Wednesday, March 5, 2014

People Have Most Strange Results

Hacked Ubik

Phillip K Dick has a most inventive mind—so, it is only right that a shameless reduction to mere mechanical movements of his works is warranted. If this plays, then so be it; if it does not, so be it.

Upon the economic and societal collapses of 20XX—to be specific, a most desperate need for resources brought on by booming technological complexity and population—the human psyche-space effectively lost its already tenuous grip. From the instability emerged coherent corporations cognizant on their mission of keeping the structures of culture in place, putting a discrete price on literally everything and thus keeping everything manageable. Life and death themselves came to be measured in currency, as the advent of 'coldpacking' corpses and stimulating their grey matter could sustain a mind coherently for up to a decade.

Of course, this is true for mostly industrial states—much of the world has fallen back to city-state and tribal- or clan-based ways of governance, mixing heavily advanced tech with a nomadic lifestyle through the ruins of culture since abandoned. They return to older, reviled methods of communism, capitalism, shamanism, ancestor-worship, and democratic elections without even a second thought towards machine-dominance.

So too, the Moon and Martian territories annexed during a more affluent age of space-travel are rough frontiers poisoned by ultraviolet rays and decaying nuclear power stations.

The collapse had more effect than on just the physical: for upon its spiral outward and downward, the human brain took to growing strange through its neurons and structures. It grew to learn to calculate what might happen, to see intentions of other brains, to manipulate the little chemicals that make up emotion, to throw coups upon dominant consciousness, to dive into the psyche and draw out its most terrible nightmares and blissful fantasies.

And thus the psychic population emerged at random, from debt-ridden addicts to business magnates alike, encroaching with a subtle influence upon the majority.

But as one forms to feed, the other reacts in turn: psychic 'nulls' as well formed from select couples—possibly tests, possibly natural—to distract and override those powers that might override the common populace in turn. So began a conflict of use through psychics, to steal and manipulate and counter-manipulate as suited those who could pay. 'Influence' groups and 'Prohibition' groups, mirrored counterparts, made mercenary by way of constant debt and power-grabs.

1D6 for HP
1D10 for Str, Dex, Int, Wis, Nrv, Cha
1D4 for Resist v. Charm, v. Fear, v. Poison

Psychic Type Primary Power Secondary Power Result Nullified By
Telepath Communicate mentally and silently with two others. Read the immediate thoughts of one other. Headaches and bloodshot eyes. (-2 Int) Antipath
Precog Predict three possible results from a choice. Anticipate an action in the immediate future. Confusion of movement and the moment. (-2 Dex) Ticktockman
Empath Invoke terror in two others. Alter the emotional state of one other. Lack of emotion of reaction. (-2 Cha) Stoic
Kicker Take control of one other directly. Force one other to follow your  thoughts. Loss of higher mental functions. (-2 Wis) Shackle
Jumper Avoid a lethal result by placing another in that place. Switch places with one other. Wracking muscle pains, bruising. (-2 Str) Blackbox


Credit/Spending - Befitting a culture where everything costs, one simply cannot have the ability to freely move about without considering knowing the value of what they do. Most people operate on credit, and pay when able.
XP and credit are the same, and at the end of every game a player can expend it to pay off their debts.
Minor Costs (Doors, restrooms, calls, snacks, lights)
Small Costs (Tools, bribes, food, information, alcohol, clothes)
Major Costs (Rooms, cold packing fee, tickets, sex, weapons)
Significant Costs (Vehicles, flight, poison, real food, tech)
Dramatic Costs (Psychic or Null hiring, space travel, property)

Psychic Use - Same rules as Magic-Users—start with being able to prepare three powers. Use takes one round. Detrimental results of using powers last about three rounds.

Death - Not always permanent. If possible, a body can be coldpacked at a cost of 700 XP/credits per session, and be consulted as if alive, though without any abilities. Players can pool payment.

Weapons - Most weapons are small and easily hidden, like brass knuckles or stun-spray, and do 1D4 damage. If found or purchased, firearms do exploding damage with 1D6.

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