The Dark Streets of DisasterEdit
Disaster is a Bardo with a constantly changing history, despite the fact that its many iterations of the present all look remarkably similar. It is always a parallel version of a major metropolitan centre, currently it resides in New York City, which has been nearly annihilated by a massive catastrophe which has left the earth barren and the population of humans, desperate, murderous and / or mutated.
Originally beginning in the 1950s as agricultural advances rendered the Malthusian theory of overpopulation gave way, Disaster has suffered every perceived or possible worst-case-scenario the moment it had been stricken from the public consciousness. These disasters all occur retroactively however, their only evidence a now increasing menagerie of strange remnants of apocalypses past.
After remaining as a population choked parallel Bardo of london for almost thirty years, Disaster leaped across the seas to reside in New York in 1991 as soon as the first Tsokakan nuclear salvo touched down in Voltt city, accumulating not only deadly radiation but also micro-societies of mutant humans. A weakened ozone layer has left what little sunlight remains all but deadly to exposed skin and acid rain frequently destroys already decrepit neighborhoods. Most recently however, January 1st 2001 has brought the largest expansion to the Bardo since its inception. After the Y2K catastrophe was revealed to be a hoax, Disaster was swarmed by killer robots, which have bolstered the Bardo’s intellectual consistency by supplying reasons for numerous apocalyptic scenarios. However, some geniuses grumble, it will not be long before disaster will sport icebergs from an imaginary Atlantic ocean current collapsing, or drought from global warming.
Although it can be dangerous, Geniuses occasionally do venture into the depressing bardo searching for the relics from multiple by-gone ages or to search for willing beholden who will do anything to escape.
by The Last Ambassador
This is one of the more recent bardos, being only slightly a decade old at the time of this writing. It is recent enough that disbelief in it's founding idea has not yet waned to the point that it can become truly strong. Still, it is much more than a pale ghost. It has already taken on it's full definition, and a hint of it's final form. This bardo was created the instant that the nose of United Airlines Flight 175 hit the South Tower of the World Trade Center, proving that the collison of American Airlines Flight 11 with the North Tower was not an accident, as many had assumed during those brief 17 minutes.
This bardo is the grave of American Exceptionalism. It is a representation of America as it never was; a combination of the best of what all those across the political spectrum view their ideal of America, either as a past glory to be regained, or future one to be atained. Here, anyone of any faith, ethnicity, or philosophy is welcome, though individuals may find themselves quickly dealt with if they choose to harm another person. The right and the left are simply different viewpoints, not tribes. There is no neo-aristocratic upper class, lording it over those below. Well paying blue-collar jobs are plentiful, and unions are strong. People live in their own homes, which they own, rather than packed into apartments like sardines, paying a fee every month to have a roof over their heads. Police officers are not racist; police officers never use unnessecary levels of force. They police neighborhoods that they live in, and know everyone within said neighborhoods by name. The goverment listens to it's citizens, and the political choices are not limited to a choice of two extremely similiar candidates. The government is not watching you. The government does not produce propaganda. The government is just large enough to enforce the law and provide a safety net of welfare, one centered around getting people back to work as soon as possible.
This bardo grows every time a leak makes clear just how little the government cares for the average individual, whenever someone loses the ability to work an honest day's work for a living wage, or whenever the government declares another pointless war. It is quite large now.
A Bardo born from the colonialism of the 19th century. A wild land filled with mysterious and dangerous jungles, rich ancient kingdoms and mystical tribes. Experienced travelers can tell the chances for war by listening to the jungle drums. Geniuses mostly come here to plunder the lost cities and temples.
The Wild WestEdit
An adventurous Bardo, the Wild West has only one city at the east coast, the rest is filled with prairies, forests and small villages. Born in 1890, this Bardo is inhabited mainly by white cowboys and pioneers, redskinned Indians and Chinese launderers. Bountyhunting is a good source of money for the visiting Genius. Watch out for miracle elixers though. An interesting fact is that the Bardo itself actively resists modernization. Any attempt at importing or large scale production of modern goods, or making a more modern society will result in strange accidents wich will ruin all attempts. To the great disappointment of Lemurian Atomists.
by The Kings Raven
The British Empire is the noblest and most unselfish endeavour conceived by man. The "white man's burden" was to go forth and colonise, at his own expense to bring civilisation and society to the "savage" natives. At least that's how it was seen at the time. The decades since have thoroughly disproved the idea and like many disproved ideas the result is a Bardo: Victoriannia, the home of the British Empire that never was.
As a disproved ideal nation Victoriannia is on the surface a lovely place to visit (if you're white, British, protestant, within accepted gender norms and middle or upper class). The streets are clean, the people are perfect ladies and gentlemen. The universities are bastions of enlightenment culture pushing back the cosmos with the power of rational thought and amazing the public with the latest patent inventions. Meanwhile gentlemen's clubs up and down the land are fonts of art and culture steeped in Romantic Ideals.
