Guide to the Known Galaxy by PurpleXVI
Why is this popular enough that a second edition is in the works?Original SA post Guide to the Known Galaxy
The supplement wherein we are informed of all of Otherverse: America's space-based metaplot.
Why is this popular enough that a second edition is in the works?
So you know how those other books kind of petered out a bit near the end as Fields stopped jerking off and either wrote down some dry numbers or hammered out the few good ideas he had? No such thing for GttKG, this thing is the highway to fucking hell. Even THE VERY LAST PAGE has something that makes me want to cry or scream or punch a wall.
So let's crack this sucker open, at least it's only 176 pages this time.
This is first contact with the art outside of the front page, and as we're told by the couple of pages I've skipped in between, this is what it looks like when Chris draws. And ALL, ALL of the art in this book is by him. The only thing he appears to have looted is the generic backgrounds used for it.
There are seriously also more typos than in a 13-year-old's first fanfic. I mean, I know I've said it was bad before, but that was mostly Fields mangling words like "myriad" and "manticore," ones that are at least SLIGHTLY foreign. This time he's misspelling "combat" straight out of the door.
General Setting Stuff
We get a bit of intro-fiction, but it's just two guys sitting around going MAN EARTH IS LAME, LET'S GO EXPLORE A PLANET, SPACE IS COOL BRO. For a couple of pages. Literally all it does is tell us that the people chilling in space think the Lifers and Choicers are a bunch of doofs who should find something better to do. Hilariously, as we'll eventually see, the whole America and Abortion War stuff that the base book took so long setting up and elaborating on... is literally 100% irrelevant in the face of the metaplot.
After that, we get the general overview, not too bad a start. Nine billion humans and metahumans around, humanity's been fucking around with FTL travel since the 2020's(apparently largely by cracking open metahumans with physics-defying abilities and figuring out how the fuck they did it, a remarkably clever idea) and the Choicers are heavily at the forefront of flying around and introducing humanity to the rest of the galaxy. Somehow they've yet to give us interstellar wedgies for associating with such insufferable Sues.
FTL works by the Generic Sci-Fi Explanation that we pop into a side-universe where we can happily ignore a bunch of fundamental rules of Physics and cruise along at absurd speeds without disintegrating ourselves. Hanging out too long there results in unspecified mental trauma, loss to the Wisdom score and becoming much more delicious to the Lifechained creatures. What are the Lifechained? We'll get to that. Actually not for a while yet, but they're closely related to Phallus Space .
The whole thing gets more complicated as Fields starts talking about the Culture as though they're part of the setting, even though the Psi-Watch book clearly says that the Psi-Watch and O:A universes are separate. Yet, in the PW reality, the Corridor is pretty clearly understood and can't be THAT traumatic considering that the Culture has actually established permanent embassies there. Also it's their goddamn afterlife.
THEN he says most human in-system ships use non-Horrorspace drives but that those are still "exponentially faster than light." So why the fuck don't they use THOSE to travel between the stars so they can do it without tearing their own brains apart? Fuck! This is already making no fucking sense!
God, fuck it, let's not even try to make sense of it. Instead, let's a page or two of blather about space elevators and find a sidebar that amused me some, and not at Fields' expense. This is a sidebar where a Stonecutter(alien race guy) talks about their perception of humans.
“Homo Sapiens are an intensely religious people. Their two largest sects, which they refer to as Choicers or Lifers, are violently opposed to one another. Their most recent war was fought over theological questions about how, when and if the soul enters a gestating human fetus. These questions are very real and tangible to humans, and a human will gladly die for its beliefs. They are courageous and obsessive.
The humans are extremely fertile, and sexuality plays a dominant role in their culture. Their medical sciences are primarily focused on preventing, ending or ensuring pregnancy. This in turn has lead to their race becoming one of the galaxy’s foremost experts in genetic engineering and fertility medicine. Species facing extinction, such as the Half Grey, journey to Earth in search of hope. The reason is not just technological, as humans are widely held to be lucky in love and childrearing. A handful of the savage races sell human blood or severed genitals as aphrodisiacs and love potions, a practice illegal in Stonecutter space.
"Humans are so obsessed with sex that a lot of aliens think that drinking human blood will turn them into sexual tyrannosauruses."
Considering the content of the internet these days, the focus of the media and just about everything else... I would almost call this a remarkably astute analysis of humanity's role if we ever met aliens, as "those sex-obsessed savages out in the sticks, barely better than animals, with quaint beliefs."
Then on the next page Fields decides to embody human fertility with a Racial Ability! Because I can think of SO many fucking games I'd run where your ability to get knocked up would be a vital advantage/disadvantage! Oh wait, no, I can't, but sadly I can think of quite a few that Fields would run.
Some boring shit about the places humanity has colonies. Blah blah MOON BASES, blah blah ASTEROID BASES, blah blah SPACE EMBASSIES(or in the case of one, more like Space Embarrassies as apparently human diplomats to an insect species we'll meet soon all just chill in bikinis because they've got a tropical world. REAL PROFESSIONAL, JACKASSES!).
