random find table.

These are places where the tunnels have collapsed and need to either be circumvented or dug out. Considering how the only way to the exit requires at least one excavation, the former idea is a load of crap. Thankfully there are 7 people to dig so they're not that much of a speedbump.

There are no escape pods, that sign is just from wherever. It's a Reflex check to attempt to climb up into the waterfall and pushing forward eventually hits a dead end because the water is coming from a cluster of smaller pipes in a wall at the end. So yeah, just...fuck you, I guess.

Not intervening means that one will kill the other and the winner loots the loser and departs. However, willingly letting the masked stranger (a member of The Fittest) causes a Guilt check for inaction. Any distractions (making noise, shooting at the Psycho, etc.) will give the masked stranger the opening to kill the Psycho with his shiv. So G-Unit just yells insults down at the Psycho to distract him while the stranger cuts his throat. The stranger loots the body, looks up, nods at the party and leaves. The debt will be repaid eventually.

The ceiling is covered with a shimmering silver liquid that reflects everything on the floor perfectly, dripping lightly. Touching the liquid immediately wracks the victim with pain and forces an Insanity check for a temporary gain of 1d4 Insanity that fades at 1 point per day. Any Madness gained fades with the loss of the Insanity as well. The liquid is inert once it hits the floor and does not remain potent in the pot, which begs the question of "under which circumstances would one want to bottle this shit?".

Attempting to excavate here is met with more debris falling due to how unstable the structural supports and ceilings are. Evading falling rubble is a Reflexes check that deals 1d3 damage on a failure. Instead of digging, you can pick through the rubble for 1d3 hours to find something below but really isn't worth the effort.

Multiple levels of the ship have collapsed here and it's kind of not meant for you to explore it. If you do, getting down is hard and the contents of the cavern are ill-defined outside of "if you fall you probably die". The debris on the floor of the cavern is just full of cell blocks that have fallen wholesale down here and gotten compacted somehow along with broken Custodians and hundreds of dead bodies. The game suggests this place either be empty, a draining point of floodwaters or home to dozens of Demons.

I was incredibly confused until I googled "cataract" and learned it's also a word for waterfall. So. Why not just say "three waterfalls". C'mon. The area is littered with debris from the Giants fleeing Sanctuary, the contents amounting to three rolls on the d99 table. It's easy to climb from one waterfall to the next, the next requires a Reflexes check to scale 30 feet and the last doesn't require a check. Easy.

And just like that, G-Unit is back to Sanctuary and what evidence might remain of Johnson's survival. Can they brave the ruins of the fallen "city" and the wicked fury of the King of the Cannibals?

I mean they have a robot armed with a pulse rifle, they'll probably be fine.

NEXT TIME: return to Sanctuary.

Driving The Whole Cannibal Tribe Idea Until The Wheels Fly Off

posted by Hostile V Original SA post



Driving The Whole Cannibal Tribe Idea Until The Wheels Fly Off

Alright, here's are pictures of old Sanctuary.

And here's Sanctuary today.

Warning: there's a scene of someone literally being ripped apart. If that's not your bag, keep scrolling for your own mental health.

Sanctuary isn't doing great thanks to all of the ice and structural damage. Most of the area is now inaccessible thanks to the collapses and it's a lot more cramped. After the fall of Sanctuary, only one person remained thanks to hiding through the fighting and the looting done by the forces of the damned. This man was stricken with a pathological compulsion to eat dead human flesh and emerging into the town on Free Long Pork Day was not good for his mental health. Disgusted by himself, he tried to lobotomize himself to stop the cravings, failed and woke up to a bunch of prisoners who showed up a day after the damned abandoned the city.

So the man said "hey, we're safe, the damned are gone and there's a shitload of food everywhere, let's have a buffet!" And that's how Sanctuary got taken over by a cannibal tribe lead by a King: less Plymouth Rock, more Jamestown. But, well, dead bodies only last so long and they ran out of corpses. So the King introduced a lottery system to eat some of the weaker members. This had the side effect of making only the strong cannibals survive. But then the strong cannibals were like "we should rig the lottery so the King loses" and the King was like "oh no, my power, I can't give this up, I don't want to die!" So he poisoned them and the Guilt attracted the Sorrow Leech that G-Unit killed. The King drove the Leech off with his ~secret favorite weapon~ when he went sufficiently insane thanks to its powers and has been living here since, lurking and hunting anyone who passes through. Which is, like, nobody. It's a miracle he hasn't starved.

Anyway now G-Unit is here and, well, there's seven of them, a robot and a small yet vicious dog. Things probably aren't going to go great for the King.

The water is shoulder-deep and there's five feet of air between the water and the ceiling of the tunnels. The water is cold and gross and full of obstructions and such to block the way, reducing transit to two squares a round.

"This place is eerie, but empty.". Aight. Thanks. Thanks for that.

This isn't actually a woman, this is an Apparition. You can tell by the fact that her character art has nothing but a floating head, not even a neck or a body. She's one of the people killed by the cannibals and this immediately dings Ice Queen's Sixth Sense as weird shit (or anyone's Supernatural Sense). She's unresponsive and staring at nothing. Trying to approach her (or being weirded out in general) results in her whispering "make sure you bring food" and running away, disappearing once out of sight. Seeing that she's gone elicits a Despair check because WEIRD SHIT MAN. I'm gonna pretend that Kira is just barking constantly at her. What a good boy.

The two chambers are flooded maintenance areas that filled up with water and trash so thick you can walk on it without sinking into the water or needing to swim. The King never poked around in here; if he did, he and his followers would have found a cache of supplies the Psychos, DOS, Embracers and Skinheads abandoned to carry more looted weapons. Inside of the cache is 7 ration bars, a light rod and a first aid kit. You see it is irony that there was food available and yet they still turned to cannibalism. Oh the foolish actions of these damned souls, oh I wail and gnash my teeth in dismay.

The alarms are made out of utensils, cans, jangly metal trash not unlike the ones Tama made way back when. Tripping the alarms means they can be heard through the complex and the sound warns the King to arm himself.

Digging around in here turns up makeshift bedding and signs of habitation. This is where the tribe slept and lived. Digging around further turns up an unexploded flashbang round that was shot out of a shotgun during the siege and small slips of paper, some of them with a black spot, that were used for the lottery.

Recently a squad of Psychos returned to Sanctuary to make sure that no Giants returned to the area. They were ambushed by the King and murdered and he has taken their legs for food. You can identify the Psychos as Psychos by a Sociability check or...having met them before. Think we're gonna go with the latter one. Anyway one of the Psychos has a syringe with Redline on him...which has frozen due to the cold and needs to be defrosted. Hooray for realism in my spooky prison hell space dimension game.

Despair check! Here is where they threw the bones when they were done chomping on them. They used to dump them in the Pit but then one of them disappeared by the Pit so this is the trash now. Examining the bones shows tooth marks and thorough nibbling of the meat off the bones. It takes a lot to stop Kira from jumping snout-first into the trash.

It's your old buddy the Pit. There's now water in the Pit. It's dark and empty. Don't fall in because despite there being water down there the fall will kill you. Also the last time they went down there they ended up having to punch a psychic teenager and then punch a whole bunch of rapists. Let's not have a repeat of that.

This is where the King repaired his ~special weapon~ and make fuel for it, turning the area into a workshop. Instead of killing the King, they should beat on him until he shares the secret of crafting ammo. You can get basic tools, 1 precision component, 2 rigid components and 5 volatile components.

The cannibals cooked their meals here in a pot, boiling the meat off the bones into a gruel for the members of the tribe who were like "I don't feel morally comfortable with chomping on a roasted haunch of dude". Inside of the pot are bones and skulls and a Despair check if you didn't already figure out the people here were eating people. Some of the tools here for cooking and eating were made out of scrap metal and count as two 1d6 improvised weapons and a shiv. In the zone marked * is a box of caustic detergent used to clean showers that the King poisoned the rest of his tribe with. If you want to take this box of Arm and Harmer, go ahead, it's 1 chemical component.

Two Creeping Confidantes live here, the new Demons for the book. Creeping Confidantes, COME ON DOWN!


Creeping Confidantes slither out of the darkness to hide the deeds of something that someone did. They're low-intensity Guilt Demons who are summoned when a person commits a horrible crime that has a plethora of evidence. Creeping Confidantes resemble giant centipedes with weird proportions, 50 legs and heads "strangely reminiscent of a twisted, grinning, kabuki mask". I mean. I sure am glad you told me that's what they're supposed to look like because boy howdy you didn't include any coloration or patterns that actually say "kabuki mask". After they appear they offer a deal: pact with me and I'll literally eat the evidence. They can choke down entire bodies, lick blood clean off the floor and swallow murder weapons and other evidence. In reality you don't have to make a deal with it at all; it'll just eat the evidence because it wants to, then hang out in case you do more crimes. And you will probably do more crimes because you crimed sufficiently to warrants its presence.

All things considered this is a relatively fair Demon. The Guilt Venom is interesting enough but frankly could stand to be toned down a bit more, the debuff isn't bad, they're just not flagrantly awful and overpowered and dumb.

Anyway the Creeping Confidantes hang out here in the place that used to be the main chamber for the cannibals. There are blankets, makeshift living quarters and abandoned campfires. In the refuse and piles of stuff that you can't scavenge is an abandoned camcorder that was carried by the Psychos into battle to record their video. It's damaged but the digital memory card is intact to be reviewed with the right equipment. Ultimately this is what G-Unit is after and they have to bring it back to the Giants to find out what's on it. But first they have to deal with the Cre-oh wait they keeled over and died.

The tribe built this for their King. He doesn't really use it after he killed 'em.

The lady from 3 appears here and can be followed to a small circular chamber marked with a *. Following her lets you see how she died:

Despair check! She's forced to relive how she died, doing it over and over and over. The only thing you can find here are more lottery tickets.

The drains are kinda clogged from the ice and sheer amount of water constantly raining. If you enter in this area with the Sorrow Leech still following you, the water will foil its invisibility by running down its body as it falls. This is the only other way to see the Leech outside of going nuts. So that's nice I guess.

This is where the betrayers met their end at the dinner table. Examining the corpses shows what happens when you eat shower detergent: your cheeks, tongue and teeth rot away pretty quickly and also burn holes in your throat and chest if you remove their shirts (why would you?). Also this causes a Despair check because...well, really, I won't lie. This is a pretty awful way to die. The only items here are stuff made out of human bones: six cups made out of skulls, dice made from teeth and a hatchet made from a shoulder blade that is a 1d6 damage improvised weapon.

MADNESS REIIIIIIIIGNS! IN THE HALL! OF THE CANNIBAL KING! After he's done with his monologue, he rises from his rubble hiding space to reveal the two terrible secrets of the King of the Cannibals: his ~special weapon~ is a Scorcher he took off some dead Psychos and managed to fix.

And he's Nibble. Yup. Remember Nibble? If Nibble didn't survive D-Block, replace him with some other NPC, like Chompo, Bitemaster, Toothy Bill, Masti-Kate, Jaws "Richard Kiel" Grindmore, Crunchy Crunch and the Funky Bunch, Ol' Marrow Lips, Anthropopha Gus, Leonard The Dude Who Eats People or everyone's favorite character The Calcium From Your Bones Kid.


"To the PCs he looks like a plain, balding man who might have been an accountant or librarian in life, unexceptional and overlooked by a world he grew to despise for not noticing him. He has decorated his face with swirls of tribal paint, but he still seems somehow ordinary despite the mask. One would almost be forgiven for discounting the foolish cretin’s ravings, if not for the burning red light that causes his eyes to glow perceptibly…"


G-Unit did in fact meet Nibble on the way to Sanctuary but never ran into him in the tunnels of D-Block and figured out his terrible secret. They thought he was just a right creepy little fucker and parted ways with him ASAP. They have no idea what the hell he's on about. Anyway because he's crazy and has Rage, he can keep fighting for 7 rounds after being reduced to 0 Health and literally cannot stop fighting despite diplomacy. And, honestly, his Scorcher is a pretty good threat for a squad of PCs, especially a squad of 7 people, a robot and a small yet vicious dog.

Two problems, though: Beth and Doc both have Quickness and they now have an unexploded flashbang. They shoot it into his face and a hail of bullets, pulse laser shots and loud barking bring him down thanks to a concentrated assault.

The adventure ends when Nibble dies and the Sorrow Leech is killed or gone. Both have been achieved. You basically just jump-cut back to the Hospital and turn the camcorder over to JD who has Needles help him attach the memory card to a TV to show the contents of the card. The Furies swing by and the PCs, JD, Needles and Patch sit down for a cutscene which I will leave in here intact.

Adventure over! Cliffhanger achieved! Now is the time of 1d6 Despair reduction and the giving of 200 points plus more points!


So, unsurprisingly, when you cut way back on being filler inspired by a bunch of horror movies and Magical Realm Fetishes, you kinda get a mostly empty book that just has a lot of "go Over There because we told you to". The plot of this is really just bumbling into diplomacy, then bumbling into a coup, then bumbling into a nature hike then bumbling into the "tragic" remains of a betrayal that has something to say about the nature of man if you squint and look at it from across the room. It's less lethal but that's really just because there's less to do in general. The sole saving grace continues to be that you can obtain a pet puppy and snuggle his cuddly little tummy until all of the Despair goes away.

Five down, one to go. Now, full disclosure: I was dumb and bought the core book. I got it at a discount and it still wasn't worth it. All of these modules I downloaded off the back of a truck I pirated off the internet. This last one I had to buy, it just wasn't available on the majority of trucks I looked at. So get ready for the grand finale of Abandon All Hope, a story where G-Unit journeys into the belly of a literal deathtrap to strike at the heart of OBLIVION to rescue Johnson and end the entire product line!