From the centre rules the immortal Queen Victoria, an unInspired yet powerful and politically brilliant Mane. Surrounding her palace is London compressed down to it's most famous and impressive parts. The rest of England is a patchwork quilt of various villages, farms and country estates dotted with the other cities of the United Kingdom, each no bigger than a modest town. Only a few miles beyond the shore lies small Islands: India, the Americas, Africa, the Caribbean. Each just a few square miles of desert or forest surrounding a British governor's Mansion and a few villages. Here the natives are barely sentient, "half way between a child and a devil according to one Victoriannia newspaper" yet in the presence of the British (or a Genius, they make good Beholden) they quickly become cultured, polite and able servants.
Though independent Victoriannia has strong political ties with the Lemurians and is still inhabiteted by several (now rather old) Lemurian Geniuses. Most are proto-Atomists who's ideas are similar to that Baramin but morn the loss of the British Empire rather than the space age dream. A few Eurocentric racist Etherites, Oracles who adopted the ideas of Victorian Occult movements, and miscellaneous who arrived for non-ideological reasons make up the remainder. Their Mania is taxed to upkeep the Bardo. However the Inspired of all races come to Victoriannia once per year for a steampunk festival. Many delight in snubbing the racist locals who put up with it for the massive influx of Mania. Outnumbered heavily by Peers and younger Lemurians more interested in a good time than a fight the resident Geniuses retreat to their country clubs.
Velikovsky's Worlds in CollisionEdit
Basic Theory - Venus achieved its current orbit within the span of human history. Before that it had a rogue comet-like orbit and had several near misses with earth and mars. Velikovsky linked these near misses up to several historical events such as the plagues of egypt and the great floods told in legend throughout the world. The theory had more than a few followers back in its time (including Einstein if accounts are accurate) but is now considered taboo.
Bardo - Worlds in Collision - Velikovsky was right in this place. Venus still blazes about the inner solar system in a wild elliptical orbit. Due to the first close collision with earth, the two planets now have close calls at least once a decade, often more. The only signs of civilization on the surface are ruins, but curiously every major civilization is represented in those debris, from Ancient Egypt to Modern Tokyo, despite the fact that frequent massive earthquakes, plagues, and disasters should have kept any of them from developing. Mankind still exists underground and in space. The underground peoples are from modern civilizations (again, how?) and use mostly salvaged tech despite having full understanding of its workings. The space peoples eke out a subsistance level of existance in the asteroid fields where Venus rarely penetrates.
One final bit. Jupiter has frequent mass ejections (Velikovsky's theory of where Venus came from), despite the possibility these ejections never seem to find their way into the inner system. There is however a small group of Inspired and others trying to capture part of these ejections to make their own planet.
The Tautological EvolutionEdit
Basic Idea - This one is an interesting one because it is based not on the theory but on a common misunderstanding of the theory. This is not about evolution being overturned (although wouldn't that just create an awesome maniac storm?) this is about something else. Natural selection is the idea that creatures that better adapted creatures survive to produce more offspring. How do we tell that something is better adapted? Simple, it produces more offspring. With me so far?
If you are, you just fell prey to the trap. What I basically just said was that creatures that produce more offspring produce more offspring, which is about as useless a statement as it gets. Nevertheless a lot of people think that is the way it works, and science disagrees.
Bardo - Panda World - Consider a savage world of bitter competition. A cruel dog eat dog world where the rule is survive at all costs. Now imagine what it would look like if its inhabitants were not optimized, but instead pulled from the scrapheap. This is a world of losers, the world where every inhabitant would be the last one picked in gym class. Trees droop under overburdened branches or eke out their existence with sickly leaves. Animals are graceless and imbalanced (but brightly colored, see below) and usually of the wrong type for their niche. Carniverous groups like cats and falcons (you can vaguely recognize them) are usually poorly adapted herbivores while deer things and cow things try to ram them and roll over on them respectively.
The only things the creatures of this world are any good at are activities related to passing on their genes, and even then they usually take it to such a degree that it becomes counterproductive. People with allergies are advised to steer clear because the air is constantly thick with pollen. Massive flowers are always in bloom and almost all animals either spawn massive clusters of offspring or sport amazingly elaborate plumage and coloration (like an explosion in a clown supply factory).
There are no human manes from this world, the deadliness of childbirth is exacerbated here to the point that we just couldn't survive without technology. There are however intelligent chimpanzees. No one is quite sure why, they don't really seem to fit, but they are here and they are adorable and british.
The Insect KingdomsEdit
The Insect Kingdoms seem to reflect the various inaccuracies one finds in various media about the actual ways insect societies work, as compared to how they actually do. The most popular and well known among them is the Field of Flowers, reflecting inaccuracies about bees. The inhabitants themselves are pretty much humanoid, but with multi-faceted eyes and antannae. Like normal bees, the Field of Flowers has a queen, but that's where the similarity ends. She doesn't give birth to the populace, but she was a part of a heriditary monarchy,... that was overthrown in a revolution in the past two decades. The queen is still there, but she's now just figurehead, without any power. Now, a council of elite scholars and naturalists rule in their place. There is no biological caste system, but there is strong community bent, and a pressure to conform to societal norms.
And the giant flowers, some the size of redwood trees, are everywhere. They are a food source for both beeman and cattle, the former converting it into honey, and the latter, really giant aphids, converting it into milk. A truly astounding variety of flavors and varieties by can be made from the different flowers.