Next stop: RACES! This is going to be a relatively quick jaunt, and really all that's separating us from Phallus Space, the meat of this miserable meal.
This is their incomprehensible species art
Summary: Once upon a time there were the TRUE GREY. They died, but they left behind a bunch of machines that wanted to rebuild the True Grey. Unfortunately they couldn't find enough genetic bits and pieces, so they just glued what they could find to some other genomes they scrounged up, leading to the Halfgrey, a bunch of crippled wastes of flesh that can't even reproduce without machines and are hated by everyone. They're hated because their predecessors, THE TRUE GREY were major assholes that were close to getting everyone killed.
Oh and they're also dying out because they suffered a flash of teenage rebellion and smashed their own breeding machines a few thousand years ago or something. And now they've decided that MAYBE IT WAS A BAD IDEA on account of extinction not being so great, so they're clinging to humanity's skirts and begging us to help them find any leftover functional machines.
These functional machines are also self-aware and treat the Half-Grey like the dumb kids they are, so basically they have to come crawling to the machines and beg them for permission to make more kids.
In a lot of games, all the races would not have separate "REPRODUCTION" sections. In GttKG, they do. Thankfully, on account of their sterility and their not being crazy rapists or anything, the Halfgrey have a pretty short and inoffensive one, mostly it's about how their baby-making machines are kind of mean.
This is their designated species Sue
The example Halfgrey is this lady, who's flawless at everything, has been everywhere and is raising the next generation of flawless, selfless perfect Choicer hero. She's just completely boring, so let's skip over anything involving her and get to the next species before this post ends.
According to Fields, this is an insect
This is the "ultimate evolution of the kingdom Arthropoda," according to Fields. Of course this means they're EXACTLY like humans except that they use "techno-organic means" to accomplish what we do with boring steel and plastics.
The Lanning-Injva posted:
Injva society is driven by a complex series of inter-marriages and familial duties. Nobles are bound to their vassals, and vice versa through a well articulated, constitutional monarchy that dates back for millennia. Arranged marriages ( including marriages that would be taboo to humans, such as polygamous, incestuous and extremely young marriages ) link clans, noble houses and urban-hives together.
Just when you thought it was merely an INCOMPETENT RPG setting, instead of a Fields RPG setting. GOTCHA, SUCKERS.
Reproduction: They bone like humans(what a surprise) but have to go through some extra hoops to become fertile, mostly involving getting prodded by an ALPHA MALE. Aside from that they're really pretty boring and there's really no goddamn reason for them to be in the setting since they're basically Humans With Bony Bits On. Their culture isn't even really different enough for Fields to mention aside from some weird marriages and a not-very-elaborated-upon caste system!
Maybe the next race will be more interesting!
According to Fields, this is a plant
I'm sensing a theme here. A horrible fucking theme.
So they're a bunch of people-looking plants that are kind of similar despite being like a dozen subspecies that just evolved in the same system. The professions they've taken to "with enthusiasm" among other races are alchemists, medics and prostitutes. Two paragraphs later Fields again reminds us that they're totally great in the sex industry, and are now also EXPERT STOCK TRADERS. And pacifists.
Despite being plant-like they're so human that they even have "a cellulose skeleton" and apparently planty analogues for every noteworthy part of human biology. Right down to, as you've noticed, 80's hair. This 80's plant hair is called their "cloaks."
Sexuality and sensuality is at the core of Polyflor society. Polyflor creation myths argue that the species was created purely for the purpose of experiencing wonder and pleasureincluding sexual pleasure- and finding enlightenment.
Polyflor reproduction resembles mammalian reproduction; the plant aliens have evolved genitals similar to those common to most humanoids. In addition, the Polyflor’s cellulose cloaks can best be thought of as an additional set of genitals. During sex, Polyflora wrap their cloaks tightly around each other, forming a tight, leafy cocoon: while wrapped in this embrace, the Polyflor transmit chemical cues and genetic material to each other. Without their cloaks, conception and orgasm become difficult, if not impossible, for the aliens.
During mating, both partners are fertilized. Polyflor males become pregnant, gestating the child in a womb growing like a hunch at the center of their back. A male Polyflor’s pregnancy usually lasts between six and eight months, and when the birthing bulb splits open, he gives birth to a single male offspring, though twin births are not unheard-of.
Even their goddamn reproduction is basically a cheap space-Chinese knockoff of mammalian reproduction except for the horrifying addition of MPreg. HOW IS IT POSSIBLE TO BE THIS FUCKING UNINSPIRED? Even Star Trek's large variety of space-women with funny skin and odd foreheads were more diverse than this shit!
And yes, one of their species-specific starting occupations is "Pleasuregiver."
Then there's the bunch of sub-races which are really unimaginative and just "YOUR HAIR IS FUNNY AND YOU'RE A TOUGH GUY" or "YOUR HAIR IS EVEN FUNNIER AND YOU'RE A SWIMMY GUY." Stuff of that caliber. Or of course "YOUR HAIR IS THE PRETTIEST AND YOU'RE A PROSTITUTE." Sob.
