Monday, August 31, 2009

Inordinately Big (Inconsistencies Continued Part 4)

It wasn’t the Germans this time, which would have been more comfortably mundane than what had surrounded the idling Chevy outside the power station. Germans were almost boringly dangerous and perpetually at odds with the Five. The threat outside was something native to Chicago, zombies.

When the bombs had given the Windy City their great big sloppy kiss there had been little warning, but there had nonetheless been some. That warning had allowed those who were prepared to seek out cover in underground bunkers, and they had done so. In the following years of isolation food had run out and so had dignity, civility, and finally humanity. The humans trapped in their tombs had turned on each other and had become something other than human, something foul and bestial that knew nothing of any virtue known to man. When water had run out it had forced the creatures above ground into a sun they hadn’t seen in almost a decade. They hadn’t found it to their liking and now they dwelled in the sewers of the city in large animalistic tribes.

The general belief was that they’d all gone slowly mad from lack of proper nutrition and low grade radiation poisoning, the only thing truly known was that when they emerged from their tombs they’d been bat-shit crazy and hungry as Hell. They preyed on looters, natives, and Germans alike and would only lay down and die when they ran out of blood to bleed. Some seemed to vaguely recall civilization and still wore tattered suits and ruined trousers over their disgustingly filthy skin, but they could not be reasoned with, only killed.

“There’s quite a few of them,” said the Driver as he peered through a peephole in the door.

“Yes,” said the Robot, “it would be inadvisable for us to engage them. My weapon limb could scythe through them with great effectiveness, as could our Thompson machinegun. Unfortunately they would mob us and possibly devour you three if we were to take such an action. It would be more prudent to wait them out.”

The Driver shook his head and said, “Not if they tear the Chevy apart while we’ve got our tails tucked between our legs.”

“Better the Chevy than us,” said the Gangster.

The zombies had in fact begun banging on the Chevy, not necessarily tearing it apart, but they were banging on it with their nerve dead fists and any one of them could easily break the windshield or gnaw apart the tires if they were diligent.

To the Driver the Doctor said, “Do you want the honor? Or shall I?”

The Driver sighed and said, “Gimme the remote, I’ll do it.”

The Doctor nodded and handed a small black remote with a large red button and a little piece of antenna on it to the Driver. The Doctor was a fan of big red buttons. The Driver put his thumb to the button and there was a loud clunk from outside as the trunk of the Chevy opened, which got the attention of the mob surrounding the car. The Driver pressed the button again and there was a loud whuff of expelled air and a body went flying out of the trunk and sprawled in a heap about ten yards from the mob.

Bleeding and growling the Vampire dragged itself to its feet and stared at the meatbags before it. If you looked at the thing and unfocused your eyes it almost looked human. It was about the height of a man, maybe six feet, perhaps a bit on the skinny side but still reasonably sized. Its legs and arms had the same joints and bends as a human’s did, and its skin had a grayish tinge that might indicate sickness or nearness to death on a human.

Its face was even human-like, save that its nose was closer to its face than a human’s was and it was completely bald. Its ears were long and large and pointed, almost like a bat’s. It had lips, but they were thin and gray like its skin. Its eyes were clearly inhuman and wholly black, just like its fingernails. Obviously the gills on its neck and the breathing apparatus covering them were inhuman as well.

The Vampire stared at the zombies and the zombies stared back, it swung its head from side to side, its nostrils flaring and then its eyes slid to the peephole the Driver stared through. The Vampire smirked at the peephole before turning back to the horde that was inching towards it, then it opened its mouth and revealed its teeth. There was a cracking sound like cartilage snapping and its mouth doubled in size, looking like some endless tunnel covered in serrated fangs that led to Hell. It clenched its fists and the sound happened again and when its spread its fingers the black fingernails too had double in size.

Inside the power station the Doctor said, “Up to the roof gentlemen, we’ll offer cover fire and hope it will play nice once it has fed.”

The team moved to obey while outside the Vampire sprang into action. It was clearly stronger than a man, it threw the first zombie to reach it at the power station and before it hit the building it had ripped apart two others with its massive jaws and caved in the skull of a third with its long talons. They were a mob though and the weight of numbers was against it, despite this it surged through the horde, its very skin left the dirty once-men wounded and bleeding. The gray skin of the Vampire was tough and thick, and also composed of tiny serrated scales that could flay skin with ease.

It was hard to choose which was more gruesome, the fact that the Vampire was swallowing limbs whole while it fought, or that even with appendages and chunks of their torsos missing the zombies fought on bellowing in pain and anger as the Vampire devoured them while they tried to mob it.

Savagery, speed, and strength counted for much, but the Vampire was still outnumbered by the zombies and their weight of numbers was beginning to have an effect. More and more the Vampire had to pull its limbs free of the grasping hands of the zombies and pause to pry their broken teeth from his abrasive skin. He was in no danger of death or grievous injury, yet, but the odds would eventually run against him. Immersed as he was in bloodshed he cared nothing for the odds, like the myths his people were the inspiration for, once the bloodlust took hold of him it was reluctant to release him.

Atop the roof of the power station the Robot was speaking, “If I fire now there is statistically speaking a very large chance many of my rounds will strike our compatriot.”

The Gangster stepped forward and readied his Tommy gun, “Thing ain’t any more human than the poor shits tryin to eat it, I got no problem killing that what ain’t human.”

The Robot amplified its voice to be heard over the noise made by the Gangster’s piano and said, “This will make it more reluctant to return peacefully to the lab.”

The Doctor nodded and said, “Then we turn off the breathing apparatus and suffocate it, hopefully it will black out before it eats one of us.”

The Driver’s only contribution to the discussion was to lob a frag grenade towards the zombies. He was a professional and bore the Vampire no true ill will so the grenade exploded at the far end of the mob and turned half a dozen zombies to pink mist, the scent of which seemed to spur the Vampire on. It was as inured to pain as the zombies it was eating and though it was aware of the rounds that struck it, and their source, it ignored them even though they knocked it back a step when they met its flesh. Despite the skinny, somewhat emaciated appearance of the Vampire, it was still almost as durable as the Robot and the craters left in its gray skin by the .45 caliber rounds were minor wounds to it.

The Robot hurled itself from the top power station, its speed was superior to that of a man but it was still five hundred pounds of metal and circuitry so it didn’t go far. When it landed it cracked the pavement and quickly moved into a run towards the mob of zombies, intercepting rounds from the Gangster’s Tommy gun as it did so and offering the Vampire a brief respite from the large caliber rounds. When he met the zombies his gun arm became tangled in the mass of limbs and smelly flesh so he began hitting them with thundering blows with his metal fist, the once-men came apart like wet sacks of flesh.

