This is an idea for Orgs, the Sciror version of Orcs/ Orks. I like the Warhammer version of Orks with spores, and the breeding cycle of Genestealers and thought about combining the two and messing about with the blended concept to play into stereotypes about teenagers and counter-cultures. I also wanted a bit of the ‘The Thing‘ and ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers‘ in there too. All to create a potent invasion organism that attacks from the inside on many layers.
Concept: The Org spores infect a person and get into their blood. The spores affect the gamete cells, and hence any subsequent child derived from them is altered. The child would appear to be normal, but the Org characteristics lay dormant within the child. When a child reaches puberty they start to transform (many parents would agree with this!).
It would be like a 12-13 year old pumped full of growth hormones and steroids (far more than usual). At first they may seem athletic, but soon it goes completely haywire. They loose teeth, and a third set (with tusks) breaks through. They shoot up in height, pack on muscle, eat nothing but red meat, and are prone to ‘roid rage’.
They form gangs, hang out of street corners, and attack humans. Their behaviour becomes more extreme over time, until they start killing and eating humans. They become a head-hunter ‘serial killer’ gang. As they mature they become green, first blotchy, they all over.
The final transformation is when they ‘die’. Once the heart stops it triggers a massive change, and the Org ‘reanimates’ the corpse, and it is driven by an extreme hunger. Now the ‘Orc’ is out of control and rabid. It becomes a berserker driven by primal instincts (very true if their was massive brain trauma).
This final stage is the end game. The Org is probably part of a gang (which it still recognises) but it has gear and weapons acquired while still in the ‘human’ stage.
The Org are rebels, insurgents, and revolutionaries, they are anarchists, vandals, destroyers, nutters, psychos.
- Micro-Spore – can be ingested, or contracted. Grows inside the host to create Bacterium like structures, also produces Bacteriophage (attacks native bacteria in the human host), and Retrovirus (payload) all acting in unison.
- Child – looks and acts human
- Teenager – groups of the infected gather together to form gangs as they starts to transform (wears a hoodie to hide this transformation :P). Starts mugging people and beating them up, only a matter of time before they start eating them too! Eating human flesh leads to;
- Mature – looks a bit like a hobgoblin, very strong, high pain tolerance, and blotchy green skin. Prone to rages, but is still smart and understands technology. Have their own abbreviated language and a psionic link to each other. If they are killed this triggers the next stage;
- Undead – if the heart stops the Org go into overdrive and seize control. Reanimation. The host is reborn as a rabid ‘Orc‘. Insane levels of hunger, rapid regeneration, possible psionic-boosters in areas where there is a psionic-manifestation. Very fast, constantly running (charging) and extremely tough. An AK-47 will not kill them. You literally a have to dismember them to slow them down (but they can reattach limbs by holding the soggy end close to the severed point) but they will also regenerate in the case where they can not reach a lost limb.
- Rebirth once more – Total death (incineration) releases spores that infects the area, and gets into the food chain (dormant). Once eaten it infects the host, including the genitals (inc. eggs and sperm). Can also be passed on as a sexually transmitted disease (having sex with an infected person pass on the spores, as well as leading to teenagers (with Org syndrome).)
Their sole mission is to destroy civilizations from within. The Org gangs can be styled after any gang, warband, or counter-culture from anywhere in the world, or sci-fi inspired gangs from anywhere (or any-time) in the world, or completely made up. This allows Player to style their Orgs as they see fit. They could wear tartan kilt with blue face paint, or Samurai gear, even Ninja Orgs. Anything and everything – a mix of Org and human – hells angels, chavs, Blackwater Mercenaries, you name it.
The role of Mature Humans who are infected: a mature human who is infected will still transform on death. I’m considering this make a smaller ‘Goblin’ type, that is cunning and avoid direct fighting, and sabotages the food supply, hospitals etc all with intend of creating conditions ideal for spreading the infection.
Until death, a mature human who is infected as an adult, may exhibit secondary, far less pronounced, transformation traits.
- For example – Infected Mercenaries who are official contractors, with links to the military, would likely to show only secondary traits, as they are too old to be full ‘hobgoblin’ Orgs as this would be seen by the time the are ready to be selected as from the ranks of the military Mercenaries.
This is an advantage for the Org as such infected contractors would be hard to spot and would be sympathetic to up and coming full Orgs. These infiltrator Orgs may have extra muscle mass and aggression. This allows the Org to infiltrate the military and retain their cover, not alerting the command structure or others, yet at the same time may be ‘heroes’ (and spreading infection).
The idea behind this would be that the Org want to infect military personnel (though this is more instinct; they want to fight and the want to retain cover and play by the rules) as their children will be infected and transform into ‘hobgoblin’ Orgs and probably have some training due to their parents. The parents may even protect their transforming offspring.
In a game, this could be used as special rules for turning seemingly uninfected enemy units into ‘traitors’ and launching a surprise attack from within. The Org tend to see their infection as a ‘gift’, and want to get rid of other humans (who they see as weak) or convert them. However the society is not stable as the Org will turn on each other when all the regular humans are gone. The Org organise into tribal units and hunt down other tribes. Only the strong survive on an Org world, a world of endless fighting.