42 pages... I'm taking a break. Next time we can catch up on the races that mostly just LOOK incredibly stupid.
Then there's the bunch of sub-races which are really unimaginative and just
More stupid fucking racesOriginal SA post Guide to the Known Galaxy
More stupid fucking races
And since it's Fields, more stupid fucking in general.
These hideous fuckers are the generic TRADER SPECIES of the setting. Basically they find species, trade with them, secure the only universal currency(Talents) and protect their trade partners from raiders and hostile species. They've got an "ever-evolving patchwork poly-faith" called "The Always," which is poorly elaborated upon. Essentially they're investing in humanity because we seem to be a business in heavy growth.
Predictably their physiology is basically just "yellow humans who are a bit bigger." Good job, Fields. They also keep giant cats whose version of "hissing at people" is "pulling the skin off their own faces to terrify them into fucking off."
Another race whose main characteristic is "looking goofy as hell." These guys are reptilian but, SURPRISE, they "blend reptilian and mammalian traits" before we're even past the first page. Their Cultural Thing is that they recently had a huge rebellion and hence their culture has gone tits-up in an orgy of violence and now they're mostly a race of refugees.
And that's it for the basic races. The ones intended as playable. Don't worry, there are still a shitload of even-goofier races intended as enemies and NPC's. You'll hate them at first, but they're all that separate us from THE EPIC OF PHALLUS SPACE, so soon you'll come to love them and wish that they'll never leave.
SUCKS TO BE YOU, I'm powering through them all in this post.
The Galactic Scar
A horrible shithole where two galaxies COLLIDED(M-442 and Evangel, if those are real names and any astronomy-nerds want to tear out their eyes at Fields getting something wrong), so it is now a RADIOACTIVE MISERY-HOLE. This is also where a bunch of BAD GUY races live.
But before we get to that, let's check out "The Region of Restless Ghosts." Across the Scar, a bunch of worlds exist that were somehow turned to ghost worlds when they got blown up. Every now and then they fade back into reality for a few days, and go through life as they did just prior to the disaster, unaware of what's going to go down.
It's possible to land on the planets, chat with the folks, even warn them, but the planets and all related to them(even if they flee off-planet or are brought away by travellers) disappear within the allotted time. Anyone stuck on the planet disappears as well. When the planet re-appears, they resume from where they started, with no memory of any prior visitors or warnings. And there are actually a couple of cool quest hooks here, even ones suggested by Fields himself.
Spacers tell stories of doomed romances, of living spacers who found a way to make landfall on a Museum only to fall in love with one of the ghostworld’s doomed maidens. There’s Bounder drinking songs on the subject that leave listeners cryin’ in their beer, no matter what their species.
There's plenty of dramatics to be had if an NPC goes crazy and wants to stay on the world with some local because the two have fallen in love, and the party have to haul him out of some bustling revenant metropolis before the world disappears. Maybe their attempts even get them arrested by the local authorities and they have to get out before THEY get ghosted away, too!
A bit of the drama is removed by how easy it is to actually rescue a "ghost," though. All that's really necessary is a small, possibly-temporary(a DC 15 FORT save makes it temporary, so even someone with just a plain, standard 10 CON has a 30% chance of making it away without a permanent loss), sacrifice of CON points. But PC's might not know about that, or the supposed person they're trying to rescue might still not want to leave, might not believe their prophecies of doom.
At any rate, anyone who can't see some opportunities in this has a mind devoid of creativity.
But of course, there are also LIVING creatures in the GALACTIC SCAR! First off...
HI, I'M HIDEOUS, CAN I STAY IN YOUR NIGHTMARES?
These guys live in an "oxygenated asteroid" that's about as big as Earth. At that point, though, wouldn't it be more precise to call it a goddamn rocky planet or something? Their thing is being artists, really, they love to draw and etch and otherwise create art of any kind, so sometimes they're hired off-world to create art for people.
They're apparently also too stupid/primitive to have names. I don't really know anything about the development of naming and linguistics, is it in any way possible that a species with ostensibly human-like mental processes would develop to the point of somewhat-abstract art without having names for each other?
Their blood burns on contact with air, and so they cut themselves to provide fuel for cooking fires and occasionally for use as incendiary weapons. Feel free to debate how stupid the biology of this is.
The Ejawfe are the Sci-Fi Cliché of "that species of utter assholes who somehow manage to have a stellar empire despite spending most of their time fucking each other over."
The Ejawfe posted:
few Ejawfe tribes have taboos against genocide, the slaughter of non-combatants or against institutionalized rape . Ejaw expect grudging loyalty and support from immediate family and expect homicide from anyone else,
Attracted to the hopelessness of the tactical situation, many Ejaw who have ventured into Earthspace have signed on with the Lifers as freelance shock-troops.
The Ejaw are a divided species. The half of their body corresponding to their dominant hand is strange and obviously inhuman, despite the humanoid shape of their other half. Ejaw are bisected cleanly down the centerline of their bodies. In young Ejaw, their inhuman half is ‘undifferentiated’; half their body looks as if it has been dipped in tar. The slick black carapace is cool and moist to the touch, and slightly tacky. An undifferentiated Ejaw eye resembles a pool of bloody radiance in the center of a black-tar face.