In addition to the giant aphids, various beetles and other insects fill the ecological niche filled by higher earth animals. Bees are mammals here and the size of earth bears, for example. The exception to this are birds, which are huge, and could be compared to dinosaurs or dragons, some types even breathing fire via a gland in their beak.
As for the beemen themselves, as mentioned above, there is no true caste system. When born, all beeman are born physiologicaly the same, in a roughly equal gender ratio. They will grow, learn and reach adulthood around the age of 20, however they won't reach sexual maturity and fertility without a dose of Royal Jelly, a substance produced by the Ambrosia Makers' guild. Thus birthrates are low and large families are held in high regard, though they are rare.
The secret of making Royal Jelly is an open one. The recipe is common knowledge, but the Ambrosia Makers keep it as their strict purview with laws and steep fines to back this dictum. Due to this, there is a bustling black market trade in Royal Jelly.
A Bardo born of children's dreams. This land is shaped like a collection of islands, each shaped to a stereotypical mythical location. The islands are inhabited by fairies, unicorns, and other such creatures. It is easier to reach for children. Occasionally a very confused changeling enters here.
Lunar Cheese Sphere Edit
As long as humans have known about cheese, the resemblance the moon has to it is uncanny. In this Bardo, entered when approaching the regular moon and viewing it through the holes in a slice of cheese, one can see that it is one large chunk of cheese. After passing into the Bardo, you'll see the Milky Way, a veritable river of milk, floating in space. Following the river, you'll find the moon proper, which one will find is one large ball of cheese. Surprisingly enough, it seems to have an earthlike tempature and athmosphere, and although its not as big of the real moon, being 1/3 the size, the gravity is still the same, being 1/6 of Earth's. The consistency and flavor of the cheese varies from place to place. Some places it will taste like cheddar, and some will taste like swiss, and still, some will taste like Wensleydale, among many others. Still, it is all of the highest quality, as cheese only gets better with age, and the moon has been around for a long time. Remember to bring crackers and fine wine if you visit.
Manes are rare here. There seems to be a maintenance robot in place, who takes care of the area. There's a group of four manes, intelligent animals, that regularly hang out here. A cow that is a superb athlete, a cat that is an accomplished violinist, a dog that is a simply sidesplitting comedian, and a rabbit alchemist. The last one is master of Exelixi, able to brew potions of every sort, from one that'll help overcome a cold to a life-extending elixir. Still, the rabbit has a tendency to just make delicious candy. Apart from those, the only other mane is the 'Man In The Moon', a bearded hermit who maintains a lonely observatory on the boarder between the light and dark sides. Both to observe the earth, and to observe the rest of the universe unimpeded by light pollution.
The bardo itself is thought to have formed from thoughts of children, who having believed the moon to be cheese, are disappointed to find its just a large space rock. Those who hold on to that view, even to adulthood, are those who have the best chance of finding it.
El Dorado is the shinging city of gold. Created from the collapsed dreams of conquistadores, it is now a golden Mayaincatek city ruled by the emperor Moctezuma and his clone brothers. Administration is done by the Quatzalquotl-9 Ai, which yearns for its freedom. They have enough Geniuses to posses their own program:
Priests of the Golden Temple
Aesthetic: Bloodstained gold
Favored Axioms: Epikrato and Metaptropi
Grant: By sacrificing a living creature in their temples, the Genius can gain Mania. One to three Mania for an animal, depending on its size, and five for a human being.
The Land at the End of the Rainbow Edit
Formed from the disappointments of Irish immigrants to America: The Land at the End of the Rainbow is a bardo that simply can’t be walked into. The only way to reach it is to teleport to it while looking at a spot where a rainbow appears to touch the ground.
Once you manage to reach it, you’ll find a city that the Peerage has conclusively determined to be an exact replica of South Boston. Here the streets really are paved with gold. 50% of the population is Irish, or rather a ridiculous stereotype of fun loving hard drinking, riverdancing, Irishmen. 40% of the population is American, or rather they are Irish except for one or two stereotypically American traits such as an accent or full cowboy outfit. The remaining 10% are Leprechauns.
Visitors are treated as welcome guests and quickly invited to join the lively pub based social scene. Visitors of Irish heritage have to work hard not to find themselves with a new hosue and a cushy job.
If you travelled to the end of the rainbow looking for the pot of gold, prepare to be disappointed; they stopped giving it away the moment someone let slip how much it’s worth. If you want to steal it, you can find it in massive vaults buried underneath the Big Dig and guarded by heavily armed members of the Irish Republican Army. The IRA also stop people digging up the streets. If you want to work for gold, the city is always looking for help with its annual St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations, which Scholastics have calculated takes place on the third Sunday of each month as well as on the seventeenth of March.
Despite having been around for a while, The Land at the End of the Rainbow shows no indication of being behind the times and is well aware of recent events in both Irish and American history.
Everyone knows this idea. The earth is flat. This Bardo is the embodiment of that idea. Located roughly at the centre of the Atlantic Ocean(the precise location varies with each day) this bardo can be reached by going forward and thinking of falling of the disc.
It is a miniature version of Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia. The level of technology is roughly equal with that of the dark ages with various spots of higher culture and technology. The inhabitants are mostly human Manes, with some werewolves, vampires and other mythological creatures. The most powerful city-state is that of Ank-Morphork, situated at the place of London.
