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Idea for Icar

PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 9:01 pm
by Onix
I just had a neat/weird/unifying idea for Icar. What if the droids, not able to hack Gaia anymore, moved on to a new target? Human brains!

The thing that makes this gel in my mind is that early on, zombies were a big part of the Icar universe. But there's the Droids and the zombies and then the benevolent imperium. The problem is, they don't mesh up. In real life, there's no need for them to. We have plenty of disparate problems that have nothing to do with each other. In this story though they scream that they want to be brought together.

So this is my idea, the droids have introduced memes into Gaia. The's aren't cat holograms, they're like performance enhancing drugs that make you a little more creative, a little less afraid/scared, happier or more social. At first no one knew where they had come from. They seemed like art that when you experienced them in Gaia, they helped you somehow. The world seemed simpler, less cluttered, more comprehensible. They became a sensation, but no one knew what they really were or where they came from.

AIs hated them because they were more computationally complex than even the human brain. There was something wrong with them and they tried to warn the humans, but they didn't know what the warning should be about. They couldn't definitively prove anything.

The strange thing was, people that had experienced these structures in Gaia, spoke differently. Not in a bad way, usually they were actually nicer than they were before but sometimes they would make odd aggressive choices.

The other thing that started to show up, is that people that heavily interacted with people that were exposed started to act the same way.

It became clear that there were several, maybe even dozens of these Gaia objects. People that experienced or even communicated with multiple people that were exposed started to become stochastic in their aggressive behavior. They would seem calm and content most of the time, but suddenly violently angry.

It was at this point the Imperium discovered the awful truth, that these structures were implanted into Gaia by the Droids. All copies were destroyed.

Unfortunately it was too late, cultural exposure had already reached a saturation point and whole communities became irrational and violent without warning. Millions died every day. Interventions were tried but there was nothing the imperium could do to reform these altered souls. The only solution was eradication because exposure made a person more likely to go mad themselves. Scientists that worked on curing the effected began to show symptoms themselves.

The best that could be done is to have a early warning system. People are scanned and their level of brain alteration is recorded. Once a person's neural make up changes more than 10% from that of baseline, radical alterations suddenly occur until they are no longer capable of moral judgement or self restraint. People are given a score between 1 and 10, showing their level of exposure.

Today the average person has an exposure of 2-3. Most outbreaks are avoided by breaking up at risk populations into smaller communities. However, at times a city will still spontaneously erupt with an outbreak. People with a rating over 5 are encouraged to stay out of the public.

Occasionally, a new and different Gaia structure will appear even though AI's and human agents scour Gaia looking to destroy them.

Re: Idea for Icar

PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 2:27 pm
by Rob Lang
What a superb idea!

I love the idea of subliminal programming and I think that with an all-immersive VR experience such as Gaia, the ability to gently deep-reprogram people is excellent. The only thing I would change is make it a plot by a human syndicate rather than the Droids. The Machine (who believe that machines are the next step in human evolution) would be an excellent candidate.

Why not the Droids?
I think this is worth explaining for any prospective GMs being inspired by this thread. It is imperative that Droids cannot evolve past their original design and programming. If a Droid does so, it will cease to be a Droid. The reason for this is that it's the only reason that the humans can win. If the Droids could evolve past their original programming then they can work out how to rebuild the infrastructure, infiltrate Gaia and realise the only thing that differentiates them are command codes. That would spell the end of humanity.

It's a fatal flaw but it's necessary to keep humanity in the fight.

A brilliant idea, thank you, mate. I will be YOINKING that and pushing into a campaign!

Re: Idea for Icar

PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 2:57 pm
by Onix
Yay! :mrgreen: I think this would open new adventure paths for Icar. You could be fighting for your life amidst an outbreak, a government agent searching for and destroying structures in Gaia and hunting for the perpetrators, You could be a doctor on the high scale of exposure, you're now brilliant and driven, but you're also being hunted, you'll be put away if they find you so you search for a cure.

Re: Idea for Icar

PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 6:49 pm
by DOC_Agren
All I have to say here is thankfully my gm will never see this to use against us.

Twice we hit "Zombie" infected sites, one a failed colony the other a way station. Hate Zombies, even worse when your gm likes all those bad B/C/D okay lets be honest Z grade movies so he knews how to use Zombies well

I will miss you Randy

Re: Idea for Icar

PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2017 3:26 am
by Rob Lang
DOC_Agren wrote:All I have to say here is thankfully my gm will never see this to use against us.

Twice we hit "Zombie" infected sites, one a failed colony the other a way station. Hate Zombies, even worse when your gm likes all those bad B/C/D okay lets be honest Z grade movies so he knews how to use Zombies well

I will miss you Randy


That sounds like a rocking kick-bum GM to me! Genus 2 mutant zombies are a part of Icar I love throwing back to my player group. It takes them back to the time when we were teenagers and they would mow down hordes of the things with overpowered weapons.

This is what roleplaying gives us all. Memories of shared time together that soars high above the mundane. To your memory it doesn't matter that the events happened in your imagination; it was time spent with friends.