The creature’s half-mutations continue to their genitals, making sex between Ejawfe a bloody, painful process.
Ejawfe culture is deeply sexist, with Ejaw females having virtually no rights, in some tribes not even the right to life. The majority of emancipated Ejaw females were born outside the Scar; life is slightly better for Ejaw females among the free companies. Ejaw males have little taboo against rape or incest; these are considered ‘privileges of command’.
So, let me get this straight. A bunch of UNAPOLOGETIC RAPISTS with HALF-METAL DONGS, blatant monstrosities... somehow regularly manage to sign up with the side of the Choicer/Lifer conflict that has the strongest, most uncompromising morals and ESPECIALLY take issue with anything considered "deviant" sexuality? Yeah, that's really well-thought-out, Fields.
Also their ROBOT HALF takes shape depending on their personality/profession. Like it gets MORE ROBOTY if they're about TECHNOLOGY, it gets PLANTY if they're about STEALTHY and EVIL if they're about ASSASSINATING. These are the actual examples.
No, not space-leprosy. Well, kind of. Basically these guys are also from THE GALACTIC SCAR, and the way they survive SHITLOADS OF RADIATION AND MISERY is to selectively phase out sensitive bits of their bodies. And other parts as well.
They're also the first nice alien allies that the Lifers get, because apparently the Jigsaw are all about family and "the sanctity of life."
Their SPECIAL ABILITY is basically letting their limbs float free so they can punch you in the jaw from across the room or kick you in the ass while facing you.
The Learning Flux
Last species before Phallus Space!
So there's a big shithole world that everyone uses to dump lots of trash, mostly of the glowing green comic variety. Eventually all that trash becomes... SENTIENT! It becomes... THE LEARNING FLUX! OH NO! WHAT WILL IT DO?! Well, what it does is that it creates a bunch of goopy green copies of other races and sends them out to learn stuff, then eventually they come home and share everything they've learned with the Flux itself.
They're also the ONLY species so far that doesn't get a long schpiel about their sexuality because they don't have any. They don't understand boning on account of basically being amoeba inside fake skin holsters.
Despite their weird background there are really no associated quest hooks and nothing sinister about them at all. They're literally just hanging out with the rest of the galactic community to figure out what all of the fuss is about.
And that does it for races.
73 pages in and we hit Phallus Space. EVERYTHING from this point on is about cocks. You're going to wish I was joking.
Phallus SpaceOriginal SA post Guide to the Known Galaxy
Alright, here it comes, the thing you've all been waiting for...
It deserves another full-size inline. Just look at that pristine interstellar wang. While the previous updates have been largely images because the writing has been uninspired, we're going back to getting a lot of text, because holy shit there's some stupid/insane bullshit in here.
The Phallus posted:
The Phallus is the greatest, and oldest megastructure in the known universe. It is an order of magnitude larger than the next most massive megastructures and dwarfs even the largest artificial solar systems. It sits in the exact center of our galaxy, and the universe seems to revolve around it.
First off, the entire galaxy, in fact the ENTIRE UNIVERSE, is centered around a vast space-cock. No word on whether there are any space balls at one end. It's made of "gnarled ebony dark-matter" that can't be hurt by anything and yet someone thought to put giant windows in it so people outside could look at the creepy "organ-like growths" and "planet-sized chambers" inside it. If any astronomy/physics students would like their brains to implode at the ridiculous implications, this thing is "thousands of parsecs long."
THE PHALLUS posted:
The structure can be seen for millions of light years, visible as a black void blocking out the stars. The structure’s gravity warps space-time more completely than a hundred black holes; travelers venturing into Phallus space experience time delays and temporal paradoxes, relativistic effects and other anomalies.
It's also surrounded by The Necklace. Despite the ridiculous gravity of this thing, everything near it is not simply crushed into an atoms-thick pancake and smeared across its exterior, no, it's orbited by planets and stars, called The Necklace. That's all that stupid coloured and glittery shit in the prior image that wasn't the background star field, I presume. They're wrapped around it like a double-helix. Some of these things are also black holes.
Did I mention there are dragons here, too? Phallus reptiles. Dong drakes. Whatever you want to call them.
THE PHALLUS! posted:
Most humans who have seen the Phallus and its Necklace believe the caduceus- a symbol of healing and magic on ancient Earth- is a racial memory of this fantastic place.
It’s theorized the Phallus was the first structure erected after the birth of our universe, possibly being constructed in the first few seconds of creation. Most cultures believe that something easily powerful and ancient enough to be called God exists within the Phallus. Most myths refer to this creature as the Singular.
Even less is known about the Singular’s offspring-just a handful of contradictory myths. It is believed that the Singular may be a survivor from an earlier ‘draft’ of the Universe. Some half-translated hieroglyphs have indicated that the current universe is the Third Universal Iteration- the third ‘re-run’ of existence.
