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Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 7:53 pm
  

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There is a great deal of discussion and introduction of Great Houses online and in the Rifters, but we have been asked many times over how to go about developing a Great House for Splicers?
With so many ideas, where are the checks and balances and guidelines?

Well. Slappy & I have pondered this and wanted to develop a systemic process to help build and define Great Houses within the Resistance. This is a juicy sneak peak of the Evolved Script that we have submitted. We hope that this will allow fellow Spliceheads to develop not only their own Great Houses to enjoy and campaign with, but to also develop neighboring Great Houses to trade/barter with, contend with, alliance with or to temporarily join forces to take on the Machine and any other threats. Developing Great Houses helps round out not only the setting that the Players will enjoy and view as home, but it will also play a major role in the campaigns when it comes to alliances, blood feuds, resources, boundaries, ethics, politics, beliefs, society and survival. Remember these aspects well. A Great House that has a lot of resources and wealth also has a lot of desperate eyes and jealousy frowned upon it. In the dire world of Splicers you will have to fight for what you keep.

We have also discovered that this allows GMs to not impute all of your their creative ideas for Biotech innovations and Warmounts and OCCs into your Player's House, but divide these ideas up among the Great Houses that neighbor within the territory of the Player's Great House so you can see the impact and test their teeth against some concoctions as well. These Areas within the Resistance will become known as Areas of Influence as each typically contains one Computer Core. More on Areas of Influence later.

For now lets delve into the Building of Great Houses.

Build Your Own Great House Construction Rules

The Resistance is not one unified army, but rather it is composed of hundreds (possibly thousands) of isolated cells strategically placed all across the planet within Areas of Influence. Every Area of Influence corresponds with one of the Machine’s Computer Cores. Multiple cells are placed in each area with the hopes that at least one cell would always be there to oppose the Machine in case other cells fall. Each cell started as little more than an armed camp, but as refugees flocked to the only people capable of protecting them, each cell grew into something more. Each cell became an independent human kingdom known as a Great House. The Houses continued to oppose the Machine, but they also took on the added responsibility of defending and housing their own civilian populations. These are the last refuges for free humans on the planet, and they will be the ones responsible for rebuilding society on the surface if and when the Machine is defeated.

The Great Houses share a common ancestry, but generations of isolation has allowed each to evolve and grow into its own unique community. Differences in resources, personal motivations of House leaders, and the brutal conflicts that each House has experienced over the years have shaped the overall culture of the House, often in radical ways. While every House may have started out with the same goal of fighting the Machine and protecting humanity, that does not necessarily mean every Great House feels that way today. Petty disputes and personal greed has led many leaders astray, and they in turn used their power and influence to lead their people down the same misguided path. Since the Great Houses are more than just cookie cutter replicas of each other, this chapter will explore some of the details to consider when building one.

These House creation rules are a heavily modified version of the Palladium organization design rules originally created by Erick Wujcik for Revised Ninjas and Superspies. One of the biggest modifications is the removal of the point system. The reason for this is to keep GMs and players focused on every detail of their House rather than on the categories that provide the best perks and bonuses. This chapter is about building the culture of the House, and not just about determining its assets and liabilities (bonuses and penalties). While there is a fair share of that in some categories, other categories provide no real benefits, but they do greatly define the culture, history, and motivations of the House. I removed the point totals so that people wanting to create their own House would not feel the temptation to spend all their points on something like Outrageous Salary and then place no points into Educational Resources, Entertainment, or even the Attitude Towards categories. These seem like trivial details, but it is the little details that give the House character, that in fact make the House a character.

This is another one of those little details to consider. Instead of just building a large, established House, some players might enjoy the experience of creating a small Fledgling House that can grow and develop as their characters do. They do not necessarily need to be the leaders of the House, but their actions can suddenly have a larger impact on helping their Great House develop into a truly “Great” House. It is an opportunity for role-playing that is highly recommended, but we also understand the fun of working for a Resistance powerhouse. We leave it to each player group to decide which path is best for them.

Step One: Determine the Size of the House

This first step not only determines the total population of the House, but it also describes the organization’s stability. In general, a larger House tends to be a more stable House, but that is not always the case. Realize that resources on this planet are not infinite. In fact, they are often quite scarce. A larger House needs more resources for its people and more space to put them all. Expanding an underground haven requires supplies, as do the people. Even Bio-Tech construction requires that someone go to the surface to collect organic material for the Gene Pools, and every trip to the surface increases the chance of leading the Machine back to the House. While growing a House and gaining strength in numbers always helps, it is important to know remember that no matter how many soldiers the House has for its defense, N.E.X.U.S. always has more. A larger population is also more difficult to control. With more people stuffed into a tiny space, fighting for resources, tensions can be extremely high. Larger Houses tend to need tighter systems of control, which further elevates overall tension. Ultimately, there is a middle ground where a House is strongest. Small Houses exist in a rather precarious state. As they grow in size, they grow more stable, but once they grow past a certain size, the risk of destabilization from internal or external threats grows as well.

Fledgling House: Considered the seeds of a Great House than an actual House. The members of this fledgling kingdom set out on their own from another Great House to lay the foundations for their own home. They could either be loyal expatriates sent from their previous House with the blessings of their former Warlord, or they could be a breakaway splinter faction running from their last home as fast as they can. The total population can be as little as 100 people to as many as 1000 people. They may have left with a few mature Saints in tow (if they favor Bio-Tech that is), so they could have an Engineer or even a Librarian among their ranks. This would allow them to produce Bio-Tech, and perhaps even create new Bio-Tech designs. Of course, this new House might have been formed by humans that hate Bio-Tech and fled their last home because they thought it was evil and monstrous. The rules, structure, and even the underground haven itself are far from established. This House needs to find its feet before it can even consider large scale combat operations against the Machine (or rival Great Houses). Of course, that does not rule out smaller raids.

Devastated House: This Great House is similar to a Fledgling House, except its origin is far more tragic. Instead of springing forth from a thriving Great House to stake their own claim, the members of this new House are refugees from one that was previously destroyed. Whether it was the Machine, a rival Great House, or an internal civil war, someone obliterated the last underground haven and slaughtered most of the residents. They had to leave the ashes of their old home behind and find a new one. They may have brought Engineers and Librarians with them or they may only possess whatever Bio-Tech they could evacuate. Total population can vary radically from as few as 500 people to as many as 5000. Like with the Fledgling House, the members are most concerned with building a new underground haven and reestablishing some sort of structured society. These beaten dogs are trying to get back on their feet before they can hope to join the larger war effort.

Small House: This House may be small, but it is firmly established. Construction of their underground haven has been completed (although it is likely still expanding) and they have well defined rules, customs, and traditions. The total population can range from 1000 people to 5000. This House may be small, but it is large enough to be a player within its Area of Influence (and possibly beyond).

Medium House: This is the most common (and preferred) House size throughout much of the Resistance. After years of trial and error, many Resistance leaders have learned that a population between 5000 and 20,000 people is small enough to easily house within the tight confines of an underground haven without stretching resources too thin, yet it is still large enough to create a formidable army. What keeps this House size so common is that many Houses will generally send out envoys to create a new Resistance cell once their population hits the upper end of this scale. Great Houses have found it incredibly beneficial to sponsor an ancillary branch since it basically expands the total territory of the original House while still protecting its internal resources, plus it instantly creates a loyal ally that can be counted on during Blood Feuds and massive engagements with the Machine.

Large House: Not every House likes to spread its people out all across the planet. Some Resistance leaders see the Machine’s strength in numbers and try to build similar strength within their own empire. This type of House was able to handle its resources well enough to enable it to continue to expand the borders of its underground haven and grow its population. This population growth could have just been from natural births, but it could also have been due to heavy recruitment from surrounding Retro Villages and even rival Great Houses. These Houses tend to be a major player not only in their Area of Influence, but in surrounding regions as well. It is nearly impossible to get up to this size without ruffling a few feathers. This size House is almost certainly on the Machine’s radar, and more than likely it has also developed a few bitter rivalries with jealous Great Houses. Population size typically ranges from 20,000 to 50,000 people.

Enormous House: Houses of this size are extremely rare. These Resistance powerhouses are respected, feared, and often envied by other Houses (even if they should not be). Outsiders believe that any House that was able to grow to this size must know how to succeed in this harsh and unforgiving environment. Whether this is true or not remains to be seen. The House leaders may simply be skilled at putting up a strong front. In reality, they may only be holding their empire together with strings. Of course, the House could also be just as powerful as it appears. Just remember, that a large House is not invulnerable. No matter how many soldiers the House may have, the Machine has billions more. A large House makes a large target, and on this world, a large target with a large number of mouths to feed is far more prone to collapse than the smaller ones. Populations in this category typically range from 50,000 to 200,000 people.

Human Kingdom: The only known Human Kingdom within the Resistance is the Great House of the Barren Marsh. This House not only crossed the 200,000+ person threshold, but it also established settlements on the surface. In theory, a Human Kingdom could continue to thrive and grow to impressive numbers, but growing to this size also puts a House right at the top of the Machine’s hit list. It also fosters incredible envy and even resentment among other Resistance cells. On a world with so little, being perceived as having so much is a great way to become a target of more than just N.E.X.U.S.

Step Two: Determine the House’s Biotechnology.

Bio-Technology has only been a part of the human’s arsenal for a few generations, and some Great Houses have been slower to adopt this strange technology than others. Whether it is due to a lack of resources or a genuine preference for the inorganic technology of old (Nanoplague safe versions of course), some Houses are simply far less reliant on Bio-Technology than others. Conversely, some Houses have mastered Bio-Technology to a level that seems almost magical.

No Bio-Tech: While rare, there are some Great Houses that have decided to completely shun organic technology. This goes beyond simple lack of resources (no Engineers or Librarians). This type of House distrusts the alien nature of Bio-Technology to such an extent that they will not allow any of their people to own or operate Bio-Tech of any kind. It does not necessarily mean they shun other Great Houses for using Bio-Tech, they just refuse to use it themselves. Great Houses that have gone this far typically had a Librarian go Megalo in their past with tragic results.

Minimal Bio-Tech: Due to an extreme lack of resources, this type of Great House possesses very little organic technology within its armories. Their forces tend to rely on plastic and ceramic armaments and their craftsmen use wood, stone, and plastic for civilian construction projects. This type of House likely does not have any Librarians (01-80% chance) and at best a handful of Engineers (1D4-2 Engineers). This type of House usually needs to trade for Bio-Tech with their neighbors since they cannot grow enough themselves.

Prefers Conventional Technology: Most members from this type of House do not fear Bio-Tech, they just do not like it that much. It may be powerful, but it is still creepy, weird, and alien. A small percentage of their people still use Bio-Tech (under 20%), but the majority stick to conventional gear. These Houses were actually the first to adapt to the Nanobot Plague back in the day. Because of their tremendous technical expertise, they were able to quickly retool their equipment, weapons, and manufacturing processes to create safe alternatives. These Houses quickly rose to prominence among the ranks of the Resistance because they were the only source of safe yet effective weapons and armor. The introduction of Bio-Tech, however, changed their status just as quickly. These Houses got a little too comfortable with their positions of power among their fellow Houses and did not like falling into obscurity so quickly. This resentment over their fallen status is the primary reason for their distrust of Bio-Tech. They may no longer be held in as high of esteem as in generations past, but they are still the best place to go for conventional equipment. These Houses still tend to be on the wealthier side because there are relatively few Houses that manufacture Plague-safe gear. Despite their dislike of Bio-Tech, it is possible that they still have one Librarian (01-30% chance) and a handful of Engineers (1D4-2 Engineers).

Common Bio-Tech: This type of House has no preference for or against Bio-Tech. They recognize it as a valuable tool against the Machine and use it (as well as conventional tech) as much as possible. The percentage of forces equipped with Bio-Tech varies greatly, from as little as 40% to as high as 80%. Houses in this category generally have one or two Librarians and 1D6+3 Engineers. They may have one or two proprietary Bio-Tech designs, but for the most part, they only know how to manufacture commonly used Bio-Tech creations.

Prefers Bio-Tech: This type of Great House considers Bio-Tech to be an absolute godsend and thinks that people who are unwilling to use it are ignorant fools. They believe (and rightly so) that even N.E.X.U.S. cannot match the power of Bio-Tech one on one, and it is only the Machine’s vastly superior numbers that keeps Bio-Tech from ending this war once and for all. Depending on resources, these types of Houses tend to equip 70% to 95% of their forces with Bio-Tech armaments, plus nearly all civilians use organic technology during their daily lives. These Houses love Bio-Tech and constantly work to improve it. They usually have two to three Librarians and 1D8+4 Engineers hard at work refining and creating new custom designs that are only available to their House (at least until another House steals the genetic code or they sell it to their neighbors).

Cutting Edge Bio-Tech: Members from this category of Great House do not just love Bio-Tech, they have mastered it. No matter the size of the House, they have an unusually large amount of Librarians and Engineers among their ranks, and the sheer brainpower of this collective has been able to provide their Great House with some of the best Bio-Tech in the Resistance. This type of House has access to all the common Bio-Tech genetic codes, plus they also have developed dozens or even hundreds of unique designs. About 80% to 95% of their forces are equipped with Bio-Tech, plus a larger than normal portion of their population (25% to 40%) are actually augmented with Bio-Tech of some kind. This does not necessarily mean they have been turned into monstrous war machines. Many people simply had body parts replaced that were lost in battle or added minor enhancements like eyes or other sensors to improve their combat effectiveness. This type of Great House typically has three to five Librarians and 1D12+8 Engineers.


Step Three: Determine the House’s Wealth
Within the Resistance, wealth is not a measure of luxury, but a measure of survivability. What makes a Great House wealthy is its ability to provide for the basic needs of its people as well as the needs of its military. Every House has its own socioeconomic structure, so the wealth of a Great House is not necessarily divided evenly. There will always be a privileged upper class that is a bit more comfortable than the rest of the citizens, but the level of comfort is still relative to the resources available.

Starving: Resources are extremely limited. Everyone in the House (except maybe a select few) is barely eeking out a subsistence living and is barely getting enough food to survive. Not only are the people starving, but so are all the Bio-Tech creatures, weapons, and gear. As a result, every person, animal, and piece of Bio-Tech is about 10% smaller in size and has 10% less M.D.C. (or S.D.C. and H.P.) than normal. They are also -1 to strike, parry, and dodge, have one less attack per melee round, and inflict 10% less damage than normal. If characters can find enough game and food to meet their equipment’s basic requirements (as well as their own) for a full month, then they can eventually negate all the penalties except the size and M.D.C. reductions. This leads to many surface teams spending much of their efforts hunting for food instead of hunting N.E.X.U.S. As a result, the Machine tends to have a stronger presence in their territory, which makes it even more difficult to search for food (a vicious cycle).

Limited Internal Resources/Plentiful Surface Game: Like a Starving House, this type of House has very limited internal resources, but unlike a Starving House, they have no problem finding food on the surface. This type of House is usually located near a thriving nature preserve, which they plunder often for food. The people and Bio-Tech equipment do not suffer any penalties, but the constant hunting excursions mean that they have not done a very good job at keeping N.E.X.U.S. in check within their territory. This means there are far more patrols in their territory than normal which increases the risk of N.E.X.U.S. following one of their hunting parties back to their underground haven.

Military First: This type of House also has limited resources, but the Warlord has decided that what little they do have should support the military first with the leftover scraps going to the civilian population. This means the House’s warriors, Bio-Tech equipment, and war machines remain strong, but their civilians are sickly and weak. Of course, the military always needs new recruits, so they still try to keep the children fed to allow them to grow up healthy and strong. Once they reach an age where they can join the war effort (usually in their early teens), they are given a choice; either join the war effort and continue to eat, or sit on the sidelines like a coward and probably starve. Obviously, enlistment rates are pretty high under these circumstances, but resources are still stretched pretty thin and someone has to suffer. In addition to people that refuse to serve in the military, the House also denies its resources to the elderly, parents that stay home to raise children, janitorial staff and other service people, and those who can no longer fight due to illness or injury. The only civilians that seem to do well are merchants and high-ranking war heroes that have retired from the field. These types of Houses also tend to be less tolerant of criminal activity. The death penalty is doled out pretty liberally (even for minor offenses), and their bodies are fed to the War Mounts, suits of Host Armor, and other gear. If the situation grows desperate enough, these criminals may even fed to the people (in a heavily disguised manner of course).

Civilians First: Once again, resources are sparse, but the leaders of this type of House have decided that their greatest resource is their people. After all, the whole reason they are fighting is to save humanity from extinction, so it only makes sense that humans should receive priority treatment over their organic tools. While the people are strong and fit, their Bio-Tech gear tends to be smaller and weaker. Every Bio-Tech weapon, creature, and piece of equipment is about 10% smaller in size and has 10% less M.D.C. than normal. They are also -1 to strike, parry, and dodge, have one less attack per melee round, and inflict 10% less damage than normal. If characters can find enough game and food to meet their equipment’s basic requirements for a full month, then they can eventually negate all penalties except the size and M.D.C. reductions (those are permanent).

Comfortable: This is the status of most Great Houses throughout the Resistance. They may live in cramped conditions that their ancestors would consider squalor, but they are well fed and all their basic needs are provided for. As always, some people live better than others, but overall, the House is able to produce enough resources to sustain all of their people and Bio-Tech.
Trade Surplus: This type of House may not be living luxuriously, but they are doing a little bit better than most. Their House can produce more than their people and military require which means they can trade with other Houses for a few extras. What they choose to trade for depends on the nature of the House. Some trade for additional military resources to strengthen their armed forces, while others trade for a few creature comforts to make their life underground seem a little less bleak.

Wealthy: Wealthy Great Houses are extremely rare, but they exist. To reach this level, a Great House must possess some sort of resource that all other Great Houses want desperately, but cannot produce themselves. Typically these types of Houses are either masters at building conventional equipment or geniuses at creating new Bio-Tech designs which they then sell to other Great Houses. Their militaries are usually far better equipped than most, and their people live quite comfortably. Life within this type of House is still cramped since space is always limited, but the average person tends to own many luxury items. These Houses also tend to have much more developed entertainment and recreation facilities which keeps their population happier than most.