The Vampire had paused only for a moment when the Gangster began to let rounds fly and it swiftly moved back into action, roaring as it slashed limbs off with its talons and only growing silently when it choked down mouthfuls of arms and legs and even chunks of shoulder blades.

The Doctor said to the Driver over the din of the Tommy gun, “If only it understood how rare it is for any creature to take such joy in its work.”

The Driver shrugged and lobbed another frag grenade, he’d been trying to avoid the Robot and Vampire and Chevy so it only caught the far distant edge of the thinning mob and only three zombies met their end this time. He made tsking noise as he mourned the waste of munitions and pulled a compact pistol from his hip and began taking shots at zombies below them.

As the Vampire ate his foes, they too took chunks of his abrasive flesh from him in ragged mouthfuls. He was fast and fought a running battle through and around the mob as they stumbled around him, but he was slowing. He bled from hundreds of bites and bullet craters in his skin and though his savagery was unrelenting, he was still a living creature that bled and felt pain, though only dimly in his battle madness.

The Robot activated an internal microphone and transmitted a quick blurt of information to the Doctor, “We must end this, his reserves are diminishing.”

“Agreed,” the Doctor subvocalized into his own microphone.

One gauntlet flashed and a shield of energy knocked the Vampire aside, blocking off the majority off his foes. He snarled and leapt to his feet, redoubling his efforts against the zombies before him. Now that he had only four or five to hold his attention the Vampire was even more brutal in melee, he reduced his foes to mewling sacks of meat, no longer pausing to rip a limb free and devour it. He was a self contained slaughterhouse, not even bothering to roar anymore.

With the Vampire safely segregated away from the mob the Robot determined it would be in the group’s best interest for him to engage his weapon limb. He beat apart the eight zombies surrounding him and shouldered his way to the edge of the mob, pulping a few with his great strength as he did so. Once free of the mob, which mostly concentrating on attempting to eat the Vampire, he began cycling his guns up and let fly into the crowd. The high caliber rounds, much superior to the Gangster’s .45s, cut apart zombies as if it were some invisible reaping scythe.

When the gun finally fell silent it was just the Vampire and the Robot staring at each other across a field of wet meat. The Robot was no worse for wear than when he had started the day, though he was splattered with gore and his internal sensors showed him to have expended roughly 33% of his ammunition reserves. The Vampire however was in rough shape.

“I must give you one chance, so I do ask that you stand down peaceably and return with us to the lab. Will you do so?”

Vampires lived and died and fed in much the same way humans did. They were stronger and faster than humans because they expended their biological resources at a much increased pace compared to humans, and their inner workings were much more efficient than humans. They were also forced consume massive quantities of protein, usually in the form of meat, and they died younger than men as well.

The Vampire snarled, its chest heaved as its lungs labored under its extreme exhaustion. Ragged bite wounds and bullet holes stood out like huge pockmarks on its skin surrounded by coronas of slick red blood. Its stomach was distended from all it had fed on, as if it were some obscene pregnant creature waiting to give birth. When it spoke it spoke with a slightly sibilant hiss to its esses.

“There is no peace among my kind; we do not stand down or call anyone master, not even little men of orichalum.”

Its belly began vibrating rapidly, and suddenly shrank in size as its stomach instantly consumed the meat there. As the Robot began stepping towards it, the Vampires wounds began to knit themselves back together as it burned off excess energy to regenerate and resupply it with expended adrenaline and shed blood, Tommy gun round fragments and the broken stubs of nails and teeth began ringing against the pavement as they were force out of the Vampire’s body. It snarled and lunged for the steadily advancing Robot.

Stuff and Things

Hi. I was looking at my Orks and Black Templar marine last night and I found myself really wanting to paint. The orks are definitely too bright of a green. Goblin Green is definitely too bright to be the final color, so I think I'll redo the orks skin in...Knarloc Green I think it is, with maybe a wee bit of Goblin Green in it so there is some lightness to it, but overall it will be a nice dark green that I like. I look at that Black Templar and I get extremely excited because it looks pretty solid right now and I can kind of envision the final product and it makes me happy. I'm jonesing to get back to my chaos boys though and try and play around with some stuff I've read since the last time I put paint to a model. Good times.

So, with our little GURPS group there has been some discrepancy in points and who wants to do what with points. At this point, my Socialist Robot needs 750 points to work properly and not be a lame half effective concept. I could probably, maybe, scale it back to 500 and get the effect I am going for but I would really have to put some effort into that. Eric also wants a high tech character which will need a similar amount of points, or he will be a mage and still need high points. Dan wants to be a gangster and Jeremy wants to be his wheelman, realistically speaking these two characters become blatantly absurd if they are made with more than 250 points. I mean, how do you justify a 25 in strength or dexterity for a run of the mill 50s gangster? It makes no sense.

I have achieved a solution of sorts! (Because I am a downright brilliant motherfucker.)

First off, the most obvious thing is for Dan to use points to purchase contacts and allies and the like to simulate the fact that he is in fact a member of an organization (perhaps an Outfit?). That could easily take up a chunk of change. The other option is to use the Innate Attack Advantage coupled with Limitations like Breakable and Can Be Stolen to simulate his own homemade, lovingly cared for Tommy gun. Obviously to justify this he would have to purchase some Armoury (small arms) skill to simulate his technical know-how. The fact that Innate Attack does not require reloads or clips could be justified by some suitably cinematic method of reloading or the fact that this motherfucker always has a clip (or drum) or two stashed away somewhere (Perhaps in an extradimensional space inhabited by some manner of toothy and hungry extradimensional creature? No one gets that, its ok.). A similar solution could be achieved for Jeremy's character and his grenades, although in this instance it seems like it would be prudent and sensible to apply the Limited Use limitation. I love the fact that GURPS is so damn customizable that you can do shit like this, its glorious.

I broke down and bought Space Hulk finally. Heather actually talked me into it funnily enough. I was really reconciled to the fact that I would not own it, which bummed me out to no end, and she said to just get it if it is going to be a limited release. I am a such a collector that I want to have everything associated with 40k, like to the point where I have considered going online and trying to pick up the original Space Hulk and I have in the past scoured eBay for reasonably priced copies of Space Marine (which has been so retconned out of canon by now that it is only relevant in that Necromunda exists in 40k and there are space marines in it, I mean come on, they talk about Tyranids being around in the 25th millennium). Regardless, I have it pre-ordered and look forward to it, the sculpts on both sides of the bulkhead look pretty slick. Each of those termies has a shit ton of character to them, scrolls and iconography unique to each model, plus their dripping with the remains of stealers they've clobbered into pink mist. The genestealers are slick as well, they're all crawling around arches and walls and there's even at least one bursting up from below a metal walkway that howls Alien at me. I can't wait to see what the Broodlord looks like, hopefully it is crafted from refined awesomesauce and forged upon an anvil of epicness with Mjolnir.