So, THE GIANT SPACE COCK is somehow engraved in the memory of sentient beings on a genetic/spiritual level. It is THE FIRST STRUCTURE of this universe... yeah, I could see this whole thing being just a "re-run" of some incredibly bad interstellar TV show. Unfortunately the metaplot isn't going to be that benign. We're still talking about the Dong Dimension for now, though. Also note the bolded part above, I refuse to believe that was an accident. FIIIIIIIIELDS.
A small sub-paragraph "CALL OF THE PHALLUS"(now there'd be a REAL horror game...) informs us that since all of reality revolves around the Phallus, all of reality is invited to come party with the cock, and twists itself so that anyone travelling to the vast interstellar prodding prick arrives there much faster. Also despite the interior of the Titan Dong being poorly understood, there are wormholes that lead inside it. You'd figure some SCIENTISTS OR SOMETHING would've sent in probes! But I guess science isn't highly valued in a universe with cactus prostitutes.
It's also possible to be "Phallus-touched," which is less gross than it sounds. Basically as long as you've hung with the dong for a bit, your brain gets rewritten so you can be a wizard. No, I'm not kidding.
DREAMS OF THE PHALLUS
I hate you for these titles, Fields.
THE PHALLUS!!!!!! posted:
The Phallus and the Necklace have appeared in the art, literature and myth of hundreds of worlds, including isolated species that have not yet mastered space travel.
Half Grey geneticists speculate that a kind of subconscious knowledge of Phallus space is encoded in the DNA of all sentient species, and that the ability to comprehend the Phallus is a precondition for sentience.
Taking a step up in the chain of insanity, the Phallus is now, to collect our known facts about its importance: The center of the universe, a divine relic from the creation of the universe, surrounded by dragons, engraved in our racial consciousness and basically the only reason we're a sentient species at all .
Enough crazy for you guys yet? If not, apparently some people also dream of the Phallus, and instead of just thinking that they should see a psychologist about their nightmares about giant space cocks, they go on to become revolutionary leaders or religious icons.
Here's a hideous lady to interrupt all the WORDS WORDS WORDS
This is also where we finally start learning about the Lifechain, a word that's been scattered all through the early parts of this book and Otherverse: America without really having any fucking meaning at all until now! Let me summarize this and a few other things we won't know for a while yet: The Lifechain is basically THE ANCIENT POWER OF THE SPACE-GODS OF THE SPACE-PENIS. Anyone can get infected with Lifechained DNA and end up participating in the fight, their allegiance often determined by which faction/deity they've gotten DNA from. For instance Nemesis-DNA creatures are often pitted against Genesis-DNA creatures, etc. etc. there's some weird shit going down there.
While it gives you some fancy powers, it also has the drawback in that the Lifechain is a whole sub-ecosystem or meta-ecosystem of its own. Lots of Lifechained creatures, particularly the predatory Nemesis creatures are, well, predators. Meaning that they have powers that only work against other Lifechained creatures, and sufficiently powerful Lifechains can turn you into their puppets or just kill you dead right off the bat if the power difference between you and them is big enough.
I mean, if you cleaned this up a bit, scraped off the Phallus... there are actually some kind of cool ideas here.
Before we can actually start considering this, though, Fields ambushes us with another poorly-planned race! Remember how I mentioned dragons before? Here are the requisite half-dragon-y humanoid people!
There's also a second Dhale picture, but from here-on out, pretty much everything Fields draws is rocking out with its tits out, or dong out, or cunt out. So it's not going to get in-lined. NSFW.
Their thing is that they're dragon fanboys and have been forever. They worship dragons, live off their scraps, do their bidding, fetch their coffee, all that jazz. They're biologically human, really, except for laying eggs. Their excuse for having a breath weapon is that they use their sharp teeth to bite a hole in reality into some elemental plane or another. More plausible than trying to excuse breathing lightning with biology, I suppose, but it also seems kind of dangerous. If they can do that with just their TEETH... Lord knows I bite the inside of my cheek or my lip almost once a week, imagine if I snipped a hole into the Elemental Plane of Zappy Death instead...
There are another couple of races, then I'll take a break and the next post will be about THE LIFECHAIN and what few cool gems we can scrape out of the muck.
No inlined image here, their primary art has some dangling boobage. NSFW!
These guys are SPACE NOMADS who live on planets and asteroids around THE PHALLUS and are basically SPACE GUIDES. Because they can fly around in space and breathe space and etc. Why in God's name any advanced spacecruiser with a dozen senses humans can't even wrap their minds around would need one of these flying, golden goons leading the way I can't even start to comprehend.
Also for some reason we're told that while they're TOTALLY MUSCULAR, they lack the ability to be really "chiseled" due to living in space? I don't know.
When aroused, enraged or injured, a Sequence’s circulatory system becomes visible, with their highly radioactive blood pulsing through dense veins. The Sequence’s lungs and multiple hearts seem are clearly visible inside their chest, and wispy tendrils of plasma leak from the Sequence’s eyes and mouth.