Step Four: Determine the House’s Leadership Structure

Leadership: When the Great House system was first created, each House was founded around a loose military hierarchy. In time, this hierarchy evolved into the Warlord, Senate, and Dreadguard structure that most Houses use today. Typically, a Warlord rises from the ranks of the Dreadguard and then appoints a council of other seasoned Dreadguards to advise him or her in the Senate. When the Warlord becomes unfit to rule or corrupted by his own power, another Dreadguard can challenge him in single combat for the right to rule. It is a simple system and it worked quite well for years until the Librarians started introducing themselves into the mix. These strange alien beings possessed almost limitless intelligence, a seemingly insatiable thirst for knowledge, and an equally unquenchable lust for power. It seems as though there are only two types of Librarians, those that resist these urges and those that give in to them. The ones that gave in to the urge would spend years working and scheming from the shadows to manipulate the House towards their own ends. These schemes would either bear fruit or be exposed before the Librarian could seize control. Houses that had to endure Librarian manipulation tended to abandon the old form of leadership in favor of some sort of hybrid form.

Warlord and Senate Advisors: This is the standard leadership structure throughout much of the Resistance. The most senior and respected Dreadguards eventually rise to the Senate. It is the responsibility of the Senators to advise the Warlord and to one day replace him if necessary. Dreadguards outside of the Senate may also challenge the Warlord for the right to lead, but since the Senate is composed of the most skilled warriors, they really are the only ones with any chance of defeating the Warlord in single combat.
Warlord Council: This structure is one of the most common to be implemented following a failed Librarian takeover (especially if the previous Warlord is killed in the attempt). The Senate usually realizes that a lone man is easy prey for manipulative Librarians, so they decided the best way to prevent it from happening again was to spread power equally among the entire Senate, or Warlord Council. All decisions and decrees are made by a simple majority rule. While this can require more time than unilateral decision making, having to rule through concession and compromise definitely keeps corruption to a minimum. Admission into the Warlord Council is typically by invitation only, but Dreadguard can challenge individual Warlords to single combat for the right to take their place on the Council.

Lone Warlord: This type of leadership typically forms when the Warlord grows too corrupt, or conversely, when too many Senators succumb to corruption. In this scenario, the Warlord simply disbands the Senate and continues to rule on his own. He may still hold on to a few personal advisors, but their positions no longer hold the same high status. Something else unusual about this leadership model is that some of these Warlords do away with the ability to be challenged to single combat for the right to rule. This is usually a sign of growing paranoia, but it can be a wise precaution to keep the schemers at bay (sometimes they really are out to get you). Typically the Warlord needs some kind of ace in the hole, like a secret army of Butchers, to keep any possible dissenters in line.

Puppet Warlord: This arrangement exists within more Great Houses than anyone would like to admit. While the House seems to have a strong Warlord with his council of Senate Advisors, the truth is that they are merely puppets to the true power of the House, the Librarian.

Lone Librarian: The Librarian has done away with all pretenses and simply declared himself the new ruler of the House. A Librarian has to be pretty confident in his power base in order to make such a bold move. Obviously, the tradition of challenging for control of the House is suspended, as are many other traditions and customs. If the House had multiple Librarians, the others were either killed or imprisoned when the one rose to power.

Librarian Council: This is similar to the previous scenario, but instead of one Librarian disposing of the others, they all decided to share power. While this may sound like the sensible thing to do, it is not really in these beings’ nature to share. Whatever motivated them to enter into this arrangement is likely not enough to keep them content. These power-hungry schemers may pretend to work together towards a common goal, but they are all secretly plotting and calculating how to become the sole ruler of the House.


Step Five: Determine the Educational Resources

While it often seems like the war against the Machine is all consuming, even the most battle-hardened Great House still understands the importance of educating its children. Not only does this make better, more well rounded soldiers, but it also keeps them human. What is the point of fighting for humanity’s survival if the war causes everyone to devolve into mindless killing machines like the very enemy they are fighting against? Having an understanding of art, literature, science, history, mathematics, and dozens of other academic disciplines not only offers great advantages today, but this knowledge will be vital for rebuilding society once the Machine falls. Every Great House understands the importance of education, but not every House has the tools required to properly teach their people. When humans first fled underground to escape the Machine’s wrath, few were able to grab more than a handful of books, documents, digital files, and other historical records. They were far more concerned with grabbing weapons, food, clothing, building supplies, and anything else that might help them survive the slaughter. Over the following generations, some Great Houses were able to go back to the surface and reclaim some of the knowledge they spent centuries acquiring, while other Houses could only find the burnt remains of their once great culture. When the Nanoplague hit, even more knowledge was lost as people’s computers were suddenly turned into instruments of death. The Librarians, with their massive memories, eventually rose to fill the gap left by the loss of normal record keeping, but the damage was already done. Billions of people that held critical knowledge were slaughtered, millions of books, documents, computer files, and records were destroyed in the war, and the files that survived on the mini-discs are now locked away where no one can read them. Children still need to be taught and each House has come up with many ways to do so, but like with everything else, they are often limited by the resources available for them to do so. Most Great Houses use a combination of methods, so each House can make multiple selections from this category.

Storytelling: This is one of the easiest and most common ways to relay information from one generation to the next, but unfortunately, it is also one of the least accurate. The important details tend to change with each retelling due to misunderstandings, imperfect recall, or because of the personal biases of the speaker. Another significant problem with storytelling is that in this era, it is as much about entertainment as it is about information. It is common for stories to be embellished to make them more interesting and exciting to the listener, which further erodes the accuracy of the tale. Still, in the absence of hard records, storytelling is an excellent way to convey important information to others.

Apprenticeship: Skills that are vital to a functioning society like carpentry, plumbing, cloth making, sewing, and even those of more technical professions like medical doctor, pathologist, dentist, and the like are typically passed from generation to generation through apprenticeship programs. Skilled professionals will take a handful of youths under their wing to teach them everything they know. These apprenticeships can last as little as six months to as much as five years, after which they go off on their own to start their new profession. After a few years of service, they too can begin to take on apprentices.

Librarian: A Librarian can absorb all the knowledge contained within a human’s mind by stabbing a small bladed tentacle into the person’s body. It is a painful process, but it is a small price to pay for a one hundred percent accurate repository of the Great House’s knowledge and history. How this repository is shared with others is generally left to the discretion of the Warlord and/or Librarian. Some Librarians share their knowledge with charismatic speakers who then disseminate the information to the public. Others speak to scribes who write down the information for others to read or so it can be stored in a secondary location, and some Librarians will even address large groups publicly. However, if a House does not have this resource selected, then it means the Librarian is only sharing its knowledge with a select few.

Golden Age Library: This House was able to acquire thousands of novels, textbooks, technical manuals, magazines, and other documents that were created during the golden age of mankind. Most of these records were lost in the war, so this library is a prize that is far more precious than the hundreds of thousands of micro discs that many use as currency (since these books can at least be read). They are kept locked away from the public and are only loaned out to a select few. There is usually a team of scribes locked away in this library, busily copying these works by hand as quickly as they can. The copies are then moved to a separate location to preserve this knowledge in the event that the original library is ever destroyed. They hope to one-day spread this knowledge throughout the Resistance, but right now, it is far too precious to ever risk directly. Anything learned from these documents is usually disseminated through the old methods of storytelling, but at least they have the records to help the speakers keep their facts straight.

Printing Press: The House has built or otherwise acquired a Plague-safe printing press, and they are using it to create new books as quickly as possible. These can be replications of golden age works, original works by modern writers, or transcripts meant to immortalize the knowledge trapped within the minds of the Librarians. Whatever the source of the originals, the press has allowed this House to circulate the knowledge to everyone in the House and has even allowed them to sell it to other Houses rather than just lock it away for safe keeping.

Technojacker Jury-Rigging: Normal Technojackers are able to use their nanites to artificially force broken electronics to function, at least for a while. It is theoretically possible for a Technojacker to restore an old computer to working order long enough to recover its data onto some sort of storage device. In fact, many Technojackers collect old knowledge from any computer they find with the hopes it will one day be of some value. Some people suspect that they are actually able to make use of this knowledge already. How they could do this, however, is unknown. They may be able to get computers working temporarily, but once their nanites stop powering the device it becomes useless. They would need a functioning N.E.X.U.S. computer to ever spend any significant time reading through any information they recover. However, it is rumored that some Technojackers are actually able to create complex and stable machines that could be used to read this data.

Plague-Safe Computer: This is an incredibly rare and treasured item. So rare in fact, that none are known to exist, but the rumors still persist that someone has created one. If this is true, then it means that a Great House has the ability to read and possibly even write micro discs.

Step Six: Determine the Internal Control
Life underground is difficult to say the least. Everyone lives in cramped conditions, food is scarce, and the looming threat of a brutal death is ever present. Humanity is on the brink of destruction and people are at their absolute breaking point. Unfortunately, to maintain order and stability within the underground havens, the House leaders often need to treat their people quite harshly. They need to make pretty tough decisions about how to divvy up the limited resources available to them all, and they have to crack down hard on any improper behavior to prevent society from spiraling into chaos. Each House has its own strategy or strategies for maintaining order at home, which is why it is possible to make multiple selections from this category.

Oppressive Laws: The laws throughout nearly every Great House in the Resistance would be considered oppressive by most standards, but in this desperate age, there really is no other option. Space is too limited to be wasted on prisons, and with basic necessities as scarce as they are, it is not hard to convince the populace to sacrifice a few criminals so that the rest can survive. The laws are harsh and the penalties severe, but it is a system that makes sense and one the people have accepted. Each House uses an elite force of Marshals to enforce the laws and a panel of Judges to hand down the sentences. It usually only requires a handful of Judges to mediate these trials, but the number of Marshals required depends largely on the needs of each House. The wealthier and more comfortable Houses tend to have less crime and require just a handful of Marshals, while the poorest Houses can barely keep their desperate population in check with hundreds or even thousands of Marshals.

Fear: This type of House has taken the concept of oppressive laws to a whole new extreme. They not only prosecute theft, rape, and murder, but they also punish dissent. Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the right to gather for the purpose of protest are seen as dangerous rights that can only bring division and anarchy; rights the leaders of this House believe they must stamp out by any means necessary. They use the Marshals and Judges to deal with garden variety offenses, but the “crimes” of disagreeing with the powers that be are dealt with more discretely. This kind of Great House has another police force in addition to the Marshals, a secret police force that imposes the oppressive will of its masters. Their mission is simple, maintain the peace by removing the voices of dissent. They may dispose of anyone they wish at any time and for any reason. Of course, this level of power is abused quite regularly. The secret police kill more people in the name of personal slights and insults than they ever do for actual “crimes.” Most people are smart enough to keep their mouths shut no matter how unjust they believe their society is, but the secret police always seem to find a way to stay busy.

Drug Induced Submission: Some Houses have found a less brutal way to silence dissent and keep the poor from rioting in the streets. The leaders of this type of Great House not only allow the use and abuse of illicit drugs, they encourage it and in many cases provide it free of charge. They find hallucinogenics and downers to be the most effective way to pacify the populace, but they do provide their soldiers with stimulants to snap them back into fighting condition before sending them up to the surface. Of course, once someone descends too deeply into their addiction, they become a liability that must be disposed of (usually through an “accidental” overdose). Typically this type of House makes money by selling their drugs to other Houses, but they always have plenty on hand to keep their own people in line. The drugs they give their own people tend to be milder than what they sell to other Houses, but this just means it takes longer for them to hit rock bottom than normal. Of course, not everyone in the House is a drug addict. The House still has an upper class that lives in comparative luxury, so they do not need to drown their sorrows with narcotics.

Reward: One of the easiest ways to keep the people in line is to simply pay them off, assuming of course the House possesses the means to do so. This does not necessarily mean direct financial reward (although it could). It could just mean that the House is able to easily provide for the needs of its people as well as a decent amount of luxury items. Even the lower classes live far better than most people in the Resistance. Only “Wealthy” Houses (see House Wealth) are able to pacify their people in this fashion.

Devotion: The people have been convinced that their leaders are actually living gods. As such, they not only obey them, but they worship and often blindly follow their leaders without a moment’s hesitation or regret. It takes incredible scheming and expert manipulation on a massive scale to accomplish this level of brainwashing, something even the most clever and charismatic human is rarely capable of. A Megalo Librarian typically sets up this type of House. Sometimes they lead the House directly, but often they have to set up surrogate gods to help better sell this deception. These could either be humans that willingly go along with the lie, but most Librarians prefer to build their own Bio-Tech gods from scratch. These creatures are often stunningly beautiful creations inspired by mythological Pantheons like those of the ancient Egyptians or Romans, but some are just the products of imaginative Librarians. Whatever the origins of this ideology, it is one the people whole-heartedly accept. Every man, woman, and child in the House has grown up being told that their gods walk among them, and the majority of them believe it.

Step Seven: Determine the Criminal Activities:

No matter how oppressive the laws or strict the penalties, criminal behavior is an inevitable part of any society, especially one where resources are scarce. Even something as harsh as giving out the death penalty for petty theft does little to deter someone from stealing a loaf of bread if he was going to starve to death anyway. Most crimes in the underground havens are simply individuals doing what they must to survive, but there are also those that resort to crime because they see it as the path to comfort and power.

None (Strict Moral Code): The majority of the people in this type of House will obey the law under almost any circumstance (assuming they consider the laws just). They understand that if they steal from another to ease their own hardship then all they have really done was transferred their hardship onto another. They recognize that humanity is on the brink of extinction, and that everyone is in this awful struggle together. It takes a special kind of leader to convince his or her people of this truth, but his type of unity can be achieved (although it is extremely rare). Of course, there will always be exceptions to the rule, but the majority of the people within this House do their best to maintain order and stability within their home.

Unorganized Activity: Crime is not necessarily rampant within the House, but it is a daily part of life and one that will never go away no matter how hard the Marshals may try. Fortunately, individuals or small bands commit these crimes. There is no criminal organization and no gangs to speak of. This could simply be because no leader has risen for an underworld to form around, or the Marshals in this House may be exceptionally skilled at crushing fledgling gangs before they can grow.

Small Gangs: The seeds of a budding criminal underworld have taken root. Several small gangs have formed within the underground haven to vie for control of these activities. Any vices, substances, or items that are illegal within the Great House are being controlled and distributed by the gangs. Things may get nasty if the gangs decide to go to war to seize a bigger slice of this pie.

Organized Underworld: The Great House is cursed with a fully entrenched organization that directs all criminal activity within the underground haven. A single, powerful syndicate controls gambling, prostitution, drug trafficking, and all manner of illicit activities. The Marshals within the House spend the majority of their time trying to break the back of this powerful organization (assuming they are not already on the take), but that is easier said than done. What makes this organization so dangerous is that the majority of its members are ex-military. Some of the most seasoned veterans from among the House’s Roughnecks, Dreadguard, and other special forces decided to turn their back on the war and dedicate their time towards making their own lives a little more comfortable. They justify their selfishness by thinking their efforts are providing the people with the things they want. While it is true that there is a market for their services, their efforts do far more harm than good. They consume resources that would best be dedicated to the war effort, and the vices they push on people ultimately causes more pain than it cures. For the Marshals, combating this organization is a full time job, which leaves little time to deal with crimes perpetrated by ordinary citizens. This only adds to the chaos and anarchy that is tearing the underground haven apart.

Covertly House Sponsored Underworld: This type of House realized long ago that crime was inevitable as were criminal organizations, and they decided to deal with this reality in a somewhat unusual way. Instead of trying to crush every gang and syndicate that popped up, the House picked one gang that best fit their needs and allowed it to grow while they worked to crush all others. They shielded their gang from the Marshals in exchange for information on the other gangs. In time, all other organizations were dismantled, leaving their chosen gang to fill the void in the underworld. They continued to support this organization as long as it was willing to follow the House’s rules. This arrangement may sound strange, but it benefited both sides greatly. The gang was allowed to operate without fear of the Marshals. Sure a few low level thugs had to be given up from time to time, but the majority of the soldiers could seek their fortunes freely. In exchange, the gangs agreed to behave and maintain peace within the underground haven. As long as they did not target the Marshals or cause too many civilian casualties, the Great House would allow them to live, profit, and grow. The House figured it was far easier to manage the underworld when it knew who all the players were than it was to try and find all the new players that would eventually pop up to fill the void left by a crushed gang. Both sides understand that this truce is somewhat tenuous at best, but it has worked well for everyone so far and most people want the arrangement to continue. Really the only ones that do not like it are the Marshals. Some may know of the arrangement and others may not, but all of them would rather just crush every lawbreaker within their jurisdiction. The Sheriff does his or her best to keep the Marshals in check, but they are the ones who will most likely break this fragile truce one day.

Integrated Criminal Underworld: This goes far beyond a simple House sponsored underworld; the Great House is a criminal syndicate. The leaders of the House split their attention between fighting the Machine and directing their criminal enterprise. Since the entire House is basically one big gang, their laws are a little bit more relaxed towards drug use, prostitution, and other vices. They have pretty much turned their underground haven into this world’s equivalent of Las Vegas in order to keep their people submissive and content. They do have laws, and when those laws are broken, the Marshals deal with them just as harshly. For the most part, the Great House focuses its criminal endeavors towards rival Houses. Instead of just preying on its own citizens for financial gain, this House mainly preys on its neighbors by providing them with all the vices that their own House denies them. They work in tandem with each House’s own criminal organizations to keep the drugs, booze, and other banned substances flowing. It not only enables the House to leech money and resources from its rivals, but it also provides them with an entrenched network of spies and infiltrators that keep the intel flowing.