In the original discussions of WarSpike the idea of a 40K mod came up. It was one of the ideas Malika came up with, and the reason there is a WarSpike forum over on Anargo. Great system ideas are easy to come up with, and they seem airtight when musing about them, but no idea survives contact with paper. This what happened with WarSpike, and in writing it up it snowballed into a thousand variables that all needed to be sorted out. All while keeping on track. Suffice to say, it took longer than I thought to get the framework done, and the 40K mod on Anargo has revived little attention these past few months.
Now wounds are going in, and the arms and armour are going to get a brush up may thoughts of a 40K mod are starting come to the fore. With the new Space Hulk the idea of a WarSpike ‘Space Hulk’ mod, and 40K mod seems very appealing. In further daydreams of the mod, and pondering copyright issues, my mind turned to a satirical take on Grimdark.
The idea is to make a Sciror setting that is ‘grimdark’ and a parody of 40K. This means ramping up the grimdark to new levels. I am reminded of discussions on the old Black Library forums were my discussion of ‘Philverse’ often brought exclamations of horror and disturbance. It seems the greater ‘reality’ of Philverse has a greater power to induce ‘grimdark’. This is to be more grimdark by using Philverse (which Sciror basically is) to ramp up the logic and explanation of ’40K’ and hence contrast with the madness (because fact is stranger than fiction – unless you have my brain!). The madness comes from the thoughts and concepts of Philverse taken to their logical conclusion.
Armed with this new idea I popped off to grab ‘grimdark.com’ but obviously someone has already grabbed that, and so I had to come up with another…
Stare into the Abyss
Yep, that is what I came up with: ‘stareintotheabyss.com’. Not perfect, and it’s a bit of am mouthful (SitA), but it taps into a popular meme about madness and nihilism and seems like a good place to start. Next up was to come up with the setting, or which bit to rip off, but then it occurred to me why not go full Philverse? I thought it should to analogous to the fall of mankind in 40k, and the beginning of the age of strife, as there is very little detail for GW and I filled in all the blanks. This is easy to do with Sciror as all the explanations of the setting are in place. All it required is dropping the threshold for psionic manefestion and the result is basically a scenario where the vanilla Sciror setting goes tit’s up. This would be along the lines of the ‘psyker epidemic’ of 40K, except here it is brought about by latent psionic powers combining due to population density. Along with this we can chuck in the withdraw of the Artilects from the Mars Accord and the loss of all advanced technology, and to top it off the loss of billions of colonies and the death of untold trillion, upon trillions, of humans.
Colour Text: This is the end of a civilization…
The war is over. We lost. Mankind is extinct. Only the bio-construct remain, mere echoes of humanity, built for war. This is their story, their fight for survival, and their search of the Venus Bluegenes, Battle Nuns, Sisters of Sin, Amazons of Isha, Sirens of the Core, to continue their species. Their inability to form lasting relationships… (OK, that end bit went too far! :P)
Anyway, the idea being that all the characters and troops types in grimdark, I mean; ‘Stare Into The Abyss’, would be place-holders/ stand ins for other Sci-Fi games, like 40K or AT-43.
So a ‘armoured flesh golem’ = 40K space marine, whereas ‘Humo-Exo-Suit’ = AT-43 UNA TacArms (or Tau Battle Suit).
It means new designs for all the characters but the archetypes would be preserved. They would be similar to other games (as all these games are very similar). I may change the weapons for the ‘default’ but a weapon upgrade would bring them into line. So the Armoured Flesh Golem (AFG?) would use SSG (Steaming Stun Gun) but could upgrade to ‘auto gyro-jet launcher’ which would basically be my version of the bolter (with modal bolts).
I have some ideas for the space marines – AFG – that are more like plate armour in look but use the newt suit joints. They originate from corporate ‘paradise’ worlds, are made by humans not machines, are compliant with the dictates of the Mars Accord, and used to kidnap/ fight between corporation houses, and also used to raid off-world Ecorium (flesh harvest for organs, DNA etc?) Therefore their design in ‘logical’ to the setting.
Your thoughts? Troll Forged Miniatures forum thread here;
A meta what now? A background meta-framework is really just a whole bunch of descriptions of how things in the game world ‘works’. It describes mundane technologies, but how all the fantastical elements come about and function, an outline of what can be done with them, and the elements that are already assumed to exist within the game world. It is the base concept underpinnings of a full background. The foundations of the background onto which all else can be (quickly) built as all the heavy work is done.
Sciror: The meta-framework I am putting together is called ‘Sciror‘. It is basically all the concepts I came up with for explaining 40K technology and magic, ripping out all GW references, and re-purposing the remaining (original) writing for Sciror. Sciror is effectively ‘Philverse’ without any GW IP.
Once all the core concepts are shifted over, I will put together some example empires, factions and even isolated fantasy worlds are an example of what can be built with Sciror. The idea is to make world creation simple and allow for many genre without having to worry too much about how it all works, and all the while keeping all the Sciror based universes compatible and all ticking along under WarSpike ruleset.
More on the Sciror website