Original SA post
Fuck you, Chris Fields!
a.k.a. Chris Fields makes me rethink my sobriety.
Okay, I've actually read like half of this horrible thing through and have a decent overview, but I'm just going to take it in the order the book presents things for the sake of trying to confer as much of this thing's hideous feel as possible.
I'll also have to apologize for these updates being all-text, but the version of Otherverse that RPGNow was providing for free was without pictures, and frankly, after Fursona, I really do not want to see any more art that Fields feels is appropriate to his writing.
My judgments on balance are going to be a bit skewed by my having limited experience with D20 Modern which this seems to be some sort of parasitic cyst on the face of.
The Otherverse America Campaign Setting
We start with a couple of quotes to introduce the setting, these to some extent replace sidebars, but Fields still enjoys abusing those. These quotes inform us that the Second American Civil War started when a "posthuman terrorist" blew up an abortion clinic and its "RAINBOW Liberty" defenders. We'll find out what all of this is about later. This happened in 2061, and the "Lifer" and "Choicer" nations were at each others' throats for three decades.
This game starts in 2107, after the status quo has had a bit of time to settle in. The Pagan "Choicers" essentially won the war, but only barely, and the Lifers still exist, just as an oppressed underclass in most parts of the nation. Not a single mention of what the hell this meant for the rest of the world, by the way, and as far as I've read there isn't one. This is all about AMERICA.
As per standard Chris Fields doctrine this thing is also littered with typos that suggest his editor, if he had one, just paged through this thing as fast as possible with a fixed grimace on his face and a bottle of booze in his hand, trying to avoid letting his eyes settle on anything for more than a few seconds.
Then comes the big hitter: We're not even in the first chapter yet. Here it comes! Try and guess what Fields named it!
Chapter 1: Sexually Transmitted Future
Oh Fields, what did I ever DO to you?
He decides to start this chapter with a couple A4 pages' worth of introductory fiction. Let's see if this was a good idea or not.
Fuck you, Fields! posted:
San Francisco, CA.
A single, thin rivulet of blood curls along the surface of the warm, clear water. The candle flames dancing on either side of the long, shallow birthing pool are reflected in that same water. And reflected in the blood as well, dancing crimson and gold on a deeper, earthier red.
Blood. Birth is always bloody.
A woman half lays, half squats in the birthing pool, her caramel skin purpling with effort as she pushes out her child. The woman is nude except for the ochre and crimson wishing-runes painted across her smooth, distended belly and down the long sloping curve of her mother-breasts Bone-white anesthetic neural taps are glued to her temples and the base of her spine.
Uh, yeah, okay, I think I could have lived without reading that, Fields, thank you very much. The pregnant woman has a CYBERNETIC PRIESTESS MIDWIFE assisting her in shoving out her lump of baby. Seriously, that's what the book calls her, a "priestess-midwife." And here's the kicker, just shortly after the lady picks a wife for her baby, and after the Midwife spouts some generic LOOK HOW PAGAN I AM bullshit.
Fuck you, Fields! posted:
And there is gentle applause from the audience as the lights come all the way up, and the skylight above them all irises open, allowing silvery moonlight into the birthing chamber.
The AUDIENCE, she had an AUDIENCE watching her shove out a kid. Choicers have the worst fucking public entertainment.
Fuck you, Fields! posted:
Twenty two years ago, May Feneris had been conceived at the Beltane fires, and so, finally had her daughter. Cassie had no father.
Cassie had a dozen fathers.
Note this, this isn't just a subtle way of saying that her mother banged everything that moved, this is actually... something else. Something weird. Something very Chris Fields that we'll get into... surprisingly soon, actually. Just wait until we hit the genetic engineering shit not too far ahead.
Gene-War and Panaceas
So, back to background. Apparently genetic engineers pretty much figured out how to improve human health a thousandfold and immunize us to basically 99% of everything that had ever haunted us, including AIDS. Predictably they named this modification the Panacea mod and the humans with it were Homo Sapiens Panacean, the first versions of the genemod were a bit odd, and some people got some weirdly striped and coloured skin out of it. Fields quickly reminds us in a sidebar that everyone wanted to fuck these people because OH MY GOD STRIPES and you also knew they wouldn't give you herpes.
Also anyone who fucks Panaceans while having some human genes without actually being a Panaceans themselves, like half-elves, baseline humans, etc. will also catch it. I mean, this is just great, we're only a page into the first chapter proper and Fields has already filled 50% of it with a sidebar about fucking. He is certainly no slacker.
Of course there are also SOME cybernetic and genetic enhancements unrelated to cocks, and the people with these improvements are largely known as Powereds, at least the military ones are. Oh and they're also the inheritors of the "Lost powers of the Old Gods," something which is just DROPPED there and not elaborated on until much later if it at all. And of course if you've got your genes altered to fight better, those apparently affect your germline cells as well and you're going to get kids who always win schoolyard fights.
We're also introduced to our first Basic Class immediately thereafter: The Powered Hero. Basically he's a dude who picks from various talent trees of powers as he levels up. Let's have a look at those, because all the other shit is boring numbers numbers numbers. Let's see, talent trees...
Flying, Honey Tra-
Chris Fields! posted:
Honey Trap Powered Heroes are designed for seduction and infiltration, not front line combat ability. These attractive Powered Heroes are trained in espionage, psychology and manipulation, and their bodies are genetically hard-wired to use sex as a weapon.
I think he's trying to set a new speed record for how fast he can ruin this. Honey Trap is packed in between Flier, which literally just let you FLY, no limitations, and Peak Human, which lets you magnify your stats. Honey Trap, meanwhile, gives you a Charisma bonus if you manage to touch someone. It's not a psionic ability, or powerful ranged pheromones, you're not going to be talking down that villain unless you run up and dry-hump him first.
Anyway, other talents... Reflex, Regenerator, Shooter, Tracer, Warbody... these things are all over the place. Flier, Regenerator and Shooter give you handy abilities while Tracer, for instance, gives you some extremely niche skill boosts. And yet they're all the same speed of advancement. Outside of Honey Trap, though, no great misery here. That's about to change.
Blah blah blah numbers about how difficult it is to get someone to modify us to look like our fursona or make our kids look like Sephiroth or grow up with teeth in his eyeballs or whatever, boring. Let's get to the actual genemods.
Oh great, Fields is tripping us up with a sidebar! Let's see what this one is called...
Other Wombs posted:
Hivelove: Produced by a single female and multiple male genetic donors, who each contribute a well-chosen fragment of genetic material. Many young Choicer mothers ingest a temp-mod version of this gene-twist before the Beltane Fires, in hopes of producing genetically enhanced offspring.
