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Futuristic Hopepunk Heist RP using FATE CORE: Starts in January

Dice System
FATE

Kaihaku

The Once and Future Kai
This is an initial interest check in a heist roleplay set in a corporate dystopian future. The score? A chance to find some hope for humanity among the stars.

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After centuries of overexploitation, the Earth is in the final stages of environmental collapse and the remnants of humanity are scattered across the solar system in disparate settlements. Great corporate conglomerates wage devastating automated wars against each other in never-ending pursuit of profit margins while outsourcing management of “human resources” to weak local governments.

Two years ago, the EAONE conglomerate destroyed the Europa colony and liquidated any surviving "human resources" on site. This was a turning point for you. Maybe you lost someone there. Maybe it was too horrific. Maybe you were a miraculous survivor. Maybe you just feared that you'd be next. No matter the reason, you were contacted by a person known as Prometheus. Prometheus has a plan. A plan to escape the solar system and try to find some hope for humanity among the stars. Now Prometheus is recruiting a team.


The Outline
1606136951685.pngTaking the Deucalion is a heist roleplay set in a dystopian future. The final goal is for the players to successfully steal an interstellar ship from a corporate conglomerate, convert it into a generation colony ship, and escape wretched conditions in the solar system.

Taking the Deucalion is also intended to be a short roleplay with the following progression.
  • The Prologue - Introductions and the Plan
  • First Arc - Steal and reprogram an Android
  • Second Arc - Kidnap a corporate executive and steal their sysadmin genetic markers
  • Third Arc - Break into an AI mainframe and steal an interstellar ship
  • Epilogue - Convert the interstellar ship into a colony vessel named Deucalion
This is a heist roleplay. You are hopelessly, laughably outgunned. People will die when a mistake is made and there’s no resurrection spell to bring them back. Sometimes people will die even when you don’t make a mistake. Your greatest only advantage is that your mark has completely written off individual humans as a threat.

The Feel
It’s a dystopian science fiction setting...and some characters will probably die. But it’s also something of a power fantasy. Each role is going to be ridiculously good at their niche - per a certain kind of heist flick. Don’t feel confined to grimdark character types. This is hopepunk. Your characters are literally stealing a better future from a grim dystopia. Take it seriously but have fun too.

I'm trying to ground this in a base of hard-ish science fiction but you won't need to worry about that. Just lean on the FATE Core rules and let me worry about the underlying science.

Roles
Since this is a heist roleplay there are specific roles to play. I'll fill any unoccupied roles with NPCs. There will be some NPCs among the cast because I’m only accepting a maximum of five players. I'll run it with a minimum of two players. For most roles, the characterization is up to the player. Idealist, cynic, eccentric, trauma survivor, goof, the one who makes the quips, it’s up to you. Diverse personality types is a good thing. The only exception to this is the Android. It will still be your character but we’ll let the Hackers determine it’s reprogrammed personality. Might make for a fun roleplaying challenge.

  • Arsonist: Frustrated with the situation to the point of destruction. Skilled at evading detection and destroying property.
  • Android: Enters in the Second Arc. Stolen and reprogrammed to assist the endeavor.
  • Con Artist: A scammer. Can’t hack nearly as well as the hackers but is better at fooling AI, tech, and people with cheap tricks on the fly.
  • Hacker One: One of a two person hacker team. Modified with illegal cybernetics.
  • Hacker Two: One of a two person hacker team. Modified with illegal cybernetics.
  • The Smasher: Heavy weapons. Modified with illegal cybernetics.
There are also two NPC exclusive roles.

  • Prometheus: The organizer. Not the greatest skillset but has a significant knowledge base. I'll play this NPC.
  • Pilot: The eventual Captain of the Deucalion and the group's getaway pilot. If someone wants to play this NPC as a secondary character, I'll allow it. They just won't get a lot of facetime so I don't want them as a primary.

If you have another role that you think would fit, run it by me. This is a collaborative experience.

Sensitive Content
I want to offer some clear guidelines around sensitive content. First, of course, we will follow the RPNation rules but beyond that...

