Dead... and Back is a survival horror Role Playing Game. The Anarchy Zones is its official setting - aliens, reanimates, and the ruins of 2055 America.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Ambush Predator

Shchuka. An ambush predator carnivorous fish - known in English as the Pike, because it resembles a pole-arm. In every generation a Russian submarine has carried the name, from the 5th sub to enter Russian under the tsar service in 1905, an 88 boat strong type in world war two, and both the the project 671 and 971 attack boats (NATO Victor and Akula respectively)

Today, that proud tradition Hull number 409, GRU Designation 9K0108, known to NATO as the "Nikta Class" Submarine Cruiser. Nominally a very large attack boat for hunting other subs, it also carried a dozen anti-ship cruise missile conformal launchers, and four intermediate range ballistic missiles - more firepower than some 20th century navies. All under the watchful eyes of 83 crew, and the head of that compliment - one Yuri Deatalov.

"Surface Contact Sir. Range is 15,000 meters, probably a cargo vessel."
"Is it the one we've been trying to track?"
"Yes captain - definitely has the banging pistons of a fuel burner."
"Must be something good if they're risking something that old and large in the Baltic winter. Yes. But a bit too good - clear tube four to launch an airborne reconnaissance drone."
"Aye sir."

A few English sub-hunters were still out there, and an old piston cargo vessel would go a long way to mask their pump-jets. They usually kept themselves to the channel and north sea - but this was excellent weather for a chase - clear yet cold enough to cut down on thermal layers that could distort sonar. Certainly, a rare combination around here, and no good captain would miss this chance.

"Unit telemetry confirmed - it should get a fly over in a few minutes."
"I know your not much of a gambler Mr. Chuikov, but do you care to wager on what the drone might find?"
"Uh, not really sir."
"Why not?"
"Not in my religion to do that Captain."
"Ah, yes - we've been over that. However, I have no interest in debating Islamic dogma - I just wanted a guess about what vessels are out there."
"Sergi is better at this than I."
"All the more reason you need the practice. Its bad enough I needed to take a sonar man from a surface ship - an incompetent and un-cross trained one would be unbearable. I can ask the others to leave the bridge if you would be embarrassed by your answers."
"Well then, captain Deatalov, I'd say its safe - just the freighter. Prior to this, they've been mostly milk runs encountering smaller vessels. Something this large is operating out of a different port - which may not be allied, and would take a lot of resources and manpower to get working. The military bases are covered by our surface combatants and its unlikely they'd store arms at a commercial facility. It takes a certain level of expertise to move a multi-tone explosive tipped weapon from its stores to a train, and cranes positioned just right and trained to load them."
"Not a question of should it be escorted, but are they able to?"
"Right. Most of the coastal fuel bunkers are drained, and the ones further inland probably not known to or unfriendly with the English."
"I don't know how you're so sure of that, but you at least have a point."
"And what would be the captain's stance?"
"It doesn't really matter. Fortune favors the bold after all. If there is a warship, then we shouldn't be bringing our other precious fleet units into harms way. If there isn't - then we get the glory of this capture all to ourselves. Set Condition Red! Intercept course! WE're going to eat well when we return to port."

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thankgiving

If there is one thing I'm thankful for, its the ability to appreciate irony.

I remember food shortages. During the 30s and 40s when we were supposedly at the height of our civilization. To say we were starving would be a horrid over reaction, but there were times when certain foods fifteen or twenty times more than they had a few years prior, and it was damn scary.

For a while back there, fuel supplies were so low, international shipping was all but stopped. Fresh produce was all but impossible to find, in the winter, and even in the suffer, expensive. Nuclear powered naval ships we're used to transport a few extra necessary materials like lithium, titanium,platinum, and a few others.Environmental regulations and feed supply problems decimated the captive cattle herds - and that before you not the virulent cattle disease that sprang up in those decades.

You know, thats kind of funny. All those diseases are why live stock were bigger users of nano-vac than humans. Yet you never see reanimate cows. Or any cows really. I haven't had beef in five years.

Sorry about the aside, where was I oh yeah. Limited food supplies, even chicken and Turkey were a bit hard to find. Radio stabilized food packets became far more the norm than fresh food for a while. Pretty lucky for us right now, since those things last fifteen years or more.