G-Unit Gets Ridiculously Overpowered: The Final Chapter

posted by Hostile V Original SA post



G-Unit Gets Ridiculously Overpowered: The Final Chapter

Officially the name of this entire module line is Incursion, something I wasn't really familiar with until I read this book. And the introduction lays the point of the entire module thus far out plainly: the whole reason the forces of the damned exist is to eliminate anyone who can stop them from taking over the ship for whatever reason. The only way to get at them is to go down to the place called Oblivion, and the only person who knows how to get there is Needles.

Well, more specifically, a friend of Needles. Okay not a friend. A guy he shared a cell block with once. In the past, Needles shared a cell block with a member of the Jaybirds (before getting transferred somewhere else for being a creepy weirdo). As the oldest gang full of the oldest prisoners, the Jaybirds know the ship in and out. Their old stomping grounds were in a recycling center in the low security wings (due to their age). When Perdition happened, they did in fact retreat to The Roost (their name for it) and have reinforced the entire complex with traps and misdirection to compensate for their age and lack of fighting ability. Needles gives G-Unit the directions of how to get to Level 68 (of E-Wing, I guess?) and the mission is clear: get in, find the Jaybirds, get to Oblivion, rescue Johnson, discover the weaknesses of Blade because [gasp] Blade and Johnson shared a cell at one point and each man knows the others’ weaknesses!

Normally I would have to sit down and figure out which characters are going to take on this momentous task. However, I have read this entire book and I’m going to cheat a bit. The seven members who went to Sanctuary and saw the video (Soapbox, Doc, Tama, Beth, Pincushion, Ice Queen and Jackpot) take the knowledge of the Roost’s location and return back to Elysium to their entire operation. Conversations are had that borders on debate. Ultimately, the decision is a grim one. All of G-Unit will be marching as one with their wards in tow, abandoning Elysium and the home they’ve made out of the den of sin to act together and guarantee they have the numbers to face this challenge. Their wards in question being:

And for G-Unit, we have the returning characters of Soapbox, Doc, Tama, Beth and Pincushion. Their only real changes are that they’ve gotten a bit stronger, a bit more health and have been preparing for the fight ahead. They understand perfectly well how possible it is that they’re walking to their deaths and are prepared to bring out the big guns to accommodate this.

As for their understudies of Ice Queen, Buzzkill, Bad Habit, Peacemaker and Jackpot, well. The big changes for them are that they’ve picked up more health and gotten some character development. And also there’s the fact that no rule stats that a character gained by Criminal Mastermind cannot in fact take it again. So while they’ve been helping out back at Elysium or running back-up around Sanctuary and weird diplomacy questing, they’ve been picking up survivors of their own to make friends with. So without further ado, let’s introduce Tier 3 of G-Unit, who will sadly probably get even less screen time that Tier 2. But trust me, they’re there and they’re armed and they’re willing to fight.

#0085165, ”MRS. PEACOCK”

Victoria “Mrs. Peacock” Warwick was one of the daughters of Weston Warwick, businessman and creator of the illustrious Warwick Meat and Dairy plant. Weston was responsible for saving a substantial amount of cattle during the Last War and was basically a goods profiteer, selling meat and cheese and milk to anyone who could afford it. When the PTM went into place, Warwick M&D became a fixture of rebuilding the economy and the Warwicks became public celebrities. A dilettante and socialite, youngest daughter Victoria had a (not undeserved) reputation for being a party girl, a drama queen and tabloid fixture. The drama of their rich and public life plagued the family as both a boon and a curse, providing free advertisement for their products that regular marketing never could. But when Victoria murdered her husband Chet and her sister Geneva in cold blood when Chet cheated on Victoria when Geneva, the Warwick name and money could only go so far as to get her put into minimum security. When the Gehenna was built, Weston Warwick was no longer in control of the company and her other siblings didn’t dare lift a finger to spare Victoria from further punishment. That’s how life goes when you’re written to be a soap opera character (or as someone requested, "make them be a character from the musical Chicago").

Victoria has been in prison ever since, still a bit nostalgic for the times when her trial ruled the airwaves. Now age 53, she’s refined her ability to use her wit offensively to survive prison this long and when that doesn’t work a well-placed slap to the face often does the job. Those are basically her biggest weapons in her arsenal; otherwise she’s a woman that’s never really grown up out of her younger persona and carries herself with the entire attitude she was infamous for. Hell, she still uses the name the media gave her, owing to the fact that the murder was committed with a revolver in the Warwick study. Bad Habit found her scavenging and tried to bring her back to Elysium, but she refused to leave without the love of her life:

#0547679, ”FEVER”

Nicole “Fever” Avison was a biologist who worked on an experimental weapons program during the Final War. Starting off as a relatively low-key technician and researcher, she eventually managed to assemble a collection of other scientists and funding to become the head of a biological weapons program. She was ultimately responsible for creating a contagion that became the cornerstone of urban warfare: an infectious altered virus that caused suffocation and death by overheating and a vaccine for the troops, allowing the soldiers to take the streets while the virus was being deployed. In the end, Nicole was one of the many researchers who were arrested for war crimes and was readily sentenced to life behind bars. She managed to avoid lobotomy that was common for weapons designers due to the fact that mass distribution of the vaccine lead to her virus becoming harmless.

A couple of decades of jail have lead to a once uptight, straight-laced scientist into becoming rather laid back and free-thinking individual. At the age of 63, she’s one of the older female prisoners, winkingly playing the role of cool grandma. Granted she’s has successfully figured out how to bake cookies out of the components of ration packs and stolen materials and a steam pipe but that’s more of a comfort thing. Somewhere along the line she shacked up with Mrs. Peacock and the two of them have been romantically connected, providing the anchor to Peacock’s energy. Buzzkill is amazed to have found someone who understands chemistry and science the way they do and has a tendency of talking Fever’s ear off.

#6141990, ”JACK OF SPADES”

Yuki “Jack of Spades” Macbeth is a colonial separatist (or a terrorist, depending on who you ask). Her nickname stems from her post-War designation in the hierarchy of uncontrolled threats to the PTM. Originally born and raised on the colony planet of Persephone, Yuki lived a life of constant danger. Persephone’s role as a colony was to provide food and vegetables to Terra and the other colonies, but the horrors of the Last War lead to mass defoliation of her home. The end of the war leads to a period of unsure recovery as they did their best to reverse the damage done under the boot of the PTM. But the PTM isn’t exactly the savior that Persephone wants. Persephone didn’t participate in the War, being mostly interested in existing and lacking the infrastructure to fight, so they looked to Terra for protection. This protection was never really provided during the war and the PTM sends psychologists and smiling happy people holding hands to Persephone but they don’t send cleanup crews and relief. As a result, Yuki willingly joined the Persephone Separation Movement and hardened herself to a life of infiltration and violence.

Her arrest took the better part of a special police unit to track her down and subdue her. Unwilling to roll on the rest of the movement, her imprisonment without trial was used to send a message to the PSM. Being behind bars hasn’t really tempered her nature to rebel and protect her home and some part of her still holds out hope that she’ll be able to get home and restart the fight. Peacemaker doesn’t entirely agree with this idea but they both agree that they hate the PTM and have since bonded over that. She may not be able to get more soldiers on her sides, but more folks capable of fighting are helpful.

#7455402, ”SCRATCH”

Porsche “Scratch” Buchanan worked hard, played hard, gambled hard and lost a lot. A saleswoman by trade, she was a dynamo of energy on the sales floor and happily thriving in the business of rebuilding. Need a contractor? She’s got six on speed dial. Purchasing medical supplies? A man she knows down at the transport depot can get you what you need. Looking for pets? Funny story about how I got this tank of fish. The world after the War needed people to move commodities and Porsche wanted money. Shaking the invisible hand of the free market was the only clear decision by her metric. And, of course, you make the most money when you get the cash up front and don’t need to actually provide a product…

Long story short, the courts are still dividing up all of her assets amongst the victims and trying to figure out who is owed what from what’s left. The house always wins in the end. She’s still perky and eager and in saleswoman mode on the Gehenna, using the prison economy to her own advantage as a fixer. She’s traded the goal of getting an awesome future Jacuzzi for the goal of having enough smokes to buy all the snack cakes in a vending machine to sell them for markups. Jackpot likes the cut of her hypercapitalist jib, plus she still had plenty of those snack cakes leftover when she found Scratch holed up in an air duct.

#7767300, ”APPLEDAY”

Malikah “Appleday” Chalet used to be a school teacher before her arrest. Her original post was in a private high school for the children of PTM officials, living a relatively quiet life of education and instruction. For a while she struggled against the curriculum that was mandated by the government and eventually she decided to sneak extra lessons to her more intelligent and inquisitive students. Malikah’s true passion was world history and the governments that came before and plenty of teens wanted to know more about the world before the War. Unfortunately even more students were willing to snitch on her when their parents found out they were harboring unsavory views. And that’s how she got to prison. Her time in prison was pretty uneventful, mostly keeping to herself; she got the name Appleday from someone misremembering the old adage about doctors and apples in regards to teachers. The only real thing of note in her time behind bars would be Perdition and eventually being rescued from Blangis’ castle by Ice Queen.

That’s right, I’m turning the pregnant woman who was going to get eaten by drug-crazed perverts into an Algerian teacher. You could ask her about what happened during Perdition and she will not answer that. The main reason she’s a character now is that she’s given birth to her newborn son in the downtime, a little boy she’s named Aaron Chalet. I have given her the Trait “Trusty Companion” to accurately reflect the fact that she’s got a baby slung across her chest. You may think a baby is not a pet. I disagree, mostly for the purposes of abusing the mechanics. Anyway the baby and labor turned out fine while the rest were in Sanctuary, it turns out Bad Habit knows how to deliver children much to the amazement of a flummoxed Peacemaker and Buzzkill. It was a laugh riot, it’s a shame the camera couldn’t be here to record it.

Alright, enough fooling around. I promised you the beginning of the end. And from what I've heard about the beginning of the end, it's a great place to end.


Getting the Roost isn't particularly tricky, it's all a manner of going down and G-Unit raids all of their goods to get all of the rope they can muster (around 1000 feet). There should be a few encounters along the way, the book recommends, but the outer reaches of the Roost are mostly abandoned and dark and dirty. Sample encounters:
Gray/black circles indicate doors that won't open, red doors are locked and need a work pass, blue doors are shut and can be opened by hand. Fortunately, G-Unit does in fact have a work pass.

The plant was initially meant for elderly and low risk prisoners to work, sorting metal and plastic and paper or unclogging waste water or picking through garbage. The Jaybirds have made this deeper section of the Roost their home and are actually in the process of trying to legitimately escape the Gehenna with the use of a salvaged escape pod. Here is where the traps get dangerous.

This section isn't trapped yet, it's just a warning for those who dare tread here to turn back. There's muttering amongst the wards of G-Unit but the group splits into two to guard the rear and the front.

In AREA 2 is a corridor full of knee-deep trash. The trash is full of bullet traps: slugs attached to trip-wires that will shoot a bullet up into the foot of the person who triggered the trap for 1d6+2 damage, exploding on a 6. There are 10 traps total and Wits checks will avoid the traps, but you can also search the trash to recover bullets without a roll (searching is a 1d6 where a 1 is a recovered bullet and a 6 means the trap goes off and shoots the searcher). This trap is ultimately circumvented not going that way.

Convicts working here would wash and suit up before getting down to business. While this area was looted, the Jaybirds left behind more cumbersome equipment for scavenging in Area 12, such as a pair of chem-resistant overalls, 60 feet of nylon rope and a flashlight with a full hydrogen cell.

4 is just like 3 except there's no goodies left behind. Searching the lockers will trip a trap that consists of a chemical component (either acid or lye or other caustic chemical materials) being flung in the face of the person looting the lockers. The trap is avoided on a Wits check. Tripping it deals 1d6 damage, blinds the victim for 1d10 hours and on a 6 for damage, the victim is permanently scarred (with no ingame effect).

The far end of this room is welded shut. The Jaybirds had members herd the Devourers into the room and then welded one entrance shut and just closed the door on the end that lead into the corridor. The idea behind this trap is that curiosity kills cats, so six zombies should do the job just fine. Opening the door provokes a Surprise round where the zombies can act immediately.

This would be a messy end for the one to open the door if not for the fact that opening the door immediately forces the Devourers to keel over and die.

An elevator runs up and down this room and the elevator is currently up. Normally it was used to carry materials accumulated by Custodians and conveyor belts, fill to the brim, lower, be emptied and raise again. It's out of commission so this one is empty.

This one is also empty but roll 1d12 when the PCs enter.

Wits check in AREA 8 to avoid a snare trap. The snare is a knotted loop of wire that pulls one character up into the air, dealing 1d4 damage from the tightness of the wire and the whiplash. The purpose of this trap was to raise an alarm so the Jaybirds could investigate what got stuck on the upper levels and approach them at their own caution. The Jaybirds won't respond to the alarm because they have bigger fish to fry. The pain from the trap hobbles the victim for a day, lowering movement by 1 square.

The chamber looks abandoned but someone in 11 is at the controls of the crane arm and you do not want to fight the arm. It has 4 Prowess to attack with and deals 2d10 damage should it manage to collide with someone. In addition to causing harm, the GM rolls 1d10 where a 1 or a 10 means the damage done breaks a bone: a broken arm is -1 Reflex and no using two-handed weapons and a broken leg halves Movement. The upside is that attacks against the arm hit automatically. The downside is that it has 100 HP. Avoiding/beating the arm is done by staying out of reach, evading its attacks or going to 11 to scare the controller into abandoning the arm. There's nothing in the room to boot.

