Near Pets: Talking to the dead

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kedamono
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Near Pets: Talking to the dead

Postby kedamono » Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:29 am

The game lists two kinds of Near Pets: Bioconstructs and cyberenhanced. You can tell that the entry was written back in the 80's. The idea that more than a couple hundred words is the best you could do with computer enhanced brains is ridiculous these days with chatbots with several thousand words of vocabulary and growing everyday. I'd expect Near Pets to have a grasp of language equal to humans.

Then there's the topic of this post: Talking to the dead. If you opted for cyberenhancement of your pet, then the majority of their memories and personality would come from the cyberbrain, with only real emotions and goals coming from meat brain. And that meat brain would be perfectly mapped so that the cyber portions could talk to it. That means it would be easy with 2448 technology to emulate the meat brain.

So when Sir Purrs-alot passes on to kibble heaven, you can emulate his brain in an Augmented Reality environment, hook up his cyberbrain to the emulator, and bingo-bango! He's back! So as long as you have his cyberbrain or at least his most recent backup... and that may be preferable over him remembering his death, you can talk to him once more.

The big question is can you get his emulator small enough to fit into a proper chassis? If you can, you've resurrected Sir Purrs-alot. And since Near Pets are one of the character species you can play, then as a GM could you deny a player a chance to bring his character back, if at the very least as a computer emulation?
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ORTrail
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Re: Near Pets: Talking to the dead

Postby ORTrail » Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:31 am

A mini-campaign with a group of 'abandoned' Near Pets would be interesting. Maybe the pets from a failed colony that suffered an alien attack/raid? A sudden and swift disease wiped out the Near Owners? Do they want to stay on this planet and make a go of it? Or are they seeking a way off and a return to civilization?
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Re: Near Pets: Talking to the dead

Postby kedamono » Fri Nov 10, 2017 3:46 pm

Nice idea ORTrail. Sounds a bit like Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey the game. :D

I'd leave it up to the players to decide if they want to make a go of it. Of course, they won't be able to make babies the traditional way, as they all are "sterile" according the Near Pets write up in the book. Hmm, there may be "stock" on the world from whence the Near Pets were adapted from, but with hands and perhaps color vision, I think most Near Pets start life in a petri dish and not in the womb.
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ORTrail
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Re: Near Pets: Talking to the dead

Postby ORTrail » Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:04 pm

Part of my influence here is the Hero Cats comic from Action Lab.

I think having the Near Pets having to cross 500 kilometers of hostile planet, to get to the abandoned spaceport would be good for several sessions. Repair old shuttle, launch it, and hopefully get picked up by passing starship.
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kedamono
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Re: Near Pets: Talking to the dead

Postby kedamono » Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:51 am

I can see it now...

Mister Pup: "Fluffysnugums, why are we dragging that solar array with us again?"

Fluffysnugums: "We need it to charge our batteries, otherwise we become stupid. Don't you remember?"

Snorky: "Lemme check Pup's charge level... Pup, you're running at half charge! What's wrong with you?"

Mister Pup: looking meek "I have the biggest batteries. I was taking too long to charge. So..."

Fluffysnugmums: "You'd thought you'd be brave and make a noble sacrifice. Right. We stop here and Pup, you're first on the charger..."
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ORTrail
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Re: Near Pets: Talking to the dead

Postby ORTrail » Fri Nov 17, 2017 1:46 am

We need to add a kid, maybe two, to the mix. Between 6-8 is a good range, as they are mobile enough, but very prone to childish behavior. Can the Near Pets get the kid(s) back to earth and their remaining family? Or do they abandon the space brats along the way? Or is it really cannibalism if we are talking different species?
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kedamono
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Re: Near Pets: Talking to the dead

Postby kedamono » Fri Nov 17, 2017 3:20 am

I like it. The kids know enough to get by, but the animals have to make sure that they get food and water. The pets need food and water as well, as they are still mostly meat with a cyberbrain hiding inside their body. The kids are NPCs, and it's the dreaded escort mission for the PCs! And the kids can get into trouble along the way unless watched like a hawk. So rules for nodding off and getting distracted. (And a kid having a meltdown because they ran out of Phood Chacko Naht Bars! "I want my Chacko Naht bar!")

It sounds a bit like a cross between Homeward Bound meets Girls' Last Tour!

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ORTrail
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Re: Near Pets: Talking to the dead

Postby ORTrail » Fri Nov 17, 2017 8:19 pm

Talking with some of the kids at work (the youngest software developers I work with are very early 20s) I was telling them that they may be the last generation that learns to drive. The little kids today will be sitting in self-driving vehicles and why bother to learn to drive? Maybe the tech would not be set up for a colony, but I would think mapping a world and setting up satellites for communications, GPS, and such would be standard operating procedure. Of course, an alien attack or maybe a small but disastrous meteorite strike could take out all that, so the vehicles must be driven manually (but there are no steering wheels, pedals and such of course) after some hacking.

You could have the kid be much less bratty, but constantly asking for dead parents and crying would be even worse to deal with. A big change of tone from the goofy circumstances I was first thinking of.

Another thought; The colony was wiped out as revenge by some space mafia types? The goons are under orders to insure that NO heirs survive to get back to earth. They are tracking the kid/Near Pets across the planet, looking to finish the job, but want to make it look like an 'accident' (they pushed the meteor into a collision course).
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kedamono
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Re: Near Pets: Talking to the dead

Postby kedamono » Fri Nov 17, 2017 8:35 pm

Hmm, me thinks that it would be best served with the kid or two kids played by players as well as the Near Pets. In fact one kid character and his/her pack of Near Pets would be the best combo. That way the kid is trying to make it to the fuel shuttle port, which, for various reasons is situated far away from the main colony. (Explosions are the primary reason.) Fuel shuttles do have a passenger cabin for maintenance crew. Sadly, the Bad Guys will have taken care of the workers at the port.

It will take several days to get there, all the while the kid & pets are hiding, moving at night, and using their superior knowledge of the local flora and fauna to their advantage. (OK, the kid doesn't know that much, but Rex the Wonder Dog has the local critter database in his cyberbrain. The Damnthing territory is one place to lead the less than savvy mobsters, and stirring up a nest of Virgil's Harpies is another way to keep them occupied.)

Sneaking past the guards to get on the shuttle will be a trick. The mob's techs may have overridden the automated controls, so resetting them will be up to the hacker pets in the pack.

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