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Old 07-07-2017, 06:41 PM   #201
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Default Re: Lucy's Choice: Let's make Lucifer Parallels!

Nightfall

On June 26th of 1998, a wave of paranormal occurrences commences. Between nightfall and dawn every night, a wave of wild EM interference swings up, usually shutting down power grids and blocking all electronic communications. Within minutes, sometimes seconds, banestorm-like effects bring nightmarish creatures from annother realm, into anywhere exposed to open sky or deep darkness. These beings are generally rampaging animals, but no small number of them are dangerously canny, if not outright superintelligent. The polymorphic beasts hunt humans and seem to be organized, but respect some rules.

For every thousand humans in a given area, each nightly wave brings ten thousand lesser monsters (dumb, small, but nimble and fast) about a thousand middle-ranking monsters (unpredictable mixture of abilities, some of them quite clever) and a hundred or so monsters that are unquestionably "bosses," large, smart, and usually flanked with subservient beasts. That doesn't include the intermittent appearance of even more threatening monsters, some of which are towering behemoths and some of which are subtle manipulators and shape changers, and some of which are incredibly powerful sources of energetic destruction.

At approximately 10:30 of the 25th, local time on the East Coast of the USA, the first wave of EM interference and manifestations commenced (no prior activity was recorded aside from some ambiguous reports from South America). From that moment on, anyplace on earth in full night could be attacked at any time.

As contact was lost with the East Coast, panic gripped the rest of the continent. Network disruptions shut down global communications, limiting even the most rapid response, and military forces that drove or flew east to investigate were intercepted by night. One fighter jet managed to avoid intercept and reach a west coast landing strip ahead of nightfall, but nonetheless between confusion and the bizarre nature of his warning, it did no good; before he could even be properly debriefed, nightfall brought the wave of manifestations to the location and swiftly on across the ocean.

In the regions under nightfall, the largest monsters were least dangerous -- at least on a statistic level. The billions of small swarming creatures killed countless people in most of the civilized world, and where they faced resistance from armed citizens, the larger monsters charged and broke defensive positions.

As nightfall fell across the rest of the globe, a few places, such as western Europe, had some appreciable time to prepare, which in many cases broke down to rioting and hoarding. By nightfall, they had only rumor, but that was enough: something terrible comes in the night. Keep a gun and flashlight close at hand.

As dawn broke, the monsters gave one last surge of fury and violence, then vanished, leaving only the maimed, the dead, and the few survivors to pick up the pieces. The United States had the heaviest casualties at nearly 90%, with many communities (small and large) wiped out to the last. A few cities in Western Europe and South America, in contrast, were able to prepare quickly enough to have only 30% casualties in that first night, but on average the planet experienced about 70% in the first 24-hour period.

Now, the short days are spent preparing for the long, long nights. Society still exists, after a fashion, but it's fortified and clannish. It took years of trial, but the population is mostly stable now, though far depleted. Little do the humans know that this is exactly the goal of those that created the invasions in the first place: to create a humanity that is fierce enough to take a place among the manifesting monsters on another worldline...

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Old 07-07-2017, 08:16 PM   #202
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Default Re: Lucy's Choice: Let's make Lucifer Parallels!

How many years before someone reports seeing a human sub-boss monster?
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Old 07-08-2017, 12:21 AM   #203
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Depends. I'd presume it'd be at very least evolutionary time before humans are sufficiently honed, but the real answer is that every morning, when people start looking for more food and more guns is when the real threats emerge....
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Old 07-08-2017, 12:40 PM   #204
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The "good" news is that they want humans to survive. And their waves are proportionate to population, capability, and technology, so the first wave was massive compared to all those that followed. Children, for instance, apparently don't count as population.

The only structure that seems to work, in my mind, consists of humans becoming mostly nocturnal, with maybe 10% of the population resting in fortified locations guarded by the rest, with this diurnal group foraging, hunting, and scavenging during the day. Children (technically, those under 17 who haven't slain any monsters) make an excellent supplement to that group.

During summer, the "nocturnal" group still has plenty of time to prepare and do non-combat tasks in the sunlight. In winter amidst the extreme latitudes, nights are too long to be adequately defended. Fortified groups are extensive in the middle to low latitudes. Migratory groups also exist; these people are small bands of entirely nocturnal people who rove north and south to have as much daylight as possible, and avoid exhausting resources.
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Old 07-08-2017, 01:03 PM   #205
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The "good" news is that they want humans to survive. And their waves are proportionate to population, capability, and technology, .
So the numbers were actually about 1/100th of what you said in your first post?

You had every 10 humans facing 1 boss monster, 10 mid-levels and 100 more than nuisance types. Even in Switzerland with universal militia training and widely distributed assault rifles those are unsurvivable odds.

You also had the numbers only decreasing in proportion to fatalities. So the relative odds never got any better. The monsters aren't thinning out at all and the humans are very unlikely to be able to make ammo as fast as they need to shoot it.