I have determined that Inconsistencies Continued will be a once a week sort of thing, probably mid day on Mondays prior to me leaving for work, so those of you that are interested will find a nice little story waiting for you at the end of your Monday workday. You are welcome. I enjoy writing it, but it is pulling my attention away from other more important writing related shenanigans, like my rewrites for The Last Blade, so I need to cut back on the frequency of its posting.

Music: Discipline - Nine Inch Nails

Thursday, August 27, 2009

This Pace Cannot Continue (Inconsistencies Continued, Part 3)

The Robot was noisy, and after all the aftermarket work the Driver and Doctor had done on the Chevy it didn’t exactly run quiet, but the lot of them could still sneak around when they had to. Chicago had burned, was still burning if you listened to the Doctor, but the Krauts were making their presence known in the lifeless shell nonetheless and it would serve no purpose if they threw caution to the wind and stormed around the city like they owned it. The Four were tooling around the empty streets keeping the speedometer below forty, once it hit forty-five you could hear the Chevy coming from a mile away. They hadn’t seen any soldiers in this area in months, but it never hurt to play it safe, though they played that game poorly.

The Doctor had a torn and coffee stained map out on the dash of the Chevy and was tracing a metal-clad finger through a collection of markings that vaguely resembled the city around them.

“Left up here,” he said to the Driver, his voice was raspy and thick as if he was unaccustomed to speaking, which was true. The Doctor was the quiet type, their nominal leader but not the kind to shout out orders or bully people into listening.

The Robot and the Gangster were in the back seat with the top down on the Chevy. The Robot stood immobile like a dull grey statue of alien metal, his humanoid hand gripping the armored canopy that was resting above the trunk of the Chevy, it wasn’t as tough as the side and bottom armor of the car but it sure beat the canvas top the ride had come with. The Robot’s head and upper torso panned back and forth as he scanned the surroundings. He didn’t actually see like the humans did, but he had antennae inside him that served the same purpose and then some.

The Driver took the left as he’d been asked and they slowed to a halt before the power station the Doctor had sent them out to investigate.

The Gangster leapt out of the back, cigarette lit and half smoked by the time his feet hit the pavement, “What’s the order of business then doc?”

“Fuel from the pipes goes into the power station generator, we leave and hope it runs long enough to power up the UPS equipment in the lab and give us a steady supply of juice for the next few months,” he said as he clambered out of the Chevy.

The Gangster nodded and checked the action on his Tommy gun before moving towards the power station. The Driver played around beneath the steering wheel, let out a yelp of pain and sucked on his fingers before getting out of the idling Chevy. When he’d pieced the Chevy together back in Baltimore he hadn’t been able to find keys so he’d had to wire the thing himself and had a few creative methods for turning it on and off and ensuring no one ran off with it without his consent.

The power station was a small one that powered a small section of Chicago, including their lab. This was a project that had been in the works for roughly a month. Between raids on Wehrmacht supply depots they’d been scrounging for gasoline in the ruins and had been attempting to collect it in the lab and route it through the sewer systems back to this power station. It had been a coal power station, but firing it up would have drawn Krauts like…Krauts to sauerkraut, the Doctor been able to cobble together a decent reciprocating engine and jury- rig it into place.

The long term goal was to get a network of power stations running quietly under the nose of the Krauts so that more rebels could take up residence in Chicago and perhaps make a bigger nuisance of themselves than the Five were alone. For now though, they were just trying to keep their base of operations running. The intent was to pump fuel stored in the lab here to generate electricity that would shoot back across the wires into the lab and be stored in the battery room of the lab. The general assumption of everyone involved was that it would all go to shit and they’d be up to their necks in Germans the second any switches, figurative or literal, were flipped.

The service entrance to the power station had been barricaded and reinforced the last time they were here and the Robot was the only one strong enough to open it up, the Vampire might be able to do it if he was pissed enough, but he’d probably just tear it off its hinges and then try and eat them all. It wouldn’t have been the first time. The Robot managed to swing the door open and it and the rest of them entered the dim interior of the power station, the Robot shouldered the door shut after everyone made it inside.

The light from the Robot’s “eyes” brightened suddenly and panned across the interior of the power station, enabling his allies to get a feel for their surroundings. The interior was just as they’d left it weeks ago when they’d last been here. Like many buildings in the city much of the top had been caved in or just completely missing when they’d found the place. They’d done their best to repair the roof and patch the walls without making the building look too fixed up and in one piece and for the most part they’d succeeded.

“Approximately how long before you’ll be able to integrate parabolic sound pickup and X-ray imagery into your sensor makeup?” asked the Doctor as he followed the beams of light emanating from the Robot.

“Working uninterrupted and with unrestricted access to our cache of equipment, approximately one week.”

“Work faster.”

“Your request has been noted.”

Still talking to the Robot the Doctor said, “Take up position by the pipes we installed last time.” To the Driver he said, “Keep an eye on the car,” and to the Gangster he said, “Bring your lighter over here with me to the engine, I’ll need the light.”

“Why not use your fancy gloves?” asked the Gangster with a smile, though he followed the Doctor and readied the lighter.

The Doctor sighed and said, “Because my gauntlet fires a coherent beam if high intensity solid light and it will cut the engine in half if I so much as point it in the general direction of what I need to see.”

The Gangster cleared his throat and spoke in a deep monotone, “Your reasoning has been noted, proceed.”

The Driver smirked as he looked out the peephole and the Doctor glared and waited for the Gangster to fire up his lighter.

The Robot spoke from across the room, his voice filling the station with its static laden drone, “Your mockery has been noted. You will find my metal girth uncomfortably distant when we next engage in combat and you are in need of cover. Hopefully you will find your flesh as durable as I find my tungsten, titanium, and steel layered exterior.”

The Gangster snickered and flipped off the Robot’s turned back and then brought his lighter in close to the control panel of the engine. The Doctor was busily tightening hoses and crews, crossing his eyes and dotting his tees to ensure that something stupid didn’t ruin this excursion. He nodded absently to himself and gestured to the Robot. The Robot had been waiting patiently for the gesture, which he “saw” even though his back was turned. With the irresistible strength of his humanoid arm the Robot pulled on a metal lever and allowed gasoline to flow into the power station.

Once gas was reaching the engine the Doctor hit the ignition switch and it roared into life and began chugging away and generating electricity. The Doctor and Gangster smiled at each other and turned towards the door where the Driver was still stationed, the Robot turned and began cycling ammunition into his weapon limb, his sensors had picked up the same things the Driver’s widening eyes had.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Inconsistencies Continued, Part 2

The lab the Five (and they were neither Inferior nor Frenetic) called home was in the bottom of an old speakeasy. There were two ways in, a secret underground driveway the Driver loved to drive too fast through, and a secret door in the ruined husk of a building that the place was built beneath. The walls were thick stone built by master masons and lined with layers of lead to dull sound and prevent the lawmen from getting lucky with a knock against a wall and finding the place.