The area here is a workshop for building parts for the shuttle and for crafting the pipes necessary to allow the ship to fuel up. They also used the tools to make Junk Robots and armor. You can find Precision Tools, 2 Conductors, 3 Precision parts, 2 Rigid parts, a fire extinguisher with five sprays left and a half-built Junk Robot made out of a Custodian frame missing an Electromagnetic component and four Rigid components. After G-Unit wanders into here, Tama will fix up the Junk Robot and turn the controls over to the worst fighter in the group, Bad Habit. She proceeds to christen it Beepy despite Tama's protests that it should be named Big O. They currently don't have a good gun for Beepy to use but if you think I'm gonna let that stop me, you got another thing coming.

The room here is operated by a Jaybird known as Mitya, a 69 (nice) year old man who has been in prison since he was 16. Mitya Abramova (#0912170) was a hacker wunderkind whose shenanigans at the age of 16 lead to a financial crisis some believe was a cause of the Final War. He's been behind bars for so long he hasn't really had a life to speak of and that suits him just fine. Despite his social awkwardness, he's risen to #2 in the Jaybirds due to his brilliance and likes the gang just fine. He was sent back to find the man in Area 12 and will run when faced with danger, doing his best to evade G-Unit (and will come back as a plot important PC). Capturing him and shaking him down will divulge info that the man in 12 will, so let's not share it yet.

Waste here was sifted through and sorted by prison crews and the Jailbirds have been using it to find the pieces they need. The man here (#0836994) has been listening to his music player and completely missed the announcement to return to the ship. He will easily be surprised by the presence of 20 some odd beings in the room with him and will attempt to fight his way out (yeah right) unless faced with an unwinnable situation (a gun in his face). He will immediately surrender and if treated nicely will slip into Grandpa Simpson mode: amenable and easygoing but rambling and planning to run ASAP. An Interrogation check (a glare from Ice Queen) makes him spill his guts.

G-Unit decides to bundle the old man into the group, keeping an eye on him and using his directions to get down to where the ship is, interested in taking a ride themselves.

This area is buried behind trash and behind a work pass-only locked door. Managing to find it and get it open reveals an absolute bounty of goodies: 9 shovels that deal 1d6 damage as improvised weapons, four flashlights, 10 full hydrogen cells, motion detector, 80 feet of rope, 4 Chemical components, 2 Precision, 1 Pressurizing, 3 Rigid.

Waste water was originally pumped into here for treatment, treated with chemicals, purified and pumped back out. Someone with Educated and a Wits check can recognize that this clear liquid sure isn't water but highly flammable chemical fuel. The fuel was redirected by Mitya's hacking to use the treatment room as a temporary storage facility before fueling the pod's tanks, taking the chemical liquid from a storage reservoir to redirect it here. It's not worth going in this room and definitely don't do it with any sort of open flame on your person. A spark will create a 2d10 damage fireball that will engulf the room and the hallway and light any survivors on fire for a constant 1d6 damage until extinguished.

This was like 14 but the fuel was already pumped into the ship's storage pods. The fact that the fuel is gone but the room still smells like fuel is a hint that the Jaybirds are up to something, should one not get info from Mitya or Hank.

Now the fun begins. The man on the intercom is Louie, leader of the Jailbirds. They really are planning for blastoff and the collateral damage here will be pretty bad if G-Unit doesn't stop them or get onboard. At this point, a countdown begins for the GM to keep track of. For each turn that passes in certain areas, the number of turns that it'll take to stop the Jaybirds reduces by 1.

The area here has supplies to help refuel the pod, but none of the goods here are of any use.

The last trap here is a Junk Robot armed with a laser cutter and a hydrogen cell. I'm going to continue to pretend that the guns don't need batteries if attached to Junk Robots. Laser cutters are incredibly dangerous weapons, dealing 3d6 damage that explodes on a 6 and capable of cutting through steel. The encounter is meant to delay the party and stop them from interfering, meaning that every round of combat removes 1 round from the countdown.

Two things, though. 1: G-Unit has Hank, the robot won't shoot if the party has Hank or Mitya. 2: the robot immediately shuts down and dies mysteriously. On the way past the robot, Tama steals the laser cutter to mount it on Beepy once she gets the chance.

The bombs installed here are attached to a timer that is connected to the launch timer. The Jaybirds have rigged the bombs to collapse the passage into the elevator below so nobody can follow them. Disarming the bomb is optional; it won't trigger with their presence and requires Hacking, Military Training or Improvisation to attempt disarming, rolling 1d6 and disarming on an even number. On an odd, it remains armed and tied to the timer. The bomb is just here to waste time because every round spent disarming wastes 1 round from the clock. Being here if they explode is instant death outside of using Hope. Disarming them nets you enhanced Cell Block Specials that deal 10d6 damage instead across 6 squares with exploding 6s.

The elevator at AREA 20 requires a Wits check to call or Hacking to make it come immediately. Each failed check wastes 1 round.

The elevator immediately takes G-Unit up to the launch bay where they've been repairing the escape pod they found. The main reason they're willing to take the shot of escaping is because the "dimensional hole is still open" which like...was it ever gonna close? Was the hole into the Nether an intentional thing? Who fucking knows. Anyway Louie and the Jaybirds really don't care about the fight between gangs and want to escape before they're asked to help. Time to stop them! No it's not an asshole thing; if they try to escape, they die.

Time is of the essence here. You have 40 rounds to stop the Jaybirds from leaving and dying in the process and the bomb will go off and block off the elevator. Each round spent is ticked off the counter. I will not be updating this counter.

This the elevator they took to get here. The control panel has burned out and needs a capacitor to be repaired. But you can fix that later.

Hank/Mitya (just Hank) immediately flees. One man is in 23 and Hank/Mitya/both join him in 23 to control the three Junk Robots that are here. The point of this room is to waste time, one of them blocking off the exit. The people in 23 will flee if the robots are destroyed or will automatically leave the area with 10 rounds left, each round in combat getting ticked off the countdown. Fortunately, if there's only one person in 23, they can only control one robot at a time. Also fortunately, the robots are armed with just irritant throwers.

The robots just keel over and die and the people in 23 flee. Only one round is wasted being here and they immediately move on. Tama makes a mental note to come back here and steal these robots.

Mitya will be here controlling the robots if he escaped or it's just some random Jaybird. Again, they'll bail with 10 rounds left to get back to the ship at 25.

Despair check! Randy here (literally his name) is wounded and dying, armed with a zip gun and 8 bullets. He was told to hold off G-Unit with Mitya but heard noises in 27 and went to investigate, coming back wounded and dying. You can mercy kill Randy if you want. Doc makes a mental note to save his life later.

Meet Louie. Hi Louie. He doesn't want to kill G-Unit with rocket exhaust. You can talk him into stopping the launch here but G-Unit needs more ammo to convince him not to take off.

The hatches here lead to the pipelines for fueling the ship. You can enter by opening the hatch and climbing in to poke around inside of the fueling system.

A TTSNB is here and is sabotaging the launch with the help of some other buddies. Better kill it oh wait.

Whoops it's dead. Each round here fighting a dead critter will waste time.

Wits check! The Scuttling Impossibilities have eaten through wiring attached to the ship that will activate takeoff. With the pipes full of fuel and the wiring sparking, it'll force a pre-emptive takeoff and an explosion that will kill the Jaybirds.

Also the Scuttling Impossibilities keel over, die and float quietly in the fuel.

Time to negotiate! Go Soapbox go!

She uses the tactic of "this pod is gonna explode" and invoking Needles and gentle guilting about their help. If all else fails, Hope can be invoked to make it succeed.

Fail state: the escape pod launches and immediately explodes. Mitya's not on board and will be found later.

Success State:

Doc drags Randy to safety as they bail out into the tunnels and Tama loudly mourns the loss of three new robot friends she can dress up like giant robots.

NEXT TIME: G-Unit makes their way to the elevators and get stuck in a motel before they can use it. On the upside: hot showers. On the downside: awful room service and house arrest.

Posh Captivity

posted by Hostile V Original SA post



Posh Captivity

The hatch leads down to the cell blocks that the Jaybirds have called their home. After a little bit of bellyaching about the loss of the pod, Louie breaks out the pruno and they have a brief toast to one last failed try at escape. The Jaybirds get themselves comfy and take the edge off with returning to their hobbies and taking drags off their smokes. A few of them curse Murphy's Law but the entire gang settles down into a state of relaxation. G-Unit gets a chance to actually meet the Jaybirds on better terms now. They're less a gang and more of a social club, all of them somewhat jaded but tempered with patience and a sense peace with themselves and their possible death. Out of all of the prisoners, the Jaybirds are the least afraid of death thanks to having spent so long behind bars.

Hey, while we're here, at the end of the book you can find Traits for Elderly convicts. Now's as good a time as any, I don't feel like going over them at the end of the book.

Well that was depressingly short. Anyway, back to the Jaybirds.

Talking about the alliance with Louie isn't something he really wants to discuss. He's thankful they saved his life, he's willing to listen to their speech, but he holds firmly to the notion that the Jaybirds are a neutral party. Asking Louie about getting to Oblivion is something he's more willing to entertain. Mitya consults diagrams of the ship's infrastructure and locates the elevator. It's offline but he's confident he could get it working again. Getting there is going to be hard, so Louie allows Mitya to accompany G-Unit as a guide and a tech expert thanks to Mitya memorizing schematics in the past when he was bored.

The pacing of getting to the elevator is up to the GM in question. There's no map to be found here. Suggestions for encounters: SITE B

In G-Wing, Level 51, the party comes across an empty and abandoned stretch of cell blocks plunged into deep darkness. Here is where they'll find the elevator and the main obstacle between them and descent.

G-Unit emerges from a tunnel into a sewage maintenance chamber. It's dark and everything is rusted over from dripping condensation, but the room is safe.

This room isn't safe. The water in the pool is heavily contaminated with blood and beneath the water is a lurking Progenitor of Sins who will emerge if anyone in the party meets the following criteria:

For reference.

What sucks is that they spell out how to use the POS step-by-step: Acid to melt the players' armor, Lash to Infest, Kiss the ones with the strongest weapons to paralyze them, Pain Is Pleasure-bite them to heal. Fortunately, G-Unit doesn't have anyone in the party who would provoke the POS so there's no fight here (and even if they did, the POS would emerge and then keel over dead).

Jackpot (Trustee) and Doc (Orderly) recognize this location for what it is: a secret refuge the Warden would unlock for important prisoners in case of an uprising that was big enough to cause the general armories to become inaccessible. In fact, this room can only be unlocked by Jackpot: this is her reward for killing Lobo in the last module.

You can't hack the computers or find out more info from them, they'll automatically shut down after three minutes and are unresponsive. In the middle of the room is a clear plexiglass case and Beth immediately makes a bee-line to try and open it, easily opening the unlocked case...and hurting herself for 1 health in the process as a needle in the clasp draws a blood sample from her. Doc makes a Medical Knowledge exam to realize that the Warden has now taken a DNA sample of the first person to open the box and everyone looks around nervously about what this will entail. The contents of the box are pretty good though: 1 set of riot armor and helmet (goes to Peacemaker), 50 feet of nylon rope, six ration packs, two cold-climate blankets (there is griping about how they would be handy a few days ago), a tracking band that can be activated and tracked with proper equipment, two flashlights, five hydrogen cells, two entanglement grenades, two scatterguns (use to replace some of the Room Brooms), 30 rubber slugs and 10 barricade busters.

While G-Unit divides up the spoils of the box, the machinery of level 7, 8 and 9's factories kick on to begin the Warden's plan to deal with the demonic incursion. The plan is threefold. First, the Warden's designs for assassin androids will be fed into a production line and the factories will create an army of robotic assassins. Second, Beth's DNA will be cultivated (along with the DNA of other prisoners) to create organic covering for the androids. Third, the Beth-Terminators will be seeded throughout the ship and will begin the mission of infiltrating the gangs of survivors to weaken the gangs so the Warden can bring them back into line. The Beth-Terminators will also deal with the Demons as they come. This won't actually take place this mission, this is just "a future plot point" idea and the first generation may resemble Beth but future generations might not.

I guess Beth officially looks like this now.

The superconductor magnets in the rails are malfunctioning, so whole swathes of the rails are currently alive with electricity and occasionally they arc and spark. A well-timed jump over the rails will prevent anything bad from happening. The player crossing the rails rolls 1d12 and so does the GM. If both numbers match, the PC crossing the rail is electrified and dealt 3d6 damage. If any of the dice display a 6, their heart stops and they'll die in 10 rounds without Medical Knowledge attention. Harrowing, but the odds are on your side. Regardless of what you roll, it's a 1/12 shot for the GM's number to match yours. Just go for it.

This leads to another level of the ship but it's sealed by rust. You can open this with a laser cutter which...oh hey, Beepy has that now, doesn't he? Good boy, Beepy. Opening the door reveals...well fuck you, you figure it out, you're not actually supposed to open this thing.

Mitya is baffled but immediately complies: this should be the elevator to Oblivion. Instead, this is where the Protectors, the prisoners who would be Colonial Administrators and the Family have been. The entrance is guarded by 24 Protector grunts armed with submachine guns or cattle prods and two more grunts working the spotlights acting as lookouts. G-Unit reluctantly complies.