With so many fewer people, there is a lot more food to go around. Coffee is damn hard to come by in the states, just like cinnamon and a few other spices - but the choicest farm land is up for grabs, and wildlife is extra plentiful for those with a good eye. Unless you're on the road and rationing your supplies, we eat pretty well and its not all that expensive. Well, when you consider time is money it takes a lot - but its not like I need to show up at the office at nine AM to manage patents - so I've got time. And I swear - without restaurants, people have learned to cook again. My son Calvin was a pretty picky eater, but now now he is a lot better about it, at least when we can find him. That boy always seems to be off in his own little world.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Urban Exploration

I try to stay away from cities. They taste broken. Even before you can see the place, the winds carry particles too you. Concrete dust, UV exposed plastic, flakes of rust and paint - without a filter mask you could get sick from just the decay, much less anything else that has been leached out from years of neglect.

Between abandoned meals, forgotten vending machines, and broken freezers - its a biohzard too. Make sure you're up to date with nano-vac injections. Speaking of refrigeration - keep some chem handling gear on your person at all times. Things like methylisocyanite need refrigeration and hermetic seals to be stored safely - and  that doesn't happen without people. Now chances are the toxic clouds have dispersed - but residues can abound on the undersides of protrusions.

When it comes to weapons in the city, you can't go wrong with a pistol. Light weight means more loot, small size leads to quick reaction and no getting caught in tight corridors. A silence will protect your hearing, because shots echo something fierce, and its hard to notice reanimates when your half-deaf. Besides, you don't need the power of a rifle - so long as you hit the head, it doesn't matter with what - and rifle bullets over-penetrating interior walls can be a hazard to your comrades.

Someone with a rifle to look down the concrete canyons and thin out the groups seems like a good idea, but its not the best practice. High-powered rifles are loud and tend to attract more attention than they eliminate. Reanimates are neither blind nor deaf, and it draws the attention of humans as well. There are few things people like less then snipers, and since its often hard to determine where the attack comes from until someone dies, they often take a proactive stance about hunting them down. So regardless of if you're seeking to attack other people or not - they're probably going to pick a fight.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Reanimate Tactics

One of the more distressing aspects of the reanimates, is that they are not as mindless and unfeeling as the ghouls seen in the movies. A sense of self-preservation seems to permeate each one, though in mass they can somehow make the choice to sacrifice a few for the good of the many. More advanced types can avoid the more obvious pitfalls, at least some of the time. They are unlikely to simply mob a fortified position, or even a well armed group - unless they have a notable advantage in numbers. Fire and water will hold them at bay if they recognize it as a an impediment between them and prey - but they will make their way through if its an escape route.

Alphas have been know to occasionally use weaponry or tools. Sometimes it seems to be simple mimicking - they will use weapons if they see other people or reanimates using them. Other times, they will go so far as to intentionally cripple humans or open new door ways to allow other reanimates in. What else they can do is often a matter of rumor - as they are strangely paranoid about displaying these behaviors. Indeed, they are quite often very cautious and will attempt to blend in with their lesser type one brethren to avoid preferential targeting. They are well aware of the confusion that ensues with an attack, and will wait until defenders are distracted by their other brethren to sneak past and ambush.

The intelligence seen in twos and betas focuses on the use of space, rather than the use of tools and distractions. They are worryingly adept at finding ambush sites, alternate entrances, or simply the higher ground. Betas have been cataloged hounding targets like wolves, and leading the prey to a seemingly safe place, that is in fact a nest of yet more reanimates. Failing this, they can follow a mark for days, or hide out near observed routes of travel.

Threes and Kappas are at the very least, aware of their impressive abilities, if not always putting it to the best use. Although the latter are often capable of throwing around small cars, they generally don't do so in a manner to block an exit or to cripple a human. A dissenting opinion states its a case of them choosing not too, as they prefer the target un-crushed. However, they fact that they will smash building supports even when they're still in the structure may argue against this - or at least that they can be provoked to berserk levels.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Eyes and Ears