Step Eight: Determine the Military Culture

The Great Houses were first formed to fight the Machine and safeguard humanity. While they all started with a unified attack strategy, in time, each House evolved its own way of dealing with N.E.X.U.S. Some took a more aggressive approach and attacked the Machine’s minions and installations whenever possible. Others thought it was more important to rescue humans enslaved by N.E.X.U.S. than to destroy her resources. Still others thought the best solution was to fortify their underground havens and protect their own populations. In time, the basic military strategy of each House slowly became its dominant cultural attitude. The aggressive Warlords bred aggressive warriors, the protectionist Warlords inspired a culture that believes their purpose is to save as many people as possible, and so on. This attitude also affected how the House dealt with other Resistance cells. Aggressive Houses were more likely to engage in Blood Feuds, while protectionists tried their best to preserve all lives rather than waste anyone in needless struggles. This represents the dominant attitude held by the majority of the civilians and soldiers within the Great House.

Isolationists: This House is far more concerned with its own survival than with the survival of humanity as a whole. Anyone that sets foot on their land, whether it be man or machine, is attacked and destroyed. They are not fools and will not assault overwhelming forces unless they can be ensured of their victory. They pick and choose their shots like any House, they are just very aggressive and very protective of their territory. They do not care about the fate of their fellow man, as long as they stay on their side of the border. Other Houses may find their beliefs misguided, but their aggression towards the Machine still ultimately benefits the Resistance as a whole.

Defensive: There are two possible reasons for this culture to develop. Either the members of the House have simply decided to hole up underground and hope the war blows over, or they have suffered so many losses that they need to fallback until they can replenish their resources and their ranks. For the time being, they have pretty much given up on the surface, and have concentrated their efforts around fortifying their underground haven. They only venture to the surface to gather supplies, and they try their best not to draw any attention to themselves.

Territorial Protectionists: Similar to the Isolationists, members of this House prefer to defend their own territory rather than venture out to help their neighbors. The difference is that they do not attack humans unless attacked first. They journey to the surface often to suppress the Machine’s efforts in their territory and to defend any humans living in the area, but they almost never move beyond their own borders.

Defenders of Humanity: The members of this type of House have decided that their real purpose is to protect, not destroy. This does not mean they are pacifists, it simply means that they are far more concerned with rescuing prisoners and protecting civilians than with destroying robots and N.E.X.U.S. installations. They perform these types of combat missions as well, but they always go to great lengths to ensure that no civilians get caught in the crossfire when they do attack the Machine. N.E.X.U.S. personalities that learn of this fact often put the House’s resolve to the test by surrounding sensitive installations with human shields or by using humans as bait to draw soldiers into traps. Their people recognize that this belief often puts them at increased risk, but it takes a lot to make them pass up the opportunity to save more human lives.

Warriors: While most members of the Resistance fight to survive, the soldiers from this type of Great House live to fight. They love to test their skills on the battlefield, and will go wherever the fight is. They will not only attack the Machine within their territory, but they will gladly travel into neighboring territories if that is where the action is. While the neighboring Great Houses likely appreciate the assistance from such skilled warriors, they have no doubts that they fight for their own pleasure rather than out of kindness. The proof of this is the fact that this type of House is very quick to start a Blood Feud. The same warriors that swooped in and helped a neighbor could just as easily turn on them in an instant over the slightest insult. Splicers from these Great Houses receive an additional attack per melee round and bonuses of +1 to strike, parry, and dodge.

Step Nine: Determine the House’s Attitude Towards N.E.X.U.S.
The Great House system was originally instituted to fight the Machine, but after generations of war and ever-shifting priorities due to personal grudges, inter-House disputes, and selfish motivations, some Houses have lost sight of their true purpose. On the flip side, some Great Houses are so obsessed with the destruction of N.E.X.U.S. that they have lost sight of their mandate to protect humanity. Their desire to hurt the Machine is so strong, that they will willingly sacrifice any civilians caught in the crossfire or even their own people in order to give N.E.X.U.S. a black eye.

Live and Let Live: This Great House has completely lost sight of what the Resistance is all about. It is so focused on its petty struggles and Blood Feuds that it has completely given up on its war against the Machine. As long as N.E.X.U.S. does not attack them first, this House will ignore her forces completely and simply concentrate on attacking rival Great Houses. N.E.X.U.S. personalities that recognize this fact (like Lilith or Kali) will order their minions to avoid confrontations with any warriors from this House.

Not a Priority: This is similar to number one in that the Great House is primarily concerned with settling its Blood Feuds, but it still does its part in the war against N.E.X.U.S. While the majority of its military strikes are against rival factions, it does send out teams to sabotage N.E.X.U.S. facilities, ambush robotic troops and convoys, and rescue civilians caught in the Machine’s clutches.
Broken Spirit: After years of endlessly struggling against overwhelming odds, this Great House has all but given up. They have lost so much, not only in resources but also in personnel. Their attacks may have been successful, but it always seemed like every victory cost more than it was worth. The warriors from this House will fight the Machine if they must, but they almost never initiate the engagements. This type of House typically has a Military Culture of “Defensive.”

Timid Resistance: This Great House may have suffered some horrendous losses in their history, or they simply may be overly cautious. Either way, they tend to only make carefully measured strikes against the Machine. They never seem to take much risk or inflict much damage against N.E.X.U.S. They convince themselves that they are doing their part to rid the world of the Machine, but they look at the grand schemes orchestrated by others in the Resistance with envy. They want to do more, but they do not quite have the confidence in their skills or tactics. Really all they need is one major victory to inspire the rest of the House to rise to greatness (perhaps something the player characters could help with).

Active Resistance: This is the standard level of commitment for most Great Houses throughout the Resistance. The House does its best to constantly harass and undermine the Machine within its territory, but this must be done with caution. They are incredibly outnumbered at all times, and overly aggressive maneuvers will just lead to overwhelming reinforcements sweeping in and wiping out everyone in sight.

Seething Hatred: The members from this type of Great House try to use measured restraint, but sometimes they simply cannot help themselves. They tend to be overly aggressive in their campaign to destroy N.E.X.U.S. They go after targets that most other Houses are wise enough to ignore, and they tend to slug it out with N.E.X.U.S. in the open a bit more than they should. They also tend to view any civilian casualties as acceptable losses. They feel that humanity as a whole will be better served by the Machine’s elimination, and they think that holding back so that a handful of humans do not get hurt in the crossfire is a foolish waste of time.

Fanatical Opposition: For this type of Great House, restraint has gone completely out the window, as has the concept of the sanctity of human life. They will do whatever it takes and sacrifice whomever they must in order to destroy the Machine. They have no problem wiping out an entire Retro-Village or resorting to suicide attacks to take down their objectives. They still carefully weigh the value of the target verses the cost of the assault, but they are far more willing to sacrifice a human life (or one hundred) in order to get the job done. This type of House also tends to turn most of its criminal offenders into “disposable troops.” The exact nature of these sacrificial warriors depends on the capabilities and attitudes of the House. Some Houses churn out living bombs while others create psychotic berserkers that they can drop off behind enemy lines to wreak havoc until they are inevitably killed. Their twisted view on the value of human life tends to isolate them a bit from other Great Houses. On a positive note, these obsessed lunatics almost never participate in Blood Feuds, even if attacked first.

Step Ten: Determine the Attitude Towards Other Great Houses
Long ago, the Resistance adopted an independent cell structure to ensure its continued survival in the face of overwhelming odds. Each Great House would operate as an isolated unit to make sure that the destruction of one cell would never compromise the entire Resistance. Multiple Great Houses were created in each Area of Influence in the hopes that someone would always be there to oppose the Machine in that region if one House was destroyed. Plus having multiple Resistance cells in each Area of Influence allowed the Houses to pool their resources in order to attack difficult targets or large armies. This was the plan, but the isolated nature of the cell structure eventually lead to unforeseen problems. The original Resistance leaders never imagined that personal gain and political ambition would ever take priority over humanity’s very struggle for survival. Worse yet, they never counted on the duplicitous, corrupting nature of the Librarians. Without the grounding nature of a unified vision, each House forged its own personal vision. Most of these visions worked in line with the overall mission of the Resistance, but when these visions clashed, simple misunderstandings grew into violent clashes, which then grew into Blood Feuds. Some of these Blood Feuds became so brutal that the participating Houses eventually saw humanity as far more dangerous than the Machine. As these attitudes became ingrained within each new generation, their views of humanity in general changed (at least the view of humans outside of their House).

Enemy of Man: The people from this type of House hate their fellow man far more than the Machine. Whether it was too many years of Blood Feuds or a misguided leader that led them down this dark path, the end result is the same. This once proud defender of humanity has now become its greatest enemy. Their hatred has driven them to cease all combat operations against the Machine, and turn all their attention towards the destruction of every man, woman, and child not affiliated with their House. In fact, it is possible that they have even collaborated with the Machine in order to strike at their enemies. Destruction of this House has become a priority. They know too much about the inner workings of the Resistance to be allowed to live any longer. The Machine likely knows this as well and will do everything in her power to ensure to keep them alive and killing.

Conqueror: The leaders of this House do not want to destroy humanity, they want to rule it. They have decided that the only way for mankind to survive is to unite everyone beneath their banner. It is their goal to defeat each House one by one and replace their Warlords and Senators with their own Governors. The logistics required to maintain this kind of empire is beyond what any House has available, but that will not stop them from trying. At least their misguided mission requires that they preserve as much of the conquered Houses as possible. This should keep the collateral damage to a minimum. What should also help is that the leaders have wisely decided to limit combat missions as much as possible (although they will ultimately be necessary). A protracted military campaign may eventually work, but the survivors would hold such hatred towards the conquering House that they would never accept its rule. Plus the struggle itself would leave both Houses severely weakened, which would do no one any good. The House leaders know that they need to win the hearts and minds of the people before they can ever consider a takeover, and doing that will require brains over brawn. This type of conquest relies heavily on infiltrators to spread dissent throughout the target organization’s ranks, and undermine its leaders from the inside. They form cells within each cell to basically create a resistance structure within each Great House. Generally this level of subterfuge, scheming, and desire for power only comes out of Great Houses that are being run by Librarians.

Pirate: The members from this House have no animosity towards humans or the other Great Houses; they simply see them all as resources to be exploited. They believe that for the strong to survive, they must prey on the weak, and their continued success just proves that they are the strong. Some of these types of Houses may be flagrant in their activities, but most try to keep their attacks secret. They do not want to start a war, they just want to live.

Close Allies Only: After years of betrayals and Blood Feuds, this House has basically closed its doors to all but its most trusted allies. Only those who have stood with this House in the past are allowed in its underground haven today. In time, other Great Houses could earn their favor, but the patience required to break through the coldness, distrust, and outright rejection that a new ally would likely face is more than most people are willing to endure.

Skeptical: This is the most common view among the Resistance. Every Great House is viewed as a friend and ally in the war against the Machine, until proven otherwise. They still deal with other Houses with a healthy amount of suspicion, but they do not outright reject their fellow Splicers unless betrayed first.

Ally of Man: To these people, there is virtually no such thing as a rival Great House. They understand the harsh realities of life make people do things they may regret later, so they try their best to never hold a grudge. A Great House would have to commit some horrendously evil deeds in order to get on this House’s bad side, but it does happen. After all, their understanding only goes so far. The members from this Great House are not fools. They deal with outsiders using a healthy dose of caution, but they always try to extend a helping hand as much as possible.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 7:54 pm
  

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Step Eleven: Determine the House’s Stance Towards Human Augmentation

The applications of Bio-Technology are nearly limitless, but long ago, the most prominent leaders of the Resistance decided that Bio-Tech should never be applied directly to humans. They were fighting for the survival of the human race, and they felt that altering people (especially on a genetic level), ultimately would destroy the very thing that they were struggling so hard to protect. Of course, as the years dragged on and the struggle became more desperate, many Houses chose to abandon this principle to varying degrees. The fact that humans needed to be augmented into Librarians and Engineers for Bio-Technology to even exist seemed to make it easier for humans to start traveling down this slope. How far everyone slid down this slope varied from House to House. Slowly but surely, many Houses began allowing augmentations like Saints, Biotics, Scarecrows, and Skinjobs while others went even further.

Under No Circumstances: This type of House will not allow anyone to be augmented with Bio-Technology in any way. House leaders will not even let their people become Saints, Librarians, or Engineers which means they cannot manufacture their own Bio-Tech. They can still trade for Bio-Tech items from other Houses if they are not opposed to organic technology in general, but they think that anyone that willingly sacrifices their humanity for power is actually a traitor to humanity. They will not allow Biotics, Scarecrows, Skinjobs, or even Saints within their underground haven for any reason. Some of these Houses will forgive people that have had lost body parts replaced with cloned ones, but other Houses consider this blasphemy as well. They may work with augmented humans from other Houses from time to time if necessary, but they will never show these warriors any respect and will constantly belittle and insult them at every turn.

Saints, Librarians, and Engineers Only: These are the most basic augmentations required to manufacture Bio-Tech, and the only “human sacrifices” this type of House is willing to make. Biotic, Scarecrow, and Skinjob conversions are strictly forbidden as are minor augmentations to human beings (no matter how small). The policy on cloning lost body parts can vary for this type of House. Some see it as simple medical care while others view it a tampering with nature. These Great Houses also refuse to allow augmented humans from other Houses into their underground havens. They will work with them as necessary, but they will never show these inhuman traitors any measure of respect.

Limited Augmentations: The people from this type of House see augmentation as a necessary evil, but one that they should still limit. They perform Biotic conversions, but only on criminals and only after a Librarian wipes their minds. Even then, House leaders still favor the death penalty over Biotic conversion unless special circumstances require that they manufacture more cannon fodder troops. Skinjobs and Scarecrows are allowed, but they are produced in extremely limited quantities (about one tenth the typical numbers) because they are viewed as monsters to be pitied and shunned. They view the creation process of these warriors to be nearly as horrifying as the end result. Skinjobs are brutally tortured for days and then covered in a thick skin that deadens their sense of touch and makes them look like a wrinkly bag of skin. The process scars their psyches, cuts them off from human sensation, and leaves a monster staring back at them every day in the mirror. Scarecrows are seen as more horrifying because the process not only makes a monster, but a slave. Between the Librarians, Scarecrows, and Skinjobs, the people from this type of House have seen enough examples of how Bio-Tech augmentation turns humans into monsters to dissuade the majority of them from ever wanting to undergo the same process themselves.

Common Augmentations: This is the standard attitude towards Bio-Tech augmentation throughout most of the Resistance. Becoming a Saint, Librarian, or Engineer is seen as an honor, and the House tries to create as many of these beings as possible in order to keep their House well equipped. They not only turn criminals into Biotics, but they also allow volunteers to undergo the process as long as they willingly submit to a Librarian mind wipe. Augmented humans like Biotics, Scarecrows, and Skinjobs are still viewed as monsters to be pitied and avoided whenever possible, but a pretty decent portion of the population still volunteers for conversion each year. The cloning of missing body parts is common place and accepted, but additional enhancements like sensory enhancements or minor genetic changes are still off limits. These Houses have also banned their Librarians from experimenting with new types of human augmentation. If another House stumbles upon a viable new design, they may consider adopting it as well, but they will never play around with monster making. Let someone else torture and distort their own population with these kinds of experiments; they will just benefit from the discoveries.

Experimental Augmentations: This attitude is more common among Houses with “Cutting Edge Bio-Tech,” but the House’s Bio-Tech Level must at least be “Prefers Bio-Tech.” This type of House considers Bio-Technology to be a wonderful gift, so it is no surprise that they are a bit more accepting of human augmentation. All the common augmentations are not only present, but they are a bit more accepted. Ultimately, they are still seen as a bit monstrous, but they are seen as tragic heroes to be respected for their sacrifice rather than fools that should be pitied or feared. That does not mean they want to have a Biotic over for dinner, but they at least show these warriors a modicum of respect. Along those same lines, this type of House is not only experimenting with new types of Biotic designs, they are also experimenting with the idea of letting qualified volunteers become Biotics without enduring a mind wipe. Most of these experiments are completed away from the main underground haven in an outpost or research facility. While the people are more accepting of human augmentation, that view may quickly change if they witness a few failed experiments first hand. The average person is also quite comfortable with the idea of using Bio-Tech to improve their own bodies in subtle ways. Altering genes to reduce their likelihood of developing chronic illnesses or to improve their speed, strength, agility, and intelligence seem like common sense improvements that anyone would be foolish to pass up. While only Bio-Weapons are officially prohibited augmentations, most Bio-Enhancements are unofficially frowned upon as well. Only the most innocuous enhancements are ever accepted and even then, others often treat the recipient somewhat coldly. They are never outright shunned, but people with obvious alterations tend to be treated the same as Biotics, Scarecrows, and Skinjobs.

Required Augmentations: Great Houses with this attitude towards augmentation must have a minimum Bio-Tech Level of “Prefers Bio-Tech.” Surprisingly, Houses with a “Cutting Edge Bio-Tech” level do not tend to go this way. Great Houses of this type are usually not masters of Bio-Tech, but they do tend to have an almost religious devotion to it. They consider Bio-Technology to be the greatest thing to ever happen to humanity. Not only do they have a higher percentage of Biotics, Scarecrows, and Skinjobs within their ranks than most Resistance cells, but they also require that every citizen receive at least one Bio-Enhancement as a demonstration of House membership. What that enhancement is depends on the House. Some Great Houses require their people add a Bio Comm, sensory enhancement, or other small upgrade, while other Houses ask for a bigger display of loyalty such as bonded armor, additional limbs, or even mounted Bio-Weapons. The House typically chooses one common enhancement for its people to act as proof of affiliation, but some Houses let their people choose any enhancement they want.

Inhuman Society: Whether it was by choice or by force, this type of Great House allowed Bio-Technology to completely destroy their humanity. Every single member of the House has been altered so significantly that they are no longer genetically compatible with human beings. It usually starts out innocently enough; a few genetic defects corrected here, a few improvements added there, but after a few generations of tinkering, there is very little that remains to demonstrate their human origins. All the members of the House receive the same basic augmentations to ensure they are able to breed with each other and reproduce viable offspring, but they can be further altered by Engineers in any way they wish. Some Houses may limit the use of Bio-Weapons, but most figure since they have already gone this far, there is no reason to limit themselves now. Just because they are no longer human does not mean they look monstrous. They may even be stunningly beautiful by human standards. In fact, they could even look completely human, but they are far from it. Members from this type of House are typically M.D.C. beings that possess superhuman senses, strength, speed, and endurance.