Let's take a closer look at exactly what has happened here. The Protectors are generally a force of folks who are ex-soldiers like Beth, Doc and Peacemaker who feel betrayed by the PTM and refuse to consider themselves proper criminals. Their leader has a familiar name: Marius "Patton" Gordon, a five-star general from the Last War who Shel was trying to research in the last module. Patton and the Protectors formed a fighting force in response to Perdition, using their status as Trustees to access forbidden parts of the ship and knowledge of prison life to recruit more military-minded folks to the cause. In the process of hunting for more guns, Patton and his men ran across Papa Vito Paladino, the don of the Paladino Crime Family/The Family. Defying all reason, the two formed an alliance after Papa Vito explained that he had received a position in the Colonial Government and that Vito had a safe space to go to. Instead of just like slapping the shit out of a mobster and his cronies until he tells you where his safety zone is, Vito convinces the Protectors that they have a stockpile of military weapons there and they should team up.

This zone is Site B, a collection of prefab buildings and bases to be used to act as governmental buildings upon colonization. There are no guns there, but to keep up the lie that there are, Vito has had his men get submachine guns that he paid people to hide in the ship. Site B is now full of Protectors, members of the Family and Colonial Administrators that have managed to survive defrosting/Perdition in general to make it there. And they’re not exactly thrilled that a mob of 20+ people, two robots and a small yet vicious dog have showed up. Actually that’s a lie. It has been literal years since anyone has seen a dog. People are pretty psyched to see Kira. Someone is absolutely going to pet his belly while people are interrogating G-Unit once they drop their weapons.

Wits check to understand that the Protectors want to check their identities. If they fail that (they don’t) Mitya will explain it: the Protectors consider themselves better than convicts and you should probably lie your way out of this. You can gain access to Site B by: If none of these apply, they get arrested and go to what is called Posh Captivity. We’ll get to that in a minute. Site B is not mapped out, it’s just a whole mess of buildings and guards and buildings and guards and. There’s also a computer room and power center. It’s large and secure and after a bit G-Unit gets shuffled into an interrogation room that’s big enough to fit a shitload of people.

The man is a Protector who wants to find out more about the party. He’s gruff, rough and authoritative. Here’s how this plays out: So yeah your choices are either go to Posh Captivity or just lie through your teeth and then use the elevator to escape and immediately go to Chapter 3.

Also for the record, I keep saying “Posh Captivity” because the book keeps saying Posh Captivity which is the section that is headed with Posh Captivity because G-Unit is sent to Posh Captivity.


So G-Unit has been recognized by Fournines so they’re immediately put under Posh Captivity. What does this mean? Well, they’re confined to living quarters while Fournines relays the info to the Don.

Ha ha one room. This is to laugh. No. They’re confined to like six rooms. I’ll let you pretend how the slumber party bunking logic shakes out. Point is, these are by far the nicest, most comfortable digs they’ve been in so far. The rest of the day is spent taking a goddamn hot bath for the first time in weeks at least, everyone taking turns to rest and relax in the rooms as best as they can. And then, right around the time they plan on all getting some rest (in a goddamn bed for once and hell even sleeping on the floor isn't so bad for once), there's a knock on the door. For the purposes of party size, let's pretend their visitor ushers them to a place where they can all sit and talk.

Let's meet the leaders of the Family!

Vito "Papa" Paladino (#9992102)

Born in Hell's Kitchen and speaking with the accent of a Brooklyn boxer, Vito's appearance and mannerisms belie a deeper criminal intelligence. Peace in the wake of the Last War was the absolute best thing that could've happened for the Paladino Crime Family, taking advantage of the rebuilding efforts to peddle drugs and skin and guns. In anticipation of everything going horribly wrong for him, he knowingly donated millions to the construction of the Gehenna to ensure comfy housing for him and his men along with stashes of guns and drugs hidden all over the ship. He also donated a shitload of money to secure a membership in the Colonial Administration. He would prefer to not be in a Hell dimension and instead establishing an intergalactic crime empire, but for now using his legitimacy to keep Patton from killing him is good enough.

Carl Lombra (#9992075)

Carl Lombra (played here by a younger Peter Weller) has been Vito's bodyguard for the last ten years and has survived that long by being a paranoid bodybuilder. He's in impeccable shape (there's a handful of people in G-Unit who are in fact more buff) and he treats fitness like it's a religion. The main reason he's still going is because he loves being a murderer for the mob and relishes the danger.

Amadora "Viper" Paladino (#9992105)

Once upon a time, Amadora fled her home to try and model in New York and instead ended up dancing at a strip club own by da Fambly. At 17 she started making eyes at Vito and whoa wait hooboy I just realized she was an underage stripper oh good lord how did I not notice this before, I mean it's kinda inconsequential for everything else in this book but oh wow uh this sure was a decision. Uh. Wow. Okay, gonna be a bad taste in my mouth for the rest of this because she ends up saving him from an assassination plot by snitching on the conspirators to him. Three months later the two of them get married and she becomes the Dona of the Family. She's as smart as she is beautiful, though, and her role in the Family was a legitimate one hidden beneath the veneer of appearing to be a trophy wife 30 years younger than her husband. She secretly hates that everyone in the Family outside of the core group treats her like a know-nothing bimbo and as a result of tradition Vito can't set her up to be his successor legitimately without causing a schism. In the end, she willingly turned herself in to join her husband in the Gehenna and played a maudlin role in the media to make her sacrifice seem noble. She's been by Vito's side ever since behind bars, as evil and cunning as her husband.

Tommy "Fournines" Chen (#9999821)

If you don't recall Fournines, he was a mid-level admin who jumped at the chance to have governmental power in a prison colony by willingly getting frozen. G-Unit thawed him out when they found a compromised cold sleep facility missing its power and Beth ended up saving him from the DOS by being awesome at throwing knives precisely. Somewhere along the line, he regained his memories and bailed on G-Unit and Sanctuary to find Site B and has been here since. He's ascended up the social structure of Site B to become Vito's assistant and is totally down with both the criminal element of the Family and the colonial government idea. If he dislikes the PCs (and he kinda does; in the process of saving him, he did get stabbed once with a throwing knife), he wants them dead. But if he can't, he'll just try to shut them down at every turn and publically shout them down and make Vito hate them.

Meeting Vito, Carl, Amadora and Fournines (I'm not calling him Tommy Chen, he's Fournines) is a roleplaying experience. Vito is boisterous and grandiose, Amadora plays arm candy but has surprising insight, Carl stands around and glowers and looks tough and Fournines does his best to piss off G-Unit. The meeting is a gesture because Patton won't be here on purpose, kept out of the loop for Vito's plans. He will pretend to entertain the idea of letting G-Unit use the elevator but...well, Vito is on the side of damnation, kind of surprisingly. For some inexplicable reason, he wants the triumvirate of the Psychos, Embracers and DOS to succeed and will posit his position as "if we let people go down to Oblivion, this might kick the hornet's nest and hell will rain down upon us". Because G-Unit can't really be allowed to leave Site B, he leaves them with promises of positions of power and work in Site B.

So I guess you better break out, huh?

How To Break Out Basic

Vito can't be convinced otherwise at the moment, but the moment Vito leaves that still leaves Carl, Fournines and Amadora to be talked to discretely. Trying to convince Fournines won't work, even if there's loyalty and friendship between them. You can, however, trick Fournines into delivering shit to the hotel room that can be used to assemble a tool to hack the doors and let you out. Carl, likewise, can't be appealed to. The Carl route is to goad him into opening the doors to the room and fight you and you can overpower him and escape. Amadora is icy and distant, but you have two approaches for her. Approach 1 is to empathize with the fact that she's clearly smarter than she lets on. Approach 2 is to seduce her and have a secret intimate dinner with her (it's explicitly stated that if the PC is caught with her, both will die at Vito's hand) to learn more about the group. Either approach will lead to her plan to assassinate Vito so she can take control of the gang. You can also, uh. Give her control the group and then it's perfectly possible for her to not uphold her side of the bargain. The final option is to appeal to Vito's sense of honor using Prison Culture Laws.

Alternately there's the G-Unit approach which is "ignore the mafia, take plenty of baths, help yourselves to the amenities and rest before you have to go into a deathtrap".

Sadly Mitya has a plan if nobody can figure out just how the fuck to get to the elevator.

Oh no! A heart attack! Let us all follow Mitya and the Protectors helping him.

Time for Fighting Justice! A trial is a fight between two people, each representing each side and doing it in the ring. Everyone in Site B is excited for the fight and even the Protectors and Fournines are interested. Each side elects a person to do battle for the trial and the obvious choice is Beth because the fight is with knives.

That's right, knives! Not shivs, knives! The time for knives is now in the final book! This book includes rules for knives at the end of the book. But you know what? Why not take a look at these knives now?


Butterfly knives deal 1d4 damage and someone with the Knife Fighter Trait gains +1 Prowess up to 11 Prowess when fighting with a butterfly knife.

Combat knives look like bowie knives and deal 1d4+1 damage.

Multitool knives are pocket knives. They deal 1d4 damage and can be used as Rudimentary Tools.

Switchblades deal 1d4 damage and are easier to hide when the blade is tucked away.

Tantos deal 1d4 damage and...don't do anything special. They're, like, baseline knives.

Throwing knives deal 1d4 damage and using Knife Fighter can be used to throw the knife with no penalty 1 square for every point of Prowess the fighter has.

Beth has a choice between a combat knife, butterfly knife and switchblade. She picks...the butterfly because it is, by far, the best knife due to the fact that it's basically a +1 to hit weapon meaning you hit more with it. She's lead into the ring: a circle of people around the fighters, the ring lined with cattle prods to keep people in the ring. And now she gets to meet Vito's champion.

Her opponent? A Devourer in riot armor.

Meet Bryce! Bryce died to a horde of Devourers while out having adventures working for the Family and his body got possessed. Vito loves tormenting the Devourer and the Devourer loves being tormented in turn. He's been using Bryce to solve problems and is really excited to use Bryce in the ring.

Bryce is actually kind of interesting because his armor inhibits his abilities. You have to destroy his duds to make him easier to kill, but then he gets more abilities. However...y'all see where this is going.

Beth enters the ring and spins the butterfly knife, showing off the crowd and mugging. Bryce stumbles into the ring, goaded on by cattleprods poking him in the right direction. Someone blows a whistle, Beth flips her butterfly knife into the readied position...and Bryce keels over and dies.

Combat over! Chapter over! NEXT TIME: untold amounts of bullshit in the depths of Oblivion once they actually get a chance to get on the elevator.


posted by Hostile V Original SA post



Where we last left our intrepid knife infomercial, she had just killed a Devourer by doing nothing and the crowd loves it.

They now have an audience with Patton and Vito has stepped aside to let G-Unit use the elevators as they wish, secretly pissed that he lost but unable to do anything but try to save face.

General Marius "Patton" Gordon (#0001452)

Patton was a high-ranking general before he was promoted to Supreme Commander of the Meritocracy Ground Forces and became the master and commander of the final push against the anti-PTM rebels. As the architect of the end of the Final War, Patton was awarded All The Medals until he was pretty much immediately put on trial for his involvement in the war. He spent time in a re-education camp before the Gehenna was built proper and his family have been replaced with the Protectors (mostly because his wife died long ago and his sons died in the war). He's still willing to suit up and fight alongside his men and they idolize him as a result.

Patton doesn't trust the PTM in the slightest, but he trusts most prisoners less. The only prisoners he's really willing to give the time of day are prisoners with military history, Dissidents or Anarchists (because those crimes were often used to get rid of people the government didn't like). The main reason he's working with the Family and the Colonial Administration at all is because he doesn't trust them and would rather have the guns first before they betray him. If the ship ever did land on a planet to be colonized, he would still be willing to make the Protectors into the police for the colony. Right now he just wants to focus on fighting Demons.

The chat with Patton has some strings attached. Making contested Sociability checks are done with d10s instead of d12s unless you have Military Training/Experience. He can be convinced to turn against Vito, but he won't do it immediately and will only go after him once you leave. If you want to join the Protectors and have a Military Trait, he'll waive you in. If you mention that the DOS want to assassinate him, he will reward the group with either a waiving of probation to be in the Protectors or you can get a full load of ammo and batteries for every weapon you carry (take this last one). Also, telling him about the assassination attempt will convince him to ally with the Furies and Giants against damnation.

When they're done chatting with Patton, Paladino reluctantly turns over a map to the elevator and is like "alright fine you win or whatever". The elevator is a quarter mile down the way through maglev tunnels attached to the site, the elevator intentionally a part of Site B so if the colonials had to use the foundry for their own needs they could. Mitya hangs back to regain his energy for the trek back to the Roost, planning on putting a good word in for G-Unit once he gets home. G-Unit sets off, the blast doors close behind them and there's no trouble getting to the elevator which has been intentionally sabotaged and reactivating the power requires Hacking and a Wits check. Investigating the elevator to find this out gives you a bonus if you have Educated or Hacking.

Everyone piles into the elevator and holds on tight.

Oblivion, at first, is dark and hot. Not hot enough to be dangerous but hot enough to be unbearable. The elevator's drop-off is around the corner from Oblivion proper but it's still hot and noisy from the sounds of industry, so noisy that spotting sneaky people has a penalty (like that's a thing). Everyone braces themselves and turns the corner.


Oblivion is fully automated except for the few parts that required people for hard labor. Many of the prisoners sent here didn't return thanks to the dangerous machinery, heat, liquid metals and radiation pulses. There are some hazards to be had at the beginning of the entry into Oblivion, hazards such as:

If you choose to investigate (and you can keep walking), you'll find the Man in the Suit (MS for short). The MS will help G-Unit slip around some more hazards and will bring him back to his little hidey hole where he's scavenging supplies and calcium carbide for lights. Speaking through his facemask, he'll chat with G-Unit. Now, this is the same guy from Sins of the Past that they saved from a Psycho by giving him an opening. If they didn't save him, this is just some other Fittest who needs a Social check to be made more friendly. If they were a dick to him/helped the Psycho, this happens:


A Digester is a Demon that has managed to possess architecture, summoned by a Despair manifestation. The moment the Digester appears, the thing it's possessing takes on a sinister appearance like a hallway having squishy floors and stuff looking like teeth on the ceiling. They literally devour despair and suffering as nourishment. When the Digester is hiding, there are some tells not unlike Infrastructure like weird stuff out the corner of your eyes or "an evil appearance".