"Jake, check this out. Jake. Jake! Oh, god...bless him." With a curse cut short and more than a slight annoyance, Jacqlyn left her spot on the firing line and made her way to the observation deck. As usual, the armorer was defeating the point of a sound proof room by playing music overly loud and not looking out the ballistic glass. Heaven forbid something go wrong on the line.
"You should be paying more attention! Especially to the one on the far right - AB-3097.."
"The one in red?"
"What is so imporatant - its a reanimate just like the rest."
"And its using a bolt action rifle."
"So? Thats what we normally do. Its hard enough to teach a human proper care, fire discipline, and how to clear a jam in a fight - you expect those half dead things to use an assault weapon?"
"I know standard procedure Jake. What I don't know is how it can do that. I haven't thought it anything!"
"Its using a rifle on its own?"
"I don't know if it somehow already knew how to use a weapon, or if one of the others decided to teach it. It was just supposed to be here to get used to the sound, and see the guns are not some sort of club. There it is again - working the bolt, checking down the sights - is it trying to adjust them?"
"They're teaching or already know. Too smart for their own good, just like the aliens. Pretty soon the radio is going to interview them too."
"Interview the aliens, yeah right"
"No, they already talk to the aliens - I mean the reanimates on the radio. Dead from New York its..."
"Where did you hear aliens on the radio?"
"Recordings are being circulated, its from somewhere out West."
"You're not supposed to be listening to that stuff."
"I'm just trying to get some news of the outside world."
"The outside world isn't worth knowing about. What you're listening too could be spiritual corruption in audio form. How do you know its safe?"
"Because I'm me, I know my self."
"But do you know your spirit? That would be something to ask a minister about. Doctors and scientists thought they knew themselves, can look ingot their minds, and with advanced imaging techniques into their patients. Look what happened from their hubris. That thing over there, that can use a rifle instinctively, and never needs to compensate for heavy breathing disrupting its aim."
"Buying into the party line much?"
"Jake - I'm willing to accept not everyone is comfortable here. But I'm not willing to see the Committee of Right Thought coming down on my friends, and then turning upon me and my family because they are wary of how far such opinions have traveled. Part of me says, don't threaten the guy who can remove the firing pins from all of my weapons before a mission - but lets be abundantly clear - I'm not going to get dragged down with you."
"Loud and clear commander, loud and clear."
"Speaking of firing pins - think I should use a 38 to wipe AB-3097 back to factory condition?"
"I'd go for a .45, but this might be worth watching. Waste not want not."

Monday, November 15, 2010

Space Travel: Citizen

No Human has been inside a Citizen vessel - or at least done so and returned to tell about it. However, since most of the fleet stays in either high earth or lunar orbit, they can be seen easily at night - as moving lights to the naked eye or clear structures through a telescope. Currently there are at least twenty smaller vessels and five larger ones present, though initial reports upon arrival announced up to forty units, and only eight were confirmed destroyed.

Alien ships from any given SF movie are far more odd than what the PC vessels actually look like. Quite frankly, they look like large bricks wedged in the center of a skeletal hourglass. The interior block is the general useful area of the ship - living quarters, command centers hydroponics and so forth. Reactors are held away on hundred meter booms with interposed shadow shields for safety. Latticework structures surrounding the fulfill three important functions. They act as radiators for reactor and living quarter's waste heat, electromagnetic field generators to deflect charged particles and small debris (thus keeping the central area safe, and magnetic thrust nozzles for the plasma based drives.

Even the smaller vessels are huge, with the central habitat comparable to an aircraft carrier in size, with their EM generators stretching about three times that distance further. In numerical terms - approximately 340 meters long, 50 meters wide and high - though the extended "tail" with shadow-shield and reactor adds another 60 meters or so. The Lattice would then extend nearly a kilometer in total length - the midpoint attached to the mid point of the habitat. Larger vessels might be two and a half times these figures.

The outer surface of the ships seems to be a light gray, though close analysis reveals they were white but suffer extensive pitting and wear, reducing the albedo. Meanwhile, the metal lattice seems to be polished silver, though often shows shimmering colors when the plasma jets are in action or charged particles are captured - just like the Aurora Borealis. (Indeed, its the exact same effect, just on a smaller scale.)

Aside from the complications of sheer scale most of the technology of the ships is within human understanding. Human Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket (VASIMR) propulsion units are quite similar to the aliens, just far smaller. Analysis of destroyed remnants reveal the ships are made from high strength steel alloys displaying a crystalline internal structure which in turn  implies the metals were smelted and forged in micro-gravity. These are backed by other materials to provide insulation, radiation protection, and crew comfort.

The need to isolate the reactors from the crew areas by several dozen meters would imply that they are fission units with dangerous levels of output. Fortunately, none of these power sources have crashed to earth - the aliens have taken great care in keeping them safe, even when the rest of the ship is compromised.

Of course, the most outstanding element would be the Citizen faster than light mechanism. Little is known about it, even by the aliens that have been interrogated so far.