Basically it's a short section on the new ways you can have kids. Having them grown externally, artificial insemination, that mods make normal pregnancies easier, and... Hivelove. Basically, yeah, it's a genemod that lets a woman bang as many dudes as she can within 48 hours and then it automatically picks the best genes out of the pool of jizz and combines them into a SUPERIOR CHILD. In some settings this would seem kind of logical, in Fields' hands it's coated with grease.
This is also reflected in the fact that all of the first genemods/nanomods we see are basically about flinging out kids in novel ways. Like the Exowomb which lets us basically lay children as eggs if we don't feel like taking them to term inside. Next up are a bunch of generic stat-boosting mods like Beowulf which boosts our eyesight and... Bi-shift?
Like Hetro-norm, Bi-Shift targets the portion of the hypothalamus responsible for sexual attraction. While Hetro-norm eliminates the genetic potential for same sex attraction, Bi-Shift increases it, allowing the patient to enjoy both genders equally.
The Tempmod version of Bi-Shift is the ‘party drug’ of the 21st century. The Choicer pseudo-nation often incorporates Bi-Shift temp mods into their Beltane Fire celebrations.
Conservative legislators have attempted to ban Bi-Shift and prevent its sale to minors, and have succeeded in making it a controlled substance in some jurisdictions. Possession of Bi-Shift is considered a felony in most Lifer Enclaves.
And we're not even out of the B's yet. In fact we have another one before we're even to the C's, "Bodyclit." Basically lets you grow clitorises(clitorii?) anywhere on your body if you want, either invisibly or as the usual little fleshy nubs. Somehow I find this one excessively horrifying.
After a bunch more generic mods like subdermal bio-armor, we reach H, where HetroNorm is the opposite of Bi-Shift, locking the user into Heterosexuality... unless they just happen to like the same gender for some other reason than genetics. So I guess this thing is kind of useless. This is also where we strike Hivelove, but I've already talked about that one.
More boring mods, then in the M's we hit something that's... interesting. Two interesting things, in fact.
M is for Misery posted:
Milkmaid (PL 6)
A woman enhanced by Milkmaid incorporates cow and goat DNA, enabling her to produce high protein, naturally sweetened breast milk at will. Sharing breast milk and even incorporating it into food when cooking for your closest family and friends have become popular 22nd century affectations, especially since the fall of wide-spread industrialized agriculture. Surprisingly, this practice is equally common in both pseudo-nations, though for vastly different symbolic reasons.
A woman modified with Milkmaid can produce enough milk to sustain a single adult humanoid for a day, assuming she is well fed and given sufficient water.
Moe Facesculpt (PL 7)
Cosmetic face and body sculpting is nothing new for gene-science. However, the sheer complexity of the Moe facesculpt ensured it didn’t enter the genome until well into Progress Level 7. The Moe Facesculpt reworks the face to conform to an idealized anime look: huge, luminous eyes, heart shaped chins, tiny lips and vestigial noses. Since everything from the amount of light entering the pupil to skeletal structure to the arrangement of throat muscles must be designed for, this is an exceptionally pricey gene-mod.
So even without using Fursona III as a supplement, you can be a goddamn anime cowgirl who squirts milk all over the fucking place. JESUS CHRIST FIELDS.
Not even going to talk about Nymphette, it just makes you have more fun with sex. There's "Pro-Pleasure," which makes you really enjoy anal sex, including making women grow a prostate so they can have as much fun as men. Satyr Multi is the version of Nymphette for men, Wedding Band is a weird one that basically makes two people addicted to each others' pheromonal output, if they're apart for too long they'll be depressed and start suffering withdrawals.
Now, this is one part where I have to give Fields a bit of credit, because he introduces one thing that's kind of cool: Genetic Vampires. Basically, with all these mods around, there are also mods allowing you to prey on the modified, gaining sustenance from drinking their blood or eating their flesh(results in rapid regeneration), allowing you to temporarily steal their mods after doing the same, etc. and then of course he shits all over it within the first page.
First with one ability making you a SEXUAL MESSENGER who's designed to spread your genemods via boning, and then with a second that allows you to steal people's genes by fucking them.
It's just such a fucking shame, because it really has all these abilities which, at least in concept, would make for an awesome villain. The ability to hide being modded, to make others' mods start ruining their metabolisms with aggressive pheromone releases, literally being able to reverse your own aging by preying on the modified. It's cool stuff! It's like, sci-fi vampires and shit! And the cool kind of vampire, not Twilight, but predatory and awesome!
Then there's Remote Breeder, which lets you knock people up with spores, followed by Reproductive Puppeteer, allowing you to mind control anyone carrying your spawn. In the hands of a proper horror writer, these could be TERRIFYING powers, but after what I've read of Fields so far I can just imagine what fetish it panders to.
I apologize if it comes across to anyone as though I carry a grudge against Fields, but I do! I really do! Fuck that guy!
And that's where I'm stopping for now, at page 41 out of 257. I can't even really say what we've covered so far, except for the basics of genetic therapy, this book doesn't even have the slightest approximation of an orderly setup, with new Affiliations, classes and mods mixed into the middle of chapters about Choicer holidays. There's also shitloads of the setting that isn't actually in this book, like the Lifechain abilities that keep getting mentioned, and at least one sidebar informs us that a supplement will provide the "Abortion Provider" advanced class.
Sexually Transmitted Future: The Roots of War
Original SA post
Alright, saddle up class, it's time to resume our Fieldstrip!
Sexually Transmitted Future: The Roots of War
So someone asked why I'd called this game abortion-themed? Well, this chapter is heavy on fluff and starts off answering that: The war between the Choicers and Lifers is literally called "The Abortion War." However much it's deserved, Fields really wants to make sure this is how we think about his game, he
it to be "that superhero game about the abortions."
So yeah, this is the fluff chapter, and I'm probably going to be quoting heavily from it, just so you guys can enjoy Fields' writing as much as I get to. Aren't I nice?
Sexually Transmitted Future posted:
The late 2020s and early 2030s were a decade of limitless sexual freedom. For the first time in decades, there were no lethal STDs plaguing America, and thanks to Nymphette, accidental pregnancies were expected to be consigned to the dustbin of history by the end of the decade.
Evangelical America soundly rejected both technologies, and pushed to have them outlawed. The divisions between liberal and conservative deepened into ideological chasms. In response to the organized coalition of liberal interests, and their political successes, conservative America redoubled its efforts, both in the political arena, and in domestic terrorism. Gay bashing and clinic bombings became weekly occurrences, so common that the major networks started only bothering to cover incidents with multiple kills. Anything less than a pair of deaths never even made the national news. The Covenant funded and equipped the world’s first post-human strike force, codenamed RAINBOW Liberty, to protect their people. And to avenge them when necessary.
For anyone wanting to know what RAINBOW Liberty is/was within the context of Otherverse, there you go: a group of moon goddess-worshipping superheroes.
