Things Begging to be Used in a Game Somewhere

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  • Who knows what untold mysteries and riches await discovery in Giant Octopus Cities?
    image
    https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/09/why-octopuses-are-building-small-cities-off-the-coast-of-australia/
  • The scifi starchart is fun, but the writers dice... that could be something cool maybe.
    gonna have to look into that.
    thanks,
    davey
  • Thanks for the idea of the thread. It can live forever.
  • Oh, and the basic far out fantasy sci-fi world view of The gnostics. That's ripe for building a game around.
    The intro to the podcast "aeon byte: gnostic radio" gives a good feel for at least a modern Philip k dick influenced version of Gnosticism.

    To paraphrase the birthday boy who opened the door to find his room filled with horsesh$$: "there's gotta be a game in there somewhere"

    Davey.
  • edited October 2017
    I think you may be missing a few of the finer points of Gnosticism, but I agree with you there's a game in there.
    The game we're already playing! Mwuhuhahaha!

  • Good one! Ha! I get there is a profound mystical view that transcends exoteric religion. Still at least one of the strands of Gnosticism represents maybe the matrix narratives first appearance in our culture. And that is worth looking into. After all, this may even be the myth of our time.

    Or in this vein, how about a game where gm duties are assigned to players who portray Greek gods or Hindu gods. Religious is rife with gaming potential. Norse pantheon too. Maybe we'll leave that to the Norwegians though. Prolly already been done bc they do so much cool stuff over there.
  • edited October 2017
    Something fascinating Norse myth and Gnosticism have in common (with each other but also with countless religious/magical/mystical traditions) are the interesting systems of multiple worlds and planes of existence.
    They beg to be used in a more or less fantasy game so much that examples are plentiful, but looking for the most bizarre and convoluted metaphysical systems can still be very fun.
    At least, traditional cosmologies are going to be more meaningful than the mostly combinatorial or flat, and therefore boring, structures of D&D planes.
  • davey said:

    Oh, and the basic far out fantasy sci-fi world view of The gnostics. That's ripe for building a game around.
    The intro to the podcast "aeon byte: gnostic radio" gives a good feel for at least a modern Philip k dick influenced version of Gnosticism.

    To paraphrase the birthday boy who opened the door to find his room filled with horsesh$$: "there's gotta be a game in there somewhere"

    Davey.

    I used a ton of Valentinian Gnostic ideas and tied them to both the Cthulhu Mythos and the Simulationist Hypothesis (that we actually live in a computer simulation of the universe) in my run of Eternal Lies.

  • Sounds super cool aviatrix!
  • If you're curious, you can read the AP right on this here site :) Caution: is long. I cannot speak to the literary quality. I did try to do things as a narrative, not a blow by blow, with plenty of rules commentary.
  • edited February 2018
    INTERSTELLAR COMMUNICATION. IX. MESSAGE DECONTAMINATION IS IMPOSSIBLE
    https://arxiv.org/pdf/1802.02180.pdf

  • Nuclear Semiotics and the Human Interference Task Force

    'The field of nuclear semiotics arose in 1981 when a team of engineers, anthropologists, nuclear physicists, behavioral scientists and others was convened on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy and Bechtel Corp. The goal of this "Human Interference Task Force" was to find a way to reduce the likelihood of future humans unintentionally intruding on radioactive waste isolation systems.'

    ideas for warning our future generations include

    -The Atomic Preisthood. We create a new religion dedicated to preserving the knowlage of nuclear waste.

    - InfoPlants. These plants are grown in areas where waste is buried. Stored in their DNA is infomation about the radioactive danger and how to combat it.

    - Rad Cats. We alter the DNA of cats so that they change colour when around radiation. Mythology is then spread about the significance of cat's colours.

    - Hostile Landscaping. We put these crazy structures up which warn future generations with how bugnuts creepy they are.

    image


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Interference_Task_Force

  • Whoa, bizarre stuff!
  • AsIf said:

    INTERSTELLAR COMMUNICATION. IX. MESSAGE DECONTAMINATION IS IMPOSSIBLE
    https://arxiv.org/pdf/1802.02180.pdf

    Awesome! What kind of journal was this paper published in?
  • Rafu said:

    Awesome! What kind of journal was this paper published in?