It was deep in the ruins of Chicago and even through all the lead and stone used to hide the place back during Prohibition it was still mildly irradiated, but they didn’t care. The Gangster was destined to die young, the Robot didn’t have any DNA for the rads to ruin, the Driver was destined to die in the burning wreck of his ride, and the Doctor was already more irradiated than the interior of the Robot.

The lab was part mechanic’s garage and part clean room, and part alcohol still as well. It was a big place, and there was plenty of room for the Doctor’s gadgetry, the Driver’s ride and tools, and the Gangster’s armory. It was an odd place to say the least and the Vampire in the fish tank wasn’t the weirdest thing down there, but it was the most visible.

The tank was a glass tube covered in wires, pumps, and hoses, and it was a little taller than the Robot. It was filled with rushing water and the Vampire, as heavily sedated as possible without killing the mad thing. They only let the beast out when the shit really hit the fan and that suited it and them just fine. Its black eyes were wide open and tracked them as they moved around the room near it; the Doctor said that was a throwback to the way its ancestors were when they were sleeping underwater. He also said that they should hit the big red button if it ever got pissed off and tried bust out of the glass, the button was a kill switch on the front of the tank that shut off the water. The Doctor had made a device that let the Vampire breathe out of water, but they only gave it to him if he agreed to play nice. That only happened rarely though, thus the sedation and kill switch. The cylinder was built to be tight around the Vampire, so even if he thrashed like mad he wouldn’t be able to get water moving over his gills enough if the current shut off and he’d drown in the still water. The Doctor was a bit mad, but he still knew his shit.

The Gangster rapped his knuckles against the glass before the Vampire’s face and sat down in a chair near it and began smoking and methodically cleaning and oiling his Tommy gun. The Driver was taking a sledgehammer to the interior of a door that had been crushed when the Chevy had flipped and was hammering the dents out of it. The Robot was lifting nuclear warheads out of the Chevy’s trunk one by one with his humanoid arm. The warheads were small, but they were enough. The Doctor was digging around in the backseat of the Chevy doing Dog knows what.

The Robot’s voice was static laden and clearly came from a substandard speaker somewhere in his head or throat, “Perhaps a portion of these warheads should be shipped to the Louisiana bayous to grant the…blacks there the same opportunities we have for personal defense.”

The pause in his speech was his programming trying to make him say mongrels or niggers. He’d come a long way in the time since he’d fled the Krauts.

The Driver ignored him and the Doctor was too immersed in sparking wires and the flare of an acetylene torch to care. The Gangster finished with his gun and slammed a new drum into place before jumping to his feet and walking towards the Robot. The Vampire’s mouth parted slightly, and exposed row after endless row of triangular teeth, its eyes fastened on the Robot and stared unblinking at it.

The Gangster tipped his fedora back a bit and looked up into the flat, featureless plane of metal that was the Robot’s face. Out of politeness, it lowered its head so that the red light bulbs set into the metal met the Gangster’s stare.

“That’s a damn stupid thing to say Tin Man.”

“They should be granted the same chance we have. These warheads could give them the same opportunities they have granted us, and they would be more beneficial if given to those in the bayous, they do not have the assets we do.”

The Tommy gun clinked loudly as its barrel scuffed the dull metal of the Robot’s face.

“The bayous are bayous, mud and dirty water. What the Hell kind of fortified position you think they got down there? There ain’t no friggin missile silos in the swamps.”

“Perhaps we could acquire the materials for silos and construct them so the southern states could utilize them. There is ample scrap in the ruins above us and construction of a missile silo is easily within the capabilities of the Doctor and I.”

The Gangster spat out the stub of the cigarette he’d been smoking, neither the Robot nor the Gangster noticed the Doctor scowling at the fallen bit of Tobacco and rolling paper.

“Perhaps I oughta put a slug or two into your face Tin Man, so you that you can have the same opportunity as the rest of us to feel your insides slippin outta your head.”

Things whirred and ticked in the Robot before he said, “My biometric scans indicate that you are not entirely sincere in your statement. Nonetheless, my exterior is composed of interlocking layers of tungsten, titanium, and steel to provide a maximum flexibility to durability ratio. Also, since my escape from Germany my processors and sensors are held in a cushion of ballistics gel in the rear of my groin region. Even if circumstances were ideal and one of the rounds fired from your Thompson machine gun could pierce my exterior, you would only damage semi-redundant circuitry and memory.”

The Driver smirked but didn’t turn away from the dents he was fixing, the Doctor smiled as well but he too kept at the task at hand, which mostly involved repairing the interior armor of the Chevy. The Vampire blinked, long and slowly, and the Gangster suppressed a laugh. The Robot’s sensors detected all of this and servos in his neck whirred as his head rotated and fastened on each of his compatriots.

“The three of you are having a similar biochemical reaction that I recognize as amusement at, or enjoyment of, a situation, but I cannot pinpoint the source. Is this humor?”

The Robot’s confusion tipped the scales and the Gangster’s Tommy gun clinked against the floor as he doubled over and gave a great gut busting laugh.

“I repeat my query and ask for clarification.”

“You got your head stuck up your ass, Tin Man. You got your head literally stuck up your ass.”

The Product of Lincoln and Hitler's Civil Union

Its not Reich-5 and its not Dixie, its a bit of both. America became a Socialist state and just as in Reich-5, they were the cronies of Germany. However, the South being the South, was like "Eff this shit." when the North was all like "Everybody is equal and gets a fair share of everything," and they suceeded from the Union for the second time. Just like in Reich-5, many American cities were nuked by the Japanese and the Germans and SS and Werhmacht divisions were still deployed to American soil. The Germans still have an asteroid they yanked out of the sky and a colony on Mars and one on the Moon as well. I guess Chicago wasn't levelled in Reich-5, so that's different and it can join the ranks of places like Omaha, St. Louis, Pittsburg, and several others.

I'm not sure what year it is, it might still be 1953 like the initial spark of the story, or it could be 2010 like in the Reich-5 information I read in Infinite Worlds earlier today. The first piece is vague enough that it could be either.

Why hasn't anyone just nuked the fucking shit out of the South? Mutually assured destruction is why. Japan and Germany got off their initial salvos of nuclear devices, but MacArthur and Patton were savy enough chaps to decide that it might be a good idea to get their hands on some nuclear devices of their own, so now it is a bit of a stalemate with an unspoken agreement to keep the radiation out of it for now. The South (at least the land) is an asset and the North is reluctant to consign the whole southern portion of what was once it's territory to nuclear oblivion. The bosses in Germany probably don't give a shit, but at the moment they are content to let America handle its problems in house. Imperial Japan doesn't tell anyone anything so they could very likely have tenshi wandering around down South super-soldiering the fuck out of MacArthur and Patton's boys. That means killing them. With guns, or karate.

