The Role Playing Public Radio Forums

General Category => RPGs => Topic started by: Gorkamorka on April 16, 2015, 09:07:46 AM

Title: Pitch a space whale scenario for Eclipse Phase.
Post by: Gorkamorka on April 16, 2015, 09:07:46 AM
I was listening to an interview with Ross on the Drunk and the Ugly. (LINK (http://drunkandugly.com/2015/04/15/4256/))
One of the things discussed in that interview is the impossibility to write an Eclipse Phase scenario featuring the hippy space whales orbiting the sun.

So lets proof them wrong.  ;D

The challenge I present to you is to write a one paragraph pitch for a scenario and post it on this thread.  At the first of May I'll make a poll and we can vote on witch one is best. 
Who is with me !
Title: Re: Pitch a space whale scenario for Eclipse Phase.
Post by: clockworkjoe on April 16, 2015, 06:24:36 PM
i'll be very fucking impressed if anyone comes up with a good scenario idea
Title: Re: Pitch a space whale scenario for Eclipse Phase.
Post by: Alethea on April 16, 2015, 07:30:01 PM
Hippy space whales develop a very accurate sun weather forecasting system. Hypercorp black ops incoming to steal it for hypercorp's personal use - maneuver rival corp's assets into place to be damaged by a solar flare maybe? Easier exploitation of exoplanet resources, if you can worry less about getting caught in a CME? Firewall sentinels dispatched to prevent theft and transmit to the argonauts.

Now waiting for how none of that would work  ;D
Title: Re: Pitch a space whale scenario for Eclipse Phase.
Post by: Jace911 on April 16, 2015, 08:56:26 PM
Murder mystery or GTFO.
Title: Re: Pitch a space whale scenario for Eclipse Phase.
Post by: Tomsawyer on April 16, 2015, 09:47:12 PM
Murder mystery or GTFO.

Someone murdered all the space whales, its up to you to figure out who did it and why.


Spoiler alert it was Caleb
Title: Re: Pitch a space whale scenario for Eclipse Phase.
Post by: Review Cultist on April 16, 2015, 10:30:58 PM
Yeah, honestly my main idea for this (and this is only excusing my nigh ignorance of thorough details on the space whale situation save the morph info I recently read) but I would think some one could do a game involving the space whales "space beaching" themselves into the sun itself or on mercury and just going inactive for mysterious reason... or becoming horrifying meance in the inner system because of the follow suggestions:
- A TITAN Virus
- Anti-Space whale faction that is exploiting some morph glitch or flaw.

Hell, speaking to the social commentary of scifi settings: space pirates (Insert an in setting faction here) is trying to collect the data from the space whales that they have been collecting from the sun and for research on building better, more durable morphs before some HyperCorp. does or which ever faction runs the space whale group?
Title: Re: Pitch a space whale scenario for Eclipse Phase.
Post by: applewood on April 17, 2015, 11:40:18 AM
A: A group of space hippy blue whales used the exsurgent virus to engineering a new breed of krill for food.  Extreme radiation from solar flares is used to neutralize the exsurgent virus before feeding.  Firewall is called in to eliminate the research and the whales.

As a side note: I've always wanted to run a game where someone plays an uplifted white whale.
Title: Re: Pitch a space whale scenario for Eclipse Phase.
Post by: Kamen on April 17, 2015, 11:58:14 AM
Just remember, when we talk about Space Whales it's usually in reference to Surya morphs, which are whale like morphs that effectively swim in Sol's corona. Neo-Cetaceans, like the Neo-Whale, -Orca, -Dolphin, etc. are actually a whole lot easier to make a scenario for, since there's several aquatic outposts and habs that make them useful, Europa and Ceres come to mind first.
Title: Re: Pitch a space whale scenario for Eclipse Phase.
Post by: Tadanori Oyama on April 17, 2015, 12:53:46 PM
An extreme bioconservative eccentric who nearly died in the fall due to an uplift stealing his ship, which left his leg badly damaged, hires the PCs onto his crew as ego hunters. He long ago burned all of the uplift's backups and forks and thought the creature was dead. However, he's received news that that uplift is still alive, living in a white Surya morph...
Title: Re: Pitch a space whale scenario for Eclipse Phase.
Post by: D6xD6 - Chris on April 18, 2015, 08:35:08 AM
The players are maladjusted orphans that vandalized a traveling exhibit on the Surya.  As punishment, they are placed with foster parents in Surya morphs and must work with the Surya to make amends. There they meet Willy, a young Surya whale who left his family to become a Surya, but has now realized that being a Surya is pretty fucking stupid. Sensing kinship, the players and Willy form a bond and, with the help of kindly Firewall sentinel Rae Lindley, develop a plan to help Willy escape and find his family. However, greedy Surya leader Dial soon catches wind of the plot, and will relentlessly defend the Surya status quo.  Once a Surya, always a Surya. . . even if that means dying and being "reborn" as a Surya.
Title: Re: Pitch a space whale scenario for Eclipse Phase.
Post by: trinite on April 18, 2015, 04:37:26 PM
Okay, I'll take a semi-serious crack at this:

The sun powers the entire solar system. Any threat to it is automatically an X-threat. But who, besides maybe the TITANS or some other alien species, would try to destroy the sun? Well, maybe with a viable threat, you could hold the solar system hostage, dictating terms to every planet and habitat from Mercury to the Oort cloud. But that's just crazy. It's a comic book supervillain plot; real people don't think like that. And that's true, real people don't. But what about a memetic virus that thinks of itself as a supervillain?

During a solar storm, most of the surya population gathers in Ukko Jylina to wait it out. A very strange sound reverberates through the station, unlike anything they've ever heard before. They feel it in their sonar receptors, something loud but complex, like music. It's brief, the storm passes, and the pods swim back out and resume their normal carefree lives. But after a while they start trying to remember something: did they ever meet someone named Akaja Lacuna?

They say that there are no secrets among dolphins, and the same goes for Solarian Suryas. They ask each other the question. Does anyone know Akaja? Is she a surya? Maybe in one of the other pods? The name sounds vaguely familiar at first, but soon it becomes a common subject of conversation, then a hobby, then an obsession. Surely, Akaja must be in one of the pods. They all remember meeting her somewhere. And she was so charming and brilliant, a wonderful friend, unforgettable, a genius, the greatest Solarian to ever swim, our natural leader. Where did she go? Where did they take her?

The rest of the solar system notices nothing, until the first broadcast. A wide-spectrum radio message from Ukko Jylina declares that the Solarians have constructed an iron insertion bomb hidden deep inside the sun's surface. If their list of demands are not met, they will blow up the sun.

Demand #1 is that their leader, Akaja Lacuna, be freed from her imprisonment and returned to her solar home within 48 hours. It's a name that means nothing to anyone, except for a few insane Neosynergists and a couple of ex-Firewall proxies...

Better get a team together.
Title: Re: Pitch a space whale scenario for Eclipse Phase.
Post by: Jace911 on April 18, 2015, 09:10:41 PM
Just remember, when we talk about Space Whales it's usually in reference to Surya morphs, which are whale like morphs that effectively swim in Sol's corona. Neo-Cetaceans, like the Neo-Whale, -Orca, -Dolphin, etc. are actually a whole lot easier to make a scenario for, since there's several aquatic outposts and habs that make them useful, Europa and Ceres come to mind first.

I've actually been kicking around an idea for a scenario on Europa that focuses on neo-aquatics; I have to do more reading on that part of the setting, since most of my EP knowledge is focused on the Inner System, but I love the concept of exploring the dark depths of a freezing alien ocean and having no idea what you could find down there.
Title: Re: Pitch a space whale scenario for Eclipse Phase.
Post by: Zombieneighbours on April 19, 2015, 06:41:00 PM
"Worshipful", a sexually transmitted version of the exergent virus has made its way into a surya pod, thanks to the intimate nature of Surya culture. The virus is causing a slow and distinctive change in their behaviour. The subtle effect of the virus changes their mental state, driving them to become increasing insular and paranoid, as well as increasingly developing a complex religion around the concept of the suns destructive power. As a result, the surya pod has build a string of horrendous WMD in the form of solar lasers, capable of devastating the planets of the inner system.

The sentinels need to identify the infected, prevent the virus spreading further through the population, and deal with the infected surya, as well as track down their allies amongst the titanians autonomists who are providing tech support on the project, to prove it can be done. Meanwhile, an argonaut leaks the existence of the weapons, causing a race by inner system power groups to try an take possession of the group.