So yeah the moment you're inside of a Digester's zone, it's hard to leave and it'll just bite you to shreds. Fortunately such a creature will just immediately die but also G-Unit wasn't a dick to the MS. Because they helped him, he feels like he owes them a debt and will listen to their requests. Telling him that they want to find the DOS and Psychos leads to him grumbling but agreeing. He doesn't really want to go anywhere near them, but the best way to their lair is through a place he calls The Forge. He will, however, warn them pretty hard about how the Nether has been fucking up time and space and will be worse past the Forge. He has also seen the Psychos, DOS and the Embracers, referring to their leaders as "a horned demon" (Blade has been engaging in some mutations), "a walking corpse" (Lucretia, kind of rude) and "a man who has the power to destroy minds with a whisper" (the leader of the Embracers, a man named Major Havoc). He thinks they've been fighting against each other, but in reality the Warden has started making overt moves against them in the heart of Oblivion. With that information dropped, they all go forth to The Forge.

The Skeep posted:

Anyone want to take bets on what dumb mechanic they'll use for the setpiece? My guess is on the party having to run through a operating factory belt.

The Forge


Welcome to the thing that's going to kill most of the party. The Forge is explicitly stated to be 430 feet deep. At the base of the Forge is the entrance to the Dorms of Damnation. The gangs here know all of the sneaky ways to get around and unfortunately you don't. Descending the Forge is, uh. Hard. There are a lot of instant death traps and if you didn't use your Hope, you totally can to escape some of these issues. There is also a new mechanic called a flub which is basically like a mulligan for one player to use to avoid danger, like Hope but just for you. Flubs can be spent to help other people at the cost of losing your own flub. Flubs only exist because otherwise this section would be even more impossible.

Flub flub flub flub flub. For future reference, every 10 feet you fall deals 1d6 damage.

The Crane Assembly is 60 feet below the entrance. Simply dropping down will kill most of this party. The only way to avoid this would be to use rope which hey, there's been rope all of this module and using rope requires no role. The frame of the crane is 12 feet wide and wobbly thanks to the moving crane, requiring a Reflexes check every turn you stand on the frame. Fail this check and you fall onto the scrap conveyor and take 9d6 damage which would kill any survivors if they dropped onto the crane to begin with.

The Scrap Conveyor is 90 feet below the crane. The crane is constantly going across the scrap conveyor to move trash elsewhere, raising up and down and moving and causing the frame in the zone above to wiggle. Getting down to the scrap conveyor involves climbing down the 50 feet of cable hanging from the frame, holding on to the hook and landing on the scrap conveyor. Your success climbing on the cable is entirely dependent on your Prowess.

How exactly does this work? I don't know! I'm gonna assume you roll the dice of choice and if you get a 1 you fall and receive 9d6 damage like you fell off the crane assembly.

The Incinerator destroys rubber or other flammable, useless materials and poops out the remaining metal onto the heap conveyor below via shaft. You can avoid the Incinerator in one of two ways. First, just jump onto the heap conveyor below. It's 30 feet down and this will deal 3d6 damage. The other way to get down is to use the fact that the incinerator's fires activate in flashes and dodge into the incinerator in the handful of seconds when the fire isn't on. This relies on your Wits.

Failing the timing means you catch fire for 5d6 damage and take 1d6 damage until you get extinguished. Stopping, dropping and rolling will put the fire out on a 1 on a roll of a d4.

The Heap Conveyor...doesn't actually hurt you to land on because the piles of scrap metal catch your fall despite it literally saying above that leaping onto this conveyor belt will deal 3d6 damage??? I mean. I'm not gonna lie. Landing on a pile of scrap would hurt but hey if it's safer than playing red light green light in a furnace I'd do it. The heap conveyor is safe (except for the compactor) and is 60 feet above the crucible conveyor.

The Compactor Unit grabs scrap off the heap conveyor and forces the metal into big blocks. Unless you jump to the crucible (which will deal 6d6 damage!) or use rope to rappel down, you automatically end up in the compactor and are squished and killed. The only way to avoid this from happening is to burn your Hope or Flub where instead you'll be perfectly safe and spat out on the crucible conveyor.

The Crucible Conveyor carries compacted scrap to the crucible where it's exposed to 4000 degree temperatures to melt it. Big metal robot arms grab the blocks of metal and throw it into the big yellow thing in the background, a detail I am including because I was baffled for far too long about how this works. The only way off this level is to jump to the crucible pipe or to "the mold conveyor" (not a thing? The cooling conveyor maybe? How about no because it's super far down). However, the big metal robot arms are in the way. Compare your Reflexes to see if the big metal arms will grab you and throw you into the crucible and kill you instantly.

Spending a Flub or Hope will let you wiggle free at the last minute.

The Crucible Pipe is 20 feet down so that's 2d6 damage inflicted. Because it's a pipe spitting out molten metal, touching it deals 1d6 damage every round you're standing on it. However, as a double fuck-you, sometimes the pipe poops out a Rageling (one of those Demons that attached Sanctuary, the spicy boys) like Ragelings are made out of liquid metal or whatever. Whenever someone lands on here, roll 1d4 to see how many spawn and will chase the PC. These Ragelings are still the same Ragelings from Sanctuary and they immediately crawl out of the pipe, keel over and die.

The Vat Conveyor is 40 feet below the pipe. The vats catch molten metal and then pour the molten metal down into the conveyor belt below. Landing on this conveyor from the pipe doesn't deal any damage. Instead you have to time check your Wits to see if you run the risk of landing in a vat.

Landing in a vat deals 5d6 damage, permanently scars you, sets you on fire and destroys all of your stuff. Don't land in a vat of molten metal.

The Cooling Conveyor is 20 feet below the vat conveyor. Spray nozzles loaded with liquid nitrogen are delivering bursts of cold to the molds of liquid so the robot arms can transfer cooled metal to train that leads to a processing plant. Landing on this conveyor is a flat 1 in 4 chance of getting sprayed with liquid nitrogen and dealing 2d6 damage.

The Foundry Floor is 30 feet below from the cooling conveyor and deals 3d6 damage. From here you're safe from the Foundry and can see an open 20 foot wide grate that leads to Chapter 4 and the lair of the damned.

Okay! So let's take a look at what it'd look like for the most athletic, most fitting person to run this gauntlet. This would be our good friend Doc who has a 10 in Reflexes, Wits and Prowess. And because Doc isn't suicidal and will play cautiously, let's pretend she has the rope that has been accrued from all over this zone (roughly 150 feet of rope). However you may have noticed that, uh. Doc is the only one with 10s in all three of those stats. That was the absolute best chance of playing by the rules and she still took damage. However, why play fair when I can cheat? First the entire team lowers down Beepy and Shining Finger one at a time by wrapping a shitload of rope around each of them and slowly lowering them down. Second, G-Unit anchors two 500 feet of rope on the edge of the ducts and knot a buttload of handholds and footholds into the rope before throwing them over the edge of the duct and climbing down one at a time. And I'm not even really cheating too much.

I'm just avoiding making everyone do Reflex Checks Or Die.

NEXT TIME: Chapter four, entering the heart of damned territory and getting closer and closer to the end of this entire module. Will G-Unit triumph against the threat of the leaders of the Psychos, Embracers and DOS? I mean there's around 30 of them, two are robots and one is a dog and pretty much everyone is heavily armed.

He Thrusts His Fists Against The Plots But Still Insists He Changes Lots

posted by Hostile V Original SA post



He Thrusts His Fists Against The Plots But Still Insists He Changes Lots

The forces of damnation aren’t just holed up in Oblivion. Most specifically they’ve made their home in one of the nuclear reactor facilities that help power the engines. It is incredibly radioactive and there is no mechanical threat. There’s no map to this area; you’re told to use your imagination and that it looks like “a dizzying web of deep, dark passages, suffocatingly-tight corridors, and rickety walkways that span huge chambers which resemble nothing short of enormous black gulfs.” It’s also much hotter than the Foundry thanks to all of that nuclear heat. So, in short, G-Unit is skittering around on the catwalks over nuclear cooling towers and Doc is (reasonably) afraid that they definitely shouldn’t stay here for too long. Every moment they’re here, they run the risk of radiation poisoning and god only knows what that’ll do to people while they’re in a Hell Dimension.

They start trying to find an exit and over one of the nuclear cooling ponds they see this.

The army of the damned is clashing with the forces of the Warden who has mustered an initial strike force of Enforcers and other Custodians to take the fight to their home turf. The army here is enormous, but they’re busy with fighting the Custodians so G-Unit can sneak by as long as they don’t get involved (they won’t). The only downside is that Blade, Lucretia or Major Havoc (leader of the Embracers) aren’t here. They slip by without worry and come across the home of the leaders, starting with an empty room.

Blade, Lucretia and the Major were drawn here by the psychic siren call of the Demons. They were promised that a fourth would join them, but the fourth hasn’t come yet so they’ve just got this empty space. There are roughly 50,000 photos pinned up on the walls that the DOS have brought Lucretia to look at because their leader is hopeful that she’ll receive a sign from her dark masters. In contrast to the 50K photos, there’s like 100k photos discarded on the floor. However, if one was to back up and view the mosaic of the 50k photos from afar, the photographs actually make a face. A familiar face.

Yup, it’s Daniel, that teenager they exploded. G-Unit has inadvertently hobbled the forces of darkness for quite a while by beating him at a game of being psychic. Nobody knows that he’s dead besides G-Unit and it’s unknown how this affects the plan of the Demons. After taking a minute to catch up most of G-Unit with who Daniel is, the group hears sounds of FIGHTING!

I feel like here is what they want this scene to be:

Here is Blade now:

I really hate Blade’s earring? It immediately takes him from “mutant leader of the army of the damned” to “if you saw him at a bar he’d be wearing a tank top and regardless of your gender identity and sexual preferences he’d just slide up on you and deliver some douchey pick-up line and buy himself a drink but not you”. It’s a douchebag earring is what I’m saying, best paired with a sleeveless see-thru mesh tank top. Why does he have that.

Anyway, this scene. Blade now has a teleporter that he’s taken from the dead scientists from Project: Lord of the Flies. The energy shield is officially down and all of their high-tech weapons can’t save them. The book never exactly says what P:LOTF really is but I can infer enough from Blade’s speech (which isn’t subtext so much as text) and from what I’ve seen so far. The project wasn’t just “let’s shoot people into a space oddity”. This was on top of “let’s rig this entire system to make everyone ultraviolent and see how they react to a societal breakdown” judging by shit like mislabeling PCP as sedatives/anti-depressants. And it’s incredibly hard to tell who exactly came up with this idea. The Gehenna was a colony ship turned into a prison ship but is still a colony ship and the scientists are there and which level of government came up with this whole thing? These are questions that will never be answered.

So there are 100 Psychos and 25 DOS ripping apart the scientists. Attacking is suicide, even for G-Unit. Blade will just shrug off all attacks and chuckle as he commands his army to attack people. Stay hidden and the army will leave the battered bodies of the 5 scientists behind. For starters, despite there being 5 of them, 4 of their suits are destroyed beyond use and it pretends to have only 4 scientists. There are also five light rods, two stun guns, a broken motion detector that needs a repair, three hydrogen cells and a small satchel containing a new weapon: two frequency bombs.

These things are kind of decent. Sure am glad they showed up in the last 60% of this last book. G-Unit moves on to the next chamber.

Hey, so we never actually went over the Secret History of Lucretia. Let’s do that now because otherwise we’ll do it after the fight.

Lucretia (#5048218)

Nothing says milky white dead eyes like...regular eyes.

Born Lucrezya Cherkezeshvili in Eastern Europe in the year of Yes, she was born into poverty and was orphaned at the age of 13 when her mother died. The last thing her mother left her was her newborn baby brother, who she immediately smothered to “relieve herself of the ‘burden’” and then ran off to join the Mafiya. Arrested in Poland and sent to juvie, she poisoned her caseworker and escaped. In adulthood she formed her own crime squad with blackjack and hookers and terrorist bombings, holding blackmail on regional governors to have her way. Ultimately she was brought down by the rise of the PTM during the Last War; all of the people in her pocket wanted a clean slate under the PTM, so they rolled on her and she went to jail. She managed to have a handful of them assassinated while she was behind bars but then she went to jail and then started a sex cult of ponygirls and spankings and giggle giggle tee hee bouncy titty murder. The woman she’s torturing is…

Ilona Jocic (#???????)

I’m gonna quote this whole section verbatim because, uh. Yeah.

“Ilona Jocic was just one of thousands of disenfranchised street punks in the third world when the New Regime threatened to sweep the globe with its promise of tumultuous change. Like many others in her country, Ilona took up arms to fight what they perceived to be a “hegemonic juggernaut” bent on erasing nation-states and national identities. And, like her cohorts at home and in other isolated countries worldwide, who fought a protracted guerilla campaigns against the rise of the PTM, Ilona got a mouthful of the bitter taste of defeat when the war ended with the PTM victorious.”