Its a weird, wonky, place and I guess more of it will be exposed as the story continues. I make no promises about where it will go or how long it will go for.

Let me know if you figure out what the Vampire is, I tried to make it obvious, but I'm not sure if I was heavy handed enough.

Music: Survivalsim - Nine Inch Nails

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

It Came For Jeremy (Or: Inconsistencies Continued)

The Gangster was the easiest to understand, but the Robot was a close second. When you got right down to it, his bosses told him to help out the Doctor, and they paid him to do so, so he did. The fact that he got to pepper Krauts with slugs from his Chicago piano was icing on the proverbial cake. The pay kept him fed with plenty of smokes and booze as well, and that was almost as nice a bonus as making Krauts bleed from freshly opened orifices.

The Robot was a Socialist. The Krauts had put him together from some of Tesla’s old prototypes and they’d even used higher end computer hardware from America to build his brain. They’d also done their level best to indoctrinate him into the goals of the party, and to a certain extent it had worked, for the first month he’d worked with the rebels he shot every black man and Jew he saw to bits with that arm of his, eventually realizing that he could ignore his programming if he turned off his ability to visually detect color an no one said anything particularly Jewish to him. Something got crossed in its brain down in the labs though and he’d latched on to Socialism and started going on about the means of production and their distribution. The Krauts hadn’t liked that and tried to decommission him with a hammer to the skull. The SS hadn’t really understood the intricacies of robotic anatomy and the Robot had turned them to hamburger with the heavy gun of his. He came to America after they tried to hack his brain using some wireless transmitters and he’d had to rip out half his sensors from his metal skull. He and the Doctor had found each other and the Robot had told the Doctor that until the Nazis fairly distributed the means of production and the resources and technologies of the Earth, he would fight them alongside the American rebels.

The Driver was on the edge, he had no cash and no associates and he’d fled Chicago in a car that wasn’t supposed to exist with a mushroom cloud filling his rearview mirror. The Chevy was a prototype from a plant that had been decommissioned, the Driver had found pieces of it and had put it together as best he could, after that the Robot and the Doctor took their respective whacks at it and it ran most of the time. Sometimes powered by the Robot, other times gasoline. Regardless, it ran and the Driver conducted a Dogdamn symphony with those rubber tires as he pounded down the road. He and the Gangster had grown accustomed to working together with the Doctor and the two of them often shared a smoke and a joke at the Doctor’s expense.

The Doctor was a nutjob. He’d fled the Nazis after being kept in one of their labs for a bit too long. He was always yammering about beam weapons and superscience technologies, crap that Tesla used to blather on about before the Krauts heaved him into an oven. He’d only manage to make off with one of his gadgets when he’d fled the SS, his gauntlets, and to his credit they got the group out of almost as much trouble as the Doctor’s crazy missions got them into.

They’d been fleeing back into Chicago and the Chevy had flipped. This wasn’t the first time, so the sides had been reinforced a while back and the car was undamaged, other than the paint. They were just pinned behind the thing by three APC carrying a dozen Werhmacht each. The Chevy’s undercarriage had been reinforced with the same metal that was the Robot’s outer shell, so they were safe from small arms fire, but they were still stuck.

The Robot was on the other side of the Chevy with his arm outstretched and ammo belts whipping around as the barrels on the arm cycled and spat shells at the Krauts. Sparks glowed on his metal hide as bullets ricochet away from him. Unfortunately, the sides of the APC’s were made of the same stuff as his hide and the undercarriage of the Chevy, albeit slightly thinner. Not thin enough though, the Krauts were basically blind firing and the Robot was basically soaking up rounds.

The Driver was also the demolitions expert, and three of his homemade concoctions went sailing over the Robot’s head and clanged against the side of an APC. Thermite cuts everything, including Robot hide and APC armor and the APC that was hit was engulfed in flames and Werhmacht soldiers went screaming and burning every which way. With one APC cracked open, the Robot advanced under the hail of fire and took the fleeing soldiers down with his gun. Beams that would do old Tesla proud flashed and lit other soldiers on fire when they didn’t obliterate an entire appendage, and that was the Doctor’s contribution. He wasn’t the sort that could put you together again, but he sure as fuck could take you apart.

The Gangster had one claim to fame and he excelled at it. When the Tommy gun game peeking around the edge of the Chevy you could just see the tip of the brim of his battered fedora and that was it. Nonetheless when the piano began sounding off, men died and they died screaming. As he reloaded, another duo of incendiaries smashed into the other APCs and cracked them open. The Krauts had run out of grenades themselves when the Chevy had first flipped and they’d thought the quartet were easy meat, the Doctor’s other gauntlet had bounced every grenade back to the Nazi bastards, and that had taken care of the fourth APC and her payload of shitheads.

Between the Tommy gun, the Robot’s gatling arm, and the Doctor’s gauntlets, the Krauts were done once the thermite cracked open each of their APCs. They stacked the bodies like a woodpile, they’d seen pictures of death camps in Europe where the Jews had been stacked in piles taller than a man and they wanted to show the Krauts that they were just as easy to kill and demean as the Jews had been. With their message sent, the quartet fled back into the ruins of Chicago with a pile of bodies and burning wreckage in their rearview mirror.

Ro-Bama The Socialist Robot

He definitely supports government provided health care and the redistribution of your wealth.

That was the final line in a five minute discussion with Eric about Socialist robots built in Nazi labs in the 30s. I'm not lying, it was pretty funny.

I watched a History Channel (or maybe it was Discovery) show about gangsters during the prohibition era. Poor decision on my part, now I want to be a gangster. I mean, I always want to be a gangster, but now I want to run one in GURPS. GURPS has really awesome automatic fire rules, or at the very least they are fairly inutive. When you fire more shots at a target your chance to hit them is INCREASED. Unlike d20 Modern, where your chance to hit is decreased. The whole thing is based on the Recoil and Rate of Fire statistics of whatever firearm you happen to be using. Good stuff. I would think that a Tommy gun would do more than 2d6+1 damage per hit though. I suppose it doesn't matter though because it does large piercing damage which multiplies any damage it does by 1.5 on living flesh after damage reduction. Bullets hurt. That's another beef Tony and I always had with d20 Modern, after a certain point (level and lucky HP roll-wise) you can take a dozen rounds in the span of six seconds (a round in d20 systems) and not even be winded. In GURPS, if you get hit by a bullet, it fucks you up.

I wonder what it would be like to do something in the vein of the Indiana Jones films in lieu of Reich-5. Kind of like Shadow Chasers meets World War II with a dash of Hellboy. Hellboy is delicious.