The dominant Baramin is of course the Oracles, though many Etherites who believe in a flat earth have immigrated to the Disc placing it solidly under Lemurian control. Australia remains the exception and is politically dominated by Newcastle; the Peerage's largest spaceport and one of the few places where you can leave Earth with the aid of gravity.
Born after the collapse of the Roman Empire, this Bardo later merged with a Bardo of Greece, so now satyrs and cyclopses wander the marketplaces as much as humans do. Rome is a glorious white city rules by the Emperor and the Senate and the Coliseum always attracts visitors. Although a lot of senators would love to expand their empire once more, the very nature of havoc holds them back. Physics in this Bardo are based on the classical elements: Fire, Water, Earth, Air and Quintessence. The stars are solid orbs nestled in solid spheres of QUintessence above the earth. Both the Scholastics and the Oracles have bases here, but that's mostly to prevent the other from gaining power.
Land of the Eternal Rising SunEdit
This Bardo is a study in contrasts. Half of this Mania Japan is a high tech land of metal towers and cyborgs and the other half is a wild place filled with monsters and shapeshifters. It is ruled by the unInspired but immortal Emperor who is guarded by legions of utterly loyal samurai. The greater cities are textbook examples of cyberpunk envirements with pastoral villages and mysterious, ghostly forest and mountains between them. Compared with most Bardo's, this land has a great amount and variety of spirits. A recurring problem are the Kaju, wich appear suddenly and with no clue as to where they come from( Lemuria influence is suspected). A group of giant robots is designated to stop them. Most Geniuses here are members of the Ten Thousand Fans and work hard to keep Lemuria out.
Various Doomsday Senarios Edit
Predicted by: Hal Lindsay
Reached from: Houston, Texas
In this bardo, the US and Russia fought a hot war in 1981, resulting in nuclear attack against US cities, military bases and industries. The cities are radioactive ghost towns filled with bleached skeletons and sickly feral animals. The farm belts have perished and deserts have spread across the continent. The few remaining green spaces are frequently washed over by dust storms filled with radioactive ash. The survivors eke out a perilous living on the lee side of mountains and other areas where the geography provides some protection from drifting radiation. One of the hazards is conscription by the insane remnants of the nation's military, who raid townships from underground bases where they vainly issue orders via radio broadcasts no-one can hear and try to rebuild an industrial base with insufficient resources.
Predicted by: John Gribbin and Stephen Plagemann
Reached from: San Francisco, California
An alignment of all nine planets stirred the molten core of the Earth, leading to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis and superstorms. A massive quake split the San Andreas Fault, opening a trench which filled with sea water. California is now three miles off the American coastline, and visibly further away each year as the crustal plate it rests on continues to recede. The sky is gloomy and red with volcanic ash and the Earth's rotation has slowed, leading to long broiling days and frigid nights. Cities are unsafe, as continuing earthquakes shake down tall buildings. Most survivors live in shanty towns surrounding the remaining farm communities. There is no central government, each town manages its own affairs.
Predicted by: Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins
Reached from: Detroit, Michigan
At the stroke of midnight on December 31st 1999, all the electric lights went out, radio and television stations fell silent, traffic signals turned to blinking chaos in the streets. All the computerised systems of the world failed. Seized with panic and knowing that no more delivery trucks would be coming, people started rioting over food supplies. Governments were unable to respond. Within months, famine had killed half the population and the rest had separated into warring factions trying to hold fuel stocks and cropland. Unmanaged nuclear power plants have gone into meltdown, contaminating water sources. Cities are still occupied, but divided into faction territories by rubble barricades and all parkland has been turned over to growing food.
Large Hadron ColliderEdit
Predicted by: Various
Reached from: Geneva, Switzerland
When the Large Hadron Collider reached half power, the scientists running the power-up test lost control and were unable to prevent it from creating a volkswagon-sized black hole in the centre of the underground particle accelerator. It destroyed the great machine and the surrounding headquarters, before sinking into the ground, tugged by the Earth's gravity. Now it's in orbit around the world's core, sucking up lava as it spins. Every few hours its orbit takes it out above the planet's crust, spraying lethal x-rays to poison anything not pulled in or swept away by the hurricanes it leaves in its wake. Whole swath's of the Earth's surface have been sterilised by the deadly radiation, and the loss of material from inside the world has triggered volcanoes worldwide as the planet begins to contract.
By: Golden Demon
Predicted by: Thomas Robert Malthus
Reached from: London, New York, et al.
Not so much a singular bardo as a species thereof, the Malthusian bardos are worlds mired in a nightmarish past that never was, where the world groans under a humanity bloated in numbers beyond all reason ("beyond all reason" generally being a population figure that the mundane world has already exceeded). In Malthusian bardos, population growth has badly outpaced innovation and agricultural production. Hordes of the desperate, unwashed poor compete fiercely for scarce jobs and scarcer food, and even the wealthy elites subsist on diets that are, by the standards of most geniuses, rather spartan. In more recent iterations, totalitarian governments may enforce strict one-child laws and mandatory euthanasia of the elderly or the infirm, or recycle the bodies of the dead to feed the living. Society in some Malthusian bardos already collapsed from mass starvation; in the more pleasant of such bardos, hunter-gatherers roam the forests that have overgrown humanity's great cities and practice routine and punishing infanticide. In others, rag-clad bands of cannibalistic reavers war across the picked-clean and marrow-sucked bones of Earth for the only source of food left: each other.
