Author Topic: Pitch a space whale scenario for Eclipse Phase.  (Read 17222 times)

trinite

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Re: Pitch a space whale scenario for Eclipse Phase.
« Reply #15 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. :)
« Last Edit: April 19, 2015, 07:48:40 PM by trinite »
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Zombieneighbours

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Re: Pitch a space whale scenario for Eclipse Phase.
« Reply #16 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.

trinite

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Re: Pitch a space whale scenario for Eclipse Phase.
« Reply #17 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.

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.
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Zombieneighbours

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Re: Pitch a space whale scenario for Eclipse Phase.
« Reply #18 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.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2015, 05:54:34 PM by Zombieneighbours »

RadioactiveBeer

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Re: Pitch a space whale scenario for Eclipse Phase.
« Reply #19 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.

trinite

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Re: Pitch a space whale scenario for Eclipse Phase.
« Reply #20 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.
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trinite

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Re: Pitch a space whale scenario for Eclipse Phase.
« Reply #21 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.
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Zombieneighbours

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Re: Pitch a space whale scenario for Eclipse Phase.
« Reply #22 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!

RadioactiveBeer

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Re: Pitch a space whale scenario for Eclipse Phase.
« Reply #23 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.

trinite

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Re: Pitch a space whale scenario for Eclipse Phase.
« Reply #24 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.
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RadioactiveBeer

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Re: Pitch a space whale scenario for Eclipse Phase.
« Reply #25 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?

TMayesing78

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Re: Pitch a space whale scenario for Eclipse Phase.
« Reply #26 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.

RadioactiveBeer

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Re: Pitch a space whale scenario for Eclipse Phase.
« Reply #27 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

Ravenswar

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Re: Pitch a space whale scenario for Eclipse Phase.
« Reply #28 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.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2015, 08:06:36 AM by Ravenswar »

trinite

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Re: Pitch a space whale scenario for Eclipse Phase.
« Reply #29 on: April 30, 2015, 11:23:36 AM »
Ravenswar: Suryas as unwitting guinea pigs. Interesting idea!
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