Revisions are coming along somewhat nicely on my story. I'm finally starting to get used to the name Keroen and not immediately go "CROMM!" in my head whenever I read it. I'm also finding a lot of spots where I can only shake my head at myself and go "Why the fuck didn't I elaborate on that?" I also have a problem where I constantly use everyone's full name instead of saying he or they or she.

Music: Rebel Rebel - David Bowie

Thursday, August 20, 2009

District 9

I haven't really talked about movies or tv shows much so I figured I would change things up. I saw District 9 the other night with Josh and Jeff and I must say that it was quite interesting and awesome, almost to the point where I'd see it again in theaters if I was bugged to do so enough. I had the benefit of going in with no preconceptions whatsoever, other than knowing that it was a movie about aliens stuck on Earth. I don't watch much tv (at least the kind with commercials) so I rarely see trailers unless someone tells me to Youtube them. The movie overall was really interesting, and rather grim in some spots. Some spots were "Woooo we're blowin shit up with lasers!" but they were relatively realistic and believable, as much as such situations can be believable in the context of this kind of movie. I'm not going to wax philosophical here or talk about thumbs and stars and .5s, those don't mean anything more than saying the movie got two erect penises, a gram of sperm, and a venereal disease. It was a good flick and if you like odd/interesting alien flicks you should be pleased by viewing District 9. Or you might not, some people don't like shit that other people do. That's why rating systems are generally bullshit.

What I Liked: Premise (aliens stuck on Earth). Grim look and feel and commentary on intolerance. Lasers and alien battlesuits. Acting was fairly solid from a bunch of unknowns (to me). The whole documentary schtick. Accents.

What I Didn't Like: ...I dunno, I can't really complain about this movie. It really delivered an enjoyable experience.

My Rating: Six rolls of whiteout and a blank DVD.


So let me paint a picture for you. Its 1953 and a 55' Chevy Bel Air is tearing down the roads of the nuked husk of a city that is Chicago. Jeremy has the pedal to the metal, his hands are white-knuckled on the steering wheel and shifter and his brow is pouring sweat, nonetheless he is weaving through debris at high speed in a stunning display of skill. Dan leans out the passenger side, his Tommy gun rata-tat-tatting as it sends countless slugs into Werhmacht soldiers as they try to block the road with their bodies. The wind does not dislodge his fedora. In the back seat stands a six foot tall, five hundred pound robot (me), one arm bracing the other. The braced arm is a Gatling gun and it spews a hail of rounds into a quartet of troop carriers that follows the Chevy into the ruins of Chicago. Next to the robot stands Eric with some high tech looking gauntlets on, one gauntlet flashes and obliterates the front end of a troop carrier with the beam of light it emits. The other gauntlet flashes and a hazy field of energy blinks into existence and deflects a grenade flung by a soldier from the blockade as the Chevy burns rubber through the scattered mass of Wehrmacht soldiers and heads deeper into Chicago. Possibly to fight zombies.

Edit: The only reason Laura was not mentioned above is that she did not have a character idea the other day.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


This will be GURPS related, again.

We'll be playing a GURPS setting called Reich-5, a grim looking alternate Earth where FDR was assassinated and William Dudley Pelley became president and we were an almost outright ally of Germany in the World War II era of Earth's history. We will be fighting Nazis. Fuck. Yes.

Movie Related Interlude: I just received Band of Brothers from my mother and aunt (I thing) for Heather's wedding shower. Band of Brothers is fantastic. I love it. I watched it when Dan borrowed it to me and it has been a dream of mine to own it and watch it repeatedly ever since. I think I would really enjoy sitting around with a beer painting a few minis and watching that show, I just could never justify a sixty dollar purchase for ten hours of entertainment when I can get a season of something like Dexter or Burn notice for twenty or less. I do not own any Deadwood seasons (yet) for the same reason. I think I may need to get into some World War II movies here as part of my research for this campaign, not that our WWII has an relation whatsoever to the 1940s of the Reich-5 world. Seriously, it really doesn't other than the fact that there are Germans eager for world conquest in both worlds.

Now the problem becomes: A) Who will DM? B) What does this mean for my campaign and the interest in it? C) What the eff will I play?

A): Dan has an encyclopedic knowledge of the names, places, dates, and events of World War II. However, this is of less use than you would think because this is not our world. Most relevant names are still relevant and some places are as well. Dan has no experience DM/GMing to my knowledge though, which is something of a hindrance, especially since we're using GURPS and not d20ish system he has used before. I could do it, but I would have to do a bit of research (which I am going to do anyway), and I am already running a campaign which people seem to like. Running two campaigns seems to be a bit beyond my capabilities. (How the motherfuckers at Wizards of the Coast run two or three campaigns a piece and manage to play twice or thrice a week is unknown to me. I wonder if they can chalk it up to "playtesting" and get paid for it while they're at it.) Eric has said he could run it, but that would mean sacrificing his 4th Edition campaign, and he is apparently ok with that, and the fact that it is a pre-made setting in the "real" world is beneficial because it frees up some time that would otherwise be spent working on the background of his world.

B): I find my world extremely interesting and love it and have no intention of ending my campaign, I have some plans for my world. I just don't know how Jeff and John will feel about switching game systems mid-campaign. Although, I think I could deal with following this campaign to its natural conclusion still using the 4th Edition system. GURPS would be better, but I don't feel comfortable switching systems and having everyone buy books without trying it first. Jeremy and Eric and Dan and totally psyched about Reich-5, and I am as well, but I don't know if John gets psyched about anything and I don't know how Jeff feels about curb stomping Nazis on an alternate Earth. We'll see. I just hope Reich-5 doesn't overshadow my campaign and make it a boring footnote in our gaming history. That would bum me out.

C): Characters are my vice, as are dice. I like making them and playing them and coming up with moderately nifty backgrounds to give them, well, character. Traith Harris started as a gunslinging sorcerer with two kids and a wife that was a bard who. Is that more characterful than him being a clockwork cyborg? I do not know. All I know is that I like thinking about characters and watching them develop. Keroen evolved as I wrote about him, I had never intended for him to (SPOILER ALERTish) renege on his vow and I had always envisioned him as a stately king, not the amoral homicidal berserk he became, although he is slightly less two dimensional than that.

GURPS is very versatile and I definitely like that, with enough points you can certainly do everything to some degree, but you will not be superbly awesome at it. Anyway, basically I can be anything I want, including a robot, undead, or sentient car. Fuck...with the Alternate Form advantage I could actually be a robot that transforms into car. I love GURPS. Back to characters for Reich-5:

A character I have always enjoyed is the Shadow, as in "Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men..." etc etc. I've watched the movie with Alec Baldwin several times, and own it, I kind of might like to get some of the other black and white movies, also own and enjoy the Darkman trilogy (which was Raimi's eff you to folks when he was not allowed to make a The Shadow movie himself, although he'll apparently be doing one in 2012). I've even tracked down some casette tapes and listened to the old radio show. I like it, and the character. He is a psychic gunslinger basically and that has a bit of potential for awesomeness. It's also totally doable in GURPS.