Suspected Interiors
The ships are seen to rotate on their longitudinal axis, implying that they lack artificial gravity and thus must simulate it centripetally.Following such logic, educated guessing would place living and recreational areas in the outer protions of the ship, while machinery and storage that doesn't suffer ill health in micro-g would be closer to the core. It is unknown if the very center holds a protected storm shelter to mitigate cosmic rays for the crew, or if the ships EM generators can deflect solar flares, eliminating the need for such precautions.

At the extreme front of the vessels is a loading bay for docked sub-craft (shuttles and maintenance units) as trying to leave by a side exit would throw them into the EM lattice work. There are no exits at the other end due to the dangerous reactors.

Population density of the vessels is still an unknown. Some PCs have divulged that the ships are designed to operate for generations in event of a drive failure and to allow the creation of new colonies - thus implying up to thousands of people - crew and civilian aboard. Low Range estimates for the fleet's population is around 600,000 while four times that is considered the upper range- not including the possibility of either cloning or cryogenic storage of colonists.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Scouting the Other Side of the World

Four hydraulic fingers closed in around the object, then abruptly stopped. A second set of motors then slowly ratcheted them closed for finer detail. The attached elbow and shoulder constructs than gave a quick jerk, pulling the object from the snow bank.
"I've got a left arm - any one need a left arm. Kept on ice and fresh!"
"Left arm of what, Sasha?"
"I can't tell in this light - both our suits and the aliens look pretty similar from the elbow down."
"Its an alien."
The commander's armor gestured to an oddly rectangular snow bank a kilometer away. "Ruined tank hull on the ridge. Shrimps probably got ambushed by a number of tanks. They don't do so well against thirteen-point-five centimeter cannons - which explains why we're only finding fragments of armor."
"Its not like our armor does any better."
"We've got IFF transponders that tell the tanks not to shoot us."

Shasha's suit dropped the alien part and began to lumber forward again. To most observers, it looked like a bipedal cockroach, with its arcing rounded back and overlapped plates in front.  It didn't have the agility of the smaller units - it could barely bend at its waist - but this unit was optimized for firepower, and surprisingly, speed. With the pilot mostly in the torso in a half-sitting, half-standing position, the legs were entirely mechanical, then freed from the exertion of the pilot. Its systems were actually quite closely related to both the American Schwarkopf heavy armor, and by dint of convergent evolution, the alien eekaide.

"Patrol One. Anything out there?"
"Infrared and visuals are clean, though Sasha found the remains of a battle."
"Between who?"
"I'm sending Sasha forward to see if he can find some unit markings on the tanks. Invader remains at our feet."
"Any salvage."
"Won't know until he figures out what killed the tank. Given that their energy weapons can't do much against something as heavy as tracked armor, it was probably a missile. Without knowledge of the warhead and if it could penetrate to the munitions carousel - could be mostly working, could be melted scrap."
"Forecast is calling for storms tonight, better start pulling back."
"Anything good for dinner?"
"Probably worth returning for."
"Are you sure about that Katya?"
"When you can find a tropical banana tree growing in a Tajikistan Pine forest we'll make something that tastes better. Same standing deal for everyone else."

Peter attempted to stretch as best he could within the close confines. His thoughts turned to the usual pattern - he had gone over this so many times it might as well be zen meditation.  What was he doing here? Supposedly he had family father south - but what was he to do - walk up to goat farmers in a power armor and ask if they knew the directions? Command Headquarters was back in Russia of course, and probably hit by some form of orbital bombardment. So here he was, stuck in the rolling hills of a land locked central Asian republic living on gruel with no goal but to wake up and eat some more porridge.

"Boss - I reached the tank!"
"Total War Reserve unit - T-95 bis. Mobility Kill - the active defenses did well. Its an old diesel."
"So it gets what One kilometer per every five liters of fuel - thats more than we can produce all year just to get it to the nearest city."
"We can come back later and strip it for munitions and materials. Might have some working optics to fix the ones on my suit."
"Right. Back to base then."
"We might want to wait - the markings are Russian - not local. This is pretty far from home, and inconvenient for a tank to get through the territory to get here."
"What - someone airlifted a 47,000 kilo vehicle over the mountains?"
"Or there is one hell of a tunnel from china - its from the 85th regiment."
"Set an INS way point, we'll be back after the storm."

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Playtest Breakdown

Back in June 2010 my youngest sister tried to be nice, and get a couple of her friends to play my game. This gesture did not go as well as any participating would have hoped. However the questions raised still helped give direction to a game I had been neglecting for a while, and have provided the inspiration for a number of the posts on this blog.