To complicate matters further still, firewall servers schism in an epic flame war, as they try to decide what to do with the weapons, either destroy them, or co-opt them for use against the titans should they return.
Title: Re: Pitch a space whale scenario for Eclipse Phase.
Post by: Alethea on April 19, 2015, 06:52:58 PM
I'd play that.
Title: Re: Pitch a space whale scenario for Eclipse Phase.
Post by: Zombieneighbours on April 19, 2015, 06:55:43 PM
I really like your idea trinite.
Title: Re: Pitch a space whale scenario for Eclipse Phase.
Post by: trinite on April 19, 2015, 07:19:09 PM
I really like your idea trinite.

Thanks, Zombieneighbours! I'm pretty sure my favorite Eclipse Phase villain can make any scenario good.

To my mind, the hook for the Suryas isn't the fact that they're whales, it's that they live in the sun itself -- the most strategically dangerous object in the whole system. Their whale morphs give them a nice vector for an unusual sonar basilisk hack, though. :)
Title: Re: Pitch a space whale scenario for Eclipse Phase.
Post by: Zombieneighbours on April 20, 2015, 03:13:23 AM
I kind of enjoy the idea of using their isolation from outsiders and their social norms as a way of making them scary.
Title: Re: Pitch a space whale scenario for Eclipse Phase.
Post by: trinite on April 21, 2015, 11:30:27 AM
I kind of like your idea too, zombieneighbours. You could have a lot of horror fun with your Exsurgent STD. Maybe it changes their sexual behavior in odd ways -- ways especially disturbing to polyamorous whale sexual ethics, rather than human norms.

Or maybe their new religion takes on a strange sexual tinge: the suryas begin to teach that they are spermatozoa intended to fertilize the sun with life, by taking into themselves certain materials and then diving down into the sun until they burn up. They believe that with the right mix of matter, the sun itself will achieve consciousness. But in reality, the Exsurgent virus that has created the religion is merely using them to supply the right mix ingredients it needs for the slow-motion stealth construction of a mini-black hole generator (one of the solar x-risks mentioned in Sunward). You can also have some really freaky Exsurgents made out of solar plasma, somehow managing to remain active and intelligent at the extremely high energy levels of the raw solar environment.

Also, did you know that the corona is actually much hotter than the actual surface of the sun? The least hot part of the sun is actually a region lower in the atmosphere, about 500 km above the surface (cool enough for molecules! Wowee!)? Check it out. (http://Check it out.)

So if we accept, for the sake of setting, that the suryas actually can survive within the corona, they might not have much trouble diving down into the lower levels either.
Title: Re: Pitch a space whale scenario for Eclipse Phase.
Post by: Zombieneighbours on April 21, 2015, 05:49:49 PM
The physics arguments about how space whales maintain their chemistry that close to the sun are complex and semi-plausable(or maybe my enjoyment of the concept makes me overlook the physics fail) if memory serves, but their are good reasons why sun surface swimming would be a no no, despite the lower temp. The main problem would be gravity. Get that close, and there is no getting away for the space whales.
Title: Re: Pitch a space whale scenario for Eclipse Phase.
Post by: RadioactiveBeer on April 21, 2015, 07:07:10 PM
The one that spring to mind for me involves The Egg, a mysterious metallic object the size of a skyscraper orbiting the Sun (or at least near to Mercury). It's one of the mysteries of the setting - TITAN relic? Factor trap? The idea for this session would be that The Egg is an iron-bomb (or if not iron a hyper-dense-metal-bomb) that stands ready to skewer the heart of Old Shiny and royally screw the solar system.
Title: Re: Pitch a space whale scenario for Eclipse Phase.
Post by: trinite on April 21, 2015, 07:31:27 PM
The physics arguments about how space whales maintain their chemistry that close to the sun are complex and semi-plausable(or maybe my enjoyment of the concept makes me overlook the physics fail) if memory serves, but their are good reasons why sun surface swimming would be a no no, despite the lower temp. The main problem would be gravity. Get that close, and there is no getting away for the space whales.