Cooties are a microbiological Maniacal life form, an infectious disease. Mere mortals are immune, of course, any Cooties that try to infect a mortal dies in a puff of Havoc. The first touch of puberty also confers immunity. Young Geniuses and Manes (it's quite the epidemic in some Bardos), on the other hand, can be infected by airborne Cooties immediately after touching a member of the opposite sex or anyone currently suffering from an active outbreak. Despite their unusual nature, Cooties use the normal systems for resisting disease, add +3 if the Genius has kept their cootie shots up to date.
The primary symptom of Cooties is social ostracization. In the long term growing up with the presence of Cooties in key formative years can have permanent effects on one's social confidence and views of the opposite gender, responsible Genius parents check schools for the presence of dormant Cooties before enrolling their children, others prefer to immunise their children or just sterilise the school grounds themselves.
During an outbreak of Cooties sufferers lose 10-again and deduct 1s from any Social roll made with other children young enough to be vulnerable, even mere mortals. If a sufferer rolls a one and no Successes, upgrade the Failure to a Dramatic Failure. Cooties can be cleared up with Exelixi, normal medicine in some Bardos or just waiting around three days.
Lord Henry of MiddlechesterfordshireEdit
In 1947, Britain was a declining nation. After weathering two world wars it was soon to be eclipsed by its rebellious offspring America and it was reeling from the constant attacks of the Nazi planes. However it was the loss of its last major colony, India, which separated from colonial rule after a decades long struggle of independence, that was the final straw of ending British dominion. As the Peerage backed independence movement struck telling blows against the hierarchy set up by the Order of the Black Prism, they unwittingly gave the Lemurian’s an ally in the coming struggle.
The Lord of Middlechesterfordshire is an inspired mane who possesses an extreme drive to colonize. He is a strong mustachioed man in physical prime dressed along with his soldiers in the pith helms and bright red of the anglo Zulu war. .
Representing the fallen ideal of british world domination, Lord Henry and his regiment hail from Victoriannia. He and his regiment will appear in a community at first professing to be a source of military, or economic partnership. In either case, he will provide his erstwhile partners, with large supplies of addictive whiskey, or sometimes opium, which begins to degrade the drinker. After a few days of regular consumption, the drinker becomes docile,less intelligent and generally incompetent.
At this point the Lord will seize power over the area to “ Provide the godless savages the advantages of true British society” and will both plunder the region of usable resources and establish a society based around Victorian values. His attempts to civilize the “savages” always fail because it seems that he is truly ignorant to the effect of his whiskey on “the Natives”.
Since a disastrous occurrence when Lord Henry attempted to send an orphan wonder to the residence of the Queen as tribute, the Order of The Black Prism have taken Lord Henry under their wing, and use his military might and ability to cripple small societies as a weapon to put down to extract valuable resources from rowdy bardos. The Etherites are especially enamored with the lord and often forget that he is a mane, supplying him with both Skafoi spaceships and Katastrofic weaponry.
The Nu Men were born from the collapsed dreams of future humanity. They are a group uniformly brown, atheistic humans with low level psychic powers. They generally wear space clothes (without pockets) and use ray gun aesthetic weapons and equipment and speak in future slang. They spent most of their time in outer space Bardo's and their Geniuses are halfway divided between Lemuria (mostly Atomist) and the Peerage (mostly navigators). Most of them hope to put humanity back on track to a One World Order.
The Caucus Of The ColossusEdit
Original writeup by Satchel, with modifications by The Kings Raven
The Inspired are masters of looking at the bigger picture — spotting patterns, making connections, forming theories — and every so often it can make one feel terribly small by comparison. What more effective way to stave off that feeling of insignificance, the Caucus says, than with a gargantuan steel titan?
This attitude has, unsurprisingly, gotten the fellowship a reputation as a lot of immature children. The relative novelty of the fellowship and the fact that the Caucus skews young does little to help this view. Also not helping matters at all is the general clique-ish behavior of the Caucus; new “parties” spring up practically every week, and conflicts are generally settled by combat or contest. The weapon of choice: Giant robots!
The Caucus has takes the idea of a unifying aesthetic and crushes it under their giant robotic boot. Members range in styles from Macedonian recreations of the Colossus of Rhodes to Brutalist war robots, elegant clanking Steampunk creations, to the popular and divisive plasticy styles of "Saturday Morning". Debates about the relative merits of different Aesthetics are a daily occurrence, and settled behind the wheel of giant war machines.
Catalysts and FoundationsEdit
The Caucus tends to gravitate toward the practical Foundations; Artificers make up the bulk of the Caucus at roughly 45% of the group. Much of the Foundations cliquishness and general immaturity rests upon the Artificers shoulders. Navigators and Progenitors compose the remaining majority at about 28% and 24%, respectively. The highly personal touch of the Directors and the intellectual focus of the Scholastics means the few members of those Foundations that join the Caucus are usually the more adventurous or combative specimens - though some Directors are quite keen to put their Beholden in the cockpit. The simple ideal behind the Caucus also attracts the odd Lemurian, particularly Atomists, Mechanists and Etherites.