I think she’s, legit, a Nazi. I seriously think she’s a Nazi. I don’t think Lucretia drew that swastika on her forehead, I think she’s an actual Nazi. And she’s the head of the Furies, to boot. She went to juvie and kept breaking the rules and got labeled irredeemable and got pushed around a lot in jail and formed the Furies because she couldn’t take it anymore. The leader of the Furies is a Nazi and they want her back to lead the fight against the forces of damnation, forces that include actual Skinheads last I checked. Like, let us not forget Fuck Berlin with a Levec in a Bisexual Holographic Sex Hitler hard light costume. It takes a woman to actually be a Nazi, albeit it with heavily coded dog whistle language. If you think she has any lines or any, like, display of personality, then you’re in the wrong place. It says her goal is redemption but that would require her to have writing. Lucretia has captured her and has been psychically manipulated the mercury pool to “conjure phantoms to ravage and torture Ilona”. Her plan is to emotionally and mentally break her until she’s her compliant slave so she can be sent back the Furies so she can betray them and bring them down. She’s here to be rescued from Manic Pixie Brain Murder so she can go back to the squad of The Good Women. Which I mean like good luck? Patch is a lady with a good head on her shoulders. If a woman with a swastika tattoo on her forehead shows up and is like “hello it is me, the baddest bitch in charge” I think Patch would be like “ha ha no fuck off. Oh you’re serious? Really? Nah fuck this I’m out, I know the forces of darkness are out here committing sexmurder but I’m not turning the reins over to a Nazi”.


So how about them clones of Blade, huh? Almost forgot about those fuckers. Let’s get into the fight proper.

Lucretia discovered the pool and immediately thought “hell yeah this is mine now”. An Awakened Psychic can sculpt and manipulate the mercury with their thoughts and can do more with it the more powerful their Psychic Strength. Clones can be made with some focus and have the following rules: The fight has Lucretia hang back as she summons two clones of Blade and has them shuffle over to fight...25ish people, two robots, a baby and a small yet vicious dog. The Blade clones are a threat but not that much of a threat. While hanging back she’ll use random psychic abilities (because she’s an Awakened Psychic). If she’s going to lose, her final action will be to cut Ilona’s throat and kill her instantly (which, again, Patch is in charge. Morale loss, but not too big of a loss, sorry not sorry) and then she’ll run away going nyee hee hee hee. Without her, the pool goes inert 1d4 turns later (if she dies or lives).

So any Awakened Psychic can use the pool. And Lucretia literally has 0 Psychic Strength. You know who has 9 Psychic Strength? Our buddy Pincushion, who steps up to the shores of the mercury, reaches forward and feels the metal bend under his will. Everyone senses a weird tension in the air and steps the fuck back.

That’s right. For the third and final time, having a psychic Does A Dang Thing. An Awakened Psychic can influence the pool instead of attacking by making a Psy Strength test. Now, if this was a normal fight with a normal squad and they had a psychic, the general strategy would be to have the psychic take down the clones and the rest of the party beats on Lucretia.

But this is G-Unit. And there are now five Pincushions. Lucretia is psychic’d to death with extreme prejudice, repeatedly exposed to Random Psychic Powers until one of them immolates her with psychic power and another one grabs her and throws her up into the air so she dies on impact like a shooting star. Everyone hustles over to Ilona, has a moment of concern over the swastika on her forehead and then Doc reluctantly heals her and stuffs her into the party conga line.

The final chamber is home to Major Havoc and the Embracers.

Roll for atmosphere!

The chanting Embracers are actually shambling colonies of Guilt Worms that have completely consumed their hosts and turned into Worms What Jog. Touching them or nudging or attacking makes them collapse into a pile of worms that quickly disperse. In the darkness of the room, they see a familiar figure.


Peacemaker, Doc and Beth immediately recognize where they are, the guns in their hands, the armor on their bodies, the grenades in their belts. They recognize the day this is.

Before anyone can stop them, the three members of G-Unit who actually saw combat unload their guns into the limping Major. Soapbox turns to the others and screams "what the fuck?", the Major falls to the ground, blood pouring from his wounds and


posted by Hostile V Original SA post

Darwin's World: Journey to Newhome: To Kill a King

posted by Hostile V Original SA post

To Kill A King


"I Know Writers Who Use Subtext And They're Cowards."

Continuing DW's habit of using real places, Tucumcari Mountain is a real mesa out in New Mexico. A town exists outside of the mesa and they've painted a big ol' T on the side of it. Fun fact: Radiator Springs in Cars is based on Tucumcari. Anyway you may be wondering how we've ended up here when the last adventure had A-Team raiding an abandoned military base protected by an indestructible military robot. To explain that, we have to rewind a little bit.

After the fall, the Clean Water Clan of merchants took over the mesa (I'm not referring to it as a mountain, it's a mesa) and built it into a fortress. Tucumcari became the biggest trade city on the west side of the Wei Shan (Rocky Mountains) and flourished wildly. Unfortunately, when any city gets too big out in the wasteland, it attracts attackers. The Clan and their allies were driven from Tucumcari by the Bei Man, a tribe of people who style themselves as the true heirs to America. Lead by the warlord Uncle Sam, they took Tucumcari as part of their claimed birthright due to it being an American landmark. The idea was to use the mesa town as a stronghold against the Brotherhood of Radiation and the NuChurch. And while it was a hard-won victory, it wasn't enough to stop the expansion of the Brotherhood and Church. The Bei Man are losing their land and unable to utilize Tucumcari like the Clan did and Uncle Sam is afraid of the defeat of his people.

So the Bei Man are weakened, but they're not out of the fight yet, still clinging to their American ideals of freedom and self determination. The NuChurch and its NuPope is the biggest threat to their way of life, especially with how the NuPope has subjugated all of the North and created a forced-homogenous army of Beastmen, Mutants, Ghouls and Humans who fight for the NuPope and his robot army. And the sinister NuPope is scheming to have Uncle Sam killed for one big reason: out in the Bei Man lands, beneath the town of Newhome, is something the NuPope believes could be used to rebuild civilization under his glorious vision of forced subjugation and mandatory religious equality. Killing Uncle Sam will cause the Bei Man tribes to collapse and fight over who'll take the reins so the NuPope's army can just roll into town and seize what he wants.

Side note: this entire module chain is based on one of the books written by Dominic Covey called "Burning Lands". If you've heard of the book (how) you along with the book you like. Yay. I'm including snippets of the book that this book provides.

Anyway that doesn't really explain why A-Team is involved in any of those. They've been captured by the Bei Man. The official justifications for why your party is involved are: What with being a roving band of adventurers, the first one applies. So, in Bei Man captivity are: And without further ado, they're escorted by the Bei Man to Tucumcari.

It's recommended that this song be played for environment: Luang Prabang by Dave Van Ronk, or something familiar to emulate the oral musical tradition of the Bei Man.

The robed figure is Mouse, a psychic "witch" trained by the Mothers of Fate to harness inner psychic powers (a DC 15 Knowledge: Twisted Earth check will reveal this). Uncle Sam uses her as an advisor, a seer and an assassin-deterrent. The Mothers send their young daughters to the courts of warlords and kings to cement alliances and...[sighs] sometimes serve as wives because of course. This is because the Mothers don't have a lot of numbers to defend themselves. In reality, Mouse is...not any of this.

Uncle Sam offers A-Team a cold beer and explains why he had them captured. He knows of their prowess and he wants their help solving a problem. The problem in question is that he suspects there to be a spy in the court who wants to kill him. He points at a map that depicts the Jia Lang and land around it and how their holdings are diminishing. During this celebration of Thanksgiving, he fears an assassination attempt from the Brotherhood, the NuChurch, the Clan or the Midway Merchants. He has protection in the form of Mouse (who remains silent unless poked) but doesn't feel like he can trust his own men to protect him physically. So to this end, here is A-Team and here is a job.

The team are mixed on the notion of protecting Uncle Sam. He is a grandiose warlord who cultivates the image of an all-American king from his beard to his beer belly (a sure sign of Bei Man heritage). He does his best to be noble, kind, charitable, brave and wise, but he's also impulsive and brash and entitled...and kinda racist.

Regardless of his attitude against...most of A-Team....the money and the prestige is good. Plus who else can say they got to celebrate the Bei Man holiday of Thanksgiving?


Thanksgiving is the time when all of the tribal leaders come together to give thanks to their fearless leader. It's a grand display of spectacle and revelry with Bei Man tribes from all across the desert coming to Tucumcari to celebrate. The leaders at this event are: The tribes all travel at different times into the joyous city, celebrating their arrival with shouting, singing and gunfire. When they all arrive, it's time to give tribute to their King, forming a grand parade that winds through the town and ends at the throne room as A-Team stays on watch for assassins.

I've Heard of Overlap Between Thanksgiving and Christmas But This Is Ridiculous

Boren and Karos present Sam with persimmon wine grown from his valley farms, a gift that pleases Sam quite a bit. He insists that it be served with dinner and anyone drinking it can make a Knowledge check to realize that it's not what he claims it to be. The wine is actually from the NuChurch's vineyards in Utah, provided by the NuChurch to be tribute because the NuChurch has basically usurped all of Boren's farmlands and he can't go emptyhanded.

Lee presents a chest full of corium pieces with a wide grin and is immediately shocked when Sam kicks the chest over. Instead of thanks, Lee receives an angry rant from his king about how the Bunyan Boys are dishonorable for daring to trade with the Clean Water Clans. Lee pulls back, sullen and unhappy.

Starr and the Free present five Carrion Raptors to be cooked for the Thanksgiving feast as the main course. They also have a large supply of fermented goat milk for everyone to get drunk on but that's not part of the tribute. Sam is more than happy to have the raptor meat for dinner.

Gomez and the Us present a dozen gleaming guns and is also greeted with anger. He chews Gomez out for his raiding and goes so far as to demand that Gomez apologize to him in front of everyone. Gomez doesn't, instead yelling at Sam that maybe if he did his job and ruled they wouldn't have to turn to raiding to support their tribes. This enrages Sam and eventually Gomez pulls back to allow the room to cool off.

Lastly, Nanok approaches the throne and apologizes that he has no gift to offer his king but a continued pledge of loyalty. The entire court goes quiet at this because oh man if Sam yelled at them for their gifts, surely Nanok is going to get in trouble. Well, Lee and Gomez aren't happy when Sam graciously accepts Nanok's gift saying that this is all a true American could ask for. Starr is also angry because she feels personally one-upped by this and everyone is also rather annoyed that Sam is letting the white guy get away with coming empty-handed.

To defuse tension, Sam orders the raptors to be cooked and for a traditional game of Headball to be played. Loosely based on football, headball is a game where Bei Man tribesmen kick around the severed head of a worthy foe, thrown or carried or kicked or batted or baton'd or clubbed into the goal of the other team. It's bloody, it's violent, it's a Bei Man classic sport that lightens the mood. The headball game is meant to give the PCs some time to explore the gathering and spy on the leaders. Of note is Karos exploring the once-lush gardens of the city and how he comes across the entrance to the old Water Vaults where the Clan once kept their water, brushing aside enough rubble to open the entrance but maintaining innocence if he's caught doing that.

Things heat up when the raptor meat starts getting passed around; the Free break out the fermented goat hooch and Boren's wine. The Free start getting pretty damn drunk and eventually Lakko gets so pissed-drunk he picks a fight with a member of the Brave. The PCs should try to subdue Lakko so that things don't get much worse. Use these stats for Lakko:

Once headball is over, here comes the Test of Skill and Loyalty. Sam takes a serving girl and puts an apple on her head, commanding the tribal leaders to hit the apple off her head to prove their worth. Complication: a lot of them are angry and everyone's been drinking pretty heavily. Boren is the only one exempt from this game.

Starr and Nanok are the first to go, with Starr using a pistol and Nanok using a throwing axe. The environment between the two of them is incredibly hostile with both tribes goading each other on while the other goes. Starr has a few misses but manages to get it on the fourth go despite how much her aim wobbles. Nanok, on the other hand, is so sloshed he clearly can't aim straight. If A-Team wants to intervene they can but they'll be seen as dishonorable for doing it. Once Nanok misses the apple (and the girl, thankfully) twice, everyone makes him sit down because he's clearly too drunk to be throwing axes.

Lee goes next with a pistol, hand shaking from the drink but focused on the goal, casually hitting the apple on the first go and bragging about how it ain't no thing. Then Sam stands up and says "alright, let's up the ante then" and puts an apple on his head. What Sam is doing is trying to goad Lee into proving he's the assassin. In reality, Lee definitely isn't and despite being mad at his king he's terrified of hitting him (Sense Motive check to realize this). If the PCs don't intervene, Lee manages to make the shot and lets out a sigh of relief as the entire crowd applauds him and Sam softens a bit at the display of loyalty (and also fear).

Then Starr pushes Nanok a little too far for being too drunk to throw an axe and Nanok throws a wild punch at Starr. A fight breaks out between the Free and the Brave and Sam tries to put an end to it by getting between the two brawling tribesmen. The PCs can choose to not intervene; if they don't, Boren drags Sam out from between them to keep him safe and the bodyguards from each tribe lay into each other as their leaders brawl with knives and axes and deadly weapons.

And unfortunately this is when Boren makes his move.

The Attack

Originally the secret serviceman in charge of protecting Sam, he was released when the Bei Man took Tucumcari so he could form his own fiefdom. Boren's homestead was formed in a valley in the Rocky Mountains and he and his servants raised horses and grew crops for the Bei Man, living a comfortable life...until the NuChurch moved in with missionaries asking permission to make camp on a mesa above his valley. He agreed, hesitant but not really able to say no lest the Church attack the Bei Man under pretenses of being dishonorable, putting on the airs of a gracious host for a year. But then the missionaries' activities started eating into the water and food of the area, and Boren took two of his sons up to the mesa to see what the hell was going on.

