Saturday, July 3, 2021

Station H81 - "The Lost Property"

Welcome

Welcome to Station H81 traveller! Also known as "The Lost Property", and famous for some of the best views in the solar system. Please read the following info-packet carefully, hard copies are also available at all station-side retail outlets for a small fee. What you don't know can, and often will, hurt you. This document is sponsored by the Jovian Confederation Representatives, and the Gracyl-Main Manufacturing Consortium. Remember, we're always watching!

SH81 was built by the Amalthean Mining Corporation several decades ago. The eventual purported bankruptcy of the host company and the incredibly complex legal proceedings has placed it's legal status in permanent limbo*. It now acts as a free-trade zone and disputed territory in the Jupiter system, with multiple unanswerable questions regarding ownership and corporate status. This status is explicitly not non-contraindicated by official Jovian Confed sources. Make sure to check the info-page of your local governing body before engaging in any commercial activities aboard SH81.

Amalthea is the 5th largest moon of Jupiter, and the 3rd orbiting from the centre. It has no permanent civilian habitation facilities.

*How this multi-billion credit station ended up with the permanent status of being "lost property" is the subject of a number of detailed intra-system commercial and legal investigations. If you think you can figure it out, let us know in the comments!

Station Map

SH81 has a standard layout, a central column with fives rings stacked. The rings individually rotate to give a comfortable 0.3g in the inhabited perimeter. The following areas are listed from "north" (away from Amalthea) to "south" (closest to Amalthea)

Spaceport
* Basic non-rotating docking facility.
* Rapid and frequently dangerous traversals.
* Large Confed warship usually docked as offsite headquarters.

Central Spindle
* Handles recycling, air, water, inter-ring transport.
* Pillars off of north end of spindle housing admin, and security. Key areas are not freely accessible without multiple passes and legal accreditation. Automated station management may allow egress to peform maintenance.

Ring 1
* Light industry, consumer good factories, warehouses, hydroponics.
* Direct spaceport connections for food fabricators, bio-reactors, ore processing, fuel management and data-offloading.
* Lowered air quality in some areas.
* Official Jovian Confed HQ in cordoned-off area.

Ring 2
* Economy residential area, including short term housing-pods and modular apartments
* Close proximity to the station-side public school, and a resort with pool.
* Site of the relocated research facility and university.

Ring 3 A.K.A. "The Mall"
* Office spaces, food courts, arcades, gyms, churches, bars, restaurants, strip-clubs, and a single Confed lockup.
* Pop-up shops and trading deals rotating at breakneck speed, watch for great liquidation deals towards the end of the hour!
* Sunglasses recommended due to the profusion of high-wavelength advertising.

Ring 4
* Luxury residential space, including villas and secluded compounds.
* No rental spaces available.
* Features bizarre large empty spaces, parkland and forested areas, robot hunting, and an authentic church imported from Earth.

Ring 5
* [WARNING] Under repairs, large sections uninhabitable.
* Reduced rotation speed until infrastructure repair complete.
* Jovian Confed representatives would like to inform all residents and tourists that the illegally operating casino has been officially established as enemy territory. Any patrons may be considered as "enemy non-combatant" status.
* No longer houses the station-side research facility.

Power Generation
* Five medium-tier functioning newtronium generators. Refueling and power distribution handled by station management.
* The sixth newtronium generator suffered catastrophic failure and has not been repaired. Do not approach without suitable radiation shielding.

Message Board

User-submitted messages can be placed for as little as 1 credit. The station administration holds no responisiblity for the content or metadata contained in the following messages.