Step Twelve: Determine Attitude Towards Technojackers
Technojackers unexplained connection with the Machine’s technology makes most people extremely uncomfortable. No matter how often they use their abilities to help humanity or combat the Machine, most people simply cannot get over their inherent distrust of their strange powers. Plus, since they are immune to the dangers imposed by metal, machines, and even enslaved robots, they constantly surround themselves with items that are absolutely deadly to normal humans. As a result, Technojackers tend to live alone or in small bands of their own kind. However, their abilities are simply too valuable to the war effort to be ignored, which is why many Great Houses seek out their services routinely. Of course, not every Great House is able to put aside their fear and prejudice for the good of mankind, so these lone wolves need to tread lightly in their dealings with the Resistance.

Hunted: Somewhere in the House’s history, they were let down or betrayed by a Technojacker with absolutely disastrous results. This terrible incident (or incidents) left deep scars with the people that have never healed. As a result, they have deemed all Technojackers to be a dangerous menace that must be wiped off the face of the planet. Depending on their willingness to venture beyond their own territory, this type of House may confine its campaign of extermination to its own borders, or their warriors may truly be trying to kill every Technojacker on the planet.

Unwelcome: Technojackers may be viewed as dangerous monsters that are best avoided, but at least this type of House recognizes their right to exist. However, they are still not welcome within their underground haven or even within their territory on the surface. Any Technojackers encountered on the surface are “politely” asked to leave. This usually means stern threats, but surface teams could also resort to using non-lethal means to subdue and remove unwilling Technojackers. On occasion, these confrontations can escalate to the point where the Technojacker is seriously injured or even killed, but this rarely happens. Still the word among the Technojackers population is clear, it is best to steer clear of this territory.

Trusted Allies Only: This type of Great House uses the services of Technojackers frequently, but only a trusted few. These Technojackers went through years of test missions and screenings and have proven themselves to be loyal, trustworthy allies. They entertain the idea of new alliances with additional Technojackers, but these new recruits will need to go through the same series of trials that their other allies completed.

Limited Welcome: All Technojackers are welcome, to a certain extent. They are free to live in the Great House’s territory as long as they want. They may even enter the underground haven if they have business there, but they are required to limit their contact with civilians. The people are still a bit uneasy with Technojackers, so they are only allowed in certain areas in order to avoid causing a scene. They can trade with merchants or visit military contacts concerning possible employment, but they are not allowed to visit common areas or stay for an extended period of time. As long as they get their business done quickly without bothering the public, they are welcome back anytime they want. Those that violate the rules may still live in their territory and may even be hired for mercenary contracts, but they may not set foot in the underground haven again.

Technojacker Safe Haven: This type of House believes that all humans, even Technojackers, must stick together in this time of darkness if humanity is going to survive. They welcome all Technojackers into their homes as friends and allies, unless they prove themselves to be untrustworthy. They are free to stay as long as they wish, and may go anywhere in the House that civilians are allowed access to, but they are still outsiders and will never have full access to the sections reserved for the military.

Full House Membership: Technojackers are not only accepted within the underground haven, but they are fully integrated members of the House’s military (and not just as grunts). Their skills and powers are truly appreciated in this House. Technojackers may be despised and disregarded in other Great Houses, but in this one they are actually considered an elite branch of Special Forces. This level of integration is rare because it tends to foster mistrust and suspicion among other Great House allies.

Step Thirteen: Determine the House’s intelligence Resources
Each Great House is buried deep underground in its own self-imposed isolation. They are cut off from the surface and cut off from each other. Long distance communication was shattered long ago. The only way to know what is happening on the surface is to go up and look, and this is a dangerous proposition. Information about the surface is tough to come by which makes it incredibly precious. Not only do Great Houses need to collect information about the Machine’s activity, they also need to know what their fellow Houses are up to. Blood Feuds and other betrayals are always a possibility, and a Great House needs to know who they can trust and who they must be wary of. Knowledge is power, and each Great House must do its best to collect as much information as possible. Unfortunately, like with most things, resources are limited, and not every House has equal resources available. It is possible for a Great House to make multiple selections from this category.

Anecdotal Reports: Great Houses send troops to the surface constantly to complete all manner of missions from sabotaging Machine facilities to ambushing robot patrols to rescuing civilians. When they return home, they are not only debriefed on the mission, but on whatever else they saw on the way to and from their objective. This provides everyone back home with a more complete view of what is going on up top, but it is far less detail than they need.

Scouting Platoons: These are dedicated missions to explore the surface and report back on everything observed. While this seems like a necessary function, some Great Houses simply cannot or will not risk the resources for these fact-finding missions. Any trip to the surface is risky, and some military leaders simply do not deem it worthwhile to go up top unless they are going there to blow something up.

Deliverymen: The Deliverymen Corps was created as a way to maintain communication between the various Resistance cells. These lone warriors cross hundreds of miles of territory to deliver messages and important packages between the Houses. The Deliverymen try to never use the same trail twice in order to prevent the Machine from predicting their movements and laying ambushes in their path. This means that their knowledge of the surface is absolutely unmatched. They know the land like no other and they have a very good understanding of what the Machine is up to all across the Area of Influence. They are typically the ones that uncover Machine plots and the construction of new N.E.X.U.S. installations.

Infiltrators: N.E.X.U.S. is not the only threat on this planet. In addition to possible rivalries with other Resistance cells, a Great House also has to worry about Waste Crawler gangs in their territory. To learn more about possible threats, the House has sent out teams of spies to ingratiate themselves with every Waste Crawler gang and Great House in the area, so that they can have a steady flow of information about their activities. Of course, that information still needs to get back to the House, so they will need to send Deliverymen, Butchers, Scarecrows, or Skinjobs out into the field to collect this intel.\

Double Agents: These infiltrators were actually members of the target organization until they switched sides. These traitors are generally higher up in the organization than outside infiltrators, so they provide far better information. Once again, the trick is getting their intel back to the House without blowing the agent’s cover.

Butchers: When simply gathering intel is not enough, it is time to call in the Butchers. Skinjobs and Scarecrows do a lot of assassination work, but these monstrous Splicers are not exactly the most inconspicuous beings on the planet. The problem with being a specialized Bio-Tech assassin is that people tend to be a tad suspicious when they are around. Butchers, however, are masters at blending into a crowd. They possess special Bio-Tech gear that allows them to copy another person’s face or even imitate their armor. This enables them to get much closer to a target than a Skinjob or Scarecrow ever could, and they are equipped with a variety of special weapons that allow them to kill a target without alerting anyone around them.

Step Fourteen: Determine the Haven(s) Structure:

When the Machine made her push to exterminate humanity, the survivors went underground to hide, regroup, and prepare for war. The types of facilities they fled to depended mainly on what was available at the time. Some uncovered old military bunkers while others settled into simple caves or sewers. Over the years, each House expanded their underground kingdoms, but once again, they had to rely on what was available to them. Great Houses that possessed skilled craftsmen were able to build comfortable quarters that almost felt like their old homes on the surface; while other Houses barely had the skill to keep their crude stone caves warm and dry. Some Great Houses actually have a pretty diverse mixture of structures throughout their underground havens. As the havens continued to grow, it was generally up to each social class to construct their own districts. This is why the wealthy districts tend to be more ornately constructed than the poorer ones. It is possible for a Great House to make multiple selections from this category.

Crude Stone: This basically resembles an underground mine. What once likely started as a natural formation was expanded over the years through a series of excavations. The builders set up structural supports to prevent cave-ins, but they did very little to clean up the area. It is dirty and dank and prone to the formation of pools and puddles. It makes for a pretty dreary living environment. People that live in this type of habitat tend to have higher incidents of depression.

Abandoned Sewage Lines: The humans that fled underground from the cities did not have many choices on where they could find sanctuary. Any natural caves in the area were built over long ago. All that’s left now are the series of sewer lines that handled all the waste and storm runoff from a time when humans completely blanketed the planet. These refugees settled into the storm sewers and restructured them to make them somewhat livable. As the House expanded, they cleaned up the surrounding waste sewer lines and made them livable as well. It is not really as awful as it sounds. After generations of intense work, these enormous pipes of been completely revitalized, and many have been covered with other materials to make them a bit more homey.

Wooden: The stone and dirt walls of the haven are hidden away behind crude wooden planks and logs. They make the area a bit cleaner, but walking around with bare feet is a good way to pick up some nasty splinters. Any piping and electrical wiring is likely exposed along the surface instead of being tucked away behind it.

Finished Carpentry: skilled craftsmen using finely sanded and stained lumber, polished stone, carpeting, tile, and drywall, constructed the area. The pipes and wires are built behind the walls to give every surface a nice clean look. The only difference between these quarters and the old homes they had to abandon long ago is the complete lack of windows.

Intricately Sculpted Stone: Not every House has access to building materials such as wood and drywall, but they are still skilled enough to craft beautiful living spaces. The rock walls of their underground haven have been smoothly polished and shaped to form columns, statues, and other accents that create quite a regal appearance. While some Houses choose this look because they have no other materials available, others simply love the look.

Resin: This is one of the simplest ways to create M.D.C. structures. Tunnel Rat War Mounts and properly enhanced suits of Host Armor can excrete thick goo that hardens into a rough concrete-like substance. This is usually done to strengthen important passageways and defensive checkpoints. It is rarely used on living quarters, but some of the more important House members will reinforce their quarters as well. The resin can be roughly shaped as it dries, and it is possible to sculpt it into any shape imaginable once it hardens. How plainly or intricately these resin-covered surfaces appear is dependent on the artistic tastes and skills of the House.

Plastic and Ceramic: Houses that rely on high technology rather than Bio-Technology prefer to use M.D.C. plastics and ceramics to reinforce their structures instead of resin. This is the same material used in inorganic weapons and body armor. It is not quite as durable as the resin, but when layered properly it can be just as effective.

Abandoned Golden Age Structures: When the founders of this House fled underground, they were fortunate enough to find an old underground complex. This could have been a military building, a manufacturing plant, or even an old bomb shelter designed to house thousands. Whatever its original purpose, it was quickly retooled in order to house and sustain a large population. When the Nanoplague struck, the complex had to be further retooled to remove any dangerous metallic components. Some of these structures possessed far too much metal to ever be made safe, but the members of this House were skilled enough to clear their home of any dangerous remnants.

Seedlings: No one is sure which House first created the Seedlings, but they quickly spread throughout the Resistance faster than almost any Bio-Tech design before it. A little too fast for some. Most Houses are protective of their most fantastic creations so that they can trade with their neighbors at exorbitant prices, but the Seedlings were distributed so cheaply that some Warlords are suspicious of their true purpose. The fact that the Librarians are also secretive of that purpose does not do much to calm people’s fears. Of course, they are such a boon to the Great Houses that few people are complaining. Seedlings are the quickest and easiest way to keep pace with the needs of an ever-expanding population, and the quarters they provide are quite luxurious to boot. Compared to the dank caves and tunnels many have to live in, a Seedling is an absolute paradise. This is why it is usually the upper class within each House that gets to reside within a Seedling. Pretty much every Great House (other than those opposed to Bio-Tech) possesses at least one Seedling. However, that does not mean they are large enough to house a single person yet. It takes at least ten years of growth before the Seedling starts to open up living compartments. At that point, growth accelerates and the Seedling can produce one new living space each week for the first year. As its growth rate continues to accelerate, the speed at which these rooms open up also accelerates. In year two it is two rooms a week, in year three it is four rooms each week, in year four it is eight rooms, and so on. No one knows yet if this fantastic growth rate continues to accelerate or if it begins to slow down at some point. If it does not slow down, it is possible that these Seedlings could eventually threaten the structural integrity of the entire planet, but once again, this is a possibility everyone has decided to conveniently ignore. If a Great House selects Seedlings in this category, then that means at least one has formed living spaces.

Step Fifteen: Determine the House’s Surface Presence

The Machine drove the majority of the human race underground long ago, but some of the most daring Great Houses have done more than just dream about taking back the surface, they have actually established surface settlements. It is possible for a Great House to make multiple selections from this category.

None: This House either has not taken any steps to establish surface outposts, or they have already been destroyed.

Simple Safe Havens: These safe havens are little more than caves and crude dug out shelters. The House stocked it with a few Bio-Tech food trees and moisture condensers to collect water for any surface troops that might be running low on supplies and need a temporary rest stop. Some Houses also store additional weapons and medical supplies within these shelters, but they are not very secure and are easily plundered by Waste Crawler gangs or rival Houses.

Hidden Ghost Town Havens: While members from the House did not technically build these settlements, it is still a testimony to their bravery and cunning that they were able to stroll into one of these N.E.X.U.S. controlled cities and claim a piece of it as their own. These pristinely maintained cities are absolutely crawling with N.E.X.-Androids so humans must proceed with great caution while moving through the packed streets of the Ghost Towns. The House likely figured out a safe route through the sewer lines to shuttle their gear to and from this safe house without alerting suspicion, but they must still be cautious. The slightest mistake could bring millions or even billions of androids down on their heads. The purpose of this outpost depends on the needs of the House. They are often used as a place for soldiers to safely rest and recover from long treks across the surface, but their main purpose is to act as a staging point for supply gathering missions. The Ghost Towns are perfect replicas of humanity’s lost civilization, including its once impressive manufacturing capabilities. As the N.E.X.-Androids go about their work of creating a fake society, they also create and consume millions of tons of consumer goods, medical supplies, and even food. As long as they do not draw too much attention to themselves, crafty humans can take advantage of this insanity in order to steal immense amounts of useful items.

Hidden Retro Village Havens: Many Houses try to establish small outposts within the local Retro Villages so that they can build a relationship with the humans in their Area of Influence. It is helpful to have an ally nearby that can provide valuable intell about the surface topography and any known Machine activity, plus they can provide food and shelter to soldiers in the field and even hide them from Machine patrols when necessary. While these are useful benefits, the main reason most Houses establish these safe havens is so they can attempt to recruit new members into the Resistance. Wars are costly and it is rather difficult to find fresh conscripts on this world. In fact, the Retro Villages are really the last source of acceptable recruits. The only other source of human beings outside of the Resistance and the Retro Villagers are the Waste Crawler Gangs and other groups of outcasts. These savage humans were most likely thrown out of another Great House already, so the only thing they would bring to the House is trouble. The Retro Villages, on the other hand, are filled with wide-eyed idealists just itching to break the shackles of oppression they have been forced to wear their entire lives.

Outposts: An outpost is a fortified structure that is meant to act as a temporary military staging post. These buildings are generally built from scratch on the surface in a semi-heavily trafficked area. While this is dangerous, it is necessary so that these structures can act as a place for soldiers to rest, eat, rearm, and regenerate their gear before continuing on with their mission. Resistance fighters often need to travel great distances to reach their objectives, and having a stopping point along the way is incredibly advantageous. The majority of the outpost is built underground to hopefully conceal it, but with an endless supply of N.E.X.U.S. robots crawling all over the area, everyone knows that discovery is inevitable. While the outpost is somewhat durable, it was not meant to stand up to a direct assault for long. This type of staging post is constructed with the understanding that at some point it will need to be abandoned. The outpost does not have a permanent contingent of troops, but because of the continuous turnover of soldiers coming through the outpost, it is always well staffed. The structure is large enough to comfortably house many armored troops and War Mounts simultaneously, but it is not built for comfort. Accommodations are Spartan and filthy, but still generally secure. Some Houses like to lay additional traps and defensive fortifications around an outpost to hopefully stall the Machine while everyone evacuates, but others keep the construction simple to minimize the risk of detection.

Military Base: While an outpost is expected to be abandoned at some point, a military base is meant to serve as a long-term settlement. Like an outpost, the majority of it is built underground to hide it from easy detection, but this base is typically located in remote areas the Machine tends to avoid like on a mountaintop or within a nature preserve. These structures usually have thick M.D.C. walls (usually lined with resin), a series of traps and defensive structures to hold off invaders, and most importantly, a permanent contingent of soldiers. While these troops are relieved often by reinforcements, the number of soldiers at this military base is usually quite consistent. It can serve the same functions as a temporary outpost, but it usually has a more unique purpose. Some of these bases are used as research facilities, prisons for special captives, or even breeding grounds for illegal Bio-Tech experiments. Most importantly, they serve as a statement to the Machine and to rival Great Houses that this House has the power and the will to take and hold a piece of the surface.

Fortified Settlement: So far the only House that is known to have successfully established fortified settlements on the surface is the Great House of the Barren Marsh. These heavily fortified towns are more than just military bases, they are actual settlements designed for civilians. While the majority of the people occupying this settlement are soldiers there is still a pretty decent sized civilian population. Every building is a heavily fortified M.D.C. structure with some sort of heavy weapons emplacement mounted on each. The entire settlement is surrounded by an armored wall with guard towers spaced every fifty to one hundred feet, and there is an elaborate series of escape tunnels that can be used to evacuate the people during a massive assault. Fortified settlements are meant to be a brazen display of hope to demonstrate that the Resistance can take back the surface, but that does not mean they are going to foolishly risk human lives to put on this display.

Step Sixteen: Determine the House’s Reputation:
Reputation can be a double-edged sword. As a House strives to make a significant impact in the war with the Machine, its reputation grows throughout the Resistance, as does its level of prestige, respect, and power among the other Great Houses. However, this comes with a price. As a House rises to prominence, it effectively becomes a symbol of the Resistance; a symbol the Machine would take great personal pleasure in obliterating. This means the House suddenly has an even bigger bull’s eye on its back. Some Machine personalities will even redirect huge numbers of minions to crush any warriors sent to the surface from a famous House.

Unknown: Not only does the Machine have no knowledge of this House, but no one in the Resistance is even aware that it exists. They could be lying low to avoid the petty squabbles and treacheries that plague the Resistance, or they could be trying to secretly lay out some schemes of their own. Whether by design or by accident, the end result is the same, and for the time being, they are basically on their own.

