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Old 07-09-2017, 10:50 AM   #211
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Default Re: Lucy's Choice: Let's make Lucifer Parallels!

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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   #212
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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   #213
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Default Re: Lucy's Choice: Let's make Lucifer Parallels!

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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   #214
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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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Old 09-07-2017, 10:34 PM   #215
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Default Re: Lucy's Choice: Let's make Lucifer Parallels!

It doesn't have to be a worst case Yellowstone scenario during the Cuban Missile crisis to induce a Lucifer. Just big enough to make Kruschev think it's a good time to launch a preemptive strike. Being wrong or even slightly off may allow the U.S. to launch some counter attack, and/or third parties to take the distraction as cause to start their own wars.
Realistic crap-sack global conflict but lacking united sides like in the world wars.
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Old 10-16-2017, 08:50 PM   #216
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Default Re: Lucy's Choice: Let's make Lucifer Parallels!

Double is in the terminal stages of an ominous invasion.

Some kind of invasive humanoid is populating this world. They are initially a largely undifferentiated human-shaped mass grown in a pod; these forms are almost never consciously perceived by humans, however, as they themselves can become "cognitively invisible," and ignored by humans in normal conditions. Upon selecting a human host, the walker incapacitates them, then adopts the victims' memories and identity. They may generate a psionic "mask" to appear as their victim, but they also have the ability to produce fingerprints, hair, blood, and other material, and also reshape themselves, to some degree, to better match their host's proportions.

The pods themselves are produced asexually by the otherwise sterile invaders; they must take great care to hide these pods, as they must grow undisturbed for 16 months with a ready supply of water and food.

After assimilating their victim, they then go about simulating the victim's life, waiting for an opportunity to produce additional pods. When no humans are around and there are no immediate opportunities to produce pods, the beings prepare their surroundings and then enter into a torpor. When an entire settlement has been taken over, the dopplegangers start acting extremely isolationist, and convert any structures into pod shelters. Soon the entire community becomes a densely-populated nest of "invisible" meat creatures, which immediately start drifting outward into the surrounds.

The beings, in all stages, consume anything organic, and in fact have easy control of any domesticated animals. Indeed, they usually consume a victim's pets, leading to savvy humans being highly suspicious of anyone who has abruptly lost a pet.

This invasion proceeded secretly only for so long. Eventually it broke down. Now, enclaves of humans do battle with a horrifying, body-snatching, and incredibly insidious foe. And the number one fear of anyone is a stranger offering to help.
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Old 10-16-2017, 09:54 PM   #217
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Default Re: Lucy's Choice: Let's make Lucifer Parallels!

Against such a threat what kind of countermeasures would keep an enclave of any size from either imploding due to paranoia and fear or being infiltrated and destroyed?
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Old 10-16-2017, 11:03 PM   #218
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Default Re: Lucy's Choice: Let's make Lucifer Parallels!

The "invisible" beings can be discovered via technological instruments -- even something as crude as physical traps, as the meat creatures do not have human intelligence until they have captured a host/victim.

The dopplegangers are more difficult. Frankly they are a civilization-ending threat, in the long run. One of the simpler methods for detecting them is to enter an altered mental state, which dampens the psionic 'masking' effect, revealing the uncanny physical signs; most notably, the eyes lack sclera, and the skin is completely unblemished. But of course, one is now drunk, high, or maybe just completely terrified almost out of one's wits, and must be entrusted with life-or-death judgements of others.

I'd put this apocalypse no later than the early 2000s, as much later and computer neural networks could actually scan photos effectively.

In re-reading this, I think I'd replace the meat creatures with tiny wormlike parasites that don't have the psionic invisibility. Frankly, dropping the invisibility to gain an imperfect visible mask seems disadvantageous for something that simply wants to annihilate all human life and then just exist.
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Old 10-23-2017, 04:22 PM   #219
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Default Re: Lucy's Choice: Let's make Lucifer Parallels!

Magic-based ones. Most of these are both high mana and have frequent mages, which seems uncommon until you realize that maybe these worlds like are naturally prone to fascinating magical disasters.

Igneous is a very-high mana world now ruled by animate mana-flare. It is the magical equivalent of an oil-well fire, with the addition of a fierce cunning. Only magically dead areas can host material objects for long.

Morph suffered a morphic breakdown. Humans are randomly transfigured into something else with virtually every substantial action. Simply punching someone is enough to scramble their form, as is awakening in the morning, sneezing, or simply walking through a door. The forms are usually mammalian, almost always animals, but nonetheless it's faintly possible to (for instance,) turn into a lit candle and then immediately get blown out by the breeze. Society is unstable as a result, and population is declining (hope you and your spouse happen to turn back into humanoid forms at the same time). Non-human objects and animals aren't effected. The effect tends to linger for a day or two after departing this worldline....

In Shadow, any place that is sufficiently dark serves as a gateway to a realm of evil spirits. A campfire can keep them at bay, and even a torch can burn them, but if the fire burns down to embers you'll be the next thing snuffed out...

And finally, Chronos has accelerated time for the growth of plants, the decay of materials, and weathering, as well as some other things. About ten years of time passes in 24 hours, meaning a tree can sprout from seeds and bear fruit between dinner and breakfast. So long as something is held in hand, this time acceleration is slowed to be no faster than the human clock, at least allowing people to eat a meal before it rots, but materials and equipment are extremely unreliable even if put in a backpack. Humans here live in the wild.
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Old 10-23-2017, 06:14 PM   #220
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Default Re: Lucy's Choice: Let's make Lucifer Parallels!

Vaguely similar to Shadow is Darkness:
No natural light exists. The world is in perpetual darkness due to a mass global spell. If anyone magically or technologically produces light, not immediately, but eventually, it will create portals to demonic dimensions of unimaginable horror.

It's been only a few centuries since the spell, so only short lived animals have adapted fully. But the only humans left rely on innate magic senses while vilifying anyone using more advanced magic.
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