Pick Apart My Setting

From here to there to everywhere. Are you Fringeworthy?
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Jon Thomas
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Pick Apart My Setting

Postby Jon Thomas » Thu Oct 05, 2017 6:44 pm

This is an alternate campaign setting for Fringeworthy I worked up. It is based FAR FAR away from IDET's Earth Prime; far enough away that possible contact with IDET shouldn't occur until the LATE campaign.

The basic premise is a bit more mercenary. A technology company running explorers across the Fringepaths to seek out high technology.

For the players, part of the mystery would be just what this company seeks to gain. Why hide this marvelous technology from the rest of humanity and yet insist on ethical behavior for their teams? WHY THE SECRECY?!

Anyway, a link to my Google Doc is here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1j0lH4bcWtdREhajTE0o96VBLkZxjp795MOk97WQX-n0/edit?usp=sharing

Please feel free to read and pick apart my plot holes and missing bits. it is still a work in progress (obviously) and I'm looking to patch up the blatant gaps.
--Jonathon Thomas
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kedamono
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Re: Pick Apart My Setting

Postby kedamono » Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:27 pm

Just a note, this section of your background has an issue:

As applicants turn in their paper work, they unwittingly pass within 6 feet of a crystal key. Any job seekers who cause the key to glow are fast-tracked for immediate interviews and job offers.


Unless these "job fairs" have hundreds of thousands of people show up, their success rate is going to be miserable. This is why we added the Find Fringeworthy power to all crystal keys. But considering that the Mellor know survivors made it to this prime, they may be looking for Fringeworthy as well. They, and their Great Mellor need those bodies to leave this world in the future.

It takes a Fringeworthy person to find another one using the key. So they would have to be careful where they keep their Fringeworthy, as the Mellor are looking for them too.

You'll find the Find Fringeworthy in the d20 Fringeworthy book. But if you let me know what rule system you're using, I can provide you with the appropriate rules for using the crystals to find Fringeworthy.

Just out of curiosity, what level keys do the Mellor have?
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Jon Thomas
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Re: Pick Apart My Setting

Postby Jon Thomas » Thu Oct 05, 2017 11:46 pm

kedamono wrote:Unless these "job fairs" have hundreds of thousands of people show up, their success rate is going to be miserable. This is why we added the Find Fringeworthy power to all crystal keys. But considering that the Mellor know survivors made it to this prime, they may be looking for Fringeworthy as well. They, and their Great Mellor need those bodies to leave this world in the future.


Yeah, I definitely wanted the first group found to consist of the PCs only. Perhaps 3-6 in the first year and that is LUCKY. I wanted the fact that no one currently in HGT is Fringeworthy so there could be an "us vs. Them" feeling during the early campaign. "Why do THEY get to tell us what to do? They aren't out here!" But that means finding more Fringeworthy is a long and arduous task for Angela Graves.

It takes a Fringeworthy person to find another one using the key. So they would have to be careful where they keep their Fringeworthy, as the Mellor are looking for them too.


Yeah, this is why HGT tries to get their Fringeworthy to Arizona ASAP. They know the Mellor are out there and would definitely want these people though I doubt they know about the Find Fringeworthy feature of the crystals. Eventually, if they don't discover this feature themselves, they might get a rude visit from the authorities.

You'll find the Find Fringeworthy in the d20 Fringeworthy book. But if you let me know what rule system you're using, I can provide you with the appropriate rules for using the crystals to find Fringeworthy.


Right now I am keeping it system-agnostic until I get a good feel for the tone I want.

Just out of curiosity, what level keys do the Mellor have?


Of the 4 keys the Mellor brought with them, I figure 1 could be another Grey Key, 2 Pale Green, and the Master would have kept a Red for itself. When they arrived, the red key was just high enough to unlock the Cuban portal. NOW, with Grenthra having locked down ALL the portals (except Arizona) with a fairly high key (probably a blue or yellow), the Mellor will know SOMETHING is up.