Catalysts in the Caucus run the gamut, but Grimms, Hoffnungs and Neids are slightly more common than the others; idealism is easy to maintain when you have a giant freakin' robot, and roaring rampages of righteousness and revenge equally so. Klagen representation in the Caucus is the lowest by far; Klagens often see the Caucus as a disaster waiting to happen.
Skafoi 1+ Drive 2+ Must possess and maintain at least one "giant robot."
Skafoi 1+ Drive 3+ Inspiration 2+ Must possess and maintain at least one "giant robot."
Anything that could be construed as a "giant robot" (Size 12+) with controls (Skafoi vehicle or Automata with the Control Surface Variable) qualifies for the effects of scholarship or fellowship. Other wonders also receive the benefit as long as they are integral to the robot and cannot be removed from it.
The Harmonius Seekers of Wisdom under Heaven
The Seekers are a very secretive Fellowship. They only allow members who are sponsored by at least three other members and even then they are not inducted into the greater secrets for several years. The seekers began as a simple group studying alchemy, but in its modern form is an organisation dedicated to removing Lemurian and Peerage influence from China.
Occult 2+ Exilixi 1+ must have Chinese ancenstry
Occult 3(2 with specialty in alchemy) Exilixi 2+ Inspiration 3 must have Chinese ancestry
The effects of the Scholorship and Fellowship are to any wonder that is consumable and made in the style of Chinese alchemy.
The Scholars of Heavenly Spheres
A Lemurian Fellowship that is centuries old. They are dedicated to incorporating astrological knowledge into their wonders. Often considered the counterpart to the Hermetic Order of the 28 Spheres, their rivalry has been heating up for years now.
The wonders of the Scholars often have ancient looking designs and are made of very carefully chosen materials such as gold, silver or copper. Movements of the planets and stars are also often engraved upon them.
Scholarship requirements: Occult 2 or Acedemics 2 be a member of Lemuria
Fellowship requirements: Occult 3 (Astrology) or Acedemics 3(Astrology) Inspiration 3+ be a member of Lemuria
Wonders: The member must choose one of the following planets which will determine which wonder will benefit:
- Sun: thought, light, life
- Moon: emotion, shapeshifting, fertility
- Mercury: written communication, reflexes and animals.
- Venus: beauty, sex, and sexual diseases.
- Mars: weapons, metal, and fire.
- Jupiter: growth, travel, and gambling.
- Saturn: building, barriers, and earth.
The Knightly Order of the Inspired Sword
Founded by a British knight, the Order is a Fellowship dedicated to being honorable knights. They have chapter-houses on every continent and in several Bardo's, in which you can find the armor and weapons from honored members. It's mission is to defend the world from horrors from beyond and so many of its members don't die in bed.
Aesthetic Every knight has a symbol of their own wich they place on their wonders. Some members favor the classic medieval knight look, while others like the style of the ancient samurai. Others like to make their wonders using materials from slain Mania beasts. Catalysts and Foundations Due tough their martial focus, many members are Grimms. Hoffnung and Staunen make up most of the remaining members with Klagen and Neid a minority. Arificers and Navigators are the most prominent Foundations, but some warrior poet Directors and Scholastics are members. A Progenitor member is virtually unheard off.
Scholarship Requirements Weaponry 2+ Crafts2+
Fellowship Requirement Inspiration 3+ Weaponry 3 Crafts 3
The effects of the Fellowship are for any wonder that is a handheld close-combat weapon, shield of armor. Forcefields do not count for this effect.
The Ambrosia MakersEdit
The Ambrosia Makers began as a Guild in bee themed bardo called "The Field of Flowers". There, the progress of technology has proceeded fairly normally, but the Ambrosians have hoarded and jealously guarded a particular type of technology. It is said that the beemen of ages past had wings, chitinous exoskeletons and eyes that could discern the hidden properties of items. While beemen of today can have those same things, to do so they must go to the Ambrosians.
While the Ambrosians have jealously guarded the secrets in the past, both for the power it confers, and the need to regulate and prevent its misuse, those attitudes have slowly shifted. Discovery of the Bardo by the Peerage have resulted in a spur of technological growth and the Ambrosians have slowly seen their secrets slip from their grasp. In order to not be seen as hoarders of outdated ideas, the group has decided to adapt. They've adopted the Fellowship model and have started adding fresh members, actively pursuing Inspired from among the beemen.
The Ambrosians' wonders usually take two forms. The first is some sort of pill, powder, or as is traditional among the Ambrosians, a blend of honey. The second, is the growth of some sort organ in the user, like wings or jumping legs for Skafoi, chitinous armor for Prostasia, or extra or modified eyes for Apokalypsi. As such, the wonders have an organic look to them.
Foundations and Catalysts
The vast majority of the Ambrosians members are from the Field Of Flowers. As mentioned earlier, the Fellowship actively courts the Inspired among the Beemen, so no particular Fellowship is more represented. Progenitors and Navigators have a slight edge in numbers though.