After this we're treated to a page-sized "sidebar" of Fields exalting the vast and glorious accomplishments of the Choicers, including huge, gaudy skyscrapers decorated with floating Wiccan iconography. Right next to corporate advertising and propaganda. In the hands of a smarter author I might almost say this was some sort of statement. And then some relevant info on the actual state of the US as it stands: Neither the Lifers or the Choicers really "won" the Abortion War, though the final terms of peace favoured the Choicers more.
They both have large, undefined-in-coverage territories within the US that are officially under the federal government's auspices, but practically govern themselves. A sidebar informs us that the Choicers also control a bunch of European territory, including London and, hur hur, the Greek isle of Lesbos.
The Choicer Nation posted:
Choicer America bears little resemblance to the mainline America which surrounds its borders, and the emotional, cultural and historical ties between the two countries fade a little bit more each year. The Choicer neighborhoods in American cities are strange, alien wonderlands, techno-pagan utopias proudly displaying a technology and culture deliberately different from both Lifer culture and pre-War America. Choicer America is another country, with its own faith and language, unique art and architecture, heroes, myths and celebrity dreams.
If you didn't know who Fields was backing as "the good guys" for this setting, you do now. Unlike other settings, like Eclipse Phase, where the whole genetic modification and cybernetics thing is suggested as being not-entirely-beneficial, and where the local luddites do have at least a bit of a point and some sympathetic traits, this game is all about playing a glorious Wiccan superman.
Somehow the Choicers have also become a "constitutional monarchy." So much for Liberal Paradise, I guess.
The Choicer Nation posted:
The Choicer command structure and the Covenant of the Goddess Universal have become inextricably linked, like two vines growing in the same garden. Over the decades, the secular aspect of the pro-choice movement was pushed aside (subverted, voted out, or simply lost by attrition) in favor of feminist paganism. While the Lifers referred to their war on abortion as a crusade, Choicer activists began a crusade of their own: a divinely mandated call to protect the lives and reproductive freedom of all women, in the name of the many goddesses the movement worshipped. By 2107, the Choicer pseudo-nation has become a matrilineal theocracy in all but name.
In fact, it sounds kind of like a horrible place to live. Fields regales us with a bunch of boring shit about how they vote in their "coven-steads" and then tells us that a man can never rule the Choicers because they've got a COUNCIL OF WITCHES that would never elect him.
There are also Choicer Lunar colonies. MOON WITCHES OF THE 22ND CENTURY.
Choicer Religion posted:
It was a Dianic Priestess,
Lady Sylvia Moondark
, who taught the Covenant the psionic technique known as ‘Geas of the Knot’, as a way to bind captured Lifers to nonviolence without further killing. Lady Moondark now serves as one of the most respected voices on the Woven Circle, instantly recognizable in that she refused to have her Obstetrix Nanonics cyberarm replaced after a Lifer sniper blew it apart.
LADY. SYLVIA. MOONDARK.
I really just quoted that to point that out. Jesus. There's also a mention of some nebulous "manhood rite" for male children, but no elaboration on it yet, so I can't tell you if it's horrifying or not.
Gardnerian Witches posted:
Many Gardnerian witches weep for the death of a medieval midwife as reverently as they would for the death of a modern loved one. With the Abortion War looming in the collective imagination as a modern example of an anti-pagan pogrom,
the Burning Times
seem all too close and real to the Gardnerians.
The phrase “Never Again” has become a watchword for Gardnerians
, and their politicians are noted hawks, constantly siding with allies among the Bastians and other hardliners each time a new military budget is brought before the Woven Circle.
NEVER AGAIN THE BURNING TIMES. Am I the only one starting to suspect that Fields is trolling us all and this is just a parody, a satire, so subtle that we're falling for it?
But yeah, the CHOICERS are basically defined by their wacky religious variants.
Dianic Riters are generic moderates, Gardnerians are RAR SHOOT BADGUYS, Stregas are WOMEN ONLY and the few men who're part of that either "live as women" or get genemodded into having vaginas, Bastians are RAR SHOOT BADGUYS but also worship a cat goddess.
Sidebar: A BROWN AMERICA, HISPANICS EVERYWHERE. Maybe this is a horror game for Republicans?
Starts out surprisingly mild on bad quotes. But basically all Choicers are CARING AND GENTLE AND TAKE RELATIONSHIPS SLOW AND ALL THEIR RELATIONSHIPS ARE DEEP AND MEANINGFUL AND THEY ALSO FUCK LIKE RABBITS ON BELTANE EVEN IF THEY'VE ONLY JUST MET. Beltane is one of those words that keep popping up but won't have any meaning for another ten or so pages.
Also pretty much all Choicers are on Bi-Shift genemods so they can bone everything that moves. Oddly enough the only ones who tend to hate it are Choicer homosexuals who see it as "eroding their culture," that and rebellious Choicer teenagers who rebel by being more conservative than their parents. Ha ha.
Choicer Family posted:
Choicer children are allowed to experiment sexually with their peers at an early age, with parents seeing it as their duty to provide contraceptive tech and educate their children about the responsibilities of sexuality, not prevent teen romances. American law, post-Treaty of Boston, reflects the Choicer sexual philosophy: the age of consent has been reduced to 15 federally, and the age of majority has been reduced to 16, nationwide.
Even though it says "teen romances," I just get a... vibe, that it's not quite what Fields was thinking of when he wrote "an early age." Especially as it comes right after a comment on Choicer toys and games. Maybe this is one of the points where Fields' editor stopped sobbing for long enough to grab Fields by the arm and explain that neither of them were going to survive prison.
Rituals of Birth and Blood: Choicer Medicine posted:
Choicer medicine, especially nano-cybernetics, genetic engineering and gynecological care, is the best on the planet.
Choicer doctors may use cutting edge surgical techniques and ultra-advanced technology, but are just as likely to embrace folk medicine, herbalism, magical healing (thanks to psi-based techniques called Object Philosophies, taught in every Choicer-ran medical school) and shamanistic and holistic medicine.
Nothing seems out of place to you there? Nothing? You sure? If a doctor is defined as BEST ON THE PLANET, I would fucking hope that he uses some shiny metal instruments and chemicals instead of goddamn herbalism and "folk medicine." Or maybe medical care on Otherverse Earth was just always a pile of ineffective shit.
Next is some more stuff glorifying Choicer education and blah blah you can be a NEO-WITCH SEEKER meaning you're an APPRENTICE WITCH or you can be a TECHNOPAGAN ORACLE which means you've been trained in a bunch of useless bullshit like reading the Tarot or interpreting dreams, which nonetheless results in a shitload of bonuses, free feats, etc.
God, has it really only been 15 more pages? I feel like I've been doing this for hours.