Blame where its due, I was at fault for a number of the problems. My GMing skills were out of practice, and followed a rather different style then the players were used to. The scenario didn't really allow for much freedom - basically just some plot hooks to get them to explore ruins and try fighting some reanimates. Really, all I wanted was a test of how quickly characters could be made, and how fast combat involving multiple people might go along.

Still, I can maintain at least some indignation when looking at player behavior. Notable elements:
  • A white panel van shows up near where the players are staying. Although the driver is friendly, one player insists on removing his head with a shotgun and stealing the van. This in turn roused reaction from the guy's friend in the back, who had a power armor, though that was kind of a moot point, as a grenade thrown under a van full of explosives pretty much ended up with a TPK in the parking lot where the session started. Note to self: Never, Ever, try to offer player's weapons as an incentive.
  •  Resetting to a more normal contents of the van - an old Highway worker's vehicle - they found road-salt, cigarette cartons, and a jack hammer. They decided to return to where they came from and sell the contents for stuff. (I thought I had already allowed them a considerable arsenal just starting - gauss rifles, shotguns, and pistols, plus some grenades. It seems these people presumed "Doom" rather than "Resident Evil".)
  • Upon acquisition of the van - they turn around and head right back to the NEST that gave them their original assignment. Arriving at a giant building at 2 am, the guards are reluctant to let them in.  Upon being stymied as such, two of them start looking for alternate ways in, one tries to bribe the guard with a pack of cigarettes, and the last tries to ask where they can find the black market. (This then explains that each entrance is either welded shut, or guarded with snipers, and the guard asks for two packs to let them in.)
  • Upon meeting the groggy guy who handles trade negotiations, they keep demanding prices. when those are not forthcoming (gee - a chance to you know - role play bargaining) someone asks about how to find the black market - not realizing this is the black market. The first player to ask for a bullet proof vest got one because they were the only one who actually tried to deal. 
I really should be more charitable about this. I certainly did pick up on elements that were needed. From a game play standpoint:
  • A player was mystified about the difference between special abilities and skills - and wondering why a military character couldn't have two SAs has lead to a current drive to clarify that element. 
  • Complaints about how hard certain creatures are to kill has lead to my consideration of either upping the chance of a weapon's power (ie top two numbers rather than maximum roll, to bring it in line with all the the other dice pools).or going up to seven. This also cuts down on derived stats being so similar.
  • Comments that hand to hand and melee weapons seem too powerful lead to the current idea that human SID should be boosted up a point. (This also helps close the instant kill rifles problem. Yes, the next stuf up is lethal - but the next step up is 30mm cannons which are rather less common.)
  • Complaints about the "contrived" nature of the setting lead to a new introduction about the genre and how the game is emulating video games and movies, not a real life simulation. 
On the upside, I did learn about some of the simpler overhauls needed. A number of the earlier posts have been direct answers to questions the players asked including:
  • Why humans have not gone genocidal on the aliens
  • What its like inside a NEST, how hard it is to break into one, and a better sense of size.
  • The aliens are not completely evil, and more pieces telling their side. (Everyone seems to assume arthropod like aliens with demonic power armor are evil. I blame television for these hurtful stereotypes!)
  • Notes about trading, way of life, and setting up your own settlements.
  • Ideas for quick "how to GM" chapters.
Overall, it was a much needed impetus to get back to work, and I probably wouldn't have started this blog if I hadn't uncovered so many problems.

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Modest Proposal (that might not involve antrhoprofagia)

I'll admit that this project is proceeding at a rather glacial pace. The problem stems from matters of sequencing (ie chicken and the egg problem) I don't really want to proceed without feedback and encouragement, but I'm not getting too much of either until I produce something...

I started this blog to solicit comments to help my focus my work. Its a bit difficult to maintain concentration on a long project without feedback, or learning something new each day, and I'm prone to go off on tangents without others commenting. (As mentioned in a prior post I knew nano-vac was pink before I commented if it has game effects.)  As TV tropes explains - I seem to have "Attention Deficit Creator Disorder" and this is only one of around 15 projects I've started. (Also, my habit of reading TV tropes probably doesn't help either...)

So far the only comment on this blog is "when will this be finished?".

Secondly, I really haven't had the chance to play test - or roleplay anything really - in some time. I've had a few people try character creation, and tried to run one game - which was a bit of a disaster from a playing if not game standpoint. (I'll rant about that at some point in the near future for those interested.)