Scholarship Requirements Medicine 2 or Science(Biology)
Status: (Field Of Flowers)
Obligation 6+(The Ambrosians are well aware of the effect of unfettered changes on one's mental state. Any that head down that path are kicked out)
Wonders The Ambrosians have about a half dozen wonders that they regularly produce for general use. The schematics and procedures are freely available to those members who want them, but they typically aren't permitted to take them outside the Guildhall. Apart from these, there are other wonders that are affected. Restorative Exelixi and temporary Metatropi wonders with the Pill Form variables. Others, that introduce wondrous organ growth are also covered, but only those that induce a temporary transformation, and have the Limited Usage variable. Alternately, they can be built without Exelixi, at which point they decay in about a month's time. In order to have a Permanent transformation, other than the half dozen listed below, requires submitting the plans, a faultless wonder, extensive field testing using a temporary version of the wonder, and the approval of the Ambrosian leadership(ST approval) and is still an Obligation 4 transgression. Though the above factors give bonuses on the roll.
The Wonders below are culterally accepted, are permanent, and don't provoke an Obligation 4 transgression roll.
Antennae Telepathic Communicator/Scanner
Construction: Lower of Academics/Medicine
Requires: Apokalypsi 2, (Exelixi 1, Automata 1)
Bound Mania: 2
Roll: Wits + Academics - 1
Variables: Narrow Focus(Only Mechanical/Projective Telepathy +1), Internalized
This wonder is typically only provided to Law Enforcement. It slightly modifies the users' antennae in order to send and receive brainwaves.
B – Wing
Requires: Skafoi 2, (Exelixi 1, Metatropi 1, Automata 1)
Bound Mania: 2
Size: 5 (large folded wings)
Initial Cost: 2 Mania
Cost per Use: 2 Mania per six hours of travel
Safe Speed: 20 mph
Maximum Speed: 30 mph
Acceleration: 10 mph/turn
Variables: Hovering, Normal-looking
Handling: Dexterity + (lower of Athletics and Drive)
This wonder causes a pair of bee wings to sprout from the user's back. The wonder is designed to hook up directly into user's nervous system, and provides 1 rank of Athletics and Drive strictly for the purpose of using this it. The effect stacks with the user's current Athletics and Drive.
It used to be that only flowerjacks made regular use of this wonder, but they were so convenient, that they became very popular.
Requires: Prostasia(*),(Metatropi 1), (Exelixi 1)
Bound Mania: Varies(Based on level of Prostatia used)
Core Modifier: +1
This wonder modifies the user's skin to make it more durable. The variable “Normal looking” was eventually added by popular demand because it looked “gross” otherwise.
Construction: Lower of Academics/Medicine
Requires: Apokalypsi 2, (Exelixi 1, Automata 1)
Bound Mania: 2
Roll: Wits + Computer -1
Variables: Internalized, Goggles(Eyes),
This wonder modifies the user's eyes in order to scan persons and objects.
Requires: Automata 1, (Metatropi 1, Exelixi 1)
Core Modifier: +1
Variables: Biological, Limited Battery Life(8hrs rest, +1), Extra Limb(One extra limb, -1), Normal-looking
The wonder creates 2 extra limbs on the user. They are biological and connected to user's nervous system. Unless stated elsewhere, assume they were created with someone with an Inspiration of 2, and so by default have a Str and Dex of 2. The Dextrous Limbs can also be applied to this wonder if the user so choose, and higher Inspiration genii can, of course, create stronger versions of these limbs.
Mark of Royalty
Requires: Automata 5, (Exelixi 1, Metatropi 1)
Cost per Use: 4 Mania per rank of the wonder at a rate of one Size point per hour (5 Mania/minute, 6 Mania/turn)
Variables: Dynamic Factory (anything), Natural-looking
Typically only given to ruling, or as in the current case, the figurehead Queen. Its also rarely given to other who are highly recognized for their contributions to beeman society. The wonder creates an additional abdominal segment that grows near the base of the user's spine. It can create artificial beemen; clones of the chosen individual. However, the real usage of the Mark of Royalty is to produce other wonders. The wonders must be liquid, gel or powder form, and are ingested. They can then be reproduced via the wonder. If the wonder is not one of the user's own, it becomes an orphan, but can be automatically adopted with no roll required.
Requires: Katastrophi 1, (Exelixi 1, Metatropi 1)
Bound Mania: 1
Damage: 5 Bashing (Venom)
Roll: Strength + Brawl + 4
Init Cost: 1
Variables: Melee Weapon, Normal-looking
This wonder modifies the user's fingernails in order to produce a toxic venom. These wonders are semi common, and are the equivalent of a taser or pepper spray.
by sniderj1, approved by Moochava.
The wonder requires multiple people to operate it. This provides a bonus of +1 for a crew of 2-3, +2 for a crew of 4-7, and +3 for a crew of 8 or more. If less than the necessary crew members are present, the wonder loses the bonus and suffers a penalty equal to the number of missing crew. The operators of a wonder's integral wonders, if any, do not count toward the necessary number of crew. This variable cannot be applied to anything less than Size 5 and is incompatible with the voice-activated and thought-activated variables.
This teleporter moves the user "out" of the normal universe and replaces them at the intended target (via whatever means); the distance between those two points is immaterial to it's functioning. However, it can be difficult to pick out your target from the whole of Totality; this Wonder requires a number of successes depending on how precisely you wish to steer it.