Of course there's Samhain/Halloween, Christmas is now YULE and all male children are given knives(which I guess is a bit metal?), Roe's day celebrates what I'm sure you can all guess, and there's Candlemas where Choicer women cut themselves and pour their blood on graves. If they're young they cut their hands, if they've just started menstruating they pour THAT blood all over the grave, and if they're older they cut up their breasts.
Then there's Beltane, at long last. Fields starts this one with FICTION!
The Beltane Rite posted:
Her name was Julie Riddle, and at seventeen she was either the older lover by a year, or else she was the younger by more than a decade. It all depended on how a lifetime’s measure was taken.
The girl didn’t mind, though. She had her own scars, everybody in their generation did. Unlike his, which were the abstract paintings of high velocity shrapnel, her scars were delicate traceries adorning her small, tight breasts and decorating her inner thighs like garters.
And tonight, Joey Mortari, all 123 pounds of gawky, gangly and scarred muscle, with his scraggly, half-grown goatee, was the God. Tonight, he was Odysseus, solver of riddles.
God and Goddess had found one another. They recognized each other by their scars.
Yes, maybe he can solve the Sphinx's riddle of VAGINA.
Okay so there's really no other way to describe Beltane except as a holiday where everyone fucks, including those barely into puberty, and of course with all the boning going down it's also where Hivelove sees a lot of work.
A sidebar informs us of the Apollo Psi-Field, a device you can pretty much easily buy and unpack in your living room. It projects a psionic interference zone which... makes everyone inside it bisexual. Goddammit, Fields. EDIT: On a closer read, it can also be programmed to make people only love dicks or only love vaginas.
Apollo Psi-Field posted:
Additionally, ritualized homosexuality, chosen as a symbol of gender solidarity and fellowship has become a growing practice among neopagans. Males enter an Apollo Field to reaffirm their own strength and masculinity, while females enter the same fields for a sense of community and shared experience.
I'm taking a break. 60 pages!
EDIT: Looks like I skimmed over Satyr Multi too fast in the last post, so here's what I missed!
Satyr Multi posted:
Combined with Otherskin body sculpting, more exotic mutations are possible, with gene-mod enthusiasts completely resculpting their genitals, taking inspiration from the animal kingdom, xenobiology and fetish fantasy.
Normally it just makes your dick bigger, but now it... brrrr. FIEEEEEEEEEELDS!
Choicer Culture (and Lifers too!)
Original SA post
Still Talking About Choicer Culture(And Lifers afterwards)
Alright, so that covered all of the holidays worth mentioning, the remaining couple are extremely boring and basically just PAGANS ARE VERY PAGAN AND MYSTICAL AND NICE OKAY.
So we move on to...
Choicer Sports and Celeb Culture
Fields starts off by telling us that the Choicers are STILL the best at everything, except now they're also the best at culture and memes!
Many Choicer films are based upon legends and incident reports from Stonecutter and Half-Grey star travelers. A handful of films include
distorted, highly fictionalized accounts of Phallus Space
and the Lifechain.
Now, the crazy thing isn't that Fields invented something called Phallus Space, it's the fact that they are
accounts of it, suggesting that, in the Otherverse setting, there's a REAL thing called Phallus Space and oh sweet God. If it's in this book I'm going to shoot myself, and Fields, the order is negotiable.
To credit the Choicers, though, they have invented a remarkably metal sport called "Orbital Sumo," as far as I can parse the description, two or three post-humans are attached to rockets in near Earth orbit, then they're all launched at Earth. The winner is the one who kicks the others' asses before they all hit the surface. I mean, that's... that's almost kinda cool.
And that's it! Now we get to talk about the Lifers! I can't wait to see how gruesomely they're going to be demonized.
Lifer Culture posted:
When you cross from the Choicer section of a city into the Lifer districts, you know it instantly. The holographic, animated nano-foil bumper stickers on the back of late model cars give it away. The battered minivans filled with overly fertile Lifer clans, and decorated with the silver fish and cross brand and Lifer sigil give it away.
As the streets roll by, you catch sight of Lifer Block Mothers wearing safety vests, with assault rifles slung over their shoulders, standing vigil on the corners to make sure the neighborhood’s children make it to school safely.
So apparently the Lifers are stuck living in a crossover between Somalia and Texas?
Statistics provided in a Fields Sidebar(tm) inform us that almost HALF of the fucking Lifer populace have a felony record, compared to barely a single-digit percentage of the Choicers. Somehow, however, despite the Choicers being Best At Everything, only the Lifers have major off-world colonies, particularly in Jovian orbit.
While the Choicers have several military factions, they're apparently super-enlightened and only the Lifer nation, despite being economically too fucked to even rebuild its own infrastructure satisfactorily, sponsors terrorism against their opponent.
We're also repeatedly reminded of the fact that these people are BAD EVIL MURDERERS and totally build their HQ's next to SITES OF MURDER.
Choicer Monuments posted:
The Lifer war dead are memorialized with a colossal black basalt cube, floating in slow revolution within a null gravity field. The memorial cube floats deep within a blast crater in the heart of old Boston, just a short walk from One Eagle Plaza. The Grave of Pro-life Heroes was constructed on the site of Commander Roe and Artemis’ final duel. The names of every Lifer soldier slain during the war, as well as an inscription memorializing the ‘murdered, unremembered unborn’ have been carved into the cube’s six sides. A memorial garden and plaza have been constructed around the Grave of Pro-life Heroes; day and night the Grave is a mecca for mournful Lifer veterans.
HEY CHECK IT OUT THE EVANGELICALS BUILT A GIANT BLACK CUBE. YOU COULD PERHAPS EVEN SAY IT IS THEIR "MECCA." WINK WINK WINK. Oh fuck you Fields. How dare you even try to act like this shit is even vaguely subtle? I don't exactly know what you're getting at but I know you're trying to make some incredibly retarded point and I want to smack you for it.
We are also reminded that HEY THE LIFERS ARE POORLY EDUCATED AND THEREFORE TOTALLY CORPORATE DRONES. It's also hard not to feel a bit of sympathy for the Lifer veterans, while the Choicer veterans are worshipped war heroes, the Lifer veterans are pretty much banned from doing anything, including exercising their free speech, or they risk getting locked up by the federal government for being "security threats."
I can't even be bothered to summarize all this, just cram every Christian extremist stereotype in here and you've got the Lifers. Oh and of course they're also TOTALLY hypocrites since they all get knocked up young and sneak over to Choicer abortion clinics to hide it.
Oh, wait, here we go, Fields decides we need to know what the most popular Lifer porn is:
Lifer Porn posted:
Pornography tailored at the Lifer market emphasizes conception (with the moment of fertilization invariably resulting in a screaming, joyous faked orgasm), exotic rendezvous between a Lifer man and his glowingly pregnant wife or mistress, and breast milk play.