Frankly, the changes I need to make are split into four categories:
  1. Clean Up - easy to do things like improve the glossary, add a skill list, add a section on genre for those who don't get it, some more examples, a few NPCs.
  2. Major Changes - a few things seem like they might need some overhauls on a bigger scale, but need some testing first. For example, is the AIM attribute too powerful/all encompassing and should it be split into close and ranged abilities? Would such a change be more necessary if the range becomes 1-7 to acknowledge the presence of dog sized aliens and strength boosting power armor that were not in the original rules?
  3. Sort the Stories - I really enjoy thinking through the logic of the world, and find it an interesting place if not one where I'd actually like to live. However it might be a bit excessive to expect everyone to read my entire collection, so I need to prioritize which setting elements are needed first.
  4. Combine - From my standpoint, this is supposed to be a cohesive book somehow rather than a collection of PDFs entailing a rule set, a short story collection, and a dissertation on future trends for city living.
So I'm going to make an offer. Before the end of the month, I'll have a draft of various rules changes if not the 1.3 version of the main document ready. I also want to make a contract with those who are interested in the project. If you're willing to test and provide feedback, I'm willing to include NPCs or locations you suggest as part of the game. There will be some limitations of course - I have plans for some areas of the world, but most of the others don't even have one of my infamous notebook outlines.

I've tried setting deadlines, I've tried positive reinforcement via gummy worms based on word count, and it hasn't worked all that well. So for now, I can't say how long it will take, but hopefully this will help.

Isaac Asimov has been quoted "If I was told I have five minuets to live, I wouldn't fret, I'd just type a little faster." Lets hope it doesn't come to that.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Nano Medicine in Play

So nano stuff is pink, comes in two forms, is found in hospitals, university, and occasionally convoys, and is apparently a much in demand good, even if it may possibly be linked to the reanimate phenomenon. What does it do for the players?

The main boon is that is immunity to disease, or at least, a notably lessoned severity.  While the outposts try to maintain sanitation, supplies of safe water, detergents, and population mans a lot is overlooked. Furthermore, everyone has been operating under stress, and often without adequate food. If the reanimates were not already a pandemic, humans in this state would be ripe for one. Overuse of antibiotics in the 20th and 21st centuries has rendered a number of pathogens immune, and somewhat warmer wetter weather patterns in much of the US means tropical diseases have spread into the states.

Without functioning nano-vaccine, the GM would have extra book-keeping, as it becomes vital to think about what disease the players might come in contact with and their hygiene habits. Although a long list of symptoms and a little research can add some role playing and urgency, for ease, the specifics are as simple as reducing skill rolls to 6s only - just like low deadening/lucidity. Any disease - mental or physical - taxes ones ability to concentrate and operate at peak performance.

Nano-medicine in hospitals can restore functionality to damaged limbs and organs - even add cybernetic replacements if necessary. Access to such facilities is a strong reward, and can allow characters to continue their adventures, rather than be retired due to ailments.

Bionic technology seeks to augment abilities, but can not super-power them. There are no cyber-limbs with built in weapons or super strength. The human skeleton could not withstand such stresses, and the quest to keep weight, cost,  and power requirements to a minimum means that in a number of cases, artificial replacements are inferior to the original. (And the best still have minimal gains.)

Similarly, gene replacement therapies can create biological uber-soldats (yet) but do allow doctors to edit out some neonatal problems and reduce certain risks. Research into genetic longevity has not created any immortality serums, but 150 has become a lot more attainable than before.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Wasteland Ettiquite

Rule Number One - this is the Zone, not the jungle.
If nothing else, keep that in mind. We are not going to fall to a kill or be killed, survival of the fittest mentality. There are still cities and towns out there, and fellow human beings in need. The country still exists to be rebuilt.

The boy scouts once believed you should leave the land as you left it before, if not better. Well. for now the land can take care of itself. Leave signs of where you stayed. You probably chose to sleep there because it was safe or well stocked. If others can find that area, they can benefit as well.

Note dangerous areas. Warn others.

Keep an eye on those aliens. Not all of them shout "destroy all humans" constantly - but there are plenty of unfriendly ones out there. If they're causing trouble, let others know and help put together a response.

Wave and call out. Let others know you're human. Fratricide is nothing but tragic.

Ruins are fair game, but stuff others are using is not. Sociopathy is repaid in kind - you steal and murder, others will hunt you down.

Stay a while. A lot of you are pretty anxious to roll into town, trade, restock, and then get back to exploring. You'll be a lot more welcome and get better prices in the future if you help out around the town. Repair the walls, plow the fields, mend clothes - whatever you can do to enrich the town will help.