Again, aside from being radioactive, their physiologies are basically pretty much like a human's in all the ways that really matter, aside from being able to take jaunts through hard vacuum. Their section ends with this "gem." Remember the Neon? They were the kinda-cool SPACE DINOSAURS from Psi-Watch, and one of the few unloathsome aspects of it. Fields remembers them, too!
About the Neon... posted:
Similar Species: The metallic Neon, described fully in the Psi-Watch campaign setting, have a similar eco-system and set of natural abilities. Both cultures call deep space home, and both species build their cities as complex asteroid habits.
It is not unusual to see members of both races working side by side. Neon colonists are usually accepted into Sequence society, and vice versa. Despite long standing trade and cultural ties, the two species cannot interbreed due to their obvious anatomical differences.
WHO IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT IS HOLY WOULD EVER WANT TO THINK ABOUT THESE PEOPLE FUCKING THE NEONS?????
Another linked image as the Shadowless have apparently not invented shirts that aren't retarded . NSFW.
They're pale white precognitive space-elves. There, that's it. They SEE THE FUTURE and are SUSTAINED BY THEORETICAL PARTICLES. But apparently they're kind of poorly in-control of their clairvoyance, because whenever they leave their homeworld there are just SO MANY POSSIBILITIES that they tend to break down and need to have a bit of a cry before going home again.
The Shadowless posted:
Shadowless derive their name from the way the quantum-field that surrounds them interacts with incoming light waves. The Shadowless never casts a shadow, nor do shadows fall upon their body or clothing. Though most Shadowless tend to be attractive and charismatic, non- Shadowless often find it difficult to look at them for long periods of time. Their unshaded bodies look ‘flatter’ and less real somehow, causing minor headaches and eyestrain in viewers.
The Shadowless do not have a reflection, though their image can be captured on camera and by technological means normally.
I know that they're not super-creative, but I like the fact that their not having shadows is not just some supernatural Thing they have, but actually grounded in some technobabble that also affects other stuff, leaving them hard to look at, etc. It's one of the bits where it feels like Fields actually took a break and thought a bit!
Now, there is one stupid thing about them, though. In their description it says that their precognition have vaulted them up to the rank of TOP PREDATOR on their homeworld despite it being full of nasty Lifechain creatures(yet another race that lives in orbit around THE PHALLUS). But their one weakness is one that's COMPLETELY CRIPPLING to any warlike race. Essentially whenever they, or any ally in the area rolls a natural 1, the possible futures just completely shake a given Shadowless with visions of potential fuckups.
Yeah, that's great, one guy in your army drops his rifle and everyone near him has an epileptic seizure of terror. That's totally the way to become TOP DOG on your planet. Outside of that, nothing weird about their culture, reproduction or any of the other things Fields has noted.
88 pages. That was some dense writing for once.
Next time: WELCOME TO THE LIFECHAIN!
Welcome to the Lifechain!Original SA post Guide to the Known Galaxy
Welcome to the Lifechain!
Mechanically, the Lifechain feats are just that, feats, except that they require either being a Lifechain species(some of the dongworlders) or having an "Awakened Heritage" feat as one of the other species. Aside from just plain picking the feat, some Lifechain horrors can also inflict it on people.
The game does a bad job of selling us on Lifechains as DIVINE HERITAGE dudes with the art. Maybe the writing will do a better job of it? Let's look at those heritages, they should tell us something about the metaplot!
First options is The Mother!
The Mother's Heritage posted:
The ‘grandchildren’ of the goddess of change, chance and sexual reproduction are gifted with a profound understanding of reproductive biology and the chemical underpinnings of emotion.
This translates into being able to knock people up by touching them. Or abort their kids in the same way. Damn.
Next up is The Nemesis who is GENERIC BADMEANGUY of BAD CHANGE, the Genesis who is Generic Okaydude of Fighting, the Singular who is Generic Overgod, the Guardians who are "gazelle-like cyborgs"(man what fucked up DNA to have remnants of...) or the Senators, which gives us the power to GLOWWWW WITH ALL THE COLOURS OF THE RAINBOWWWWWW or okay just one colour.
That didn't really tell us much except that the Nemesis is apparently the Almighty Dicklord whom we're supposed to despise.
Lifechains: Still not cool at all
The powers themselves are basically just a mishmash of superhero powers, except instead of psionics or cybernetics as the excuse for having them, now it's just "DNA," which can do anything from letting you fly to letting you fling around magical darkness. There are also a bunch of abilities specifically for Lifechain vs Lifechain brawling, letting you do things like shutting down hostile Lifechain powers, or getting damage boosts vs the other side of the big fight.
If we've got Senator DNA we can become a "Lantern of the Senate" and okay SPOILERS basically we get a single colour-themed power related to a concept. HMMMM. I DO WONDER IF FIELDS GOT THIS IDEA SOMEWHERE ELSE.
Most of this is really boring so until we hit the Metaplot this gets turned into another small Fields Art Dump. This is going to continue through the beastiary chapter as well, which is really just fifty kinds of ugly-as-sin Lifechain monsters that aren't very interesting.
NSFW , if anyone ever wanted to see Fields draw porn.