He also decides to tell us about their joy of having children, and his two examples of Lifers getting knocked up are 60-year-olds and 12-year-olds.
Birth, Death and Everything In Between posted:
They dropped almost gently from the sky, pulling each other’s clothes off as they fell. The boy tore the crimson bandit’s mask away from the girl’s face and kissed her hard. A blood red scrap of spider-weave cloth with the word LIFE emblazoned on it in proud black letters flittered away into the cold and the darkness. The boy was on the bottom when they hit, and the impact with the snow covered, frozen graveyard earth almost knocked the wind out of him. The boy grunted. The heat of their forceshields melted the snow to vapor with a low, serpent’s hiss, and the night air shimmered with unexpected warmth.
The girl straddled the boy, who paused in his passion for just a moment and looked around. A graveyard at night, and here they were, going to fill quiver in the marble shadow of a Grave of the Unborn. He shrugged, and laughed, his breath steaming in the air. She laughed with him, whispering incoherent passion, telling him how much she wanted this, wanted him, wanted a baby with him, wanted to make a life….
SURPRISE, FUCKERS: CHRIS FIELDS WROTE YOU SOME PORN, HOPE YOU ENJOY IT. And you know what? I'm going to QUOTE. ALL. OF. IT. I SUFFER, YOU SUFFER. WE ALL SUFFER FOR ICE FIELDS! I MEAN, CHRIS CREAMS HIMSELF WHEN WRITING ABOUT KIDS FUCKING. I MEAN, HERE YOU GO:
CHRIS FIELDS, FUCKERSSSSS posted:
He heard and understood it all, knowing the words were as expected and necessary as his own babble was. He replied that he wanted her, had wanted her since he saw her at the Christmas Rescue last month, that he’d die along side her if need be, that he’d die to protect their baby….. It was all true and passion-filled, but it was also all rote and instinct, things they said without a moment’s thought as their hands undressed each other and their lips kissed.
He pulled her armored black and white tunic over her head. The shirt had a picture of a bloody human fetus that moved and squirmed in real time thanks to nanoactive filaments embedded in the armor’s weave, and bore the message: “160 American babies are murdered every hour.” Neither of them saw it. The boy was looking at her powerful arms, beautiful sculptures of granite and chrome, which blended seamlessly with her soft brown teenager’s torso. Her arms, her legs, those were inhuman, but he was pleasantly to see that her breasts were still human. He goggled, and she laughed that she kept her breasts unmodified so she could nurse. Her anticipation, not just of the sex, but what came after was a physical presence.
His shirt was simpler, just armored cotton, a purple so dark it was nearly black, and the bold white letters: Abortion is Homicide. She didn’t read the message consciously, as she pulled his shirt off. Beneath, the boy’s sleek young chest was covered in the thin tracery of subdermal fiber-optic conduits. The power-channels glowed a faint yellowish-orange beneath his pale skin, and cast strange shadows here in this still and quiet graveyard. She runs a metal finger across one of the suit-interface ports on his upper shoulder, just above the clavicle, and asks him what he pilots.
He answers proudly, but the answer doesn’t matter. That he’s a combat pilot in the A.O.G- that he’s a committed rescuer- that he’s Full Pro-Life, and so is she, that’s all that matters. She kisses him hard and all further conversation ends. The only noises from that still and silent cemetery become involuntary ones. They lay together in the snow, and their forcefields keep them warm. And in a few minutes, new life begins.
Reinforcements are on their way.
Ha ha, you read all of that.
Then Fields tells us a bit about how Lifer powereds/metahumans tend to look really horrifying because they're obsessed with death. And by horrifying I mean awesome, skulls and bones and shit! Hell yeah, like metal album covers! And apparently no Lifers ever mind seeing these weirdos on the street because LIFERS LOVE MURDER. LIFERS ARE OBSESSED WITH DEATH. DO YOU GET THAT THESE GUYS ARE THE VILLAINS YET?
Living Witness: You survived an attempt to abort you, you can totally fuck with people by pointing out whatever gross scars or deformities this gave you.
What Gives Lifers Boners? posted:
This obsession with death has shaped the other main sexual drive of the Lifer nation, a distorted reflection of the pregnancy fetish shared by most members. Partially out of genuine desire, but mostly to shock their parents, many young Lifers have developed a taste for necrophilia and death play- mostly simulated through CGI porn, cosmetic cybernetics and object philosophies that allow enthusiasts to mimic death. Occasionally, true necrophiliac rituals are performed as a final farewell between battlefield comrades, a taboo and private funeral ritual in a society already overburdened with secrets and operational security.
Bones, of course posted:
For others, the Abortion War itself has been fetishized: the killing of attractive young abortion providers for sexual thrill, not just political reasons. After action reports and helmet cam footage from War-era execution details are heavily traded on Mesh servers, lovingly examined for every detail of the death struggles of Choicer gyno-priestesses. Despite the Lifer high command’s best efforts to stamp it out, this dark fetish continues, a secret within a nation built on secrets, compartmentalized information and plausible denial.
Lifer Style, Culture and Entertainment
WHY WON'T YOU STOP, FIELDS posted:
Tearful visits to a Fed-Gov death row, to say goodbye to a lover and committed fellow rescuer, are a stock element of Lifer love stories. The fantasy of paying off some Choicer prison guard for a first, last and only sexual encounter with a doomed beloved is just as common. The only time premarital sex is shown on screen (or seen as acceptable by the hardliner culture) is at the death chamber door. For the Lifers, still reeling from their defeat at Boston, even something as simple and natural as romance is tainted by tragedy.
First few paragraphs: Lifers dig Jazz, Blues and hacking the gibson. I mean, spreading meme-tastic propaganda on the internet with viruses. They also sound like they're pretty competent at writing horror movies. Also they're... really good with plants...? Stereotypically shouldn't that be left to the nature-worshipping Choicers? Or are they so neck-deep in their Mother Goddess' uterus that they can't see the rest of the natural world?
Oh wait the Lifers mostly dig it because they can make PLANT POISONS. Sorry that I doubted you, Fields, I thought you were going to let the Lifers have a single, undisturbing hobby.
Sidebar on movies: Lifers love horror, Choicers love movies where their main character is a woman who WITTILY seduces Lifer guys away from their wives/fiancees and converts them to worshipping THE MAIDEN ISIS.
Sundays are now days where both sides throw their singles at each other hoping they'll bone and/or become friends. This stems from sundays weirdly enough always being days-of-no-shooting during the Abortion War. I could kind of see this for the Lifers, but why would the Choicers ever bother with this? Sunday means jack shit to their Pagan bullshit.
Wait, I see another headline approaching it's... oh shit...
The Meta-Porn Industry
So apparently humanity's first reaction when meeting an alien species, the Grays and half-Grays, was to see if they could be recruited for the porno industry. I... want to blame Fields for this one, but somehow I can see this one happening, definitely.