* 2902 Harley Davidson, redone levitators, custom job, must sell or trade for lawyer
* Feeling lost? Unsure of yourself? Doubtful of the future? Alone? So do I. You're not special
* Station tour guide requested, reply soon
* UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY New merchants wanted! No licence required, insurance provided
* Have you dreamt of becoming a HOLOVID STAR? *** Make your dreams come true!1
* Reward offered for information leading to capture of chef
* DRUGS 4 SALE
* For sale: childlike sense of wonder, enriched plutonium, balance, lost socks, evidence of military conspiracy, hats (stolen)
* Hot singles in your area!
* Contact June in FORTY MINUTES
* LOST: Arm, last seen with hand attached, has sentimental value
* Can anybody identify this egg?
* Auction items today: pilot licence level 6 - unknown storage (?) pod - surplus research gear
* LOST DOG
* Do not use this channel, we are under attack
* Where are you? 19421
* Cleaning crew wanted, urgent
* NOTICE FOR ALL USERS: Illegal activity and incitement of illegal activity is strictly against board policy
* 16938892601 32703793663 421637169388
* HAVE YOU GOT WHAT IT TAKES?
* Expert advice, no refunds
* BX-492 Weapon shipment requires fulfilment, accepting tenders
* This space intentionally left blank
* For bad time call this number
* Want to byu or rent spaceship for 10 mins
* For the last time: NO
* Are unknowingly part of a cult or engaged in a terrorist plot? It may be more likely than you think
* meet at church, noon. bring hat. last warning.
* Hating the commotion and commute? Want to get away from it all? Luxury timeshare orbital habitats selling FAST!!!
* HIRING
* .... .- / .... .- / .--. .-- -. -.. / -. ..- -...
* FRIEND is always observing
* iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiggh
* e = mc^4.1 under certain circumstances
* Fancy working for a highly charismatic and generally amazing one-of-a-kind individual? Maybe you are the minion I need to achieve my dreams! Enquire within
* Has anyone misplaced a really ugly child?
* Don't use any of the intra-station lifts between 2150 and 2155. Please trust me
* Hello? Is anyone there? I think something has gone terribly wrong
* [MESSAGE CORRUPTED]
* Left left right, down three floors, second door (pull, ignore the sign), and say Bob sent you
* X: 175593, Y: 93, Z: 2066
* The Vents Are Where It Sleeps
* S> Tickets off of this shithole station
* Instant Diagnosis Available On Demand
* We should be friends!
* PSA: Self-replicating nanoweapons cannot breach the skin, and are destroyed by heat! Eyes, Mouth, Nose, Fire. Remember, only you can prevent Grey Goo
* [URGENT] [PURCHASE] Backup generator class 61a, <1m (addendum: any class acceptable)
* djKdhas21AScnkcsab 980ajsabcCXZ
* Worthless Marble, Sanctimonious Pine, Lackadaisical Cucumber
* There are NO authorised Brain Backup Institutions aboard SH81, report unauthorised vendors to your nearest Confed representative

Jupiter

Diameter (km): 139,820, Gravity (g): 2.53
* The glowing jewel of the solar system and the political capitol of the outer planets, Jupiter is the centre-point of the Jovian System.
* Habitats are primarily floating lightweight orbs, drifting to avoid the titanic storms of Jupiter's atmosphere, and travelling to collect passengers and tribute from the many moons.
* Tickets out of Jupiter's gravity well are expensive! Temporary visitors should budget accordingly, or bring multiple spare transplantable organ.
* Core-research should only be undertaken by reputable organisations. Treasure-hunting expeditions to Jupiter's "solid surface" will not be recovered by Confed crews.

Amalthea

Diameter (km): 167, Gravity (g): 0.002, Orbit: 3rd
* Irregular red oblong, originally extra-solar.
* Railgun built into southern tip of moonlet fires refined ingots and exotic minerals towards Jupiter-based construction facilities.
* Mining rights, infrastructure and the heavy-rail transport system are all owned by SH81, granting liquidity for repairs and maintenance.
* There are no permanent civilian habitations on the moon, Station H81 was built to act as the "company town".

Io

Diameter (km): 3643, Gravity (g): 0.18, Orbit: 6th
* Famously the most geologically active body in the solar system, with over 400 active volcanoes.
* Volcanic plumes and lava flows produce large surface changes and paint the surface in various subtle shades of yellow, red, white, black, and green.
* Io interacts with Jupiter's magnetic field to act as an electric generator, developing 400,000 volts across itself with a current of 3,000,000 amps.
* Official Jovian Confed guidelines recommend enjoying the startling Ionian vistas from considerable distance.
* The Braxtrackian Shipyards located on/near Io is not open to the public. Visitors should report to the front office on Ganymede.
* Likewise, the Ionian Voluntary Work Colony (courtesy of Braxtrackian Industries) does not allow any public access or "prisoner" visits.

Europa

Diameter (km): 3121, Gravity (g): 0.13, Orbit: 7th
* The foodbowl of the Jovian system, providing bio-products for the majority of moons and stations.
* Majority of the moon is silicate rock and ice, without the iron necessary for economical shipbuilding. Any core mining could result in an ecological and agricultural disaster for the entire system.
* Cryogeysers and radiation-aurora-icebows make the surface a stunning tourist destination, and lethal for those lacking adequate protection.
* Below the shell of rock-hard ice lies an ocean that spans the entire moon. Blister-habitats are built into the ice, trailing algae and seaweed farms.
* Jovian Confederation representatives can confirm that all Europan Separatist activities have been halted.
* All rumours of nanonic weaponry being used against civilian targets are false, and likely agit-propaganda. It is not illegal to discuss these rumours.