Of note in the beastiary is the "Cropduster," which basically takes a leak on players as it flies past, and its piss can turn you into a Nemesis-heritage Lifechain. EPIC. Dragons with missiles, a dozen creatures with save-or-die attacks... "Valkarie-type" battle robots that have literally infinite distance attacks, so if the PC's ever piss one off it'll snipe them from across the galaxy...
They also look like floating vaginas with tits and crab claws, hence linked instead of in-lined. Jesus, Fields.
They can also knock up anything female within 60 feet of them. Just in case you wanted a creepy golden flying vagina killer robot's baby. And that's really the few highlights that the bestiary has. Next up is the metaplot...
Or at least as much as there is.
THE GODS THEMSELVES
This section kicks off with some FICTION. A green lady and a giant MECHA CENTIPEDE are chilling on some desert planet while the Phallus hovers in the sky and they talk about what an asshole the Singular is. Apparently the former universe was pretty cool, but then the Singular was all "BAM SON, FUCK YOUR SHIT," and fucked their shit up, and made a new universe, where THE PHALLUS was POISONED and everything was under his control.
The Green Lady and the Giant Mecha Centipede don't dig this shit, so Green Lady comes up with a plan to fuck up the Singular's shit something hardcore.
Green Lady's Plan posted:
The centipede turns his face towards a blue sun, and the Phallus and its orbital necklace are reflected in his faceplate. He appears lost in thought; his feeding pincers scrape nervously. “Your logic escapes me, as always.”
The alien goddess with the all-too-human eyes smirks. “We can introduce change and chance into His closed system. Together we can create an infinite catalogue of life, and sow the seeds of your father’s defeat in that infinity. Look at me, at this phenotype I wear.”
Oh yeah, you guys know what's coming, and I'm not going to spare you. HA HA FUCK NO I'M NOT SPARING YOU JERKS. BEHOLD, HER TRUE FORM!!!!
AWWWWW YEAH, BOW CHICKA posted:
She pulls off her cloak, and tosses it to the planet far below. The cloak flutters away in zero gravity. The goddess removes her thought-responsive armor, letting it too drop to the planet beneath them. Her pendulous, exposed breasts and her swollen genitals pulse with green flames. She hangs there, nude and radiant in deep space. She stretches out her hand to the centipede god.
Her blue/green fingers touch the barrel of one of the centipede god’s many rail cannons. She draws closer to the centipede god; his segments click softly as they coil around her. The biomechanical creature embraces the nude goddess tightly.
With a gasp, the two divinities touch, and he slides softly into her welcoming body. She whispers to him through a wireless channel, “This is the last secret of the fallen universe."
Their orgasm is a near-nuclear detonation that scorches away the desert world’s atmosphere, a nova visible for a hundred light years in all directions.
It is a storm of emerald fire. When the fires fade, whether after a minute or a century, both deities are transfigured.
OH WAIT, YOU THOUGHT IT WAS OVER? NEVERRRRRR. IT NEVER ENDS! IT NEVER. FUCKING. ENDS.
Long, curving steel penis posted:
The embrace has changed the centipede god. As the orgasm fires fade, their lovemaking has become an encounter between two humanoids. The centipede has become a man: a man of gold, silver and iron cyber systems, carved to the ideal of humanoid perfection. Pulsing gems embedded in his body channel alien power, a long curving steel penis is dotted with plasma channels. Wisps of fusion ejaculate drift away from his body. His red and gold point defense shield hovers a few inches from his back, spinning slowly in an exotic energy field.
The embrace has changed the goddess. Her belly is fat and swollen, her massive breasts even heavier than before. Burning stellar plasma drifts from between her legs, and leaks like milk from her swollen breasts.
So the point is that's Some Goddess, and the centipede she banged is Genesis. So yeah they're to blame for the whack-ass state of the Otherverse. And that's the intro fiction for this chapter.
Next we're introduced to the various deities and micro-deities around. The Mother and the Singular are the only ones who don't get stats on account of being super-powerful and sleeping inside of the Phallus. We also get a few others statted up that haven't popped up that much in the fiction so far, like Roe Athene, an avatar of the Mother who chills with the Choicers because hey, they apparently need another overpowered goddamn Sue on their side.
Basically she's great at everything, has a sword that can slice open tanks, is near-immortal, kills other goddesses easily and her greatest slip away from "perfect politeness" is EXTREME SARCASM. That can SCOUR A MAN'S SOUL. She also has the generic KNOCK A LADY UP-aura power. Note that there's a few variants on these FEMALE EMPATHY abilities around, but nothing like that for men. I guess men are some sort of SAVAGE BEASTS.
Artemis is Roe's kid, and she's the big SPACE GODDESS that the Lifers found and recruited back in Otherverse:America, her thing is that she's fucking bonkers and really sad about murdering a lot of people. Because we can't have the Lifers being friends with some people who aren't insane or rapists, can we now.
But you know, there are more interesting creatures to talk about, how about...