    Not sure. It's referenced in the Cornell Uni Library: https://arxiv.org/abs/1802.02180

  • Aslf: I feel like the paper might apply well to trump tweets too.

    On a less snarky note, here’s an interesting clip that complements this paper:


    Davey.
  • The world this story implies, tags including Dinosaurs, post-apocalyptic fiction, and Mars.

    http://escapepod.org/2018/05/17/escape-pod-628-the-endangered-camp/
  • Nuclear Semiotics and the Human Interference Task Force

    Very cool topic! It gives the dungeoncrawl a fairly wicked twist :)

    Also check the doc 'Into Eternity' if you are interested in the topic!
  • I guess you could use this as-is, but I am not sure about the copyright. The idea behind this though; an NPC book just made up of character sketches and a suggestive name leaving the other details undefined, I think that's an interesting idea. It would be very useful for sandbox games and play-to-find-out games.
    https://cn.bing.com/images/search?q=adventure+time+character+meme&FORM=HDRSC2&PC=U316
  • Hat tip to Chris Weeks...
    "Mellified man, or human mummy confection, was a legendary medicinal substance created by steeping a human cadaver in honey. The concoction is detailed in Chinese medical sources, most significantly the Bencao Gangmu of the 16th-century Chinese medical doctor and pharmacologist Li Shizhen. Relying on a second-hand account, Li reports a story that some elderly men in Arabia, nearing the end of their lives, would submit themselves to a process of mummification in honey to create a healing confection."
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mellified_man

  • This is probably one of the most compelling "we're already living in a cyberpunk future" stories I've seen.
    Meet the Anarchists Making Their Own Medicine
    Four Thieves claims to have successfully synthesized five different kinds of pharmaceuticals, all of which were made using MicroLab. The device attempts to mimic an expensive machine usually only found in chemistry laboratories for a fraction of the price using readily available off-the-shelf parts. In the case of the MicroLab, the reaction chambers consist of a small mason jar mounted inside a larger mason jar with a 3D-printed lid whose printing instructions are available online. A few small plastic hoses and a thermistor to measure temperature are then attached through the lid to circulate fluids through the contraption to induce the chemical reactions necessary to manufacture various medicines. The whole process is automated using a small computer that costs about $30."
  • Oats Studios stuff. Amazing for hard sci-fi one-shots or even campaigns. Check them out.
  • edited September 2018
    Kessler Syndrome, a catastrophe that could happen to any sufficiently stupid space-age civilization regardless of technology.

    Edit: another article.
  • edited October 2018
    The Enigmatic Carved Stone Balls from Scotland. A Neolithic treasure of which they still do not know what they were for. Theories range from a stonecarver resume, to an aid to storytelling, to a generational story being carved from father to son and then his son, to ... of course, Aliens!

    I just found out about them yesterday and I love them!
  • There's a local legend in New Jersey that Blackbeard the pirate buried his treasure under a walnut tree, and performed a human sacrifice on one of his crew (a Spaniard) to guard the treasure. Stories say that Blackbeard used an enchanted bullet to slay the Spaniard, so that his spirit would haunt anyone that disturbed the buried gold. There are probably similar stories in most communities on the eastern seaboard. But what I find interesting is how, in 1926 (a perfect year for a Call of Cthulhu scenario) some schoolkids found a human skull buried in the roots of the tree. So the owner of the property hired some workmen to dig under the tree to see what they found. One story says that the men pulled out a large rectangular object, then climbed out of the hole and drove away, without turning anything over to the property owner.