Known: This is the most common status throughout the Resistance. The House is well known by every other Great House in the Area of Influence and by the Machine. They may also be known outside of their region as well. In general, they are viewed pretty neutrally. They have likely had minor incidents with other Houses, but for the most part, they are dedicated to the war against the Machine.

Famous: This type of House has distinguished itself among the Resistance, and has demonstrated that it is a friend of man. They may have participated in a few Blood Feuds, but not by choice. They only retaliated when attacked first, but even after the dust settled, they still willingly helped any human fight back against N.E.X.U.S. Anyone from this House, is automatically assumed to be an honorable and trustworthy ally in any House that is also a dedicated defender of humanity. The Machine has started to take notice of this House’s activities and has already begun increasing the number of patrols in the area.

Infamous: This House is well known throughout much of the Resistance, and is absolutely despised. They have either preyed upon their fellow humans one time too often, or have actually collaborated with the Machine. Whatever their offense, it has been deemed absolutely unforgivable by the Resistance, and anyone associated with this House is generally attacked on sight. This House may not have many friends in the Resistance, but it has gained a lot of favor with the Machine. N.E.X.U.S. will not necessarily protect or assist warriors from this House, but her minions will often let them pass by unmolested and will even break off an attack once their House affiliation is determined.

Symbol of the Resistance: This House has become an inspiration to every human on the planet, and a symbol the Machine desperately wants to destroy. Her minions are actively seeking out their underground haven, and she has created many spies and infiltrators in an attempt to smoke out this threat. Warriors from this House are treated like celebrities when visiting another Great House, but the Machine stalks them mercilessly.

Threat to the Resistance: This House is more than just a vile den of scoundrels and turncoats, they are seen as a dangerous liability to humanity’s very survival. They have inflicted unimaginable devastation across the Resistance and likely to many civilians living in Retro Villages. Only the vilest House would ever work with them, and most Houses are more interested in seeing these beasts destroyed than the Machine. N.E.X.U.S., however, is extremely interested in this Great House’s survival. She will often come to the aid of any member of this House and will even partner with the House’s army during assaults.

Step Seventeen: Determine the Entertainment

Life underground can be pretty grim. The cramped conditions, continuous threat of extermination at the hands of the Machine, and the fact that most people never see the sky (or at least only see it in battle) means that most people are constantly at their breaking point and must be careful not to succumb to hopelessness and despair. Each Great House tries to offer its people some kind of distraction from their bleak realities, but scarce resources tend to limit what options are available. Other Houses may also outlaw certain activities because of moral objections. Of course, just making something illegal is not necessarily going to stop people from doing it. Any activity selected in this category means that the House allows it as an authorized and legal activity within the underground haven. It still may be possible to participate in other unlisted activities within that House, but they are considered illegal and anyone caught participating in them will be punished severely. Each House can make multiple selections from this category.

Storytelling: As mentioned previously, telling stories is a way to convey information, but it is also a common source of entertainment throughout the Resistance. These tales can be relayed to small groups, but just as often, one speaker can be seen addressing an entire auditorium filled with attentive listeners. The most popular speakers are typically war heroes recounting their adventures or well-versed historians unlocking the mysteries of the past, but exceptionally charismatic speakers can develop quite a following even if they have not distinguished themselves in any other way. In fact, skilled storytellers can become quite the celebrities within their own House and even among other Houses.

Theater: Theater is a more elaborate method of storytelling, typically involving multiple presenters equipped with props, costumes, and complex set pieces, but many theater troops get by with pretty limited resources. The subject matter of these plays can also be based on historical information, but more often than not, they are works of fiction. Most performers are treated with a certain level of celebrity in their own House, but actors and actresses that possess exceptional beauty and charisma are treated like royalty throughout their House and often many neighboring Houses as well.
Music: Music has always been an important part of human culture, and in these dark times, it is now more important than ever. The simple act of singing a song or hearing an instrument play helps keep people grounded. It reminds them of their humanity and of the beauty they are fighting to protect. Their art reminds them that they are more than just animals struggling to survive. They are more than the vermin the Machine believes them to be, they are human beings. A House that has this activity selected recognizes the importance of music and has constructed concert halls and auditoriums to allow for large-scale performances. People can still enjoy their music privately, but this House thought it was a worthwhile investment to give their people a place where they can go to enjoy small bands, orchestras, operas, choirs, and concerts.

Sun Rooms: Human beings need to see the sun on a routine basis in order to maintain their mental, emotional, and physical health. Unfortunately, living underground makes this difficult, if not impossible, for most people. To alleviate this problem, many Great Houses have built Sun Rooms to simulate the outdoor environments that most people will never see again. All that is needed to make a Sun Room is a smooth, high-ceilinged room and a large cluster of Organic Light Cells. When bundled together, these powerful Bio-Tech flashlights produce a full spectrum of bright light that looks like an artificial sun. The affect is incredibly realistic, and with a little effort to dress up the room with painted sky blue walls, sandy beaches, some plant life, and pools of water, most people can convince themselves that it is as good as the real thing. In fact, people that stay in these Sun Rooms for too long without protection will actually get sun burns. The cluster of light cells produces a comfortable heat as well, but each room requires some sort of cooling system in place to keep the place from heating up like an oven. These rooms are only available in Great Houses that produce Bio-Technology or trade for it. Even Great Houses that hate Bio-Tech often make an exception for Sun Rooms. The benefits to the people’s emotional and physical well-being is simply too great to ignore.

Shopping: A simple and easy way to pass the time that is surprisingly rare throughout the Resistance. Most items purchased in the underground havens are necessities, not luxury items, and since there is often only one manufacturer, there are no other options to browse through before making selections. Most people simply go to the supply depot and quickly grab what they need. Only the most affluent Houses ever establish well-stocked marketplaces. These Houses have the resources to not only produce luxury goods, but to create incredible surpluses of all kinds of goods. This enables the House to trade with other Houses for additional items, which further fills the marketplace with even more unique goods. The other important component of a thriving marketplace is House members with money to spend. Once again, this is generally only possible in the most affluent Houses.

Alcohol: It is rare to find a House that does not brew or distill alcoholic beverages of some kind. Most Houses get along brewing it the old fashioned way, but some also use special Bio-Tech creations called Boozers. These squid-like creatures excrete strong alcoholic elixirs that come in a variety of fruit and mint flavors. They are actually quite tasty, but some people do not like the idea of drinking what is affectionately referred to as “Squid ****.” Alcoholic beverages can be purchased in markets for home consumption, but since most people drink for the social experience, the majority of liquor is sold in bars, restaurants, and other communal establishments. While drinking may be tolerated, that does not mean that excessive public drunkenness is acceptable. In fact, most Houses that allow alcohol still have strict laws against public intoxication.

Drugs: When alcohol just is not strong enough, many people turn to drugs to numb their minds to the realities of their harsh existence. The members of nearly any House have access to drugs, but that does not mean that it is legal or even accepted within the House. If drugs are selected as one of the House’s entertainment activities, then drug use is legal within the underground haven. Like with alcohol, drug use is acceptable within certain establishments, but public intoxication may still be a crime. Another difference with drug use being legalized is that it does not necessarily mean that all drugs are legal. Barbiturates, hallucinogenics, and narcotics tend to be more widely accepted because they slow down and pacify users, which make them much easier to control. Steroids and amphetamines may be encouraged for troops during combat operations, but they are generally discouraged within the underground haven since they increase aggression and agitation. The last thing House leaders want to do is to create shorter fuses in their people. While many drugs are derived from plant or even animal sources, the majority of drugs in the Resistance are administered through specially modified Slap Patches. Instead of the healing cocktails held in Slap Patches, each drug patch typically contains one specific type of narcotic. Houses that are trying to pacify their people may give them drug patches that regenerate their payload over time, but the ones they sell to other Houses can only deliver one dose before they dry up and die. Some Houses will give these disposable patches to their people as well to ensure their loyalty. These House leaders were inspired by the sick cycle of dependency the Librarians use to enslave their Scarecrows.

Prostitution: The oldest human profession is still alive and well in most Great Houses, but whether it is legal or not within each House is a different question. In Houses where prostitution is allowed, it is typically confined to officially sanctioned brothels or to delivery services that send escorts directly to customers’ living quarters. The women (and men) working in these establishments are routinely screened and treated by Saints to keep them healthy and disease free. Some brothels even have Bio-Tech scanners in their waiting rooms that can detect the scent of sexually transmitted diseases in customers that pass by. These clients are then referred to a nearby Saint for treatment before they are allowed to do business. In legal prostitution rings, the prostitutes are generally treated well and are protected from abuse by customers and employers. It is typically when prostitution is forced underground that the workers are beaten or even killed by clients or employers. They also tend to have higher incidents of disease, but most Saints will still treat them, no questions asked.

Gambling: Gambling is pretty widely accepted throughout the Resistance as a way to waste some credits and blow off some steam. It is not like people need to save their credits for retirement anyway. Activities can range from organized card games to racetrack and sports booking to elaborate casinos. Legal gambling establishments split most or even all of their profits with the Great House, while illegal operations are generally run by the criminal underworld.

Sports: Competitive games offer a great outlet for the inevitable pent up energy that comes with being cooped up underground, plus it is a great way for soldiers and civilians alike to stay in shape. Most games require little in the way of equipment, but unfortunately, they often require a lot of space, and that is an incredibly precious and rare commodity within most Great Houses. Those that can afford to do so, set aside dozens of small rooms and even some large arenas that can be reserved for competitions. Some Houses have even built stadiums and set up competitive leagues so that spectators can watch the games (and possibly bet on the outcomes). These games can get pretty serious, but none of the players are full time athletes. They are all ultimately hobbyists with real jobs to get back to (usually in the military). Some Houses even compete with neighboring Great Houses for bragging rights. However, the trek across the surface is often more dangerous than it is worth, so these inter-House competitions are pretty rare.

Racing: This is another activity that requires little resources other than an abundance of space. Any House willing to invest the space into a racetrack almost always includes plenty of seating for spectators, since the real point of these races is to entertain the masses. People love to gather and root for (and bet on) their favorite. Racers could be humans on foot, Host Armor pilots, Scarecrows, Biotics, War Mounts with riders, dogs, horses, Gorehounds, some new kind of Bio-Tech creation, or even a combination of all types. Successful racers can acquire a certain level of celebrity, but just like sports stars, they also have real jobs to get back to once the race is over. Like with competitive sports, some Houses will send their best racers to other Houses to show just what their people are made of.

Sparring: Sparring is a common part of any soldier’s training regiment, but some Houses have come up with the idea of taking these training sessions and turning them into spectator sports. The concept is pretty simple, set up some bleachers around the ring and just let the soldiers slug it out. Just having an audience tends to turn up the intensity of these sessions as each soldier tries to impress the crowd. This really pushes the soldiers’ training to the limits, plus it makes for quite an entertaining spectacle. These sparring sessions are typically barehanded fights, but they can also include non-lethal weapons like training swords and knives, sticks, and whips. Some Houses even spar with lethal weapons and simply rely on their Saints to patch up the inevitable wounds. Sparring sessions are typically going on 24 hours a day and spectators are free to stroll in and out of these arenas whenever they want. Fights between renowned war heroes or intense rivals are usually announced ahead of time and may actually have an admission price since these fights tend to draw enormous crowds.

Armored Sparring: Some Houses have taken the concept of sparring-as-sport to the next level. They created special arenas that are much larger and offer protective shielding for spectators so that they can safely watch as warriors spar in full Host Armor. These matches are strictly limited to melee weapons only, no ranged weapons are allowed under any circumstances. Violating this rule carries the same weight as firing a mega-damage weapon within the underground haven; a crime that is typically punishable by permanent expulsion from the House. These matches usually draw large crowds no matter how often they occur or who the participants are. Seeing these powerful suits of armor in action is not something most people get to experience. Even veteran Splicers enjoy being able to relax and watch their brethren expertly coax the most out of their Host Armor. Normally they are too busy watching the Machine or just trying to stay alive to really sit back and observe these remarkable creations in action. Something else that makes these matches so exciting is the fact that Host Armor heals at an incredible rate. This allows combatants to really put on a brutal show without fear of damaging their armor (or themselves) beyond repair. Most of these events are free to the public, but once again, matches between famous heroes or fights that promise to be bloody spectacles can garner a pretty hefty ticket price.

Gladiator Arena: When sparring matches or even armored sparring matches are not brutal enough, some Houses resort to gladiatorial combat to feed the bloodlust of its citizens. The main difference between these fights and sparring sessions is that the combatants can and often do die in the end. These matches still limit the use of ranged weapons to protect the crowds, but other than that, pretty much anything goes. These fights can be contests between equals, but more often than not, they are incredibly lopsided affairs where one side is meant to slaughter the other in the most grotesquely way possible. Examples include a single armored pilot against packs of Gorehounds, groups of unarmored humans pitted against a single War Mount, a recently created (and disposable) Scarecrow against a Dracos, and so on. Some Houses also like to use these gladiator arenas to test out new Bio-Tech designs. The humans sacrificed to this spectacle are generally criminals, but they can also include prisoners from other Great Houses. Houses that are willing to set up gladiator arenas tend to have an incredibly aggressive and bloodthirsty culture. They also tend to be excessively harsh on criminals in order to keep the gladiator pens fully stocked.



Area of Influence

In the earliest days of the Resistance, the humans somehow discovered the importance of the Machine’s Computer Cores. Where they came by this information has been lost to history. Many believe it was the Machine personality Eve that first gave the human’s this vital intel. Other rumors suggested that a Great House somehow stole this information from the Machine’s databanks and was subsequently wiped off the face of the planet in the hopes that their knowledge of this weakness would die with them. Whatever the source of the info, it was confirmed to be true when the Great House of the Barren Marsh destroyed the Computer Core in their territory and freed their lands from the direct control of N.E.X.U.S. Their success convinced the rest of the Resistance to focus all of their efforts towards destroying the Machine’s Computer Cores. The formation of Great Houses was previously haphazard at best, but with this new strategy, the Resistance adopted a more organized method.

They divided the planet into sections they called Areas of Influence. Each Area of Influence corresponded with one of the Machine’s Computer Cores. Multiple Great Houses were established in each Area of Influence to monitor and “contain” the Machine threat. The multiple cells would allow continuous opposition in the event one House fell, plus they could combine their forces to oppose N.E.X.U.S. on a larger scale whenever it was necessary. Each Area of Influence was based on the 1000-mile radius of control surrounding each Core. There are currently believed to be only 100 Computer Cores scattered across the planet, but N.E.X.U.S. continues to build more in order to add a layer of redundancy to this vital network.

Each Area of Influence is named with a simple number that denotes when it was founded. The smaller the number, the longer the Resistance has had a presence within that region. The older areas are typically home to some of the most established, most powerful, and most prestigious Great Houses within the Resistance. While this is not exactly a hard and fast rule, Great Houses within the older areas like to act as if the age of their region only adds to the stature of their House.

***************************************************************************************************************************************************************

Written by Chris "Slappy " Kluge

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Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2015 2:41 am
  

Palladin

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one thing i would say, the engineer numbers should be related more to population. an enormous house that uses limited biotech on 20% of the population should probably have more engineers than a small house that loves the stuff. librarians you could go either way (a tiny house might have just been particularly blessed by the RNG and have a much higher number of librarians per capita).

in particular, when you look at the number of saints in the barren marsh population breakdown, that would suggest a heck of a lot of engineers are being created on a regular basis.

edit: on a side note, most any house should be able to produce very basic equipment that isn't strictly biotech itself, but rather a product of biotech. you can, for example, start with a sword that has no living components but deals as much MD as it would deal normal damage. iirc, the rules should even extend to allow bows, crossbows, etc. so having the "only" non-biotech gear in town is likely even less valuable. same with armour; you can turn leather armour into MDC leather, and biotech should be able to produce plastic, resin, etc quite easily.

also note: packmasters are augmented humans (very minor, just an internal bio-comms, but it is explicitly part of being a packmaster).


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Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2015 12:28 pm
  

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Shark_Force wrote:
one thing i would say, the engineer numbers should be related more to population. an enormous house that uses limited biotech on 20% of the population should probably have more engineers than a small house that loves the stuff. librarians you could go either way (a tiny house might have just been particularly blessed by the RNG and have a much higher number of librarians per capita).


Well, yes and No. It depends on the conditions, environment and available resources to the Great House. The Gene-pools require a certain amount of husbandry, maintenance, space and resources to thrive. I posted the data that Slappy has written for the Engineers, Gene Pools and Librarians as a point of reference for everyone in this thread.

It also depends on what that Great House decides to field for its civilians and militia. A House may opt for more hand held weapons and gear, or Living Body Armors versus the bulkier Host Armors and War Mounts. Thus making most usage of its Gene pool spacing. In other cases, a Great House may be limited to available resources to feed the Gene pool(s) and this is where things get tricky in such a dire world. So many variables for consideration.

Quote:
in particular, when you look at the number of saints in the barren marsh population breakdown, that would suggest a heck of a lot of engineers are being created on a regular basis.


With Barren Marsh, they are truly an exception and would garner great support from many Houses within the Resistance. If this includes a donation of a Saint here and there, I am sure they would have no problem obtaining them. They have assess to plenty of resources to fuel Gene Pools as they don't have to contend with the major presence of machines to stand in there way, and they thrive in a swamp marsh region. This may not be true for so many other Great Houses.[/quote]

Quote:
edit: on a side note, most any house should be able to produce very basic equipment that isn't strictly biotech itself, but rather a product of biotech. you can, for example, start with a sword that has no living components but deals as much MD as it would deal normal damage. iirc, the rules should even extend to allow bows, crossbows, etc. so having the "only" non-biotech gear in town is likely even less valuable. same with armour; you can turn leather armour into MDC leather, and biotech should be able to produce plastic, resin, etc quite easily.


