Thursday, 23 August 2012

Thursday Tales

Following on from last week I thought it might be interesting to take something from the Zero Point oracle that our group put together for a far future sci-fi setting (which sits within our Microscope-generated "To The Stars" universe), and see what falls out of the elements selected. This is just my interpretation - the story set-up that I see. If you see something else, then tell me in the comments!
The Oracle says...
Jack of Hearts: Monks plot revenge on those they envy.
Eight of Hearts: There are ghosts in space who worship Satan.
Five of Diamonds: After civilisation collapses, an AI takes the form of an ancestor spirit to relate to the survivors.
Seven of Diamonds: A grief-stricken soul dreams of a new life as a ship's captain.

The Monks want revenge on the Ghosts: a swarm of replicating robots that act as a distributed storage facility for the uploaded memories of old humanity. Over time, something has gone wrong - the robots now believe they are somehow connected to the Devil. The Monks however want revenge on the Ghosts not because they worship something evil, but because they are closer to the divine than they are. They have escaped many of the temptations of the flesh.

Lest the Ghosts actually touch any aspect of the divine (even an evil one) the Monks decide to free souls throughout a habitat on Zero Point, by roaming through and killing everyone they can. They have disconnected many supplies and essential services throughout the volume, and now that civilisation has fallen apart they are free to kill - and thus increase the number of souls in the afterlife.

An AI has downloaded into a hybrid body and is trying to rally a community to escape; they have already suffered and ran from the Monks once. One man, almost crushed beneath his grief at the death of a loved one clings to the idea that he might fly away somehow. The AI tries to persuade him that he can make a difference: there is a ship waiting in an emergency escape bay, if only they can rally the survivors and escape the Monks...

The AI: I'm actually picturing something like David from Prometheus. There were lots of things to like about Prometheus, and lots to feel meh about, but by far the best thing was Michael Fassbender being the best synthetic human since Data. But I digress: the AI's best interest is to help the survivors escape. Perhaps it has already failed in this once, which is why it has deemed it necessary to assume a humanoid body.
The Captain: A person who had previously held some position of authority perhaps, laid low by grief, but able to rise to the occasion. There are so many possibilities for best interests: to become a ship's captain/pilot; to head for Earth; to see space once before they die. It all depends on how altruistic the player might want the captain to be.
Other Survivors: There are bound to be lots of interesting characters; some of them might even be curious about the Monks' claims. Others could be out for what they can get. The possibilities are endless, and they could help or hinder the other PCs with very little effort. And of course there may be lots of NPC survivors too.

The Monks: They need a cool name, something ominous but which sounds legitimate on the surface. Their best interest is to stop people from escaping and kill them. There needs to be a few named NPCs in the Monks group, possibly an Abbot who is especially evil and doubly pious...
The Ghosts: Incensed at the thought that the Monks are trying to beat them in a race to stir the attention of something supernatural. Whereas the Monks want to kill people to increase the number of souls that are free, the Ghosts want to now capture people and forcibly upload their memories on to their network of memories. Their best interests are to get to humans, killing Monks and attacking non-believers to "convert" them. They are a threat to any ship that tries to leave, but over time may try to force their way into Zero Point...

There's something very appealing to me about this idea: that you have the group of Survivors and the AI and basically they are just caught in the crossfire - in many respects they are just a commodity that the Monks and the Ghosts are fighting over. I see this as something that would work well starting in media res too, possibly the AI arriving while the survivor group are being attacked by another party of Monks.

But enough from me: what do you see in the Elements from the Oracle?

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