Everyone's jerkin' it to mutants posted:
As Hollywood’s influence waned, California’s metahuman adult entertainment studios grew. By contrast non-meta porn is no longer a big business. At best, it’s a cottage industry or a profitable hobby. Non-meta porn is purely amateur- aside from supporting roles in meta-porn videos, the major studios have completely abandoned pure-human stars. Small Mesh-sites, cult followings and niche markets are the name of the game.
Starting occupation: Porn Blogger.
The age requirement is not 18+, as would be expected for a present-day adult entertainer, because the age of consent has been lowered to fifteen nation-wide, and has been so since the Battle of Boston. Older teen pornography is legal, though subject to heavy federal oversight and carefully monitored working conditions.
Note that this shit is a lie. Fields later on explicitly states that in plenty of places, the Age of Consent is 13. You creepy asshole, Fields.
The next headline is called "Sexual Abuse and Assault" and is, from a quick skim, about a girl who's been raped. Several pages of it. I don't trust Fields not do write this in a brain-scarring way, so I'm putting down the .PDF for now.
86 pages down! Only... only way too many to go.
An Ocean of Slime
Original SA post
This time Fields is writing about rape. More than usual, I mean.
Man, I haven't even looked at this fiction yet, so I have no clue how bad it's going to be. TIME TO DIP MY TOES IN THE OCEAN OF SLIME.
Sexual Abuse and Assault
Our main character is a CHOICER KID whose mother was killed by LIFER TERRORISTS and now the LIFERS won't treat her right! Because for some reason she got adopted by Lifers instead of Choicers.
She's thinking about computers, on a hospital bed, while a half-gray medic is using a NANO RAPE KIT to check her. She wishes her brain would crash and take her out of her misery because, well, she's been raped and that's not a nice situation to be in.
“Durbin was a pedophile, Cassie Andra. He was also an associate member of the Nightside Mesh Ring. His access to children without families….”
“He made mesh porn. I get it. I know.”
“Before coming to San Francisco, he lived in the Lexington Enclave. There was a death warrant out him. The Lifers had found out what he was, so he made up a new identity and hid in the one place he knew the Lifers would never find him, among the only culture he knew wouldn’t even know about the death warrant. Took a new name, became an upstanding Choicer citizen.”
So apparently the Choicers distrust the Lifers so much that they won't even take out a known child molester if the Lifers tell them about him? Context: Durbin was the foster father Cassie(the rape victim) was with and, obviously, the one who raped her.
Then the alien tells Cassie that she murdered her rapist with an energy weapon.
Realistic Writing posted:
Cassie almost smiled, suddenly forgetting what had happened to her.
I'm not a psychologist but I don't think the death of your rapist makes the memories or trauma go away. A couple of moments ago Cassie was a shaking wreck essentially wishing that she would die or go catatonic, but now she's wiping away the tears and totally alright.
So, you know, there we go. Not as horrific as I had EXPECTED, I had kind of expected some horrifying rundown of the actual rape scenario from Chris "Always A Fuckhole" Fields, but instead we just get what amounts to a failure to understand human psychology.
Hm, so the fiction ends and... oh wait, there's more text, but without a new headline. Fuck, I guess this is an actual CHAPTER about rape, then, not just a Fields Sidebar(tm) about it.
Chris Fields! posted:
As much as human culture has changed, humanity itself hasn’t fundamentally changed. Humans of the 22nd Century are still subject to the same compulsions, lusts and rages that plagued earlier humans, and sometimes commit the same atrocities as earlier generations.
Rape, exploitation and child abuse still occur, and still leave scars, perhaps even more often
in the 22nd Century than in the century previous,
So there's more rape than we're used to. That's a great start.
I can't even summarize this shit, have some quotes posted:
Especially during the height of the War, America’s police forces had little time and few resources to expend investigating sex crimes and child abuse cases. Faced with a choice between tracking down human sexual predators or dealing with metahuman terrorists capable of annihilating entire cities, American law enforcement chose to pursue the more obvious threat. Most of the sexual offender databases, victim advocacy initiatives and psycho-forensic knowledge of the previous century was simply lost during the War-era. American law enforcement was only able to begin recovering its lost expertise after the Treaty of Boston was signed,
Because there's only one police agency and force, and it's the same one that deals with heavily armed, dangerous sociopaths and sex offenders. It's not like there are heavily armed tactical groups for engaging the former and investigators for tracking down the latter.
Prepare for more demonizing of Lifers posted:
Sexual predators and other serial predators gained a freedom of movement unmatched since the pre-VICAP days of the early 1980s. A serial rapist or child molester could evade detection for months, even years, simply by hop-scotching between various Lifer and Choicer jurisdictions, confident that the rival police forces won’t (or can’t) share data with each other and connect his crimes.
Both nations share virtually identical rates of ‘known-offender’ sexual crimes, such as incest, date rape and other crimes, despite the statements of pundits on both sides. How the two cultures deal with the offense is strikingly different however...
To summarize. Choicers: WE HAVE COURTS AND FOLLOW THE LAW. Lifers: YEEHAW GIRLS LET'S HAVE US A LYNCHIN' OUT BY THE LAMP POST.
Many Lifer children, and even some Lifer adults, lack even the basic sexual anatomical knowledge to give a coherent statement to an investigator. Likewise, with their lack of basic gynecological knowledge, Lifer detectives are often forced to rely on a Neo-Witch Midwife to collect evidence after a rape. Many Lifer victims never report a rape to the police out of fear of being touched by a Choicer abortion provider/ gynecologist. Knowing this, many of North America’s worst sex offenders risk stalking the Enclaves, knowing if they’re careful they can get away with things they never could in the outside world.
Lifers: Smart enough to genetically engineer dangerous meta-human weapons, too stupid to know what vaginas and sex are.
At least the approach to the victims paints both sides as assholes. Lifers have a bit of a "blame the victim" thing going on, but it's described as only an "undercurrent," now, rather than actually letting anyone escape punishment because "she dressed like a slut and was asking for it."
Choicers, on the other hand, are hilariously, aggressively Liberal about it. It's all about rehabilitating the offender and the victims are
expected to eventually forgive him
. Apparently it's considered socially unacceptable to want to beat the guy who raped you to a pulp. HOWEVER, it's totally acceptable for the Bastians to generally have the violent opinion that Christianity and the Lifers related to it need to be annihilated for the good of all humanity.
Sidebar on psionics: Chris "A Horrible Person" Fields informs us that there is such a thing as "psionic rape."
Crossline Abuse and Predator Alleles
Crossline Abuse: Morons who run into the opposite pseudo-nation's territory to get their rape and general crime on. Usually ends in someone dying.