    http://timetravel21.blogspot.com/2014/10/blackbeard-pirate-lost-treasure.html

    That's all actual local folklore, legend and some bits of actual history. So then there are two scenarios that spring to my mind. One where the PCs are the workmen, hired to find the treasure but deciding to keep it for themselves, and now haunted by a centuries old pirate ghost. The other is where the landowner hires the PCs to track down the workmen, and you slowly uncover what terrible thing happened to them when they stole the treasure. Either would be a cool setup for a Cthulhu Dark or similar period horror game.
  • I feel like ecology (even fantasy ecology) is something that lots of games could benefit from. Check this out, for example:
    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/what-happens-when-humans-fall-in-love-with-an-invasive-species/
  • A user on Mastodon commented:
    If you're running a modern horror/supernatural game and you don't work this in somehow then you're doing it wrong.
    image
  • edited December 2018
    I link to this thread about places.
    Another perspective with the same utility as this thread (starting creativity flow) would be linking to the various encyclopedias of fiction : dictionary of imaginary places, mythologies, etc.
  • The reality of e-commerce in 2018 is classic cyberpunk with a dash of Paranoia:

    https://www.theverge.com/2018/12/19/18140799/amazon-marketplace-scams-seller-court-appeal-reinstatement
  • edited March 31
    The Stuxnet worm:

    Possibly one of the most sophisticated computer programs ever written, it had the potential to destroy any given country's (or the world's!) nuclear programs.

    https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-most-sophisticated-piece-of-software-code-ever-written/answer/John-Byrd-2

    "Experts believe that Stuxnet required the largest and costliest development effort in malware history."

    From Wikipedia:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stuxnet
  • https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2019/01/where-amazon-returns-go-to-be-resold-by-hustlers/580363/

    This is an article on people liquidating returned Amazon merchandise.

    But I want it to be the groundwork for an Unknown Armies or other modern supernatural investigative campaign.

    The PCs are just a couple normal people, looking to make some money in the hidden underbelly of internet capitalism. But then pallets they purchase start having weirder and weirder stuff in them. Bizarre items that shouldn't exist. Items with inexplicable magic effects. Maybe things that are obviously illegal or impossible to exist. So the PCs start to investigate the source of these weird items. Or maybe some crazy occultists come looking for them, trying to find items that were returned to Amazon by mistake.

    And the constant flow of discarded capitalist garbage as a thematic undertone to the entire campaign. What weird things do people buy online? What do they return, and why? Who wants to buy this crap after it has been returned?
  • That's pretty great! It's been a long time since I've done any "well, this is weird" gaming of this sort.
  • So we spent far too long looking at manifests of pallets online...
  • So we spent far too long looking at manifests of pallets online...

    Yeah, I had to talk my wife out of starting a pallet reselling business after I showed her that article.
  • Thank you for this uplifting piece of news.
  • lachlan said:
    Obviously, this is great for anyone running a game where ancient lost grimoires would be of interest to the PCs. But it makes me want to run a Jorge Luis Borges flavored game of Lexicon.


  • This would be a pretty cool apocalypse setting.
  • Today I read a news article about sheep being enrolled in a school in france to keep class open. I really like the unexpectedness and charm of it that I wonder how to use that in a game. It feels like it would fit in some kind of Ghibli-like game, where wonder and weirdness are prevalent. Like a classroom where half of the students are actual sheep. Or where sheep have been transformed to look like humans to keep the numbers up. (maybe once in a wile they accidentally eat a textbook or something?) So maybe a Ryuutama game or something like that?

    It also kinda makes me think of an Urangutan in an unseen library. :)
  • edited June 25
    This thread came up earlier today in my Mastodon timeline and appears to tell a real story:

    https://snouts.online/@shel/102329581378228883

    Arguably, the story is only told from a single point of view. Both the narrator and some audience members make a bit of a mess of distinct belief systems by conflating chaos magick with paganism with witchcraft. The character I'm most curious about is the one we don't hear from, and I wonder what her actual motives were.
  • Weird adverts about a machine that can photograph your dreams are popping up on the London tube network and in other places around the world: read all about it.
  • Weird adverts about a machine that can photograph your dreams are popping up on the London tube network and in other places around the world: read all about it.

    Sounds like a dope af WoD campaign
  • Cicada 3301, a mysterious puzzle of multiple dimensions, apparently a recruitment tool:

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/internet/10468112/The-internet-mystery-that-has-the-world-baffled.html
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