Ganymede

Diameter (km): 5268, Gravity (g): 0.15, Orbit: 7th
* While Jupiter is the official capital of the Jovian system, Ganymede acts as the unofficial centre of commerce and management. It is also the home port of the Jovian Confederation fleet.
* A powerful innate magnetosphere prevents the majority of radiation from reaching surface installations, and buried salty aquifers act as an emergency water supply.
* Some underground facilities are built free-rotating and reach gravities of up to 1.5 Earth Standard.

Callisto

Diameter (km): 4820, Gravity (g): 0.13, Orbit: 8th
* Tidally locked with Jupiter, the moon is very geologically stable, and covered with ancient craters.
* The site of the systems largest newtronium production facility, and the second largest after the Lagrange Station between Earth and Luna.
* The main superconductor ring lies just within the "dusk" of Jupiter-rise, permanently in the most habitable area of the moon.
* Famously, the moon has no visible defence installations or weapons platforms, and no fuel or reagent deliveries has ever reported pirate attacks.

Himalia

Diameter (km): 140, Gravity (g): 0.006, Orbit: 11th
* Largest irregular moon of Jupiter.
* Refuelling base for the Jovian Confed fleet, and the outermost patrolled point.
* Upkeep to maintain this base and the extreme patrolling range of the fleet is a point of significant contention on Ganymede and Jupiter alike, due to the extraordinarily high operating costs.

Rustbucket Convoy

* Scrapped, surplussed or stolen, the Rustbucket Convoy is a collection of ships passively orbiting near nothing at all.
* Most of the ships are air-tight derelicts, very few are capable of any further travel. Ships frequently pause at the Convoy for emergency repairs, and never leave.
* The origins of the Convoy are shrouded in mystery, but likely involve refugees that were prevented from seeking asylum.
* The Jovian Confed frequently arranges deliveries of bulk foodstuffs to the Convoy. Generally, this involves shipments launched on a gentle collision trajectory from a great distance.

Astral Biospheres

* A collection of mostly-organic habitats situated within Jupiter's thin ring system.
* Built out of highly modified pseudo-wooden polymer structures, surrounding large air-tight enclosures.
* Layers of leafy structures provide a modicum of "solar power", supplemented by traditional reactors providing energy directly into the organic systems.
* Micrometeorite impacts are absorbed and consumed, rather than posing a high-velocity threat. Any punctures into the station interior are swiftly plugged by natural processes.
* BYO gravity! The spheres are too large to be spun up, resulting in a large zero-G atmosphere and a regular tourist destination.
* Permanent residents are easily recognisable due to the bone-weakening effects of low gravity. They promote a lifestyle of peace and meditation amidst the leafy boughs of their home.

Currently Docked Ships

Monday, June 7, 2021

SNAFU

You don't know what year it is, and perhaps nobody does. Your life has been one of countless hardship, and to be drafted into the Army of the Eternal Saviour is just one more blow. Beside you, in the dank hold of the dropship, sit your "comrades". Perhaps you even know some of their names. Equipment clanks. Unintelligible messages pass back and forth. The Front approaches, and in the grim darkness of your own eternal present, there is only war.

SNAFU is about ordinary soldiers, drafted into an endless, pointless war in space. It's a gory meatgrinder, aiming for fast character creation and chaotic battles. Bring spares.

"For the Saviour!"
(kindly ignore that the enemy troops are also yelling "For the Saviour!", they are all heretics and traitors)




Friday, April 30, 2021

SHIZZARDS - Shitty Wizard Duels

A.K.A. Shitty Wizard Duels

You, and your opponents, are all Shitty Wizards. You are fighting to the death, or at least fighting to terminal indignity. You are armed with nothing but your wits, and your Incredible Magicks. Onwards!

To begin, each wizard draws ten words from the list (see the buttons below for an easy demonstration). Each word is a component of a spell, whether an Attack, a Defence, or a Clever Trick. To cast a spell, combine two or more words in an order that makes sense. If the spell doesn't make sense, as judged by all wizards present, then the caster can return the words to their hand at no penalty (apart from the other wizards knowing what you have). Unfair rulings should be appealed by walking away and playing with other, more pleasant people.

Any words used in a spell are discarded once the effect is completed, no matter what happens to the spell during the process. Any wizard can add conjugations and conjuctions as they like, so words like "and", "to", "of" can be applied to help the spell make sense, as well as "-ed", "-ing" and "-s".

You can cast spells at any time, or even multiple spells at once!