Thanks for the feedback.
--Jonathon Thomas
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kedamono
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Re: Pick Apart My Setting

Postby kedamono » Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:07 am

The Red key give them a Find Fringeworthy out to 10 miles. Level 7 and above keys have a 50 mile range. Otherwise it's a 1,000 feet for keys 1-4. Something to keep in mind.
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Jon Thomas
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Re: Pick Apart My Setting

Postby Jon Thomas » Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:14 am

I think, for right now, the Mellor are more focused on their plan for global destruction. Their numbers are still relatively small in order to avoid an accident revealing their existence and trashing the plan.

At least the 4 original Mellor should still have the forms they snuck in with in memory. If they find another key, they would certainly go actively searching for another Fringeworthy to mimic and bring another Great Mellor to the next world (if they can find an open portal).

Of course, if Fringe-tech starts showing up in the world, they might start actively hunting the source and, once narrowed down, send in one of the Great Mellor to pin-point the source (either a portal or Fringeworthy individual).

This puts HGT at risk since their plan is to recover Fringe-tech and "develop" it as new breakthroughs (pulling a Men In Black). Once enough "wonders" come out of HGT, the Mellor-controlled authorities will start to suspect them.
--Jonathon Thomas
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ORTrail
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Re: Pick Apart My Setting

Postby ORTrail » Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:34 am

Just based on how that sample interview went, I'm pretty sure my character would be convinced that HGT was into some seriously illegal stuff. I do like the background though, as it becomes more of a small group of those 'in the know' having to battle the Mellor and the local governments that are secretly led by aliens.

This does beg the question though, would it not make sense for the Mellor to pinpoint Fringeworthy humans and eliminate them? Why stop once you have killed off the survivors? Kill off the local fringe humans too.
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Jon Thomas
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Re: Pick Apart My Setting

Postby Jon Thomas » Mon Oct 16, 2017 2:46 am

ORTrail wrote:Just based on how that sample interview went, I'm pretty sure my character would be convinced that HGT was into some seriously illegal stuff. I do like the background though, as it becomes more of a small group of those 'in the know' having to battle the Mellor and the local governments that are secretly led by aliens.

This does beg the question though, would it not make sense for the Mellor to pinpoint Fringeworthy humans and eliminate them? Why stop once you have killed off the survivors? Kill off the local fringe humans too.


I think that might be where it gets tricky and a little "hand-wavey". I think they ARE hunting Fringeworthy natives but don't want to make too big a deal of it as that might set off a few red flags and fire up too many conspiracy nuts.

The Mellor have at least two portals on lock-down: the one in Cuba that they came through and the one the survivors came through (not sure where it is yet). Since the survivors came through, the Mellor would have discovered (through experiments, torture, and consuming the memories of captured survivors) that the portals were re-locked at high levels thanks to a Tehrmelern engineer. They will certainly be keeping an eye out for Fringeworthy or portals. In fact, they might be waiting until they have a high enough level crystal or can find an unlocked portal (such as the one in Arizona under HGT's facility) before they begin their plan to destroy the world.

My backstory was that when the Mellor originally arrived, they could only access the Cuba portal. Between that and not having a black crystal, they were not able to determine where the other portals were. Once the survivors arrived, they had to alter their plan to spend half their time pushing the world towards destruction and half looking for other portals (and Fringeworthy). I would say that a few unfortunate native Fringeworthy have been found and "removed" from the native population.

The Mellor KNOW that 2 survivors escaped them and that they have had Tehrmelern aid. I think they will be playing their cards close to the chest to prevent an accident or slip up unraveling the plan early (as had happened at the start of the original Mellor War).
--Jonathon Thomas
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ORTrail
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Re: Pick Apart My Setting

Postby ORTrail » Wed Oct 18, 2017 2:01 am

It would be very helpful if HGT had at least ONE fringeworthy employee (loyal of course) to monitor the explorers they send out. At the very least, offering housing, medical, and even employment to the family/significant others of the fringeworthy. This would allow them to exert some influence and hopefully keep the explorers from just wandering off and settling on an alternate earth that looks pretty decent and seems Mellor free.
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Jon Thomas
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Re: Pick Apart My Setting

Postby Jon Thomas » Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:02 pm

I think bringing in the family of the Fringeworthy would be the way to go from both a leverage and security standpoint. Once HGT discovers that the Crystal keys can induce Fringeworthiness, you can bet that the family members of the survivors/founders will be holding those crystals for a day each year until they too can go on the paths.