Predator Alleles: Turns out some people are genetically predisposed to being rapists and child molesters. Genetic testing started being used to keep people out of neighbourhoods or as an excuse for aborting children. Good news, though, it's no longer allowed to discriminate! Except people do it anyway, and "Predator positive" children are placed in special classes where they're only surrounded by "their own kind" and can be taught not to be sociopaths.
Predator Positive posted:
The presence of the predator gene is represented by the Preferential Hunter feat. Selecting this feat means the character displays a genetic predisposition for violence, especially sexual violence. Though the feat provides the predatorpositive character with some advantages in hunting his or her preferred prey, it carries with it a major social stigma.
Man, I can't even... let me just quote the full fluff text of this feat.
Preferential Hunter posted:
Preferential Hunter (General)
Human beings have only one natural predator: other human beings who find sexual arousal in violence. These fearsome, sociopathic hunters have thoughts dominated by fantasies of extreme sexual violence and strange obsessions. The closer a victim’s death sequence comes to the hunter’s fantasy, the better.
Benefit: You are a potential serial killer, sadist and lust murderer who targets a specific type of victim, who fits your fetish perfectly. When this feat is chosen, you define a favorite victim type, by defining six demographic categories: species, gender, race/ethnic group, political affiliation, age category and basic class membership. (For example, your preferred target may be a white human male Choicer, in the young adult age category, with at least one Tough class level). The closer your target comes to your ideal victim, the more effective you are in hunting that victim-to-be.
So you pick someone you like to rape, and the closer someone is to your ideal rape victim, the more bonuses you get to killing-and/or-abusing them.
Well done, Chris Fields, you've turned "rapist" into a fucking character class/concept.
Pedophilia and Child Pornography
So, like rapists, pedophiles are largely genetically wired to be such, and usually this can be de-wired by using Bi-Shift or HetroNorm to wire them into just wanting to bone adult humans of one or more genders. But not all get spotted, and sometimes more than genetics can trigger it. Again we're told that because of all the other horrible things teachers and etc. have to watch out for, it's generally missed when someone wants to touch kids.
With these horrors come scars. Many of the Metahumans (on both sides) made their choice to go post-human as a response to the pain in their past. The majority of full conversion cyborgs come from a background of sexual abuse, as do many lessaugmented cyborgs and combat types.
Nationwide, both the voting age and age of sexual consent have been reduced to 16.
Among the Covenant, the age of sexual consent is slightly lower- usually around 13 to 15
, depending on the individual sect and the maturity of the child involved. Covenant teenagers are only allowed to participate in sexual rites (as well as mundane sex and romance) after a public rite, welcoming the child into adulthood and maturity.
That's part of a bit about how THE DEFINITION OF PEDOPHILIA IS DIFFERENT BECAUSE IT'S LEGAL TO FUCK YOUNGER KIDS NOW, but I just wanted to point out that the Choicers are totally cool with 13-year-olds getting dicked. FIIIIIIIELDS!
As expected, the Lifer nation criticizes the practice as institutionalized pedophilia disguised as non-Christian religion. However, strong societal pressure among the Covenant protects children from obvious exploitations.
Teen lovers enjoying each other’s bodies, or a group of young friends celebrating the carnal Beltane rite together is acceptable
, but for adults to prey on inexperienced teenagers as easily controllable sex partner is another.
Oh, wait, let's just expand that to barely-into-puberty
. Next up, child porn! No, I'm not kidding. Fields tells us how now most child porn is animated and therefore completely legal, fair enough, but then manages to make it really creepy anyway. See, they take brain scans of children, and use those brain scans to guide the behavior of animated-porn/porn-simulation children. So it's like you're fucking an AI with the brains and personality of a kid. Yeah, that's totally not FUCKING UNSETTLING. FIEEEEELDS!
Yet another fluff sidebar about how all cyborgs were sexually abused as kids, apparently 60% of them got raped or molested and that's why they chose to have guns for hands.
Full-Conversion Cyborg is talked about as a species, it's not that weird except for bringing up the fucking molestation past AGAIN AND FUCKING AGAIN, every couple of lines. But then it takes a wild side-swerve into Fields' unsettling mentality.
Obviously, FCBs cannot select any class with an emphasis on sexuality, including many of Black Tokyo’s advanced classes.
FIELDS: IF THAT WASN'T ENOUGH RAPE FOR YOU, CHECK OUT THESE ADVANCED CLASSES FOR TWICE THE SEX ABUSE!
This is where Fields tells us what really creeps out people in the 22nd century. Guess what: It's really creepy, and it creeps me out here in the 21st century, too.
Chris "Making Me Cry" Fields posted:
Since sex has been almost completely divorced from reproduction, a new controversy is slowly replacing abortion as the divisive sexual issue of the 22nd Century. Parent-child incest remains universally taboo, but
sibling-incest is a growing fad among 2107’s teens. Sibling lovers have become stock characters on Mesh dramas and sitcoms, while many young Powereds seek out their own genetically superior siblings as sexual partners.
The rationales for this behavior range from a belief in Powered superiority and a deep revulsion at the idea of sex with a normal, unmodified human, to an unspoken longing for the companionship of your peers, to a desire to breed a genetically superior child.
The Lifer nation is deeply revolted by the idea of Powered sibling incest, and as expected, with incest as a whole. Though the metahuman children produced by controlled inbreeding are some of the most impressive Powereds of the generation, accepting this practice would mean mutating the basically Christian Lifer ethos into something completely unrecognizable. It’s a step the Lifers are not willing to take… yet.
Lifers: Actually the sensible ones for once!
Choicers: Grudgingly accept the creepy sister-fucking, except in the case of the Bastians who are all FUCK YEAH LET'S FUCK OUR SIBLINGS TO SHOCK THE CHRISTIAN MUNDANES. And a few sane Choicers who tell people that it's creepy as hell.
Brace yourselves for this one.
Catminding is a form of voluntary mental bondage, which allows practitioners to partition their conscious mind, creating a hedonistic, seductive sub-mind. Catminders can turn off their higher cognitive functions at will, while leaving their emotions and core personality untouched. The practice of catminding takes its name from the original practitioners of the object philosophy; cosplayers and furry enthusiasts, who developed the technique to briefly become submissive, seductive, subsentient lovers for dominant partners. While catminding, the subject operates on childlike emotion and animal instinct, and is often easily controlled by his of her chosen ‘masters’
Catminding is a widely popular form of voluntary mental bondage; 22nd century enthusiasts enter a cat-mind state prior to a rendezvous to completely change their perception of the experience. Cat-minded performers have become superstars in a variety of near future art forms. Some catmind enthusiasts enjoy watching a practitioner enter the cat-mind trance, and will converse with the subject as her human intellect melts away.