The Nemesis posted:
The Nemesis lurks within the Inner Necklace worlds, waging a war of ideals against His divine brother, The Genesis. The Nemesis has claimed a hundred score of the most lethal and biodiverse Necklace worlds as His kingdom. It’s claimed he sleeps within a sunken palace, floating amid an endless planetary ocean, dreaming amidst acidic seas. These fecund worlds are strangely beautiful, and are populated with some of the deadliest Lifechained predators in all creation. The Nemesis commands dragons and abberant alien intellects millions of years old. His army is vast beyond imagining, and composed of the most savage and powerful Lifespawn in the cosmos.
The Nemesis most commonly appears as a goliath near-humanoid, well over thirty feet tall and as massive as a blue whale. The earth trembles under The Nemesis’s feet. The god’s muscular frame is covered in a foot thick layer of leathery, midnight blubber, so dark it seems to abosrb light like a dead star. The Nemesis’s face is bison-like, with a short snout and small, deep set eyes that glow a bloody crimson The Nemesis’ skull is topped by a pair of short, curving horns, and an uneven pair of larger horns rise from The Nemesis’ shoulders, resembling a crescent moon.
The Nemesis hides his inhuman face behind a golden mask, resembling the burial mask of some ancient god-king The Nemesis carries no weapons, and has no need of such things. The hermapahditic monster wears no clothes, nor armor, and displays his/her abberant gentitals proudly, as a battle standard.
Oh God he wasn't kidding noooooo Fiiiiiiields! FUCKING FIIIIIIIELDS! AAAAAAAAAH. PRETTY NSFW YO
As far as stats go it's just completely pointless to even have the Nemesis statted, unless you're above level 17 or something he just disintegrates you for being in the same solar system as him.
Okay, but he's AWFUL, he's the villain! I bet that the Genesis will be less bad! After all, he's the Nemesis' opposite number!
The Geneesis posted:
The Genesis is the second son of God, the muse and patron of sentient life. The Genesis is worshiped by every soldier carring an assault rifle, by every pilot soaring in a sub-orbital, by every cyborg who gives up a bit of her flesh in exchange for power. The Genesis is known as the god of mechanical innovation; he is the patron of inventors, innovators and mechanical life. The Genesis is a creature of order and justice, The Genesis seeks to free the universe and its people from the pain and weakness epidemic to organic life, and uplift consciousness to mechanical perfection.
The Genesis views his empire as a single great machine, and ensures all its components work together smoothly. As the younger son of God Himself, The Genesis is allowed entry to the Phallus, and the machine-lord’s greatest foundries are found within the cosmic citadel.
So far so good. So this is basically CHAOS vs LAW and we're actually told a bit about what's inside the Dong Palace!
still the Genesis posted:
The Genesis appears most often as a tall, proud humanoid male sculpted from a dense, golden metal. The Genesis stands nearly a dozen feet tall, and weighs more than a light starfighter. Every inch of the Genesis’s metallic physique is inlaid with precious metals. The Genesis’s body is paneled with strange obsidian markings in vaguely geometric shape; these smooth sections of his hull are so highly polished they reflect the stars The Genesis is a hyper-masculine god, and goes nude, with his erect penis proudly displayed.
And that's what Fields leaves us with, except for two "adventure seeds."
#1: MAYBE THE MOTHER IS ALSO THE SINGULAR'S DAUGHTER AND IT WAS LIKE INCEST.
#2: DUN DUNNNN... SOME PSYCHICS DREAM OF A THIRD CREATURE CHILLING INSIDE THE PHALLUS! GASP!
And then he unceremoniously dumps us into the Afterword. Which as I have promised you Explains Some Shit.
The fucking Afterword, fuckers
Fucking Fields posted:
... every conflict presented in the Guide prefigures a conflict raging across Otherverse Earth. As the back cover text says, Earth’s wars are a microcosm of the epic-level battles occuring just off planet. The reverse is just as true. Gamers who pick up the Guide get a taste of the conflicts that drive the Otherverse: male vs female, Lifer vs Choicer, God vs Goddess.
The first and greatest influence on the project is a book that’s long since out of print. During the mid 1980s, National Geographic put out an impressive hardcover kids science text titled simply Our Universe. Lavishly illustrated and filled with facts and data and speculation, this book was a Christmas gift from my mother, and an especially lavish one. Forty dollars was a daunting cover price, especially for a single mom barely making rent, but my mother paid it, and the book is still on my reference shelf today.
Re-reading it as an adult and a pagan today, I’m struck with something besides the sheer love and sacrifice the book represented: America may belong to Christians, a fact that’s too entrenched to ever change, and I may be a lone soldier trapped deep witihin enemy territory, but my people already own the stars. There’s a pagan flag planted proudly on the asteroid Hestia, on Venus, on giant Jupiter, across the whole Andromeda galaxy. The sky is filled with names from pagan myths and legends, and we just have to step off planet and claim whats ours . I’ve tried to do that with this book even if its only an imaginary journey.
THERE'S THE FUCKING EXPLANATION ASSHOLES: CHRIS FIELDS IS GENUINELY FUCKING INSANE.
FUCK THE WORLD, I'M GOING TO GO DROWN MYSELF.