Another idea I have is an early (failure) of the Nazi eugenics experiments to create a super man. He's actually a Thing-like character in that he is something monstrous and very much a bruiser brawler type guy. Crude surgeries and chemical regimes were used to deaden or remove certain nerves in his body while his flesh was slathered in volatile chemicals, all in an attempt to inure him to pain and make him an unstoppable warrior while surgeries were done on him to implant vat grown muscle tissue into him to give him increased strength. He'd have the Numb disadvantage (I think), and probably a monstrous appearance, and he'd have all kinds of stuff like Hard To Kill and Subdue, Pain Tolerance, Damage Resistance, etc. Lots of ST and HP. He could be the resident wall of muscle of the group. I'd make him German, with his backstory possibly being that he served his country and they cast him aside and tried to euthanize him when they thought him a failure. He does not fight the Nazis out of vengeance though, he believes they must be stopped because if they cast him aside despite his loyalty to the fatherland and the fact that he is an experiment that cost them millions of Reichsmarks, what would they do to the common man of Deutschland if they felt it was necessary? I'd probably give him a Code of Honor and a few other things to indicate that he is not a mindless brute. I'd probably try to work in a martial arts style as well so that he isn't just slugging the fuck out of shit, he's actually a competent fighter and understands tactics.

The third idea is just a guy, a crushed down and dispirited citizen of Amerika who has taken to the streets (or the Rockies as the case may be) to pick up a gun like his forefathers and put a round or two into a Kraut. I would make him something of a woodsman type or whatever you want to call it, someone living "off the grid" maybe with Patton or MacArthur, assuming we "adventure" in the time period where they are still alive. I would make everything about him within the human norm, but he would be exceptionally skilled at what he does (shooting, tracking, stealth, etc).

The one that I seem to be gravitating towards is the big dude who is resistant to damage and I am not sure why. At his core he is just the brawler of the group he hits people until there are holes in them. I mean, The Shadow modelled character would be a gunfighter and have fancy pants psychic powers of some kind. That's pretty neat. I dunno, I was just sitting here and I got this image of this guy who called himself Zugspitze smoking a cigar or something and being chained up and interviewed by American rebels. The idea has altered though, his concern is not for the people of Deutschland, but for what the Nazis have locked away in their labs. He's seen things, things even Nazi/SS/etc indoctrination cannot make him to ignore. He is a traitor, not because of his treatment or his fears for the common man's safety, he is a traitor because he fears what the Nazis will in the end make of this world (and others, depending on our placement in the Reich-5 timeline).

Ah well, we shall see.

Music: SModcast 90: Forgeticus! - Kevin Smith & Scott Mosier
Music: Thank You - Led Zeppelin
Music: War Pigs - Black Sabbath

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Campaign That Will Never Be

So, I made myself via the GURPSystem because of something I briefly said to Jeremy earlier today when he, Eric, and I were hanging out. I've given myself 50 (plus up to 25 more from disadvantages) points as GURPS Lite listed as ordinary folks. I chose the top end of the "ordinary folks" spectrum because its a game and there must be some sensationalism/fanciness to a mundane proto-hero.

Core Stuff
Clint Ruediger
5'8" 190 lbs.

29 [44/-15]
ST: 11 HP: 11
DX: 10 Will: 10
IQ: 10 Per: 10
HT: 11 FP: 11

Reasoning: Tens are average, I gave myself an eleven in Strength because I have been working out of late, and I gave myself an eleven in Health because I rarely get sick and when I do, I can usually push through and overcome it fairly quickly. I left Dexterity and Intelligence at ten because I am pretty average on those fronts, and could probably stand to lose some points in Dexterity because I have at times just randomly lost my balance and fallen over. I didn't put any information in for Basic Move, Speed, Lift, etc because all of it is based off the core stats and I've explained my views on those. As far as looks, wealth, etc I consider myself average so I didn't include explanations of point totals for that either.

Hard To Subdue 2 [4]
Less Sleep 2 [4]
No Hangover [1]
Unfazeable [15]

Reasoning: I've given myself Hard To Subdue (at max for "average" folks) only because I cracked my skull extremely hard (there was blood) against the corner of an ambulance cabinet door yesterday and only barely managed to remain conscious and not fall out of the ambulance. I've given myself Less Sleep because I regularly get by on five to seven hours of sleep and rarely get a full eight. I've thrown in Unfazeable because I find myself going "Of course that would happen..." when something unexpected or surprising happens at work or at home and I adapt to the situation and move on. No Hangover is in there because I've only ever once in my life had a hangover and I still believe the nausea was the result of a questionable McDonald's breakfast and not excessive drinking. My mom disagrees.

Bad Sight (Farsighted, Mitigator: Glasses): -15

Reasoning: I've given myself Bad Sight for obvious reasons.

Ok, so that is vaguely reminiscent of me. Now it is time to make it vaguely reminiscent of me if I were a young farmer in a Cinematic Adventure about to lose my family and home to the Evil-Fuck-Villain and become Hot Shit on my Epic Quest to take VENGEANCE (VENGEANCE is such an awesome word that it deserves all caps).

Core Stuff
5'8" 190 lbs.

50 [75/-25]
ST: 11 HP: 11
DX: 10 Will: 10
IQ: 10 Per: 10
HT: 11 FP: 11


Hard To Subdue 2 [4]
Less Sleep 2 [4]
No Hangover [1]
Claws (Blunt) [3]
Trained By A Master [30]

Reasoning: Despite being fresh meat I have given this guy Trained By A Master. I'm not too sure on the specifics, but I think I have an idea of Rutger here hearing some noises down an alley. These noises are a dying master, and being a pragmatic sort Rutger decides to rob the fellow. Said fellow is no normal man and is not quite dead enough to let himself be robbed with impunity and surprises Rutger, Rutger stabs or otherwise seals the master's fate. Here is where things get wonky. Master is not a good and kind master, master is fleeing and has just had his ass kicked by other masters, master is the last of his obviously Evil and Machiavellian School of Masters Dedicated To That Sort of Thing. The master decides that the only way his lineage can live on is through this little shit that finished him off for a few coins, so he transfers his power (and bits and pieces of himself) to this Little Shit. The Claws (Blunt) along with some skills and techniques listed below simulate the first hazy recollections of the master's knowledge, the Claws are actually the result of skin toughening techniques that Rutger has begun to practice that have made his fingers more weapon-like. I removed Unfazeable because I wanted to free up some points for Trained By A Master.