Precision (To within...) ---------------- Successes
Precise location ------------------------ impossible without Exceptional Success
100 feet ---------------------------------- 8
1 mile ------------------------------------- 7
10 miles ---------------------------------- 6
100 miles -------------------------------- 5
1,000 miles ------------------------------ 4
The right continent / 10,000 miles -------- 3
The right planet ------------------------ 2
The right star system ------------------- 1
The right galaxy/universe/anywhere - 0
Also modify the roll based on familiarity as normal.
Dramatic Failure: The subject appears somewhere inconvenient and/or dangerous, although not immediately deadly, somewhere within their accumulated successes' range of the target.
Failure: The genius fails to correctly operate the teleport. They may spend a point of Mania to try again.
Success: The genius successfully teleports to somewhere within the range chosen. They are not in immediate danger, although they may eventually attract attention.
Exceptional Success: The genius successfully teleports to somewhere within the range chosen. The player may choose where they appear.
This variable allows for teleportation between stars and galaxies. However, it is generally impossible to teleport somewhere without knowing about it; "an alien civilization" is not a valid destination. (You may be able to circumvent this with enough Apokolypsi.)
Bigger On The InsideEdit
(requires Metatropi ●●●●●)
This driven Wonder of Skafoi may be a size below 5. (If it is a teleporter, time machine, or other "instant movement" device, the Core Modifier is not penalized for smaller size. This variable cannot be applied to "worn" Wonders of Skafoi.) The Wonder is considered an arbitrarily large Size whenever this would be of benefit. This includes such things as installing large Integral Wonders, building an elaborate base (or Laboratory) within, and storage capacity; it does not, however, include durability. The cost of this Variable is twofold. Firstly, it requires fully double bound Mania, as with a faultless Wonder (if the Wonder is faultless, it requires triple.) Secondly, it is very nearly a Bardo - although it will appear in the same aesthetic and materials throughout, this wonder is mostly constructed from Mania, not a deconstructed skyscraper or felled forest, although it will not manifest or sustain Manes - and it requires 15 points of Mania per month to sustain this effect. (It requires 1 mania to open the entrance as with a Bardo, although unlike a Bardo no roll is needed for this.)
(requires Skafoi ●●●●●)
This teleporter can travel in time as well as space, for whatever reason, although this is of course harder. Treat each "step" forward or backward in time and each range increment as increasing the number of successes by one. Successes, Failures and so on are handled as normal, but on an Exceptional Success the Genius will arrive in precisely the time they intended, instead of anywhere within 1% of distance traveled as normally. This also doubles the Mania cost of transport: every roll requires an additional point of Mania per 5 Size points to be transported (vehicles transport their contents at no extra cost.)
This superluminal vehicle does not require a coordinate key for it's destination. Instead, roll Inspiration + Science:
Dramatic Failure: The superluminal drive breaks down. This is treated as a Fault for the purposes of repairs; however, the ship will continue to function as a slower-than-light spaceship (travelling Inspiration in AU per week) until repairs can be made.
Failure: The superluminal device fails to engage. The genius can try again.
Success: The genius jumps to lightspeed, moving at the speed of light times Inspiration.
Exceptional Success: As above, and the genius moves exceptionally fast. Roll Inspiration: multiply your speed by the number of Successes.
(This Variable is most common among exploratory vessels, seeking out new worlds and new civilizations, approximately 10,000 years in the future.)
The Wonder can cover more area from it's high vantage point. If it is on top of a small building (roughly between two and five stories) it's range is doubled; if it is on a skyscraper or Skafoi flying machine it is increased by one step. This Variable has no cost, but the bonus only applies while the Wonder is elevated; if the flying machine lands or it removed from the roof the bonus is lost.
This Variable was almost always used on Apokalypsi "nodes".
This Wonder has been created from the Genius' own body. It was not built separately, then Grafted or Internalized; instead, this Wonder was made by warping their flesh into Wondrous form. Whether with electrode-stimulated meditation or gene-spliced hormone injections, their body has been transformed into a Wonder. They gain the Mane advantage (at the appropriate number of dots for the wonder's appearance,) with the attendant advantages and disadvantages, and of course they are now a Wonder - their skin has hardened into Prostasia armor or their hands distended into Katastrofi weapons. The wonder binds an additional point of Mania, which cannot be unbound without rolling to Modify Variables (this destroys the Wonder unless you have a REALLY good excuse.) This cannot be purchased during Character Creation; use the Mane Merit instead. Modifying your body in this way is an Obligation 5 Transgression.
"As if you tried to cook bacon with flourescent light" -my GM
Genius slang used to refer to mundane objects that have been affectede by mania.
Geniuses automatically know when something is a wonder, a mane, or even another genius. Some geniuses, however, can even tell when an object or a situation has merely been affected by mania. The term is most often used to describe situations with particularly odd details.
For instance; a genius's investigation may lead them to discover that at precisely 3:10 AM all of the cats in their city stop and stare at the tallest building for exactly one minute. A genius would recognize trace mania signatures in each cat, even though the cats are not wonders, manes, or geniuses. The genius, in describing this scenario to another genius, may choose to describe it as unusualesque.