Of the various parts of the Eclipse Phase setting -- barring the truly alien things, like the Pandora Gates and Exsurgent virus -- the sun whales are definitely the least scientifically plausible. There just doesn't seem to be any real scientifically viable way to withstand all of the ludicrous forces of the close solar environment. And if it were possible, it would require tech way more powerful than everything else in the setting (like warp wormhole heat sinks, or perfectly reflective EM-proof materials that are still somehow shapeable) But if we can just acknowledge that and accept them anyway, I think they have reasonably good gaming potential. I think the scenario ideas we've devised here have started to prove that.
Title: Re: Pitch a space whale scenario for Eclipse Phase.
Post by: trinite on April 21, 2015, 07:39:24 PM
The one that spring to mind for me involves The Egg, a mysterious metallic object the size of a skyscraper orbiting the Sun (or at least near to Mercury). It's one of the mysteries of the setting - TITAN relic? Factor trap? The idea for this session would be that The Egg is an iron-bomb (or if not iron a hyper-dense-metal-bomb) that stands ready to skewer the heart of Old Shiny and royally screw the solar system.

Good one! I guess the scenario would begin with either the Egg starting to do something unusual, or else someone discovering its true purpose and means of activation. Maybe it moves into the corona, and the suryas become the last thing standing between it and detonation. Fortunately, there is a surya Firewall crow who manages to get a signal off to the organization, calling in the PC team for emergency response.
Title: Re: Pitch a space whale scenario for Eclipse Phase.
Post by: Zombieneighbours on April 22, 2015, 02:19:08 AM
Space whale super-science biology could also be an interesting plot. One day a firewall scientists suddenly realizes that they don't understand how Surya biology works, and that every hypothesis he comes up with either contradicts observable data or is off the walls craze balls and requires tech no one has, then he notices that all the published research and material on their biology is the scientific equivalent of a imaginative five year old doodling on paper and submitting it for peer review.

Then most worrying of all, he realizes that no one else is asking questions about them, that no one else even seems to think it is weird!
Title: Re: Pitch a space whale scenario for Eclipse Phase.
Post by: RadioactiveBeer on April 22, 2015, 01:00:51 PM
Good one! I guess the scenario would begin with either the Egg starting to do something unusual, or else someone discovering its true purpose and means of activation. Maybe it moves into the corona, and the suryas become the last thing standing between it and detonation. Fortunately, there is a surya Firewall crow who manages to get a signal off to the organization, calling in the PC team for emergency response.

My current thinking is a Solarian research team swims to the Egg, goes missing and then the Egg starts moving and growing nearer to the Sun. Firewall cell has to take action to determine fate of the research team, identify and stop (if necessary) The Egg.
Title: Re: Pitch a space whale scenario for Eclipse Phase.
Post by: trinite on April 23, 2015, 02:33:30 PM
Good hook.

One of the tricky things about designing a scenario like this is that although the Solarians are supposed to be insular and obscure, any situation that calls for Firewall intervention is likely to be a solar system-wide crisis, visible to everybody. It's hard to work out how the PCs end up being the only ones who can solve it. In my scenario idea, for example, everybody from Ozma to the Titanian Commonwealth would be sending their elitest forces to try to stop the sun plot. My theory is that Firewall is the only organization that actually knows who Akaja Lacuna is, so they're racing to try to resolve the situation before the Ultimate commando squads and Jovian antimatter bombs and stuff start arriving in theater, and risking an open warfare incident even if they stop the sun bomb.


Another big wrinkle is that combat should be either impossible or almost 100% suicidal in the solar environment.  I'm thinking that the optimal approach for the players in my scenario is to pretend that they are Akaja, convince the suryas to stand down the bomb threat, and fight the real Akaja -- who would probably never appear "in the flesh" within the scenario -- through memetic warfare and electronic infiltration. But it could be possible to design it so that there are some shootable problems on Ukko Jylina.
Title: Re: Pitch a space whale scenario for Eclipse Phase.
Post by: RadioactiveBeer on April 23, 2015, 05:16:37 PM
I think you're right in that it would be very unlikely for a whole cell of Firewall agents to be in such a small and insular community - but that's not to say infiltration is totally impossible. What if it's, say, a single Sentinel who recruits his "pod" to help?
Title: Re: Pitch a space whale scenario for Eclipse Phase.
Post by: TMayesing78 on April 24, 2015, 08:38:58 PM
Space Whale poachers filming snuff XPs.  No one knows why they're doing it, but the stacks are disappearing, leaving dead whale carcasses drifting in space.  Now a major solar researcher has been one of the victims.
Title: Re: Pitch a space whale scenario for Eclipse Phase.
Post by: RadioactiveBeer on April 25, 2015, 08:32:57 AM
Moby Dick.

