A Very Useless Zine

This was a pocketmod zine I printed out and mailed to a bunch of folks. I've thrown away the original so I'm mostly putting it up here for nostalgia.


PuterScGUID


Each PuterScGUID is uniquely identified by a sequence consisting of 32 hexadecimal digits, separated into five groups (eg. 21EC2020-3AEA-4069-A2DD-08002B30309D).

If you happen to come across such a sequence, you can with very easy means always know:

  • ...its exact location
  • ...what it's currently doing
  • ...how to contact it (using the ScGUID's TMQS1.1 - Telepathic Message Queuing System version 1.1)

Most ScGUID:s live in the binary seas, are poisonous and worship the never seen bot-entity known only as I, Unknown (whom they worship because even though its sequence is well known - 00000000-0000-0000-C000-000000000046 - no-one has ever been able to locate or contact it, something the ScGUID:s would love to know how it does) .

Gods

How come the gods are drunkards, monster, or even childs? Because gods are not otherworldly entities that's always been - they are normal beings randomly taken into godhood.

Becoming a god is a curse. When lifted to godhood, one is frozen in time and mind. A child god is powerful but forever immature, wanting things on the same level as other five year olds - only with a shorter period of satisfaction. And a child god with a tantrum is a dangerous thing.

Mixed bag of doodles that somehow are connected









Hmm when presented like this, they all seem connected somehow. What is the "story glue" that binds these together? Something about nature fighting back?

The balloon that mustn't land


Every now and then, a blue hot air balloon passes over Bastion. Usually it's high above, but its presence still makes people nervous, as if they worry it would drop down from the sky any second.

It goes by many names - Death's Blue Bell, The Bastion Bye, The Doomed Shroom, Mankind's End - all conveying the same meaning: you don't want it to land, at least not here.

Sometimes it's descending a little too low for people not to do anything about it, and suddenly small groups assemble out of nowhere claiming they know how to make the balloon rise again.

Balloon Groups "We'll save Bastion from Mankind's End" (d12)

1-4: d6 Priests of Pupa - STR 3, DEX 3, WIL 15, 3hp. Robed, Bluetinted fingertips, Bulging backs (concealed mechanized wings, d4 Damage). Real reason they want to visit the balloon is:
1: The God of Pupa lies in at the bottom of the wicker basket, looking like a large withered leaf with a fanged mouth. Should the balloon land, the God will evolve into the God of Imago, a deity worshipped by a rival priesthood. The Priests of Pupa wishes to keep their god in this state.
2: The schematics for their mechanized wings (among other things not yet commonly known) are hidden in the wicker basket. The whole thing is a hoax by the priests themselves to keep people out.
3: The wicker basket holds the Bomb Ova, a really, really powerful bomb. A priest flies up and feeds the bomb his/her blood (all of it), making it go for another lap around the planet. Each lap takes it one step further in the metamorphosis. The priests hopes for a really big bang, and they've been waiting for some years now.
4: A bucket of blue paint stands in the middle of the basket. The priest dips his/her fingers in it, making the balloon rise again, and then they fly down again. The bucket is actually a portal to a piranha infested part of the Long Sea; the fingertips are bitten off and replaced with a gelatinous substance much like rubber. Should the balloon land, the bucket will leak all of the Long Sea.
5-7: Fancy Dresser - STR 9, DEX 7, WIL 5, 2hp. Fancy Dress, Fancy Hat, Fancy Face, Well-spoken, Slim. Real reason s/he wants to visit the balloon is:
5: Mad and/or compulsive liar. Doesn't have a clue what to do up there. Whatever is in that balloon, this bugger will make it come down over Bastion. Run for your life.
6: An Oddity that spits out coins when fed rats is hardwired into the wicker basket. The greater the altitude, the bigger the coin. Explains the bag the fancy dresser is carrying with him/her.
7: Several paintings of the fancy dresser lies scattered in the basket. All portraits look more dead than alive (several are actually dead). By dropping off a fresh painting in the basket, the fancy dresser extends his/her youth by another year, since the portraits does the ageing. Should the balloon land, the portraits manifests into real beings, and will hunt the fancy dresser down (and after that, everyone else, because when you're pissed off you're pissed off).
8: The Scientist Not From This Planet Or Age Or Game But Nobody Believes Her - STR 3, DEX 3, WIL 10, 1hp. Ragged clothes, Black eye, Modern Gun (no ammo), Post-its that form a star map. Fourth wall breaker. This person must be from another game the GM owns, and she knows that the balloon contains a big bad monster from her game (GM's pick) that will transfer to Into the Odd should the balloon land (and if it does, neither she or the monster must be available in the other game). Going on a dangerous expedition with her is the only sure way to make the balloon rise again, for some odd reason.
9: 1024 Ordinary Cats. Somehow, it is commonly known that these little animals are up for the job, and they do it good. They'll leap from rooftop to rooftop at midnight, and eventually take flight to reach the balloon. Unfortunately, they'll all vanish for at least five years, causing severe rat infestations throughout Bastion.
10-11: d6 Arcanum Sacrificium - STR 8, DEX 8, WIL 12, 2hp. Lost limb(s) and/or Eyes, Look of resignation, Whispers. They want to go up and collect the heavy, world-devouring Arcanum that makes the balloon descend, to destroy it properly (e.g. without activating it). But every time they've collected one evil Arcanum, someone (or something further above, and bigger) drops another into the basket.
10: (see entry above)
11: A couple of individuals in the group (d6, or all if roll is greater) have been contacted/blackmailed by Underground guilds, to bring them the Arcanum in exchange for riches/freedom.
12: d8 Not From Bastion Men - STR 12, DEX 10, WIL 12, 5hp. Off-putting face, Baggy Clothes, Filthy Crowbars (d6 Damage, diseased). "Dats our b'loon, lads," they say. "Hands off." They will not accept that the balloon lands in Bastion, and will declare war over it. Someone heard something about their boss being in the basket, another heard that their entire capital is in there. Whatever it is, it mustn't land here.

