I like the exposition of the academic/disconnected perspective, and I would venture that the theme of corruption would probably be under nameless horror entry, and then link it back to the TPK as you mentioned. Very excellent discourse. Go to Comment
The Clowns are a gang of degenerates that have been used as the worst of the worst in my home game. In the home game, they rarely have any sort of leadership and it is a general carnival of chaos and mayhem. The history and background of the Clowns is somewhat unimportant in that context so the leadership role being filled by the various actors/personas that have played the Joker provided a figurehead for both leadership and for their history.
As for long term plans, as the Joker says, Do I look like the sort of guy who makes plans?
The things that set the Clowns apart from other gangs is that they are the bottom of the barrel, the most depraved, the most violent, and the most inhuman of all. They are involved in the drug trade, but on the bottom side up, peddling the worst sort of drugs, the sort that cause bodily harm by simple proximity like meth and bath salts. The thematic elements are the most obvious factor, with the circus/clown theme recurring over and over. The gang members lose themselves in those elements. Go to Comment
For a moment I was all facepalm (being Texan and considering myself moderately ring wing) and remembering events like the Branch Davidian stand off. I was expecting something worse. I found myself surprised by the level of detail and didn't expect the facility to be under beneficial operation.
Considering the presence of sarin I would expect this to be DHS or NSA rather than DEA since I usually associate them with busting narcotics and not chemical weapons.
Also, I may be wrong on this count but I believe destroying chemical weapons is done via controlled incineration.
Final question:what general part of Texas is this facility in? Do they players have benefit of the great piney woods (east tx) or do they have to contend with desert wildlike and conditions (west, north Tx)? Go to Comment
This biomass is functionally ectoplasm, ephemeral material, that is 'bleeding' over into reality. Multiple dimensions, and dimension seepage are both not rare events in the cosmic era. The biomass is not targeting non-biological material, the biomass is the unintended consequence of arcanotechnology, it isn't a normal organism. Its cybernetic cancer.
As for being implausible, well thats the entire purpose of arcanotechnology; levitation, free energy, infinite heat dissipation, true mechanical sentience, copying people's memories, artificial brains, giant robots, exotic beam weapons, etc. It is supposed to be strange and disturbing. It isn't a slick shiny creature inhabiting the shell of a mecha, it is a mass of cancerous tissue, tapping into the conduit of human suffering and misery. Go to Comment
Evangelion is one of my favorite animes, and I have to admit there was certainly some influence from it. I would make a hekatonkheire a mix of evangelion and the Zerg infested units from Starcraft. Unlike Evangelion, these aren't being produced deliberately by any secret government agencies, though there are several of them in containment undergoing study. At this point, I am going to say that domesticating a hekatonkheire is currently beyond the ability, or simply too dangerous to be reliable.
Some of it is intended to be tongue in cheek, some basic homage and the rest falls under calling a rabbit a rabbit.
I could throw out made up named and mire technobabble or I could put in the entry Honey I Shrunk the Shadowrunners. One major issue I encountered with this sub was keeping it relatively concise. Each entry easily expands out into its own sub and even grouo of subs for monsters and NPCs and dinguses. Go to Comment
Arcanotechnology created the Second Renaissance and lifted the world out of the Second Dark Age, the lights came back on with tremendous fanfare and much glorying, and man left Earth to colonize the Solar System. Entire new industries were born from the entire new category of mathematics, building techniques and materials, and the human genome became and malleable and changeable as a charm bracelet. Things are going pretty nicely.
There are several downsides to Arcanotechnology, and all of them revolve around dimensional contamination. The most common and known side effect is madness and mental/emotional instability in arcanotechnicians. This has lead to widespread improvements in psychiatric medical care, and an increase in the number of Mental Health Hospitals and Asylums. Medical treatments, including brain and behavior altering drugs can be administered to techs to delay the onset of contamination based insanity. In extreme cases, nerve stapling, artificial brain implants and disposable clones/droids are used to keep the lights on and the CogNet humming.
Breaches and Rifts
The larger issue that is more tightly controlled by the CogNet censors and data monitors are breaches and rifts. These are events where there is a bleed over between the alternate dimensions that the arcane devices penetrate to draw power from, or dump heat into, or use for quantum calculations. A breach is a temporary event, typically tied to a series of circumstances and events, that even if completely ignored, will close on its own. The most common cause of dimensional breaches are the destruction of small D-Engines, typically the sort found on battlemechs and other military vehicles. These emit cosmic radiation and dimensional contamination for a matter of minutes to a few hours. There are many other events that can cause breaches, such as excessive use of parapsychic abilities sustained across a period of time in one place.
A rift is a semi-permanent or permanent tear in the membranes between dimensions and these events quickly create contaminated wastelands and the contamination causes mutation, 'spiritual possession', mental degeneration, cancer, madness, and a host of exotic diseases and odd fortean events. Rifts are created by the catastrophic failure of large arcanotech devices, such as the multi-tiered Dimensional Engines used to power arcologies or the dimensional tap reactors used to power naval grade high energy weapons, mass drivers, and military spacecraft.
You can't Handle the Truth!
The existence of the phenomenon is known by the general public, and by the media, but it is constantly downplayed when an event occurs. The corporations, industrialists, and arcanotechnicians (especially senior ones) are well aware of the phenomenon and how often it occurs. The government and military leadership are also well aware of the threat posed by dimensional breaches and contamination.
Timeline of a Breach:
0: Breach Event occurs
+5 Min: Monitoring systems detect cosmic radiation signatures, silent alarms are sounded. Local L/AISC begins containment protocol. Breach notifications are sent to pertinent agencies and local military L/AISC. CogNet service outside of the local area is terminated, only local area network remains functional, but detached from the Global Net.
+10 Min: Rapid Response Team activated, stage two containment protocols begin. If inside an arco, the doors and bulkheads around the breach are sealed, and machinery in the area is deactivated.
+30 Min: VIP and priority personnel are evacuated from the breach zone. Local populace is placed on curfew/lockdown and law enforcement and paramilitary assets are activated under martial law protocols.
+1 Hour: Media Protocols activated, Event is covered as a local natural disaster (earthquake, chemical contamination event) or as a Terrorist Event.
+1 Day: Military assets are mobilized to the breach zone to reinforce local forces, or to establish a secondary quarantine around the contaminated zone. Rapid Response Units are deployed with high energy weaponry to clean and sweep the core contamination zone.
+3 Days: Secondary assets are deployed to the contamination zone, including Air Naval assets and other specialized and sanitation units.
The Dirty Dirty Secret
It is not entirely unknown that Arcanotech isn't always holesome. Inside arcanotech labs and upper echelon administration circles, the propensity for tech failures is known. This has lead to some brutal control techniques, such as nerve stapling, partial lobotomy, and the application of humans with artificial brain implants. The public is kept largely unaware of the threat posed by arcanotech, as few people would want to willingly live in a structure that is powered by an accident prone massive device that can tell reality to get bent, and then start puking out giant insects and intelligent dinosaurs or alien viruses.
As long as the eccentricities of arcanotech can be kept under wraps, the technology remains very profitable and the underpinning of the Cosmic Era civilization. If it became known the extents that the megacorps and governments have gone through to maintain the facade of safe tech, there would likely be revolts and rebellions. Go to Comment