An albino surya goes rogue, severely injuring several members of his pod. The White Whale has gone from mercurial to full exhuman (perhaps even exsurgently infected?) and begun preying on Solarian traffic. And of course it takes a sun whale to catch a sun whale.

WHITE WHALE
HOLY GRAIL
Title: Re: Pitch a space whale scenario for Eclipse Phase.
Post by: Ravenswar on April 29, 2015, 09:58:30 PM
Firewall scanners have detected an unusual spike in chatter in Solarian space. The team is to ego cast into Hooverman-Geischecker posing as a group of Argonauts. The group they are replacing is not in on the conspiracy, just simply easily bribed with a hedonistic trip to Pavarti. The sentinels were selected because their skill set somewhat matches that of the Argonauts. They will have to maintain the ruse while on Hooverman.

The investigation into the cause of the increases communications will lead the players to a murder mystery. Someone is hunting the surya. A good source of information turns out to be the successor to Greenpeace, Voidpeace.

If the players are generally uninterested in social skill checks, you can simple jump to the conclusion that someone is killing the space whales. The key point of the plot is the question of why.

Eventually the sentinels will be pointed toward Aten and the rumors of weaponized exsurgent virus. Another line of inquiry will lead to a stealthed ship as the means of performing the killings. This alone is a worthy trophy as its stealth characteristics imply alien and/or TITAN tech. Firewall will want to acquire this technology or destroy it in order to maintain the balance of power.

Having eliminated the immediate threat, or not, the team still has a few threats. Who and how has been established. The why is indeed connected to an exsurgent virus strain. But from where? Why are leads starting to point to the Exoplanet Babylon?  Is there a connection to the Babylon Rascal?  Are the well meaning Voidpeace now a disease vector?  How does the exsurgent virus remain viable in a stellar corona? Serious implications for standard procedure of cleanse with fire if the heat of the sun is insufficient.

Also did they team flub their impersonation?  The team should be given an opportunity to make it right before the cleaners are brought to reset everyone to a backup prior to the teams arrival.

To fill in some of the blanks:
EvilCorp has determined that something of value is hidden on Babylon, and similarly concluded that it is the Rascal which is responsible for shooting up the place now and then. Determined to find a way to neutralize the Rascal, so as to secure the secrets of Babylon for the,selves, EvilCorp began looking into exsurgent virus strains that maintained virulence in a stellar corona. The murdered surya were killed before their symptoms could be noticed.
Title: Re: Pitch a space whale scenario for Eclipse Phase.
Post by: trinite on April 30, 2015, 11:23:36 AM
Ravenswar: Suryas as unwitting guinea pigs. Interesting idea!
Title: Re: Pitch a space whale scenario for Eclipse Phase.
Post by: Ravenswar on April 30, 2015, 08:00:24 PM
What if the vector is a whale song basilisk hack?
How do you keep a hippy space whale from singing?
Title: Re: Pitch a space whale scenario for Eclipse Phase.
Post by: Gorkamorka on May 01, 2015, 03:38:59 AM
Voting is up (http://slangdesign.com/forums/index.php?topic=1921.msg43293#msg43293)
Title: Re: Pitch a space whale scenario for Eclipse Phase.
Post by: Zombieneighbours on May 01, 2015, 01:41:38 PM
Oh, also, the corona is a great place to hide. Its is Super hot and super bright, so your waste heat just gets drowned out in the solar noise. It is also a superhostile place, so no one comes looking. It is also super dull, so only a handful of groups watch the sun with any kind of regularity (people watching for CME, firewall, and solar researchers) and they do so with specialist equipment not really designed for searching out space whales.

So the corona is a great place to go on the run, and the Suryas are the best place to go in the Corona, because they are so weird no one bothers with them.