What he didn't expect was that the missionaries had built a fort on the mesa and were excavating abandoned pre-Fall ruins beneath the ground. He retreated when he and his sons were chased by zealots...but then one of his sons fell from his horse and was bitten by a rattle charmer. Surrounded and with his son injured, Boren surrendered and accepted healing care by the Church's bishop, a man named Ossum. The deal ended up being "we'll save your son but if you don't kill your king for us, he dies".

So this brings us to now with Boren in the throne room with his king and the PCs. Boren can either be A: committed to this mission but gives Sam a sword so it's a honorable duel instead of an assassination, B: morally conflicted, drawing his sword but able to be taken down by A-Team/talked down by A-Team or C: originally committed but deciding he can't do it. Unfortunately, if Boren is stopped, the other assassin kicks into gear: Boren's son Karos.

Karos Borensson was named after a man Boren respected who died in the siege of Tucumcari. The younger of the sons who accompanied Boren up to the mesa, Karos was actually tortured to death by the NuChurch's inquisitors. This would've immediately ruined Boren as an assassin, but lucky for them Ossum has uncovered a defunct android facility and used its technology to replicate Karos. This Karos acts and looks just like a young teen would but is really a killer robot whose main directive is to kill Sam in case Boren can't do it. He doesn't talk much and his cloak covers all of the tools of the trade the NuChurch have given him.

So when A-Team talks down Boren, Karos switches into killer robot mode and starts trying to shoot Sam, retreating when the bullets and arrows and beatings of A-Team damage the robotic son. He turns invisible (but still can be seen because he's moving and all shimmery) immediately flees for the escape route he's created for himself: the Water Vaults, his act of innocent exploration actually an intentional work of excavation to provide a secret escape route so he can return to the NuChurch.

The android flees across Tucumcari and A-Team follows, deep into the darkness of the Water Vaults.


Because we can't have a module without a gentle hint of dungeon. The Water Vaults were originally where the Clean Water Clan kept their product, but the Bei Man have largely emptied the reserves with excessive consumption. Making things worse is that a monster has inhabited the Vaults and the Bei Man have just abandoned it totally, leaving it sealed up. The NuChurch programmed Karos to defend himself (he's not expendable in the slightest) and they determined that the abandoned Vaults would be the best escape route. The monster got in somehow so there's gotta be a way out. They never bothered exploring the Vaults but hey, we built a robot, it can take a monster, right?

Karos flees into this hole and A-Team follows him deeper into the abandoned area.

The stairs lead down into the crystal cisterns, a place where the Clan used to hide women and children and important Clan figures in times of war. Now it's abandoned save for a chorus of distant, eerie croaks.

The cave was originally half full and fed by waterfalls that have since dried up. The machinery used to ferry the water up still remains and what little water is left is soiled with poop (Knowledge: Mutant Lore to realize it's Underling poop). In the shallows of one pool is an abandoned iron chest marked with a * requiring a DC 20 Search check. The iron chest was left behind by fleeing Clan merchants and the Bei Man never found it. Inside is a gigantic haul of corium (12,500 pieces!) that the Bei Man will want for themselves. If A-Team wants to keep all of it, they'll have to smuggle it out somehow.

Each cave was meant to be a further hiding place for the family of the Clan's Mandarin and his family. Now it's home to 11 Underlings, mutants that live in dark caves and are commonly slaves of the Sandmen. These Underlings have a master further into the Vault and actually came here with him when their master fled their old town because trade dried up and they couldn't prey on people. 1d4 Underlings are in each cave and they'll mostly just hide unless their master tries to force them to help him. Fighting the Underlings has a one in six change of them having 40 CP worth of trinket loot only fit for selling.

This is where the exit to the Water Vaults are. This is also where the Sandman Chieftain known as Shurkal lives along with his pet mutant, The Beast.

Karos ran face-first into the Beast and was torn to shreds. Shurkal is an oddity amongst Sandmen, being willing to take slaves instead of just murdering and eating captives and would often maul them and use them as live bait to capture more travelers. Before abandoning his old home and his old tribe, Shurkal found the Beast and tore off his ears and cut off his tongue before torturing him into going from a dimwitted mutant into a crazed killing machine. His microcephalic head is encased in a riveted mask and his body is covered in bone spurs and muscle and scars.

The fight is complicated in that Shurkal will, instead of fighting, make Intimidate checks to force the Underlings to join the fight, summoning 1d4 for each successful check. If the Beast is killed first, then they'll all just come out since the thing that ate and tortured them is gone. So, naturally, A-Team focuses all of their attacks on the Sandman controlling the hulking mutant and the Beast flees out into the desert and the Underlings remain hidden until A-Team kills them all.

Ultimately the spoils of the fight are five doses of Neversleep, Karos' drained power beltpack, a box of 14 9mm rounds, six Christmas ornaments made out of petrified popcorn (only usable as projectiles for a sling) and a pouch of 26 scorpion stingers, the currency of Shurkal's old town (worth 1 CP each).

If this was a one-off mission, Uncle Sam would give them goods and money befitting their level (this is meant for level 4-5 parties, A-Team is level 5). Killing the Underlings also nets a smaller gift. The final gift is the freedom to pass through the lands of the Bei Man with no further issues, officially protected by the word of their king.

However, we're gonna get in here good and deep into this entire module chain because it's based on a book written by the creators. So we're gonna run this shit into the ground and this happens:

Questioning Boren after the attempt/questioning him as he lays dying leads to the following info:

And unfortunately Mouse has been listening in on the proceeding, having been fired by Sam for her failure to actually be psychic. Actually employed by a sinister employer, Mouse jots this info down and flees in the night to deliver it. Come morning, Sam is enraged to find her gone, deputizes A-Team as his new permanent bodyguards and sends A-Team to find her and follow her because that leads us into our next module, a little story called MOUSETRAP.

So NEXT TIME we go back to the end of Abandon All Hope to finish Chapter 5 of Oblivion and what actually happened at Charybdis.

Last-Ditch "Dramatic" """Irony"""

posted by Hostile V Original SA post



Last-Ditch "Dramatic" """Irony"""

The Fall of Charybdis was the pivotal moment in the war to finally establish the PTM. G-Unit has been thrown back into time (or into a memory, it’s really not clear) into the body of some of the infantrymen responsible for defeating the last bastion of the anti-PTM resistance. This means they have military-grade weapons at their disposal for the entirety of this scene. After a moment of realizing the fact that they’re not in their old bodies, that they’re equipped with military weapons and Tama doing a little dance in her mecha, then they meet the Major when Soapbox asks the leader of the squad just what the hell.

Spoilers: you are not supposed to kill The Major nor is it ever suggested that this would be a thing you do. no matter how much Beth or Peacemaker or Doc would like to derail the PTM from coming to pass. Instead it’s time for some classic war adventures at the Battle of Scylla Heights.

Scylla Heights is an abandoned low-income tenement block that’s home to a resistance outpost. The rest of the unit (50ish soldiers) will break off to explore the rest of the area. G-Unit approaches the map to try and find the sniper (who has Prowess 5 but the fact that he’s hidden means that they have a d10 for defense against his shots even though the shots only deal 1 damage due to armor). For each turn the PCs search, he takes a shot at the PC closest to him (he’s shooting from the L-shaped building). It’s not too hard to find him; now all that matters is how they deal with the sniper. You have two choices.

1: G-Unit can hustle to the building and assault it to flush out the sniper. Other NPCs will join G-Unit in searching the building to get to the sniper’s nest, a derelict building full of abandoned rooms and weird shadows made by the holes in the building. If this option is taken, G-Unit won’t be the ones who find the sniper. They’ll barge in on the other soldiers pumping the sniper full of lead.

2: Tama can use the Kiowa’s artillery cannon to bombard the building and try to kill the sniper with explosive ordinance. This is, uh. This is easier said than done. You make an Attack roll to do this but…uhm. It’s impossible to do this with the proper Prowess checks but, like, is this a contested thing? Who knows. The Major will prefer this route be taken because it doesn’t risk the lives of his men but you can talk him into allowing an assault. Actually here’s a good question. Why isn’t the Major wearing the same sort of armor his infantry is wearing? G-Unit can just take bullets for days because of the damage reduction, why is the man in charge of them wearing armor that lets him actually be shot?

Anyway G-Unit goes with the assault option, everyone hiding behind Tama who draws the sniper fire and struts right through it. When the sniper dies, they find him.

Child soldiers, man. Such a dark and powerful and emotional scene. He even did the pieta pose. Truly these accurately express the horrors of war. We put, like, Jude Law in this as Soapbox and Denzel Washington in as Johnson and we’ve got ourselves Oscar material. So the resistance HQ is found at the bottom of the building in a flooded basement that has a series of tunnels leading to the HQ.

There is no map for the tunnels; it’s just a rats nest of rooms in a series of tunnels. There are crates of food, water, ammo and spare parts all over the place. If your GM wants to be creative, G-Unit can also find artillery rounds and an abandoned field hospital. The Major leads the way the whole way with G-Unit at his heels until he finds the command center.

The defenders of the bunker are: the general, two of his officers, their political leader (“the president”), two political aides and five armed rebel soldiers. The general, his officers and the soldiers are all armed and will fight back. You can’t talk to them, you can’t reason with them, you gotta kill them and you gotta help end the war for the glory of the PTM.

Worth noting is that it’s written that you’re also shooting the unarmed political figure and his aides to death. No time to rest on your laurels, though. Time to go back to Gehenna.

Gasp, Major Havoc is the same Major who won the Battle of Charybdis! Why has he sided with the forces of damnation? Not even the book knows. He was selected to be a champion of the Demons and Blade and Lucretia don’t know about his ulterior plans and motives to let people get away. I mean Lucretia has the excuse of being dead now, but the fact of the matter is that this is not a trick.

The reasoning behind this plan is that killing Johnson or Ilona or G-Unit will just make them martyrs for the cause. Which, legit, is the most logical thing to do and actually a pretty smart move on the part of the Major. And this isn’t one of those jackass tricksy things either: the book says the portal leads to back to the Earth Dimension to a place of relative safety. This offer is extended to Johnson and Ilona as well. Johnson will decline the offer after a moment of thought, spitting at Havoc’s feet because he no longer belongs on Earth but amongst prisoners. Ilona doesn’t get to make this choice because she’s not allowed to have any agency as a woman who exists to be tortured and also she might not have survived the Lucretia fight. Major Havoc basically hisses angrily at Johnson and shakes his fist for his insolent display in the face of his sinister generosity. If the party declines, they can also take a swing at Major Havoc who dies in one hit because he’s actually just a sentient swarm of Guilt Worms. He hits the ground, half of him swarms away to safety and the other half try to bite on the PCs like normal Guilt Worms. Except whoops they keel over and die.

So. The resolution of this whole thing. Johnson and Ilona return to the hospital and the school to be greeted with open arms by their gangs. Mitya returns to Louie and convinces Louie to ally with the other gangs and Patton is basically on their side as well. The alliance is officially formed and war is almost certain with no time to prepare or strategize, only able to use the knowledge Johnson has of Blade as their ace in the hole. Demons heavily infest the ship and the forces of damnation are only under the control of Major Havoc (maybe?) and Blade (definitely). Also the Warden has built an army of Beth-shaped Terminators and wants to shove everyone into cells and explode the Demons. Plus, Blade still has that teleportation thing and the book is like “tee hee, what’s he gonna do with that~?”, suggesting that he’ll use it to strike at the heart of the allied gangs or teleport into Project: Lord of the Flies’ labs to get guns or super tech or find a way to get off of the ship. Plus hey everyone gets a new Trait automatically if they completed all six of the modules. It's really good it's...a free +1 to one of two stats.

But G-Unit won’t be around for that. Once Major Havoc makes his pitch, they immediately take the portal out and drag their whole party with them, leaving Johnson and Ilona behind.


What Have We Learned? Not Much.

posted by Hostile V Original SA post



What Have We Learned? Not Much.

So. Let's be real, here. I don't think Abandon All Hope could've ever survived longer than it did, to be honest. It's a weird, bad, boring series, an incoherent mashup of horror movies the authors watched when they grew up that either came before their time or existed as they were teens. It's an ugly creation, one that I will admit I thought had a little bit of promise when I first heard about it, even as long as when I got halfway through the book to around the GM section. That's when I, ironically, started to give up hope in the product. Because pretty much the only nice thing I can say about this book is that it's a really enticing idea, isn't it? There's a general dearth of RPGs that involve prison life or an attempt to "accurately" emulate it for the sake of telling a story. On the other hand, absolutely no shortage of everything going horrifically wrong and the PCs have to deal with it. It's a fundamentally uneven balance between wants and needs.

But, well, you knew that already. Y'all stuck with me through this, through the Magical Realm Bullshit, through the misogyny, through the racism and the bad writing and my gimmicks. There's not much of a posthumous statement I can make about this game because I've just said everything at this point and the creators are tightlipped. Was there ever intended to be some grand story? Was the ending rushed? I don't know, I don't honestly know. I personally think that yeah there was because they went out of their way to call this campaign "Incursion" instead of just letting it sit on its own. But the creators haven't said anything, they just let it die. Now, granted, that does say something on its own. Imagine if Forbeck never wanted to explain what his grand vision of Brave New World was, that it was just abandoned in the throes of bad Catholicism and weird metaplot.