Such Biotech innovations would be very ideal for the Resistance and haven society as a whole; though the Great Houses producing these goods would have to market, ship & trade others for global usage and demand fulfillment. Not to mention, some Great Houses may also opt to avoid such items, depending on their views and potential suspicions or fears of Biotech.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2015 4:42 pm
  

Palladin

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great house barren marsh has 4% of their population as saints. as in, they have ~10,000 of them. and they're primarily non-combatants, and universally have access to the best health care in the world. they're far more likely to survive than anyone else, at least long enough for the symbiont to mature.

even if we assume barren marsh is being donated saints, 10,000 saints means they should be able to sustain orders of magnitude more than their 18 engineers (presumably they just haven't had a chance to make use of their saints just yet?), and so far as i'm aware nobody has found a method of preventing saints from developing into either librarians or engineers other than killing the saint before they reach maturity.

at 10,000 saints, the number of engineers simply does not make sense. (note: the saint entry does more or less imply that you don't immediately develop into a full-fledged engineer with a gene pool upon reaching maturity; it mentions bonding with another human, and then eventually emerging from insanity to become a full-fledged gene pool. so it is quite possible that house barren marsh actually has dozens or even hundreds of "dormant" engineer/gene pool combinations that have not become fully sane yet, if we assume that process takes an extended period of time. no such period is mentioned for librarians, however).

as to the weapons and armour i mentioned, it isn't an inovation someone will have to make. it's core to the setting. page 130, "Classic Melee Weapons", 2nd paragraph (marked "M.D.C. Versions").

the resistance has the tech and uses it regularly. an MDC version of an SDC sword does damage equal to the regular version's damage, except in MD. MD arrows is merely a minor extension; if you can make an MD club or a spear that deals MD when thrown, logically you must be able to make smaller spears with fletching (AKA arrows) the same way. (precisely why you can't just do that with guns and bullets i cannot explain, other than to suggest that perhaps modern guns require precision that grown-on barnacle-things or even resin coatings don't get along with, though i would expect the resistance might be working on *that* innovation somewhere). likewise, the description explicitly calls out turning leather, bone, rubber, wood, etc armour into MDC armour (page 138 includes information on the enhanced leather option, but does not cover the resin/ceramic variants, nor does it cover the grown rather than upgraded versions that page 130 mentions explicitly as being something that exists).

the low trade value of such gear would suggest it is extremely easy to produce in large quantities as well.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2015 5:15 pm
  

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From the write up on the gene pools,engineers, librarians it looks like its not so much of a limitation on how many you can make but how many you can house/afford to keep fed. It looks like once you have a gene pool established you could with enough candidates produce about as many as you can theoretically support and have room for well aside from the maturation process time lag. It does seem like saints will be more common than I had originally thought in a lot of areas as long as they have candidates available.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2015 5:18 pm
  

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I would say given the size of barren marsh the number of engineers does seem low. Given how much equipment forces of that size would require and how long it takes to make it it does not seem like the listed amount of engineers could keep up the volume of host armor/weapons/armors needed.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2015 6:43 pm
  

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Here's the thing for me when it comes to Saint stats. A solid mean number or percentage is a good gauge for the Saints under a specific House's umbrella, but exactly what stage of maturation, activities and where they are all at is the bigger question?

We should factor in the gestation longevity in maturation while a Saint is hosting the symbiote. Some Saints may have just bonded with the Symbiote and are going through the educational process and training that transpires afterwards. Others may be teaching other Saints within the Great House or at other locations. Some Saints may be in the field, healing others or in special sorties. Others might be posted at other locations of that Great House. Some Saints might be MIA, while others may be going through the metamorphosis stages. However, this is only one segment of the statistics. Once you factor in these variables, then there are now 2 more variables.
Which symbiote does the Saint give birth to? Gene Pool or Brain Pool? Once you have all these Gene Pools and Brain Pools, they must be allowed to reach full maturity before a candidate is selected. This means resources being successfully obtained and applied routinely to maintain the new pool plus preserving any pre-exiting pool(s). I would not assume that all Gene/Brain pools reach a successful maturity with such a dire world. Limited resources and strategic partitioning play a major role in such success or failures.

After which, there is the merging of candidates. If its the Engineer's guidance, but ultimately the individual Pool that is truly selecting the individual to bond with this may also play a role on how frequent and successful this melding transpires.

I say all this to say, while Saint numbers may be high, there are plenty of factors in the world of Splicers that can keep successful numbers of Engineers and Librarians down to low numbers.

With that being said, I do agree that Great House of Barren Marsh's numbers of Engineers is a "modest" number that might warrant some feasible adjusting in the Lands of the Barren Marsh book.

As to my comment about your innovation, I thought you were suggesting Biotech creations to create tougher, greater quantities of resin, MDC Leather from special designed livestock or creations that literally weave such MDC materials for the Resistance to utilize.

Indeed there are pre-existing items and Slappy and I have worked on a Great House that particularly specializes in that element and an OCC to use them with.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:26 pm
  

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Comment: Mondos non cogitarus, Consilium!
Brilliant work, BTW.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2015 10:06 pm
  

Palladin

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the thing is, there is little reason for the great houses to be pushing for so many saints (1 in 25 people don't need to be doctors) unless they intend (and have a reasonable expectation of succeeding in that plan) to convert at least some of them into either librarians or engineers (librarians iirc being by far the more rare form).

and while i can understand that not every saint is guaranteed to reach maturity, they are by far the most likely OCC to reach that age. there are most likely more young than old, but there are also quite likely a large number of old. an even distribution would be something like 167 turning into pools per year. even if we assume that 90% are lost by the time they reach ~60 years (the average time for maturity to be reached), there should still be an absolutely tremendous population boom on the way for the engineers.

what's more, the numbers you've provided in your other post suggests that no way are 18 engineers producing enough host armours (let alone warmounts, living armour, handheld weapons, wing packs, etc) to supply the number of troops of each type that the great house of barren marsh has, even if they all match the most prolific known engineer with 9 pools each.

unless barren marsh has been trading their mature saints to other houses in exchange for production time (which would seem to be an unwise move, as it severely limits their own future production and makes them dependent on continuing to give away their mature saints in exchange for production time, which of course continues to spiral out of control indefinitely). there just really should be more. the number of engineers should be based on a combination of how much the house likes biotech and how big the house is.

(that said, it's good to hear that more OCCs that don't rely on host armours and such are on the way... it feels particularly weird for the roughnecks and outriders to have host armour, for example, when host armour is supposed to be a super-rare mark of prestige limited mostly to dreadguard... why do the standard front line troops and "vehicle drivers" get it?).


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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 10:03 am
  

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Shark_Force wrote:
the thing is, there is little reason for the great houses to be pushing for so many saints (1 in 25 people don't need to be doctors) unless they intend (and have a reasonable expectation of succeeding in that plan) to convert at least some of them into either librarians or engineers (librarians iirc being by far the more rare form).

and while i can understand that not every saint is guaranteed to reach maturity, they are by far the most likely OCC to reach that age. there are most likely more young than old, but there are also quite likely a large number of old. an even distribution would be something like 167 turning into pools per year. even if we assume that 90% are lost by the time they reach ~60 years (the average time for maturity to be reached), there should still be an absolutely tremendous population boom on the way for the engineers.

what's more, the numbers you've provided in your other post suggests that no way are 18 engineers producing enough host armours (let alone warmounts, living armour, handheld weapons, wing packs, etc) to supply the number of troops of each type that the great house of barren marsh has, even if they all match the most prolific known engineer with 9 pools each.

unless barren marsh has been trading their mature saints to other houses in exchange for production time (which would seem to be an unwise move, as it severely limits their own future production and makes them dependent on continuing to give away their mature saints in exchange for production time, which of course continues to spiral out of control indefinitely). there just really should be more. the number of engineers should be based on a combination of how much the house likes biotech and how big the house is.

(that said, it's good to hear that more OCCs that don't rely on host armours and such are on the way... it feels particularly weird for the roughnecks and outriders to have host armour, for example, when host armour is supposed to be a super-rare mark of prestige limited mostly to dreadguard... why do the standard front line troops and "vehicle drivers" get it?).



Well given the fairly long gestation period and the amount of combat great houses see and since saints are effectively the combat/field medics I have to assume that spawning a lot of saints is a function to some extant of their utility in maintaining your armed forces and population in good health and how many actually survive to maturity when involved in combat vs the machine.

It also is very possible that a lot of saints when they go into the final maturation process simply can't be supported by the great house and so the brain pool/gene pool dies of starvation quickly. Given the amount of resources needed to feed these that is likely the actual limiting factor. In a place with infinite food they could ideed have huge fields of gene pools but with physical space and food stocks being at times very borderline there are probably quite a few that simply get culled or allowed to die as simply being unsupportable.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 2:44 pm
  

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250,000 people is a lot. honestly, probably even just the corpses from natural deaths could feed a few engineers.

as for combat medics, splicers have access to an inexpensive but extremely effective tool that handles most combat healing needs. perhaps not as well as a saint, but a slap patch is *crazy* good at healing. all you need is for a designated "medic" to carry around a couple dozen of those and you should be good to go.

edit: not to mention, engineers don't appear to be terribly picky about what kind of organic material. you could arguably use sewage, but more practically speaking just the bones from the carnivore host armors and warmounts killing things should easily add up to more than 500 lbs. if you think about it, each engineer adds something like 1 cow every 2-3 days to the food needs of their house (equivalent) in total biomass per pool... you can use bones, skin, etc, no problem, so you're not just limited to the meat, you can use the entire animal.

i'm not saying there should be one engineer for every person in the great house. but if 1 in 25 people are saints, there should be a heck of a lot more engineers in a large house.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 4:06 pm
  

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BookWyrm wrote:
Brilliant work, BTW.


Thank you BookWyrm, though I can't take credit for the masterpiece that Slappy has written. Slappy did 95-98.5% percent of the write up. My contributing intention was to make sure that Splice Masters (GMs) sincerely entertained the idea of starting off as a Fledgling, Devastated House or Small House as opposed to cherry picking and diving in as a Great House with all the bells and whistles. There is something more genuine (IMHO), when Players have started from scratch to build, save or restore a house as opposed to starting off with one of the big boys.

As a smaller House, you have to find a safe refuge and enough resources to sustain your house. The actions of the players play a heftier price on the success or failures, the rises and falls of the house. From House ethics to the House politics, The bond of loyalty and respect is stronger and more secure with Players that start with smaller Houses.

Of course there are major bonuses and benefits to starting off with Great House as well. My major suggestion if that be the case however, is for Splicemasters to not channel all of their creative innovations into the Players' Great House. Try to spread the goodies around into neighboring houses and see how dynamic and intriguing things begin to brew.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 4:15 pm
  

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kaid wrote:
Shark_Force wrote:
the thing is, there is little reason for the great houses to be pushing for so many saints (1 in 25 people don't need to be doctors) unless they intend (and have a reasonable expectation of succeeding in that plan) to convert at least some of them into either librarians or engineers (librarians iirc being by far the more rare form).

and while i can understand that not every saint is guaranteed to reach maturity, they are by far the most likely OCC to reach that age. there are most likely more young than old, but there are also quite likely a large number of old. an even distribution would be something like 167 turning into pools per year. even if we assume that 90% are lost by the time they reach ~60 years (the average time for maturity to be reached), there should still be an absolutely tremendous population boom on the way for the engineers.

what's more, the numbers you've provided in your other post suggests that no way are 18 engineers producing enough host armours (let alone warmounts, living armour, handheld weapons, wing packs, etc) to supply the number of troops of each type that the great house of barren marsh has, even if they all match the most prolific known engineer with 9 pools each.

unless barren marsh has been trading their mature saints to other houses in exchange for production time (which would seem to be an unwise move, as it severely limits their own future production and makes them dependent on continuing to give away their mature saints in exchange for production time, which of course continues to spiral out of control indefinitely). there just really should be more. the number of engineers should be based on a combination of how much the house likes biotech and how big the house is.

(that said, it's good to hear that more OCCs that don't rely on host armours and such are on the way... it feels particularly weird for the roughnecks and outriders to have host armour, for example, when host armour is supposed to be a super-rare mark of prestige limited mostly to dreadguard... why do the standard front line troops and "vehicle drivers" get it?).



Well given the fairly long gestation period and the amount of combat great houses see and since saints are effectively the combat/field medics I have to assume that spawning a lot of saints is a function to some extant of their utility in maintaining your armed forces and population in good health and how many actually survive to maturity when involved in combat vs the machine.

It also is very possible that a lot of saints when they go into the final maturation process simply can't be supported by the great house and so the brain pool/gene pool dies of starvation quickly. Given the amount of resources needed to feed these that is likely the actual limiting factor. In a place with infinite food they could ideed have huge fields of gene pools but with physical space and food stocks being at times very borderline there are probably quite a few that simply get culled or allowed to die as simply being unsupportable.


I tend to align with this assessment as well. Sort of like the odds of young lion cubs in the wild. Even under the protection of the pride, there are just so many factors that play a role in the success/failure rate of rearing cubs into adulthood that the odds are so stacked against them. I liken this to the Saints, Gene Pools, Brain Pools, Engineers and Librarians as well, especially when it comes to sustain resources to fuel Gene Pools/Brain Pools plus the House's militia and civilian populace. Add in maturation timespans, field ops, threats, etc., and the numbers begin to trickle down.

However, I do believe that the Barren Marsh Saint numbers may indeed be very high or the Engineers, very low, although, this can also be devised into the House's overall status for Saint percentage and the Engineers listed being just the numbers for the haven on the surface, not all of Barren Marsh's Engineers. Who knows, may they do place Engineers into Great Houses that are in strong, trusted alliance with them to help cement the Resistance movement & surplus.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 6:49 pm
  

Palladin

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to sustain the number and type of other troops they have, barren marsh pretty much can't afford to give away engineers unless the 18 they're listed as having is extremely inaccurate.

they have a whopping 40% of their population in host armour (dreadguard + outrider + roughneck). that is an absolutely massive amount of resources just on that one thing. if we assume a single pool can handle, say, 4 host armours at a time, and the "years" that they must spend growing in the pool is only 1.5 years for a host armour (obviously more for larger warmounts and even more for the largest creations like a dracos), then you're producing under 3 host armours per pool per year. to make 100,000 host armours (assuming not a single one needed replacing, never had to go back in to get upgraded thus taking up space again, etc), it would take their current absolute maximum theoretical capacity (18 engineers times a max of 9 pools per engineer; doubtful that all of their engineers have 9 pools, but that is the stated highest known number of pools an engineer has, so we'll use that for the sake of argument) over 200 years to produce the host armours alone. never mind all the handheld weapons, wing packs, warmounts, living armours, and various other biotech products they'd need to make (like the stuff to modify stuff into MDC material i mentioned earlier, for example). plus all the things that need a nutrient bath from the pool on a regular basis taking up pool space.

now, there is certainly room to argue that the percentage breakdown of their population is also quite silly... 70% mobilization into the military is extremely high for one thing, especially if you have higher than normal need to produce food. 12% of the population being part of what is supposed to be an extremely elite fighting force (dreadguards) also seems a bit weird. roughnecks and outriders getting host armour when that is supposed to be almost a badge of rank given to a dreadguard seems odd as well, so we could chalk some of the silliness up to that (and honestly, heavy living armour does a great job of keeping you alive anyways).

but as it stands, 18 engineers is just way too low.

or, alternately, a lot of other numbers need to get adjusted. lower number of people in the military, or people in different OCCs that aren't so resource-intensive for the engineers. OCCs getting less equipment in general could also help (it seems a bit silly for every OCC that gets host armour to also get upgraded living armour and often 2-4 hand weapons as standard gear, for example). and honestly, reducing the amount of equipment certain OCCs get seems to really make sense to me (i'm ok with something like an archangel or packmaster or scarecrow having a good assortment of handheld weapons, considering their comparatively low access to weapons built right into their other gear, but why does a dreadguard need so many as standard issue?)

but even then, i feel like the number of engineers in a house the size of barren marsh still needs to come up. not necessarily up to thousands or anything, but 18 just seems really, *really* low. unless each of them can produce vastly more than your current writeup in the other thread suggests.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2015 1:58 am
  

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I can understand and respect what Shark_Force is saying, and agree to an extent. Taking away host armors from roughnecks and outriders would greatly lower the power and desire to play them. Living armor is way too limited in what upgrades it can get to make up the difference. I do agree if the class has host armor it should not get living armor too. The weapons really are not that big of a deal I say let them keep them, but the extra armor that they never would use get rid of it.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2015 9:43 am
  

Palladin

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warmounts are reason enough to be an outrider. roughnecks are supposed to be regular grunts, pretty much; they shouldn't have the elite troops' gear. plus, there isn't really a lot of restrictions on what you can put on living armour. a few things specify host armour or warmount, but for the most part you can actually put just about anything you want into a living armour as far as we can tell; the limitation is in the OCCs, not the body armour.

give roughnecks a good suit of living armour and they should still be fine (give them a nice big budget for weapons and defenses mostly). or at least, no worse off than someone who chooses to play any of the variety of regular grunts in other palladium games.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2015 4:02 pm
  

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Shark_Force wrote:
warmounts are reason enough to be an outrider. roughnecks are supposed to be regular grunts, pretty much; they shouldn't have the elite troops' gear. plus, there isn't really a lot of restrictions on what you can put on living armour. a few things specify host armour or warmount, but for the most part you can actually put just about anything you want into a living armour as far as we can tell; the limitation is in the OCCs, not the body armour.

give roughnecks a good suit of living armour and they should still be fine (give them a nice big budget for weapons and defenses mostly). or at least, no worse off than someone who chooses to play any of the variety of regular grunts in other palladium games.



I would be totally fine playing an outrider that does not have host armor as your warmounts ARE your power. That said host armor is fun due to how configurable it is which is one of the fun parts of splicers. Even people with access to the same "equipment" can go very different directions with it for capability wise.

The roughnecks getting host armor I always found a bit strange but in a world where humans are so badly outnumbered I guess it makes sense to equip the best of your forces to the best extent you can manage. That and while it takes a while to grow once matured host armors durability and regeneration capabilities means they should not need to get replaced very often short of vaporization of wearer as well as armor.

Given they have listings for great houses who don't use bio armor it would be nice to see more stats on what is available for those who can't/won't use bio weapons and to augment the forces of those who would use bio armor but may want to help round out what they are doing.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2015 5:28 pm
  

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Personally, I see no major issue with issuing Roughnecks and Outriders a Host Armor and a Living Body Armor, for the Houses that can afford it.