Struggling: [-10]
Nightmares: [-5]
Bad Temper [-10]

Reasoning: Nightmares are parts of the master's gifts to Rutger, when he sleeps he constantly relives the murderous and unethical deeds of the master, sometimes he can shrug them off and ignore them, other times they are too intense. I removed the Farsightedness because it is unnecessarily true to the real me, this is a game after all (If I had more points I would opt to whittle away at the disadvantage through adventuring, rather than pull it now, and chalk it up to the mystic body control techniques that Rutger begins to recall). Bad Temper represents the latent pieces of the master's evil personality creeping into Rutger and forcing him to work at controlling himself. Struggling is there to indicate that he is a poor dumb sod with little money and that is what led him to get all messed up in the brain by an evil master of martial arts.

Style Familiarity (Pankration) [1]

Reasoning: I've read a little bit about Pankration in the past and its kind of neat, like most martial arts are, and its not all jumpy flippy I'm a fucking monkey. It seems to be more about brutal wrestling moves than anything else. They get in close, lock up an arm in a hold, then tear it the fuck off.

Pankration (10 points in style)

Games (Pankration) IQ/Easy: 10 [1]
Judo DX/Hard: 8 [1]
Karate DX/Hard: 8 [1]
Wrestling DX/Average: 9 [1]
Urban Survival Per/Average: 10 [2]

Hammer Fist (Karate -1/Average): 8 [1]
Kicking (Karate -2/Hard): 7 [2]
Stamp Kick (Karate -2/Hard): 7 [2]
Knee Strike (Karate -1/Average): 8 [1]

Style Perks
Iron Hands (DR 1, Partial, Hands, Tough Skin) [1]

Reasoning: Most of the above is obviously related to the Pankration thing. As Rutger adventures he'll gain more weird martial arts crap as he "remembers" what the master once knew, stuff like Pressure Points, Meditaion, other techniques, more stats and advantages to simulate the toughness of his body, etc, etc. Urban Survival is the one skill he really had in the first place prior to his encounter and I've left it in place. If the option is available, I would slowly degrade it as he adventures out of cities and redistribute the points into other skills he picks up along the way.

So, there is a basic stripped down GURPS version of me and a cinematic about-to-start-an -adventure me. I like creating characters in GURPS, it is a lot more involved and thought provoking than DnD. The Advantage/Disadvantage balance forces you to think about the character a bit and possibly get some ideas on role-playing. Fun stuff.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Fun Times Indeed

Random Writing Update: At this very moment Traith Harris has stormed a building full of hell-kin, suffered the flames of sorcery, and has the barrel of one of his revolvers between the teeth of the sorcerer. He intends on really really fucking shit up.

So today I decided to start converting my DnD campaign into GURPS and I have to say, its a bit of fun. I started with something simple, creating templates for the races. I started with the soulless and I've got to say that the rules and suggestions for disadvantages and advantages for them that I've compiled are extremely satisfying. I've given them most of the advantages/disadvantages suggested for the Robot Meta-Trait and they work very nicely. For instance, I've given them the -30 point disadvantage of unhealing, i.e. they do not heal and cannot be healed by any normal physical means. They can be healed by the Mechanic Repair skill though. You cannot do that in 4th Edition. They also do not eat (robot), breathe (robot), sleep (robot), or "wear out" (infused with preserving necromantic energies). Wear out is the robot version of aging. When I based the soulless on warforged my thought was that it fit the concept I had for the race of undead robots pretty well, using the GURPS rules I feel that the fit is pretty nearly perfect. This is a good thing.

The whole GURPS character creation system is insanely fun. Reading through all the advantages and disadvantages and quirks is interesting and a hoot. There's such a plethora of options to choose from that (within reason and points allowances) you can create anything you want. Part of what I love about RPGs in general is just plugging stuff in and picking and choosing talents/feats/etc and the GURPS set up is like some sort of mystical vista I was always seeking. I could literally create Keroen Skathos out of all this stuff, from his regeneration and unstoppable physical strength to his ability to jaunt through space (and to a lesser extent time). I mean, to play the Nel, all we have to do is up the points level of the campaign and say magic and psionics are The Gifts of Keroen and that a certain portion of your points have to go to certain abilities like Unaging and various resistances and regeneration. With the Thaumatology book we can even pick out a certain school or subset of magic that is the Gifts and say the rest is magic, or vice versa.

The beauty is that most of the 3rd Edition GURPS stuffs seems compatible with the 4th Edition GURPS stuff. I'm new to all this and I have read that this is not true of the guns and some other aspects, but at the very least it is a good source of inspiration and an idea to start out from. This means that there is quite literally a metric shit ton of material to work with for this game.

Cost/value analysis time: I compared some prices and page counts of the DnD and GURPS supplements (full prices, not deals on eBay or Amazon). The GURPS books tend to be more expensive, but also bigger. That said, the GURPS books weigh in at about fifteen cents per page and the DnD books go for about eighteen cents per page. I think. These only apply to sourcebooks, not core books. Both systems create really big core/starter/whatever set of books for a decent price. I intend on investigating this issue further in an attempt to sell Tony on the system. If there is a huge amount of meat to the books and not empty spaces and silly graphics for no good reason in the GURPS books, I don't think the cost will really matter to him.

I know the name GURPS, I've even looked at some books before, I don't know why I've never gotten all bent out of shape about it like this before. I think maybe I'm just looking for something new. DnD has always been High Fantasy, capital aych capital eff. Eberron can pretend its "pulp" or "noir" but it isn't. Its High Fantasy where they pretend that having mini-golems and alternate cosmologies and arcane economies makes them special. I've read some Eberron stuff and don't get me wrong, its as neat and cool as Forgotten Realms or Dragonlance. Its not breaking any molds though. Spelljammer broke a mold. Dark Sun came close. Planescape violated the molds and then burned them to the ground. As I was saying, I've been looking for something different.

I enjoy the fact that there is an empire of undead humans who have undead robots as their slaves. That tickles my insides and, ta-da, its different. Orcs in my campaign are the most advanced race around, not the stereotype they've been forever cast as. The elves of my world are either A) the descendants of a race of energy vampires or B) a race of bloodthirsty immortal Viking-esque cannibals. Different than ye age olde fantasy tropes.

Is my setting breaking any molds? I dunno. Nor do I particularly care. I made it the way it is because I like it that way. Is there too much wacky shit in it? Probably. Again, I did it the way I did it for a reason. I like it. I think with the GURPSystem I'll be able to do everything I want to do in my campaign without having to hammer it into the confines of 4th Edition. We'll see. Everyone may say "fuck you" if I ask them to change systems, and the group may fall apart anyways. Again, we'll see.

Music: Part 4 - Penny Arcade/PVP DnD Podcast Series 1