This is a grimdark setting. You can expect human suffering, exploitation, and murder. During the heist, there will be extreme violence and death. There will be no gender based violence. No child abuse. No edgy serial killers. Humanity is going through enough in this setting, they don't need your player characters to add to their misery.

If you want to follow a political ideology, go for it...as long as it doesn't advocate for mass murder or ethnic cleansing. No Nazis.
But leave the real life politics out of it. Don't namedrop real politicians or historic events. Keep it focused on ideology.

If you want to follow a real religion, go for it...as long you're not proselyting and keep it strictly to your character. No converting the others.
But leave the real life religious debates out of it. Don't tie it to real politics or historic events. Keep it focused on personal faith.

Technology
I’ll be basing the technology off of GURPS’ excellent Space and Ultra Tech Sourcebooks. This means it will be consistent and I’ll be able to answer many of your technical questions - if you really want to go to that level of detail. Here is a brief overview.
  • Artificial Intelligence: Extremely common and powerful. The only reason it doesn’t constantly monitor all human activity is that individual humans are designated low priority resources.
  • Androids: Extremely common and powerful. They serve as law enforcement and property protection. Occasionally, they are used as soldiers in situations where nanite swarms are nonviable.
  • Cyborgs: Uncommon and powerful. It’s considered a waste to use mechanical parts, which are a high priority resource, on humans, a low priority resource. Upgrades of this sort exist only on the black market.
  • Power Armor/Mecha: Doesn’t exist except as a corporate executives’ vanity project. Nanites swarms are more efficient. Robots are usually the next best. Sending humans in as pilots or soldiers is...very rare in this age of AI.
  • Nanites: Most living humans have received nanite injections that enable them to live in toxic environments. Corporate executives often have nanite and genetic enhancements that grant them superhuman ability and render them effectively immortal. Nanite swarms controlled by artificial intelligence have replaced most conventional weapons. Android and Human soldiers/pilots only exist for situations where interference or jamming render nanite swarms ineffective.
  • Genetic Modification: Most living humans have been genetically modified to live in space and to be disease resistant. More advanced genetic modifications are limited to corporate executives.
Your Cut
Your character's cut of the score is 33,333. Specifically 33,333 cryostasis pods. Each character will outline their selection criteria as part of initial character creation and it will be public knowledge among the others. Even if a character dies during the heist, they will still receive their cut of the score.

Here are some example selection criteria...
  • Spacers Only: Defined as people who grew up and live in zero g environments. Not on colonies with centripetal force mimicking gravity, planets, or moons.
  • Standardized Test: Selected based on genetic and performance test results.
  • More than a Game: Created a scenario in a MMO that tested participants. Winners got a slot for them and two others of their choice.
  • Cultural Preservation: Selected only from ethnic minority groups still practicing traditional earth cultures.
The selection criteria should not be overcomplicated, pick something that can be explained clearly in two sentences. The selection criteria should also established a clear identity for your 33,333 survivors. See the next point for why this matters.

What comes after?
1606143607725.pngIt's been a long term backburner project of mine to establish a persistent Science Fantasy setting in the vein of Phantasy Star, Star Gate SG1, and Mass Effect. This was partially inspired by one too many roleplays going epic. Sprawling clumsy epic. Hard to maintain epic. Burnt out the player base epic. I was one of a few Game Masters interested in campaigns on a less epic scale that were set in a persistent setting. Recurring player characters. Past roleplays that shaped the world. Short roleplays that still had heft to them due to the persistent setting. A vast setting with material for many types of roleplays.

Taking the Deucalion does not contain fantasy elements, as noted I'm trying to keep it to hard-ish scifi, but it establishes the Earth faction that enters this Science Fantasy setting. The sub-factions are determined by the player characters in this game and, in particular, the selection criteria for their 33,333 survivors. So when I do eventually run roleplays in this Science Fantasy setting your choices here will influence the backgrounds of future Earthling player characters.

FATE Core
Of the systems that I know well enough to run, FATE Core is far and away the best option for a heist game. The way the system shares narrative control in limited but meaningful ways is perfect for a "Hey, I know a guy", "I expected this might happen", "You triggered my trap card" kind of rapport. There will be a discord server for rolling fate dice and I'm afraid it will be required, so...if connecting to discord is a dealbreaker I understand and hopefully we'll run into each other again some time.