War Mounts are a huge investment for Great Houses (both in space required to develop them and the Gene Pool gestation longevity. That's before they even see the light of day for field use. They consume a lot of resources, but they make up for it when they hit the field. Ideally, with so much invested, I would want a well suited Outrider/Pilot to sustain the punishment that War Mounts instantly attract from the Machine. I can see fielding an Outrider with Living Body Armor only if their HA is recovering or is being upgraded in the Gene Pool, but the task requires for that Outrider to still be active in the field or to be deployed sooner than the HA will be ready. The Living Body Amor can also come in handy, just incase the Outrider's War Mount is being upgraded in the Gene Pool or has to recover, and the Outrider doesn't want to walk around with a hulking HA in certain Operations. Maybe both the HA and War Mount are being healed or upgraded. This preserves some versatility for this Character. Being first on the hit list by the Machine's threat protocol means a ton of attacks and actions being placed against the Outrider and War Mount. I've seen formidable War Mounts and Outriders who were doing devastating attacks on the field against the Machines, literally get picked apart simply by the number of attacks and actions taken against them due to their priority number one threat status. Even with all the bonuses, it can turn ugly and deadly for Outriders very fast. They are the lest likely to be able to successfully evade, hide or escape an attack and they are the first to get spotted, they require a lot more resources, plus they are wearing a bloody red bullseye.

Regarding Roughnecks, Heck these are the guys who are thrown in with the guts for glory mindsets and in a world where such infantry is a required treasure and are possible prospects for Dreadguards, these aren't necessarily your throw away soldier infantry either. That what you have Biotics for.

The issue I see is that way too many OCCs, especially new ones have Host Armor because its so fun to build them and the customizations are awesome, its truly addictive. However, IF we began to also see some Great Houses that couldn't afford to impart every Roughneck or Outrider with HAs, then we might see some nice dynamics without going against the core rules. For example, a Fledgling or Devastated House or a Small House might issue Living Body Armors to its Greener Roughnecks, and those who survive and earn "The Right" will be -eligible- for Host Armor. This is the path to the Dreadguard.

War Mounts for such a Great House will give Host Armor to the most seasoned Outriders first. Then Living Body Armor for all other Outriders. However before a Roughneck gets an HA, it would go to the next available "eligible" Outrider if it came down to choosing between the two.

What I'm getting at is instead of making a rule that governs "all" Outriders and Roughnecks regarding Host Armor & Living Body Armor, why not make it a part of the Splicers setting dynamic? For some Houses its a super power luxury and for others it is a hard earned reward that helps you survive even longer, with increased potential for rank advancement.

That's my take.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2015 5:35 pm
  

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kaid wrote:
Shark_Force wrote:
warmounts are reason enough to be an outrider. roughnecks are supposed to be regular grunts, pretty much; they shouldn't have the elite troops' gear. plus, there isn't really a lot of restrictions on what you can put on living armour. a few things specify host armour or warmount, but for the most part you can actually put just about anything you want into a living armour as far as we can tell; the limitation is in the OCCs, not the body armour.

give roughnecks a good suit of living armour and they should still be fine (give them a nice big budget for weapons and defenses mostly). or at least, no worse off than someone who chooses to play any of the variety of regular grunts in other palladium games.



I would be totally fine playing an outrider that does not have host armor as your warmounts ARE your power. That said host armor is fun due to how configurable it is which is one of the fun parts of splicers. Even people with access to the same "equipment" can go very different directions with it for capability wise.

The roughnecks getting host armor I always found a bit strange but in a world where humans are so badly outnumbered I guess it makes sense to equip the best of your forces to the best extent you can manage. That and while it takes a while to grow once matured host armors durability and regeneration capabilities means they should not need to get replaced very often short of vaporization of wearer as well as armor.

Given they have listings for great houses who don't use bio armor it would be nice to see more stats on what is available for those who can't/won't use bio weapons and to augment the forces of those who would use bio armor but may want to help round out what they are doing.


Slappy & I have devised a Great House (called House Tarkov) that we plan (hope after Final edits) to debut in the Evolved book that specializes in actually.
Here is a sneak peak of House Tarkov.

Great House Tarkov
Great House Tarkov can trace its origins directly back to the powerful Russian conglomerate known as Tarkov Industries. As N.E.X.U.S. began to fail and the automated systems running the world began to falter, this group of Russian robotics engineers saw an opportunity and seized it. Tarkov Industries built a massively successful corporation that designed service robots that could operate independently of N.E.X.U.S. Demand for their problem-free creations grew as N.E.X.U.S. continued to fail and they became a powerhouse in the region.

When N.E.X.U.S. finally went insane, Tarkov Industries became the sole source for weapons, armor, and robotic war machines for the Resistance fighters in Old Lexington. N.E.X.U.S. eventually seized control of their factories, but Tarkov Industries gathered up their finest minds, their best technology, and took their know-how underground and continued to resist the maniacal Machine. When the Nano-Plague was unleashed, the engineers at House Tarkov were some of the first people to deduce the cause, figure out exactly what triggered a reaction, and came up with workarounds to circumvent this insidious weapon. They were able to retool their factories to produce plague-safe weapons and armor, and they once again became the sole weapons manufacturer in the region. Their wealth grew and their underground haven flourished as they sold their gear to every corner of the planet as quickly as it could be made. Great House Tarkov quickly rose to the highest levels of prominence within the Resistance, and they stayed in this lofty position for decades until the creation of Bio-Technology displaced them from this place of power.

This fall from grace did shake them a little, but it did not embitter them. They are still a staunch supporter of the Resistance and one of the primary manufacturers of inorganic technology for Great Houses in dozens of Areas of Influence. While they do sometimes lament their diminished status as other Houses like Great House Artemis rose to replace them, they truly do appreciate having such a powerful ally nearby and the two Houses work well together. House Artemis may be the masters of Bio-Tech manufacturing in this area, but they are the undisputed experts with plastics, ceramics, and explosive chemicals. They are one of the few Houses capable of mass-producing Nanobot Plague safe machinery such as electrical motors, light bulbs, weapons, armor, and other simple devices. Their machine designs use a combination of mega-damage plastics and ceramics and precious metal wiring to take advantage of the loophole in the nanobots programming, and their weapon designs are based around high-explosive projectiles.

While they are still one of the primary inorganic arms dealers within the Resistance, the decreased demand and high costs of components have significantly lowered their profit margins. Compared to other Great Houses they are still quite wealthy, but nothing like House Artemis. Their military does have a decent sized contingent of Bio-Tech equipped Splicers, but the majority of their forces consist of the inorganic equipped Toy Soldiers. They were originally called Plastic Men, but over the years, Splicers mockingly changed their name to Toy Soldiers. None of them were fazed by the name and most wear their title and their “human” gear with pride. While their weapons are not nearly as powerful as Bio-Tech, the Toy Soldiers that wield them have more than proven their prowess on the battlefield. In fact, most Toy Soldiers seem to have something to prove to their Splicer counterparts and fight with a ferocity that is nearly unmatched.

Population Breakdown:
31,800 Total
4% Archangels
1% Biotics
1% Bombardiers
1% Deliverymen
4% Dreadguard
1% Falconers
1% Harvesters
2% Marshals
3% Militiamen
4% Outriders
1% Packmasters
5% Roughnecks
1% Saints
.2% Scarecrows
.4% Skinjobs
1% Sweepers
30% Toy Soldiers
4% Technojackers
28% Non-Combatants
7% Other O.C.C.s
5 Engineers
1 Librarian

House Details:
A. House Size: Large House.
B. Biotech Level: Prefers Conventional Technology.
C. House Wealth: Wealthy.
D. Leadership: Warlord and Senate Advisors.
E. Educational Resources: Storytelling, Apprenticeship, Golden Age Library, Printing Press, Technojacker Jury-Rigging.
F. Internal Control: Oppressive Laws.
G. Criminal Activities: Small Gangs.
H. Military Culture: Territorial Protectionists.
I. Attitude Towards N.E.X.U.S.: Seething Hatred.
J. Attitude Towards Other Great Houses: Skeptical.
K. Attitude Towards Human Augmentation: Limited Augmentations.
L. Attitude Towards Technojackers: Full House Membership.
M. Intelligence Resources: Anecdotal Reports, Scouting Platoons, Deliverymen, Infiltrators.
N. Haven Structure: Abandoned Sewage Lines, Finished Carpentry, Intricately Sculpted Stone, Plastic and Ceramic, Abandoned Golden Age Structure.
O. Surface Presence: Simple Safe Havens (16), Hidden Ghost Town Havens (8), Hidden Retro Village Havens (2).
P. Reputation: Famous.
Q. Entertainment: Storytelling, Sun Rooms (built by House Artemis), Shopping, Alcohol, Gambling, Prostitution, Sports, Sparring, Armored Sparring.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 12:05 pm
  

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Comment: Mondos non cogitarus, Consilium!
Toy Soldiers? Sweepers? I may have missed a part somewhere....

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Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 3:57 pm
  

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BookWyrm wrote:
Toy Soldiers? Sweepers? I may have missed a part somewhere....

Toy Soldiers are I think a custom house thing. Sweepers are a Slappy creation... basically E.O.D. specialists.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 7:25 pm
  

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Comment: Mondos non cogitarus, Consilium!
Ah, ok.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2015 3:01 pm
  

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BookWyrm wrote:
Toy Soldiers? Sweepers? I may have missed a part somewhere....


More sneak peaking, hmmm....Guess I can post some sneak peaks in new threads

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Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2015 3:25 pm
  

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viewtopic.php?f=46&t=73564

Slappy's collected items are at the top of the forum... though if you want to post updated versions... I won't stop you. On phone... sorry about that text string.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2015 11:29 pm
  

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Just for clarification, the Nano plague affects ferrous metals only or metals that can be come magnetically charged?

It's nice to see the Resistance having some inorganic aid, but can power armor be built out of Tarkov tech?


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Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 4:54 am
  

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89er wrote:
Just for clarification, the Nano plague affects ferrous metals only or metals that can be come magnetically charged?


iirc, the nano plague doesn't effect so called 'precious' metals...

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Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 11:56 am
  

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Slight001 wrote:
89er wrote:
Just for clarification, the Nano plague affects ferrous metals only or metals that can be come magnetically charged?


iirc, the nano plague doesn't effect so called 'precious' metals...


yup, anything except precious metals.


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Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 1:33 am
  

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Comment: Mondos non cogitarus, Consilium!
Hope you guys work in my little idea here....
viewtopic.php?f=46&t=119473

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Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2016 9:14 pm
  

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Well, guess I have to look these over. I have a lot of houses.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2016 9:27 pm
  

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Ziggurat the Eternal wrote:
Well, guess I have to look these over. I have a lot of houses.


I am glad I looked at the forums. I literally just said to you we should do this. Seems Premier beat us to it.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2016 11:52 pm
  

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Premier, decided to make the house I have been using with these in mind, and something to add to it. For the military culture, it could be mercenary. In that the house sells it's services to other houses, or groups of people, maybe even the machine. So, either hire this house to help you in your blood feud, or to hit a machine target.


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Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2016 3:35 pm
  

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it's hard to imagine the machine needing mercenaries in terms of military power. they've got billions of robots sitting in storage, if they want to "hire" someone, they just turn on the power for a few hundred thousand more robots and there they go.

(mercenaries that locate great house outposts for the machine to target is much more plausible, however).


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Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2016 6:20 pm
  

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Shark_Force wrote:
it's hard to imagine the machine needing mercenaries in terms of military power. they've got billions of robots sitting in storage, if they want to "hire" someone, they just turn on the power for a few hundred thousand more robots and there they go.

(mercenaries that locate great house outposts for the machine to target is much more plausible, however).


I may be mistaken, but I thought that the machine sometimes spoke with people to have them do things for it. Alternatively, the "hiring" of Splicers to do something would be much more for the twisted pleasure of one of the machine persona. It is literally just for kicks.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 1:36 am
  

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The Houses of Ash

“Great House Ash” as it is called is the remnants of what could have been the second Barren Marsh. However, shortly after the triumph of the Barren Marsh, NEXUS stepped up its activity and hostility greatly. The headstrong and foolhardy houses of AOI 94 responded with a full out assault. Their failure was ruinous. Of the seven resistance strongholds in AOI 94, 5 survived, with only 2 relatively unscathed. The two mostly intact Houses, The Techno-Jacker Enclave and The Cornucopia were essential in the survival and recovery of the 3 remaining shattered Houses. What rose from the ashes were 3 biotitans of the resistance, Hope, Phoenix, and Everlast. Together they rallied and due to their extreme proximity they united under one banner, for vengeance and glory. Now they wage warfare on the machine, rampaging across the surface like wild animals. Looked down upon for their rampant fanatic violence, extreme measures, and almost psychotic glee in fighting Nexus. Nevertheless, they are praised for their prowess and seemingly impossible force projection, as well as for appearing to have the machine on the ropes.

The Enclave
Composed entirely of Techno-Jackers. Always recruiting, infiltrating retro-villages, and “liberating” TJ youths from other houses. Many Splicers Houses willingly give up their suspected or known technojacker youth, whereas they are bought or stolen from others. Currently making good use of a Golden Age military bunker with full amenities. Receiving raw materials and food from the cornucopia in exchange for finished products, weapons, and armor. Maintains entertainment for other houses, runs interference on Nexus activities, and gathers information for joint strikes. Possesses Golden Age military tech, as well as refitted/rebuilt NEXUS vehicles and platforms. The Enclaves ability to meet NEXUS on their terms and fight them at their own game while coming away stronger means they are the most vital of the lesser houses of Ash.

The Cornucopia
A fairy tale in making the best of a bad lot, the cornucopia is like all other biotech oriented Houses, with one exception. A fatal, transmissible mutation in all their engineers and librarians. They are completely unable to use any of the common biotech of the resistance, and any interaction between what they have and common biotech infects the common tech and spreads the malfunction. All of their Librarians are undersized, lobotomized pathetic things. Their two engineers are not lobotomized but they might as well be for they can only work with plant DNA, and only with prebuilt schematics. None of their biotech can be altered once grown. Still, they have made the best of things. The one thing they have is a truly obscene amount of resources. Fungus that can replace meat and takes months to spoil, more vegetation than you can shake a Seedling at, and even special plants that can leach precious metals from the soil for easy collection. They produce the massive amount of biomatter and raw materials that Ash needs to function. The Cornucopias massive production of resources and ability to single handedly maintain the other 4 Lesser Houses signifies them as the most vital of the Houses of Ash.

Hope is the Manufacturing powerhouse of Great House Ash. Their 5 Librarians and 16 Engineers more than make up for their smaller population and undersized Seedling. The majority of Cornucopia’s excess production is funneled directly into their Genepools and Seedling in desperate need for the upkeep and production Ash needs to sustain this war, much less win. Hope’s ability to upkeep and outfit not only themselves, but also the other excess of the other two biohouses makes them the most essential of all Ash Houses. Without Hope, the other Houses would face losses faster than they could be replaced.

Everlast is the largest seedling and boasts most of the civilian populace at 75% noncombatants. They hold two Librarians and seven Engineers. It is the final bastion of Ash. If they lose this mad gambit Everlast is where they will retreat till they can try again.Everlast has duplicates of all knowledge and information resources the other houses collect, and exists as a repository for the culture of Ash. It also boasts the storage of all immature and unbonded Saints, Librarians, Genepools, and Engineers. Clearly, the cultural significance, collected knowledge of both mechanical and biological technology, and ability to repopulate Ash makes Everlast the most vital of its siblings.

Phoenix is the second largest of the seedlings, proud to house two Librarians and eleven Engineers, is the military arm of the Houses of Ash. Responsible for overseeing deployment and maintenance of Ash’s two surface military bases, as well as it’s many outposts. Phoenix has no civilian population. The majority of the firepower and all of the battle plans come from Phoenix. Held in the highest of respect by the other Houses, those who are members of Phoenix set aside their Humanity to better battle the machine. They augment themselves with little restraint, caring only to resemble who they once were. This sacrifice and many others are spared the remaining Houses of Ash. Phoenix alone has the drive and dedication commit whatever atrocities it takes to win. They know that they paint Ash in a bad light and distance them from other Houses. They know that only they are expendable in this war. Phoenix is the least vital of Ash, and will burn themselves out for their victory, but will not let the others fall for the sake of winning this never sufficiently damned war.


AOI: 94
Population Breakdown:
121,800 Total
6% Archangels
1% Gardeners
.6%Swarmlords
2% Biotics
.5% Deliverymen
5% Dreadguard
1% Falconers
2% Marshals
9% Militiamen
6% Outriders
2% Packmasters
12% Roughnecks
.7% Saints
1% Arbiters
1.1% Scarecrows
.5% Skinjobs
1% Sweepers
4% Technojackers
40% Non-Combatants
4.6% Other O.C.C.s
36 Engineers
9 Librarians

House Details:
A. House Size: Enormous House.
B. Biotech Level: Cutting Edge Biotech
C. House Wealth: Wealthy.
D. Leadership: Warlord Council
E. Educational Resources: Apprenticeship, Golden Age Library, Printing Press, Technojacker Jury-Rigging.
F. Internal Control: Oppressive Laws, Reward.
G. Criminal Activities: Covertly House Sponsored Underworld
H. Military Culture: Warriors
I. Attitude Towards N.E.X.U.S.: Seething Hatred~Fanatical Opposition
J. Attitude Towards Other Great Houses: Ally of Man
K. Attitude Towards Human Augmentation: Experimental Augmentations~Inhuman Society.
L. Attitude Towards Technojackers: Full House Membership.
M. Intelligence Resources: Anecdotal Reports, Scouting Platoons, Deliverymen, Infiltrators, Butchers.
N. Haven Structure: Finished Carpentry, Seedlings, Abandoned Golden Age Structure.
O. Surface Presence: Simple Safe Havens (Dozens-Immature Bunkerseeds), Hidden Retro Village Havens (6), Hidden Ghost Town Havens (2), Outposts(Dozens-Mature Bunkerseeds), Military Bases(2).
P. Reputation: Famous, Infamous for Zealotry/Transhumanism.
Q. Entertainment: Storytelling, Sun Rooms, Shopping, Theater, Alcohol, Drugs, Gambling, Prostitution, Sports, Sparring, Armored Sparring.