Horrors in space

There are two things one should have in mind when talking about horrors in outer space:
  1. Up til the first physical exploration of space, we were all alone in the universe 
  2. Any life out there since then - no matter how twisted or unreal - has its origin down here on Earth 
That is, anything encountered up there is a bastardly remix of something we once sent up on purpose - or just lost by accident somewhere in the thermosphere.

The V-2 rocket (1942)
The first rocket to reach outer space, actually never returned to Earth despite common belief. Became sentient and suicidal after being exposed to a stellar flare in 1981.

40 mice (1960)
Part of the original all animal crew of Korabl-Sputnik 2, these mice never did return safely to Earth. Gnawing through their cage at re-entry, they suddenly hit a power cord just as the shuttle passed through an aurora - causing them to switch places. The caged aurora was never made official.

Имре́к (1962)
Just one of many unofficial and unknown cosmonauts lost during the Vostok programme. At the time, a large translucent mesh passed through our neck of the universe, causing these poor souls to be collected like fish in the sea.

In 1978, a thin purple cord shot out through deep space, attached itself to the mesh and started pulling it in. The cord bumped into the Soviet satellite Kosmos 954, causing it to malfunction and later crash over northern Canada.

Ticks in Space (Santicore 2015 entry)

(Since I haven't seen any signs of life from the Santicore hellves yet, I thought I might as well dump my entry here on the blog)

The request I got for Santicore 2015 was:
"O Secret Santicore, what random horrors could unfortunate adventurers encounter in the darkness of space?"

And I thought, ticks of course! If you want to make your own custom tick mini for your game, just take a potato and stick some toothpicks in it (or just leave them out in the sun a a couple of days, and it'll grow its own appendices).
 

1. Celestial Tick
A celestial tick ranges in size from a small space shuttle, to that of a moon - or larger. Soft celestial ticks are attracted to magnetic fields and will harvest electricity, while hard celestial ticks are drawn to heat and will attach to anything from warp cores to smaller planets.

It’s possible to remove a celestial tick by force, at risk at infecting the host. Rumour has it that tick pirates comes from a planet infected by a vicious tick bite.

2. Tick Ambergris
When a larger celestial tick consumes something it can’t digest or doesn't want, its gastrointestinals will cover it in a thick secretion so that it can pass without harming the tick. As the ambergris leaves the tick’s body and enters space, it will harden and travel indefinitely, sometimes even protecting the unwanted thing in a forced cryosleep.

Things known to have been found in tick ambergris:
  1. Lava and pieces of a volcano
  2. Small space shuttle containing a crew (living but cryosleeping)
  3. A mountain top
  4. A smaller celestial tick (see Tick Miners below)

3. Tick Pirates
There’s a remote relative to humans in outer space that’s been successful in utilizing celestial ticks as transporation vessels, from the smaller ones as two-man shuttles, to the rumoured interstellar tick that drifts through the multiverse and houses several thousands of pirates.

On the larger ticks the pirates tend to burrow a bit into the body, to shield against the worst radiation of space.

Things possibly found on a tick pirate:
  1. Spear with tip smeared in a mixture consisting of celestial tick nymphs and random droppings
  2. Semi-living sextant
  3. Boots made of the shell of a hard tick
  4. A metallic plaque depicting the Arecibo message

4. Tick Miners
It is rumoured that tick miners are a cybernetic race aiming to regulate the efficiency of celestial ticks. Why they would do that is unknown - maybe they suffered from a planetary tick themselves, who spewed out diseases into their perfect feedback society?

Tick miners - being more robotic than organic, yet lacking a fully-fledged AI found in other parts of the multiverse - perform experiments on celestial ticks of all sizes, without hurting or killing them. At least not intentionally.

Some known augmentations/”corrections” made by tick miners:
  1. Drove a planet-sized tick into a sun by increasing its heat fixation through medication
  2. Constructed a life supporting exoskeleton for a tick about to die. While the tick didn’t die, the exoskeleton became sentient and soon took over, changing its role as a supporting unit to that of master controller.
  3. Constructed a lattice of equally sized, smaller ticks to see if they could fill the gap after the death of one enormous celestial tick (and see if they as a “hive” had a better chance of surviving)
  4. Bred a race of smaller ticks that could cover itself in its own ambergris during stressful conditions