Here's a great comic explaining the basics of FATE Core (ignore the bit about creating the game together, this uses a different set-up process). It's a rules light system that's easy to learn, so don't be intimidated if you've never played it.

I should note that I tried to run this as a freeform roleplay at another site. It soon became clear that freeform was not the best option for a heist roleplay.

How do I sign-up?
This roleplay isn't starting until January 2021. In other words, we'll skip the holidays and start character creation in about seven weeks; an eternity in internet time. If you're interested, just post that you're interested here and I'll ping you to see if you're still interested when this is ready to start. Since I only plan on letting on five players in I may not select you. If I don't select you, I apologize in advance - I'll try to make the best choice that I can to ensure a successful roleplay.

In regards to posting expectations... Activity is the most important; posting 2-3 times a week would be ideal but once a week should be fine most of the time. I don't have high expectations around post length; just don't do one word or one sentence responses. Use decent punctuation and grammar, it doesn't need to be perfect just comprehendible. Be able to do the simple math (addition/subtraction) required for FATE Core.

We'll decide on roles and do character creation in January. I'm only posting this now since it seems that recruitment threads take some time to get noticed here.
 
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Kaihaku

The Once and Future Kai
I promised that I'd cue you into the reboot YsFanatic YsFanatic , TheUnknownMarine TheUnknownMarine , and Omega Entity Omega Entity . If you're interested I'd be glad to have you but don't feel obligated. I know that you have a lot on your plates and I'd like to push this one a bit faster. (I'm excited for this...but I don't want it to go on forever as a short RP with defined arcs and Science Fantasy sequels are appealing in their own right.)

I'll be doing a follow-up interest check in January, this is just an initial are 'you still up for this concept' interest check.

I'm also going to see if Juju Juju and Big Bad Blow Fish are interested. Because they are awesome people.
 
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Kaihaku

The Once and Future Kai
If we end up with a good group I might bump the limit up to six players and let one role be duplicated. (Or, as noted, someone could suggest an additional role.)

I wanted to explain how hackers will work. They will, usually, be supporting the team from off site by creating aspects and disabling security. But to gain system access they'll have to fight their own battles in cyberspace. The AI will, initially, be indifferent to the hackers but certain activities will slowly increase the alert level. If it gets too high the AI will attack the hackers with potentially lethal consequences. So while they're not on location they are very much engaged with the team and at risk. The local team can help by plugging in devices that give the hackers physical access or creating aspects that distract AI resources from the hackers.

Well... That's assuming you keep the hackers off site. Prometheus will provide the big picture plan outlined in the three arcs. It's going to be up to you on the team to fill in the specifics based on your individual expertise.
 

Juju

☁️ Captain Floof ☁️
If we end up with a good group I might bump the limit up to six players and let one role be duplicated. (Or, as noted, someone could suggest an additional role.)

I wanted to explain how hackers will work. They will, usually, be supporting the team from off site by creating aspects and disabling security. But to gain system access they'll have to fight their own battles in cyberspace. The AI will, initially, be indifferent to the hackers but certain activities will slowly increase the alert level. If it gets too high the AI will attack the hackers with potentially lethal consequences. So while they're not on location they are very much engaged with the team and at risk. The local team can help by plugging in devices that give the hackers physical access or creating aspects that distract AI resources from the hackers.

Well... That's assuming you keep the hackers off site. Prometheus will provide the big picture plan outlined in the three arcs. It's going to be up to you on the team to fill in the specifics based on your individual expertise.
Big Neuromancer vibes! Love it! <3
 

Kaihaku

The Once and Future Kai
Happy 2021 all! I hope all of you are having a great holiday weekend. 🥂

I'm planning to start the OOC thread and send out invites to the discord server this coming week. Then we can get started on discussing roles and character creation. If you're still interested (or interested on seeing this for the first time), please ping in this week (reacting to this post is enough) and I'll tag you into the OOC thread.
 

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