_________________
Balabanto wrote:
Well, something called The Devastator should Devastate things. 1d6x10 couldn't devastate your mother in Rifts.

amodernheathen wrote:
If, in one posting, I can increase the hellish chaos of even a single planet seven-fold, then I believe that I have done my duty as a Game Master to the widows and orphans of that world. By increasing their number. Drastically.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 11:38 am
  

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89er wrote:
Just for clarification, the Nano plague affects ferrous metals only or metals that can be come magnetically charged?

It's nice to see the Resistance having some inorganic aid, but can power armor be built out of Tarkov tech?


Nice, question as usual 89er.
Yeah we have some nice concepts in mind for Carbon Fiber Armors with some precious metal alloy compounds to get House Tarko's sales up.
Might be a whole new meaning to Golden Boy entertainment. :lol:
I kid... I kid... then aga :idea: in, hmmmmmmmm

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Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 2:23 pm
  

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House Madrigor is somewhere between your best friend, and the people your parents warned you about. A house of vice and pleasure, filled with anything your heart could desire to take your mind off of the fact that you traded all of the gold your grandfather left you when he died, and that the House Madrigor Marshals will be coming to evict you soon. An interesting experiment, an eclectic mix between the stories of old Las Vegas, and a mercenary company.

House Madrigor is located underneath a large nature preserve where the areas of influence of 95, 96, and 97 meet. This has proven a dilemma for Gaia, as this nature preserve is a perfectly balanced ecosystem that took her years to fix, and is a rare tropical rainforest. As long as House Madrigor doesn't upset the preserve, Gaia can't send troops in to root them out. A large force of NEXUS troops form a blockade around the preserve, to make sure that House Madrigor can't leave on the surface, while Gaia sends the most dangerous predators, monsters, and bacteria she can into the preserve, without upsetting the balance. It is a delicate game the house is playing with Gaia, but one that has kept them safe from Machine incursion for decades.

That being said, how does one get in and out of the Madrigor Casino, if the Machine is everywhere on the surface? This is why there are so many Deliverymen in the house. There are hundreds of underground routes leading into the house, each heavily defended against both Splicer and Machine incursion. These entry points are changing all the time, due to the tunneling warmounts. Only members of the House know the routes through the elaborate caves, those who decide to try to sneak in themselves usually found later, dead by traps and pitfalls.

From the outside, as an individual, most people know House Madrigor as the place to blow any savings you have, a gambling den where any and all drugs, poisons, and chemicals can be found to snort, shoot, or pop in order to take your mind off of your life. You can stay in luxurious resin-molded motel rooms, or rent one of the better rooms in the seedling itself. If you are the adventurous type, or are here for an expedition, you can stay in the Bao Huts they maintain, hidden, in the Nature Preserve.

If you are more of the military minded, you might know that House Madrigor is also a mercenary power, willing to work with anyone, for a price. Most of the time, a person can only arrange to purchase a single squad of these elite soldiers. Some of the houses that have expendable resources, such as Great House Ash, have been known to purchase the time of an entire platoon. It is rumored that, for a significant sum of bio-tech secrets, Great House Ash survives to this day only because House Madrigor sent thousands of their own troops to reinforce their weakened minor houses.

One of the benefits to the influx of bio-tech, and other riches, is that instead of turning this back around to make the lives of the members of the house comfortable, they have instead been focused on the military efforts. With the number of engineers House Madrigor has been blessed with, and the abundance of resources, they have been able to train their soldiers to handle more bio-enhancements than the regular soldier. Better equipped, this makes a single soldier of House Madrigor a match for two soldiers from any other house. This puts a strain on people who are not ready for the effects this will inevitably have on their nervous system. In order to prepare, all Roughnecks of House Madrigor are given Proto-Host Armor, instead of the more taxing Host Armor.

House Madrigor also has 2 other purely military bases set up in other, relatively nearby nature preserves. A days travel between the bases and the main seedling, these bases are in place to grow and nurture new seedlings, in case the main house should fall. Mostly defended by gardener fortifications in order to blend into the Preserves, these are not surrounded by Machine forces. Skirmishes do occur to draw the Machine away from these bases, as the actual manpower is slim on the ground. Most of their forces are either guarding Madrigor Proper, or on missions. Soldiers rotate duty between one of the outer bases, Madrigor Proper, and mercenary work.

Always looking towards the future, House Madrigor is attempting to negotiate with Great House Artemis for the secrets of the Kraken Warmount. In addition, once the seedlings in the other bases mature to the point of being able to house recruits, the Council will consider opening up their ranks. What House Madrigor does not want anyone to know is that they charge so much for their services because they barely have enough manpower to cover their current operations. They make shows of hiring initiatives, and rigorous testing, but only allow people to join the house when one of their own has fallen. They walk a fine balance between abundant resources, and a lack of space, as so much is devoted to housing the transient people there to blow off steam. A vacation resort for soldiers.

AOI: 95, 96, 97

Population Breakdown:
5000 Total
0.5% Advanced Biotics 25
2% Archangels 100
6% Biotics 300
1% Bio-Slayers 50
5% Bombadiers 250
4% Butcher 200
5% Deliverymen 250
10% Dreadguards 500
2% Falconers 100
5% Gardeners 250
0.2%Geneticists 10
0.2% Harvesters 10
4% Marshal 200
6% Metamorph 300
10% Outriders 750
5% Packmasters 250
0.2%Ragdolls 10
19% Roughnecks 950
0.1% Saints 5
0.5% Scarecrows 25
1% Skinjobs 50
5% Swarmlords 250
2% Sweepers 100
0.3% Tormentors 15
8% Non-Combatants 200
15 Engineers
3 Librarian

House Details:
A. House Size: Small
B. Biotech Level: Cutting Edge Bio-Tech.
C. House Wealth: Comfortable.
D. Leadership: Warlord and Platoon Leaders
E. Educational Resources: Printing Press, Librarian
F. Internal Control: Oppressive Laws.
G. Criminal Activities: Integrated Criminal Underworld
H. Military Culture: Mercenary
I. Attitude Towards N.E.X.U.S.: Active Resistance
J. Attitude Towards Other Great Houses: Pirate
K. Attitude Towards Human Augmentation: Experimental Augmentation
L. Attitude Towards Technojackers: Limited Welcome
M. Intelligence Resources: Scouting Platoons, Deliverymen, Infiltrators, Butchers
N. Haven Structure: Seedling, Resin
O. Surface Presence: Simple Safe Havens (15), Military Bases (2)
P. Reputation: Known.
Q. Entertainment: Alcohol, Drugs, Prostitution, Gambling, Sparring, Armored Sparring, Gladiator Arena

And please, any questions, comments, or concerns, direct them to your nearest Madrigor Marshal.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 5:16 pm
  

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Palladium Books® Freelance Artist

Joined: Mon May 05, 2008 5:02 pm
Posts: 1516
Location: Taylor, MI, United States
Quantum07 wrote:
Ziggurat the Eternal wrote:
Well, guess I have to look these over. I have a lot of houses.


I am glad I looked at the forums. I literally just said to you we should do this. Seems Premier beat us to it.


Thanks, but Slappy is the genius behind the curtain with this one.
We knew this needed to be done to help expand the Splicers setting and to help flush out the society aspects somewhat for Havens and Great House interactions. However, we didn't want people to focus on a point system where they would be seeking to find loopholes to get more points to make a respected Great House.

We wanted people to focus more on developing a Great House that would be entertaining, personable and also part of the bigger picture; the Area of Influence in which their Great House would reside and share with other Great Houses. That's when you begin to experience the wonderful facets of the Resistance interactions. That's when all the cool ideas are spread throughout the various House designs and not compiled into one Great House that the Players belong to. That's the goal anyways.

Gauging by the newest Great Houses posted as of recent, things are off to a spectacular start!

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Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 6:26 pm
  

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Explorer

Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2009 6:11 pm
Posts: 113
Location: Winter Park, Florida
Premier wrote:
Quantum07 wrote:
Ziggurat the Eternal wrote:
Well, guess I have to look these over. I have a lot of houses.


I am glad I looked at the forums. I literally just said to you we should do this. Seems Premier beat us to it.


Thanks, but Slappy is the genius behind the curtain with this one.
We knew this needed to be done to help expand the Splicers setting and to help flush out the society aspects somewhat for Havens and Great House interactions. However, we didn't want people to focus on a point system where they would be seeking to find loopholes to get more points to make a respected Great House.

We wanted people to focus more on developing a Great House that would be entertaining, personable and also part of the bigger picture; the Area of Influence in which their Great House would reside and share with other Great Houses. That's when you begin to experience the wonderful facets of the Resistance interactions. That's when all the cool ideas are spread throughout the various House designs and not compiled into one Great House that the Players belong to. That's the goal anyways.

Gauging by the newest Great Houses posted as of recent, things are off to a spectacular start!


Luckily, Ziggy and I have been working on these houses for years, just never put them on paper. Hence our houses having a history together.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 7:29 pm
  

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Wanderer

Joined: Fri Oct 20, 2000 1:01 am
Posts: 79
Location: San Diego
Comment: The Dark General of the Apocalypse and the right hand man to the Horseman of Death
I actually love looking at other houses made. I am still working on my Great House and the Pride Lords that dominate it, but I especially like it when houses are connected with one another in some way (friend or foe). I took one of the great houses here and made them the enemy of my house because it just sounded cool LOL

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Methos Darkblade

If you smell who the rat is cooking.

Super or otherwise, you are just a man, while I am a God!
-Darkseid

That was fairly ruthless father. I hope I made you proud.
-Aqualad

Always better to crash the mode
-Impulse


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Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 8:54 pm
  

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Hero

Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2006 7:50 pm
Posts: 1561
Location: Gah, never give it away!
I have a few other houses to make, all odd balls. Should be fun. It's also like to make a thread to detail all the individual Ash houses and go more into detail of both how they work and operate as a whole and separately

_________________
Balabanto wrote:
Well, something called The Devastator should Devastate things. 1d6x10 couldn't devastate your mother in Rifts.

amodernheathen wrote:
If, in one posting, I can increase the hellish chaos of even a single planet seven-fold, then I believe that I have done my duty as a Game Master to the widows and orphans of that world. By increasing their number. Drastically.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2016 12:52 pm
  

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Wanderer

Joined: Fri Oct 20, 2000 1:01 am
Posts: 79
Location: San Diego
Comment: The Dark General of the Apocalypse and the right hand man to the Horseman of Death
Is there a list of the great houses here on the Forum? I'd love to see some other good houses.

_________________
Methos Darkblade

If you smell who the rat is cooking.

Super or otherwise, you are just a man, while I am a God!
-Darkseid

That was fairly ruthless father. I hope I made you proud.
-Aqualad

Always better to crash the mode
-Impulse


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Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 10:16 pm
  

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Hero

Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2006 7:50 pm
Posts: 1561
Location: Gah, never give it away!
no list that I know of. Here's one to add to any list that gets made.


House of the Matron

To outside observes, this House is quite peculiar, if not disturbing. For one it’s absolutely full of Biotics, and everyone in sight is female. This is because every last member is a clone. All living members of the house are nearly perfect clones of the primary Engineer, Matron. Of Course they are all different people. They have different memories, experiences, personalities. Each member is an individual, but they all serve the Matron. Individuality is the definition of beauty here, with each person showing off some tattoo, birthmark, or other body modification as well as almost desperate attempts to have their own personal and distinct style of dress, speech, ect. This is eased somewhat by many Members being Advanced Biotics, and thus unique by design.

10 years ago, the former House was wiped out nearly to the last man woman and child by House Shiva. The few stragglers, cowards, and valiant defenders managed to survive by collapsing the tunnels leading to one of the gene pools and holding out till Shiva finished their slaughter and moved on to new victims. They set about rebuilding immediately but most of the survivors fell to traps and poisons leaving the Engineer with no choice but to literally build a new house, people and all. Seeing artificial creation and alteration of human life as an unforgivable sin she cast off her name and promised to cease both her activities and her life once this sin was no longer a necessity.

Matron will see her house rebuilt, and it will be the last thing she ever sees, so she has no reservations or compunctions doing whatever it takes to make it happen.


AOI: 91
Population Breakdown:
~1,200 Total
6% Archangels 72
20% Advanced Biotics 240
5% Deliverymen 60
25% Dreadguard 300
6% Outriders 72
10% Packmasters 120
25% Roughnecks 300
3% Saints 36
1% Scarecrows 12
.5% Skinjobs 6
4.5% Other O.C.C.s 54
3 Engineers
1 Librarians

House Details:
A. House Size: Devastated House.
B. Biotech Level: Minimal Biotech.
C. House Wealth: Limited Internal Resources/Plentiful Surface Game.
D. Leadership: Engineer Council.
E. Educational Resources: Direct genetic memory download.
F. Internal Control: Devotion.
G. Criminal Activities: None.
H. Military Culture: Defensive.
I. Attitude Towards N.E.X.U.S.: Timid resistance.
J. Attitude Towards Other Great Houses: Close allies only.
K. Attitude Towards Human Augmentation: Inhuman Society.
L. Attitude Towards Technojackers: Safe haven.
M. Intelligence Resources: Anecdotal Reports, Deliverymen, Infiltrators.
N. Haven Structure: Wooden, Resin.
O. Surface Presence: Simple Safe Havens.
P. Reputation: Unknown.
Q. Entertainment: Storytelling, Alcohol, Drugs, Gambling, Sports, Sparring, Armored Sparring.

_________________
Balabanto wrote:
Well, something called The Devastator should Devastate things. 1d6x10 couldn't devastate your mother in Rifts.

amodernheathen wrote:
If, in one posting, I can increase the hellish chaos of even a single planet seven-fold, then I believe that I have done my duty as a Game Master to the widows and orphans of that world. By increasing their number. Drastically.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 5:20 pm
  

D-Bee

Joined: Mon May 18, 2015 3:13 pm
Posts: 5
How are you guys calculating your population %'s ?
I understand these guidelines were derived from the Ninjas & Superspies book, do I need to get that for some formulas or are you making it up as you go?
Also is there a similar thing to figure out the levels of the people of the House?
The House I'm designing will be a Fledgling House, so the Warlord should be kind of low level, but the larger the house, the higher the level, right?

Thanks


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Unread postPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 6:32 pm
  

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Hero

Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 5:52 pm
Posts: 878
Razur wrote:
How are you guys calculating your population %'s ?
I understand these guidelines were derived from the Ninjas & Superspies book, do I need to get that for some formulas or are you making it up as you go?

Huh... never would have guessed the numbers were derived from the N&SS book... then again I'm not a fan of that line...

So Personally I'm making it up as I go along... others are likely as well. We all apply our own experiences, of course, however we also will write down the numbers that feel right for our specific house. Just keep in mind that the percentages are just ballparks of how many of each *.C.C. there are and they are more about showing the basic personality of the house then restricting the house to those specific numbers.

Razur wrote:
Also is there a similar thing to figure out the levels of the people of the House?

Outside of specific individuals I'd just use the NPC random number charts most palladium *.C.C.'s have... Though it's been a while since I looked any of the books...

Razur wrote:
The House I'm designing will be a Fledgling House, so the Warlord should be kind of low level, but the larger the house, the higher the level, right?

Level doesn't necessarily equate to house size. There are a number of reasons for having a 'young/low lvl' leader of the house. Just as there are a number of reasons why a smaller/younger house might have an older/higher lvl leader.


In closing I'd like to say that I'm sorry nobody responded before me. Personally I'm not all that active because I don't play the games anymore and because I've read too many hostile posts from seemingly respected posters to bother sticking around... though not much hostility in this particular section of the forums. Most of the Spliceheads seem to be just plain good people.

_________________
"If your plan relies upon chance to succeed, then you've already failed."
"Sometimes to achieve the greatest good, one must commit great evil."


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Unread postPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 11:34 am
  

D-Bee

Joined: Mon May 18, 2015 3:13 pm
Posts: 5
It makes sense now that the rules presented here are more for flavor than "crunch."

I was surprised that following the POH that activity here was still pretty limited.
I suppose I share the blame, I joined after the last POH and posted exactly 1 time so there's that.
Better late than never, right?


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Unread postPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 11:27 pm
  

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Hero

Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 5:52 pm
Posts: 878
Razur wrote:
Better late than never, right?

Sure why not...

Best of luck... I stop by every so often... but I don't do much palladium related anymore. I had been working on my own 'House' The Hel'brek, mostly for the purposes of creating a foundation for writing stories set in the splicers world... however I find myself without access to a group for gaming in person and I can't stand the Players/GMs I've found on the few boards that run palladium games. I also refuse to consider a chat or social media (facebook... ectra) solution. So while I enjoyed the settings as my interests diverge away from game mechanics and back towards my core of literary elements I move on as these don't get well supported on these forums and often only result in wars of ideology as hardliners rapidly derail threads in their blindness to their own patterns of behavior.

_________________
"If your plan relies upon chance to succeed, then you've already failed."
"Sometimes to achieve the greatest good, one must commit great evil."


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Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2019 12:17 pm
  

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Explorer

Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:37 am
Posts: 127
Location: Texas
the creation looks great; but I need more explanation on Conventional Technology that has been made plague-proof & how that works. something isn't computing.

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King Hawke--I don't make the world, I just live in it


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Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2019 8:10 pm
  

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Monk

Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 1:59 pm
Posts: 12968
Location: Snoqualmie, WA
Not gonna set it up like secret organizations or traveling circuses eh?

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:thwak: you some might think you're a :clown: but you're cool in book :ok: :thwak:--Mecha-Viper

BEST IDEA EVER!!! -- The Galactus Kid

Holy crapy, you're Zer0 Kay?! --TriaxTech

Zer0 Kay is my hero. --Atramentus

The Zer0 of Kay, who started this fray,
Kept us laughing until the end. -The Fifth Business (In loving Memory of the teleport thread)


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