I was pretty sure it looked like an extinction scenario. If you don't want that you're going to need to scale back to a realistic combatant/non-combatant ratio.
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Old 07-08-2017, 05:06 PM   #206
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If I wanted to use this premise, I think I would say that the total CP value of each night's monster spawn would be something like 5 CP per human in the local population. Thus a settlement might collectively face a swarm of small monsters or a single boss, whike cites would still duffer much larger invasions.
Alternately, you could have it happen less often. Move the first event back a week to June 23 1998 and have it recur on the first new moon after each solstice or equinox. Lots of people die on that first day, it doesn't happen again until October, which as a surprise recurrence also kills a lot of people, thereafter the survivors see the pattern, and can spend 3 months stockpiling ammunition and the like for each attack. With more reasonable preparation (and injury recovery!) time like that, the annual death rate may be low enough for population replacement to keep up.

As a bonus, it becomes possible to actually *use* this world-line for something in an IW game - i.e. I can set an adventure there using the recurrence date as a deadline, and reasonably run a missions there that will last more than one or two days.
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Old 07-09-2017, 10:50 AM   #207
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Alternately, you could have it happen less often. Move the first event back a week to June 23 1998 and have it recur on the first new moon after each solstice or equinox. Lots of people die on that first day, it doesn't happen again until October, which as a surprise recurrence also kills a lot of people, thereafter the survivors see the pattern, and can spend 3 months stockpiling ammunition and the like for each attack. With more reasonable preparation (and injury recovery!) time like that, the annual death rate may be low enough for population replacement to keep up.

As a bonus, it becomes possible to actually *use* this world-line for something in an IW game - i.e. I can set an adventure there using the recurrence date as a deadline, and reasonably run a missions there that will last more than one or two days.
Good points, all. I'd rather have constant vigilance be the primary theme of the world, but I also agree that nightly swarms is out of the question.

How about the appearances are quarterly, but the monsters don't vanish with the dawn (aside from, perhaps, the largest bosses, which are naturally different matter than the small and medium-size critters.)

So the scattered little beasts can show up at any time, but they are a totally different scale of threat. The reason for the monster spawn waves at all, in fact, is to eliminate organized response.

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Old 07-10-2017, 01:01 AM   #208
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Default Re: Lucy's Choice: Let's make Lucifer Parallels!

If you want constant vigilance to be the theme, have the numbers build as the summoning event night goes on. Each hour there is another 'pulse' and a certain number of monsters (percentage or multiple) of the existing monsters in the area spawn.

If you manage to find and kill the Boss for a certain area the summonings stop completely for that area. Bosses are intelligent and know they need to hide to build up their forces however - finding them early in the night isn't easy.

Then you have the *really* sneaky bosses who leave things behind to give them an advantage the next wave event. Since you say the monsters want the humans to live you have a Boss monologue about it or have some humans 'accidentally' see a Boss doing this. Once the humans catch on they are going to expend great deal of effort to find these 'leftovers' and they will know every last hiding spot.
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Old 07-10-2017, 08:59 AM   #209
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So the scattered little beasts can show up at any time, but they are a totally different scale of threat. The reason for the monster spawn waves at all, in fact, is to eliminate organized response.
I think eliminating organized response is synonymous with humans go extinct. Humans have organized to deal with challenges they can't individually since before they diverged from chimpanzees.

I know, I know, it's a perpetual problem for games and stories - we want the story resolution to be about heroes, not better logistical management checklists. But it's a tricky to hit a level that allows suspension of disbelief. For something where the existence and nature of the problem is obvious to everyone - and it doesn't get more obvious than waves of invading monsters are trying to kill us - it's essentially always unrealistic and requires some of that willing suspension.

I thought it was a big weakness of War Against the Cthorr, to cite a GURPS 3e license that deals with a similar theme. Lately these things are often allegory on climate change, but the analogy falls apart when the threat is totally obvious and universally bad.
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Old 09-07-2017, 09:36 PM   #210
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Default Re: Lucy's Choice: Let's make Lucifer Parallels!

Yellowstone-2: Yellowstone went off in 1963, just as everyone was breathing a sigh of relief from the Cuban missile crisis. It's a worst-case scenario, of course. What that means for your players is that a fascinating parachronic disaster or just a random portal they find can put them into an ash blizzard if you like.

Lotus Eaters featured the 1999 invention of an easy means of trans-cranial stimulation and neural synergy. It may be mundane or it may be psionic. In effect, it's an easy and computationally cheap means of full-immersion VR. It taps into the brain's own ability to create imagery, meaning that even a 2000s-era computer can make vivid photorealistic experiences.

The company selling the Dreamscape System grew explosively, and soon, despite scattered moral panic, more and more people were wearing the devices and dreaming away the day. Apparently they were even able to hack into subjective-time experience, meaning that eight hours of use could feel like 40 or more hours of perceived time.

By accident or by design, the device was extremely addictive, and once hooked, withdrawal lead to rapid decline in initiative, and without care, it was terminal. The population collapsed, with people either neglecting to eat and drink, or attempting to go cold turkey and entering a kind of waking coma.

The world is actually almost untouched -- if poorly-maintained -- with a dramatically reduced population living in the overbuilt cities. But society has lost its sense of vivre, possibly only because the population of a fraction of what it once was. More and more, the survivors give up on reality, find a comfortable place and a discarded Dreamscape device, and dream their quietly depressing lives away. Current date 2018.
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