My general plan for the early campaign (and we know how plans survive PCs) is:

1) PCs explore and research the Fringepaths thinking HGT is simply being cautious about this amazing discovery.

2) After a while, the PCs will notice a few inconsistencies in HGT's words and behavior. This leads to suspicion that HGT might not have humanity's interest in mind.

3) When tensions between the PCs and HGT come to a head, the PCs will be told the truth of HGT's origins (as much as the survivors and their families know it). Whether the PCs believe this "truth" at this time is unimportant as...

4) The PCs find a Crystal key high enough to unlock the portal to the survivors' home world, allowing them to confirm the story.

IF each of these plot points takes 3 to 4 sessions to resolve, that could cover about 6 months of gaming. Of course, some of these could be resolved quicker leading to a faster paced story. I do think the sheer wonder of the Fringepaths and the world's they lead to might help keep these as background plot arcs.
--Jonathon Thomas
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ArmySGT
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Re: Pick Apart My Setting

Postby ArmySGT » Mon Dec 25, 2017 2:11 am

Greetings!

I would definitely spend some time in the world the refugees fled from. Higher technology compared to what? That sets expectations for what Mr. Houston and Mrs. Graves know and are able to build. What equipment did they smuggle through with them? It is the 80s where they are now, but 2001 is high technology though hardly worth getting excited about. On the other hand, if they had fusion, a solar collection with a greater than 50% efficiency, Lithium-Ion batteries, and more that is something else.

50 refugees and 48 are dead leaves only one plot hole, offspring. Some may have passed that Fringeworthy gene on with a one night stand or has a frozen embryo someplace. f

Money. Money is the motive power of War and Business. Without it you have nothing. So how do two low level (but, talented) design engineers strike it out of the park without appearing on the news?

The history and backstory of this new 1980s Earth. What happened and how did it get there? Did Stalin get killed and a better (nonparanoid) Soviet Premier rise after WW2 leading to a friendly post-war world. Did the Old Colonial Powers reassert their hold on the 3rd world with all the better products and technology from the advancements made in Wartime? Did the NAZIs go with a virus superweapon and try to kill 90% of the world in 1945 to halt the Allies? Did the Manhattan Project fail or never happen? Maybe William the Conqueror died on the beach in 1066 leaving the Britons as five Saxon kingdoms.

My point. Reshape your world to surprise your players in unexpected ways.
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ORTrail
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Re: Pick Apart My Setting

Postby ORTrail » Mon Dec 25, 2017 8:04 am

Speaking of offspring, Is there an official ruling on the Fringeworthy gene? Is it the dominant gene?
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kedamono
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Re: Pick Apart My Setting

Postby kedamono » Mon Dec 25, 2017 5:45 pm

It's not a gene, it's a "something", an energy signature unique to 1 person in a 100,000. Even with twins, one could be Fringeworthy and the other not.

Luckily, handling crystal keys by non-fringeworthy can give them a cumulative 1% chance per year of becoming Fringeworthy. You need to fondle the keys for about an hour for it to impart the chance. Director Borodin personally hands out all the keys to the teams, so he has a very good chance of becoming Fringeworthy. (By cumulative, if you handle the keys for 5 years, you have a 5% chance of becoming Fringeworthy.)

The other way of imparting Fringeworthiness, is to have a pregnant Fringeworthy walk through the portal. To prevent spontaneous decanting, the fetus is made Fringeworthy. Insert dystopian concept for FW baby farms here...

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