The types of attacking spells include Direct Attacks, Hindrances, and Clever Trick:
  • Direct Attack - If the target of a Direct Attack can't (or won't) deal with it, they will either be killed, horribly maimed, or suffer a Fate Worse Than Death. Even worse, they will lose the duel! On the flip-side, these spells are usually the easiest to block or deflect.
  • Hindrance - These spells result in sticky situations for the target, often literally. The effect depends on the spell, but they frequently make it harder to move, more vulnverable to other spells, or restrict the types of spells they can cast safely (consider casting a Fire spell while trapped in pile of flammable rope).
  • Clever Tricks - Some spells are not obviously Attacks or Defences. Whether summoning magical beasts, creating objects and barriers, or other strange effects, these spells should be carefully considered by all wizards to come up with an explanation that makes sense. Often they will become an Attack or Defence later in the duel.

The target of a spell can react in multiple ways to their oncoming doom:
  • Deflect - The target can replace one (1) word in the incoming spell, with a word of their own. This changes the spell as if the original caster had picked that word. Deflecting might make the spell less dangerous, easier to block, or apply to a different target.
  • Block - The target can cast a defensive spell. It must have at least as many words as the incoming spell to fully Block it, any words in excess must by Dodged (see below).
  • Counter - If the target casts a defensive spell that is the exact solution to the incoming spell, it is negated completely, even if it has fewer words. Other wizards present should applaud politely. Some Counters are so potent that they also count as an Attack spell.
  • Frantically Dodge - Wizards are not graceful creatures. If they leap out of the way, or throw themselves on the ground, or roll around frantically trying to put out the fire, they must discard two words for each word of the incoming spell (partially Blocking a spell and then Frantically Dodging the rest is perfectly fine).

During the fight, you might start to run low on words, or find that none of your word combinations make for a useful spell. This isn't good! You can propose a Breather at any point (wizards not being known for their endurance either). If your opponent agrees, you can both draw one additional word. You might propose longer breaks as well, both drawing even more words, so long as your opponent agrees to it. Be warned: Proposing a Breather might show weakness to your opponent, and they are never required to agree to it!

Remember:
All spells, whether Attacks, Defences or Clever Tricks, spells must be made of two or more words and make sense.
Deflections act as if the original spell was different, they don't cause a new effect. The spell after the Deflection must still make sense.





Optional Rules

Built For Comfort, Not Speed - Sometimes a wizard might try and do something physical, or otherwise take an action that doesn't involve casting a spell. When they take such an action, think of the absolute worst outcome that could probably result from it. What happens is slightly better than that.

Complex Counterplay - Wizards can Deflect any spell once, using the the same rules above. This includes Deflecting Block-spells and Counter-spells, as well as Deflecting their own spells.

Magic Tennis - Wizards can Deflect any spell as many times as they want. Each time a spell is Deflected, the spell is also reflected back on the previous caster.

To The Death! (Actually, I Had Plans) - If all combatant wizards simultaneously end up with one or fewer words remaining, a draw is automatically proposed.

Specialist Wizards - Each wizard can choose (or randomly select) their area of expertise, represented by a single word. This word can be invoked any time they cast a spell, overwriting a different word used.

Gallery













Example Spells

  • Transmute Flesh to Salt - A potent Attack, but easily Deflected due to the precision needed to make it work.
  • Upside-down Life - A curse that causes the target to fall upwards forever. A Hindrance if cast indoors, potentially lethal outside.
  • Reflective Eyes - Another Hindrance, turns the eyes of the target to turn into mirrors, rendering them blind.
  • Metal Water - Creates a spray of mercury, useful for any number of strategies or other Clever Tricks.
  • Create Air - Very versatile spell, a powerful jet of air can be used to blow away incoming spells, knock over an opponent, conjure a bubble of breathable air, or push the caster out of the way of danger.
  • Steal Flesh - The effect of this spell depends on what the wizards involved agree make sense. It might allow the caster to steal the limbs of the target, or pluck their heart or brains right out! Once both wizards have agreed on what makes sense, that agreement should be used for any future duels.
  • Glass Mouth - This spell can be interpreted as "Glass Jaw", the sufferer will take doubled physical damage, crumbling at the merest blow.
  • Attraction to Falsehood - A somewhat tenuous Defence spell, causes a projectile spell to instead fly towards an illusion.
  • Electric Hole - A perfect Counter to any lighting-based spell, that turns into an Attack when the hole is emptied out again.
  • Bless Earth - Another perfect Counter against any spells related to evil or undeath. If an evil or undead wizard happens to be standing in the area, it also becomes an Attack.