RPGObjects continued to release Darwin's World products through the early 2010s. The last product they released was Journey to Newhome, which was the overarching series of modules that To Kill A King is from that was in turned based on a book written by one of the authors. The last Abandon All Hope product that was released was actually not Oblivion. Oblivion came out in October in 2011. The last AAH product is actually a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book called "The Program", a solo adventure to let you build your character. If the limited reviews I've seen are to be believed, The Program is both great and also disappointing. To quote a review from a review website called "Mrs. Giggles": posted:

The setting is pretty interesting. Unfortunately, this campaign turns out to be more of an exercise of random dungeon-wandering and number crunching. While it is easy to locate a map containing the layout of the place, it doesn’t help much. Most of the time, you will be making random guesses as to turn left, right, up, down, whatever, and there is nothing, not even the map, to help you get any idea of where to turn to. The maze-like elements of the campaign are annoyingly artificial too – you will find yourself going through the same handful of entries until you finally locate the correct way out. As a result, this campaign feels overly padded with “go there, go here, oops, back to there again” moments of frustration.

While your character has amnesia of sorts, and therefore it is understandable that things are far from clear early in the campaign, it becomes frustrating to keep wandering around while still knowing nothing about the setting or your past. Things would have been more interesting if, for example, a number of the useless “go here or there?” paragraphs were excised for scenes that allow your character to discover clues about the place and your past. A build up of suspense, with clues dropped in here and there, would have made this campaign an interesting and suspenseful one.

As it is, The Program spends too much time making you wander aimlessly through some bland wallpaper dungeon turns. It’s a pity, as the setting holds many intriguing promises. The pay-off isn’t satisfying either, as you are told that your character is now ready to play the RPG game hardcore. If this is going to be nothing more than a sales pitch for the Abandon All Hope RPG game, Mr Covey could have at least made it a fun one.
Somehow this ended up on an obscure review site for mostly books and movies but honestly it's the most comprehensive review of The Program we've got. I would cover it myself but it costs 6 dollars and, well. Like I said. I don't need to give more money to them, I already gave them more than I should've in lieu of just doing a crime.

Anyway. The line died. Darwin's World died. The site is generally dead. Their online gaming mapping tool is dead. From all I've seen of the authors, they've moved on to other things. And that's the story of most of these companies. They rode high on the wave of the OGL and tried to branch out into something new...and honestly if they tried to make AAH in this day and age, I think we'd know more about the creators and the problems they have. Their product was exactly as forgettable as it needed to be and also laced with a vein of problems like finding uranium in your copper mine. But you don't get closure, y'know? That's just life. Even when the company has a public falling out or the fires get so big nobody can extinguish them, there's the aftermath and everyone moving on, either loudly or quietly.

We can force a little closure, though, and that's mostly because I'm the sort who doesn't know when to let a gimmick die and because as far as I'm concerned, this is as canon as the rest of this whole mess.


The game wants you to stay. The game wants you to remain behind on the Gehenna and fight this fight, tell a story that will never be told because nobody cares enough to write it. They even go so far as to say "hey, you can use those build points for your next character, someone who didn't run!". My intent was to never write that final story. So this isn't the story of them staying and fighting. This is the story of what happened when they left.

They're alive. There's 21 of them, two robots and a dog, but they're alive. Fresh air for the first time in years for some, decades for others. They have no idea where they are, but that's fine. They still have guns and adrenaline. No time to rest yet.

It takes a week or so of establishing a place to stay and getting their bearings but they're in Brazil. One night, after Jackpot and Tama manage to pinch some more food from the local grocery, they all sit down and talk about what's next. It's good to see Earth again. It's polluted, it's still ravaged from war, it's oppressed, but it's good to see it. Jack of Spades wagers they can't stay here, not under the nose of the PTM. There's no Gehenna to go back to. If they get caught, they die in a back office, brains splattered against a wall. The five most senior members mull it over. If they had their way, they'd stay and they'd fight. But they didn't get this far by not trusting the ones they brought on. So come up with a plan, they say, and we'll talk about it further.

Jack of Spades thinks they should go to Persephone. Yes, the PSM was gutted. But she knows enough about the planet to know safehouses the PTM couldn't have found and she knows enough of the family members of fallen separatists to get support. Getting to Persephone costs money and time, though. Mrs. Peacock scoffs because if there's anything a Warwick has, it's money and time. The two of them huddle up with Scratch and come up with a plan.

Weston Warwick has been dead for decades. So are most of Mrs. Peacock's siblings. Warwick Meat and Dairy is wholesale owned by a company now. Barely anyone would recognize her now. It would be impossible for them to figure out that she's the prodigal daughter gone away to prison for 28 years. She and Fever "pose" as a married couple, claiming that she's some lost cousin who wants a piece of her grand uncle's pie that she never got. All they want is to set up a farm on Persephone and they have a corporate negotiator (Scratch) help them get the funding, the cows, the transportation. Jackpot makes a few calls home to parents that are so happy and frustrated to hear from their daughter again and picks their brains for how best to change their names and records to become simple colonists. Before she can stop them, Mr. and Mrs. Wynne are on their way to Brazil with bug-out bags on their back.

One week after the meeting, the senior five unanimously agree to the idea. Three weeks after they put it all into motion, they're on the way to Persephone.


Project: Lord of the Flies is deemed to be mostly unsuccessful. There is a lot of discussions in the hall of the PTM's main capitol, a lot of heated arguments behind closed doors. The politicians question the scientists about what the whole point was as the shrinks in charge of re-education and psychology pore over the data. The scientists defend themselves with the fact that the politicians were just going to write the prisoners off as dead anyway so why not use them to make contact. They were all complicit in the lies of a new colony. It got rid of the problem and the data is useful.

The shrinks agree with the fact that it's useful but disagree on the results. The main conclusion they draw is that their psychological model is wrong but not for the reasons they expected. The Demons were attracted to the Despair, Guilt and Insanity but they overlooked just how important Willpower was. Willpower was responsible for convicts embracing damnation and sabotaging the field generators, for turning on the scientists and taking their guns and teleporters. Willpower was responsible for the rise of Sanctuary and the gang strongholds that held against the cresting waves. They knew of Willpower, of course. They just didn't know how strong it could be.

It stood to reason, then, that Willpower was the most dangerous part of the criminal element, not Despair or Guilt or Insanity. The three could be resisted by Willpower. Willpower compelled someone to pick up a gun and stand strong. If enough could stand against literal Demons, imagine what could happen if Willpower was turned against the PTM. Their conclusion was simple: eliminate Willpower, eliminate the ability to resist. Priding itself as the peaceful and perfect pacifist society wasn't enough. Torturing people into becoming less violent was inefficient. There would have to be changes made, changes to suppress Willpower before stamping it out completely.

The politicians and scientists stopped arguing long enough to listen before coming to a reluctant agreement. Write everyone on the Gehenna off as dead, the anomaly had already closed. No more nosy whistleblowers, no more filibusters, no more tolerance. Eliminate Willpower, stamp it out until it's weak and then cut its throat. They shook each other's hands and sent a message to the cultural department, the one responsible for homogenizing the PTM and writing the history books.

"Send us all of the books on effective governmental suppression. Send us all of the classics from 1984 to Fahrenheit 451 to the Hunger Games. We have a lot of reading to do if we're going to do this right."

And they smiled in anticipation for the reading and planning to come.


One year after the escape, everyone is still a little surprised how much Bad Habit knows about cattle farming and farming in general. She shrugs. It's just something she picked up somewhere along with myriad other little survival tools. Her humility and nonchalance always makes Helga sigh and hug her.

Persephone is beautiful and still rebuilding. In the 12 years since Jack of Spades saw her home, they've managed to repopulate 65% of the planet's lost foliage and botanical gardens. It's not the hick planet they were expecting, but it is a lot of open space of nothing but flowers and farms branching out from populated urban centers where you can walk from work to a farmstead in no time. The local government of Persephone is always looking for new hands willing to help, especially if they're quietly opposed to the PTM. Fever, Scratch and Buzzkill want to branch out into raising crops for food to supplement their income. The money from raising the cows isn't as much as they expected so they'll have to find some more work elsewhere.

Everyone chips in as best as they can. Doc and Buzzkill get posts down in a medical center as a doctor and pharmacologist. Appleday gets a posting at a local school as a substitute and watches children while she tends to Aaron. Tama and Scratch raise economic hell across the land by buying as much abandoned technology and scrap and old farming tools as they can. Shining Finger and Beepy get repurposed to till fields and garden for the time being.

The Wynnes take in Jose and Cameron as their own flesh and blood because the two resist every opportunity to get them relocated to adoptive parents. With the help of her parents, Jackpot, Jack of Spades, Soapbox, Beth, Peacemaker and Ice Queen start a local group. Nothing special, just self defense, resisting the government, all that jazz. They keep things quiet as Scarlet, Marina and Sally set out into plundering the remains of old PSM cells and safehouses, looking for supplies and resources and weapons. Pincushion rests on his laurels for a bit before learning how to take care of calves. He finds a surprising amount of peace in this. Bad Habit, Helga and Mrs. Peacock run the ranch and everyone makes sure to help chip in a little. As for Kira, he's happy like a pig in mud.

When they finally get the farm up and running proper, they call it Sanctuary.


The anomaly closes. Of the original 10 million prisoners, about 2 million or so are left, locked into a life-and-death struggle against the Demons and the forces of Blade and Major Havoc. The machinations of the Warden and the Beth Terminators go generally overlooked, the stories of identical-looking women chalked up as being some rumor. The allied gangs hold steadfast against Blade's men and both sides are slowly withered down by desperation and fatigue. Even though their leaders are on par with the Demons, the main troops of damnation still have to eat and human flesh doesn't have all of the essential nutrients one needs.

The Gehenna decays further and further on a daily basis and there's nothing that can be done to save it. The plants mutate and grow stranger still. Eventually the food of the agro-domes is no longer safe for human consumption. The effects of collapsed decks start to compound and grow, every piece of damage done to the hull causing one more cut out of a thousand. The Gehenna physically twists from the pressure, beginning to crumple in on itself as it strains like a soda can at the bottom of the sea.

The final breaking point is the fact that the Gehenna really wasn't built to withstand prolonged internal abuses and the fact that there are two glaring structural weak points built into the ship: the decks between the front of the ship and the back. The crumpling, twisting strain causes the Warden's facility to sever completely, drifting off into the abyss of Hell, powered by its solar facilities but completely powerless. The nuclear-powered thrusters are snapped free from the ship as well, the energy leaking out into the void and slowly cooling down as the systems are compromised completely and the reactors stop.

The survivors remain in the middle of the ship, stranded and cold and starving. And the worst thing that can happen does: good triumphs over evil. Johnson slays Blade in the end and the human faces of the Demons are destroyed. They are too tired to listen to the Demons and only want to rest before death. There is no way home. There is only the soft creak of metal folding in on itself as everything runs thinner and the cold overtakes what remains of the Gehenna.


The end of the first year on Persephone is met with an official gathering of G-Unit, the first official strategy meeting. Everyone cooks something and they sit together, sharing food and each other's company. The cows can wait another day. The crops are already tended to. Right now it's just their time to talk about the future they've earned.

If there's one thing they managed to learn from Major Havoc's magical time adventure, it's that the resistance wasn't just a bunch of soldiers in a bunker and it wasn't just a handful of public speakers and political figures. You need both to stand a chance. As leader of Sanctuary, Soapbox believes they have all they need here to mount a proper resistance. They have a handful of people who know about war and tactics (Beth, Doc and Peacemaker), they have people who know politics (Ice Queen, herself, Jackpot's family, Appleday), they have people who know how to hit low ( the Wynnes, Fever and Jack of Spades). She plans to start with organizing the people around a more realistic form of government, one where they don't have to cower in fear during a war and then be at the mercy of their colonial master's disinterest. They can teach Persephone how to defend itself and stand up for itself and give it a future to march forward to.

Tama is properly excited about this. She remembers what it was like to be in the Kiowa and has been tinkering with ideas for mecha and power armor. She already knows how to build robots, and if there's one thing she remembers from her extensive history as an anime fiend, some Japanese weapons started out as simple farming tools. She smiles through a mouthful of bread and mentions that she's been building plenty of farming tools with the help of Scratch. Funny how much easier it is to build what you want when you don't have to scrape and scrounge.

Beth is in complete agreement. Sally, Marina and Scarlett have come a long way in learning how to defend themselves and they may not be soldiers but they're not helpless. If she and Peacemaker can teach the three of them how to survive and thrive, there's no doubt they can't organize the people of Persephone further.

Doc agrees but has her own reservations and hesitations. She's worried about what the PTM has learned from the Gehenna, if anything. She worries that the hole between dimensions might still be open. As much as she hates to admit it, Needles did have some good ideas in regards to studying the Demons further. She doesn't know if they could possibly survive in our dimension and if the PTM has any plans to attempt to utilize the Demons in any form. There are too many unknowns, she argues. They can start but they should leverage their assets to learn what the PTM knows and what they're doing before G-Unit start actively striking back. Soapbox considers the proposition and agrees to meet with her over what they should do about it.

Pincushion is optimistic. After all, they have the greatest weapon on their side, an arsenal of Real Ultimate Power that can kill with a thought and was so powerful the Demons were too scared to recruit him. There's a light current of laughter and he admits, with all seriousness, that the Demons were an unlimited force. An overwhelming force. They only escaped because they were given mercy as part of a trick. He believes that they stand a chance against a limited mortal enemy like the PTM, especially with so many people who used to be a part of it and know all about weapons. He also figures that they have those disruption grenades and if Tama could crack them open and look at them, she could figure out a way to keep the Demons away, even if they do come back.

It's a unanimous agreement to fight back. Tomorrow the plans will be drafted, tomorrow the speeches will be written, tomorrow the spying will begin. Today is a day of warm food and cold drinks beneath an open blue sky.