However, inexperienced catminders can submerge their intellect to the point they become truly animalistic or even lapse into a healing coma, a state that can last several days. A handful of solitary catminders have died after pushing the technique too far: dying of thirst while in a healing coma after a failed session. Like most bondage techniques, the Catminding object philosophy is not considered safe for solo play.
And then we get some stuff about fashion. That's good, that's nice. Yes Fields, let us talk about CLOTHES. Clothes that aren't creepy fetishes or fuck their siblings. Yes, this is a good thing. Turns out that in the 22nd century pretty much all clothes are made out of super-spider silk, farmed by robots in giant spider-farms, and resultingly everyone kind of likes spiders, they're seen as farm animals, not as horrific predators. That's kind of awesome, that's the kind of little cultural detail that's INTERESTING and TASTEFUL and feels warranted.
Spider-farming hobbyist: Best starting occupation or BEST starting occupation? You decide. This is actually the sort of little detail I'd be tempted to plunder for any sci-fi thing I ever run or design on my own.
This entire section is a whiplash-rapid shift away from the whole sexuality thing, addressing points like how, with everyone still in a war frame of mind, and with craploads of military surplus lying around, lots of people have spare body armor in the trunk of their car, and most civilian fabrics are designed to double as very light body armor to absorb low-velocity shrapnel.
A Fields Sidebar actually addresses something interesting for once, as it tells us about what the average 22nd Century person is likely to have in their pockets or can be reasonably expect to have on them at any given time. What electronic devices, what personal protection devices(superlight gas masks and antidotes for very common bio-weapons).
Afterwards: The whole war thing has meant that having unscarred skin doesn't mark you as beautiful, it marks you as cowardly or lazy, someone who hasn't gotten involved in the hard work of defending your pseudo-nation. Battle scars and cybernetic prostheses are seen as cool things now(though Full Conversion Cyborgs still weird most people out).
Then there's a shitload of equipment stuff, and I'm going to trawl that for misery later. 102 out of 256 pages, and for once we end on a high note!
Magic Nano-Pants Out Of Fucking Nowhere
Original SA post
Alright, we're now entering unknown territory. I've only taken a few peeks past this point, and while I know there are some
landmarks, I don't know much about the morass of mediocre misery that Chris Fields has planted between them.
This starts off with a bit about Choicer fashions, just so as to not break from the usual tone of things, they're glorified in that even their war gear was "beautiful." Then we get this addition:
Choicer defense contractors (even nonpagan armament companies tailoring their products to their client) incorporate protective spells and defensive runes woven into the fabric, often on a molecular level.
This is literally the first mention of magic so far, despite being 2/3rds of the way into the document that's supposed to outline the world and the basic knowledge and rules needed to play in it.
Doesn't that ruin the point? posted:
Though a relentlessly high-tech culture, the Choicer Covenant intentionally incorporates primitive and handcrafted elements into their clothing. Weaving and handcrafts are common hobbies in Choicer America, and many homes include an
loom or fabrication machine. Handcrafted wooden prayer beads, stone fetishes and modern interpretations of ancient metal holy symbols are all common.
Can you really pretend your goofy-ass, home-made knick-knacks are "hand-made" when you've had a fucking AI holding your hand while you made them? That's like claiming that Twinkies are hand-made because someone used their hands to program the machines that made them. I dunno. I guess CHRIS FIELDS explains this one.
The Norse pantheon also gets dragged into this as we're told that the neo-Pagan who have "Asatru" worship patterns like to swing around warhammers because they're giant, retarded stereotypes.
Bleeding By Choice
The Choicer nation embraces menstruation as a potent symbol of womanhood. Though the medical-technology to eliminate menstruation completely has existed for nearly a century, there is an unspoken expectation that not only will Choicer women accept their monthly flows, but also glory in it. Choicer martial arts and object philosophies teach students to embrace menstruation as a time of power and vitality. The Choicer black ops community plans its missions around their blood cycles;
Bastian assassins go to battle when they are bleeding, because that is when they are at their strongest.
Welcome to "Chris Fields Has Never Spoken To A Woman," because I literally do not know a single woman who would not get rid of her period if she could do so without any adverse affects or surgical intervention. An entire SOCIETY that refuses to get rid of it just seems completely implausible. Oh, and the italicized bit up there? Just... just wait, he's not kidding.
This is relevant to this short equipment section because of what comes next: Decision Red. A drug that makes you menstruate.
Moonwise-trained soldiers use the chemical to induce empowering menstrual flows before a mission.
We are reminded that LIFERS LOVE DEATH. And they like to wear chains and padlocks. The following description of their outfit seems like some sort of goth-punk thing with excessive crosses. Lifers also CANNOT UNDERSTAND BEAUTY or some such, we're told that the concept is "strange" to them, but this statement is never really qualified.
However, across the breadth of Lifer culture, pregnant women are held as the epitome of female beauty; Lifer culture teaches its women that they are never more beautiful than when they’re swollen with child. Women’s fashion is designed to emphasize the curve of belly and breasts, and even relatively modest groups within the subculture might bear a glimpse of cleavage. Lifer girls bind and pad their clothes to give themselves a lusher, more voluptuous figure.
So basically the Lifers like women with big tits and hips. Wow, what completely abhorrent subhumans. How can we ever hope to understand them?????
More on the fashion, even your clothes now stereotype you. You buy "demographic clothes," suited to your income group, age and ethnicity, and they sort of function like a less-cool still-suit, harvesting nutrients and trace stuff from your sweat and similar, and feeding what's still useful back to you. I guess all older black men, or middle-aged Hispanic women, have exactly the same metabolisms.
There are also clothes that look different to different ages of people, because I guess everyone who's 50 has eyes of exactly the same physical condition and state of deterioration.
An Agemask gown can go transparent when viewed by adults, giving them a clear view of the nude form beneath the gown, but appear solid and modest to younger eyes.
Of course Fields' suggested use is fetishistic.
Charmweave clothes basically hypnotize everyone who looks at it into being more susceptible to whatever social advances you make, and somehow this isn't completely and hideously illegal. The Eros Shield, oh boy, the
fucking Eros Shield
basically makes whoever's fighting someone with Eros Shield gear so desperate to FUCK that they can't aim straight. I swear to God, Fields, I will END YOU.
FIELDS FICTION INTERRUPT
The chapter ends abruptly and dumps us headfirst into Fields Fiction territory. I snap on my goggles and grab my helmet from the rack as I prepare for literary shrapnel to pepper my soft brainmeats.
What we get is purpose prose about some kids looking at an abortion clinic after playing with toys, and being OH MY GOSH SO AWESOMEEEEEE over some Choicers in power armor. Then some Lifer metahumans are all "OH YEAH TIME TO RUMBLE" and jump out of the sky and then RUMBLING ENSUES. While the Choicer soldiers are TOTALLY PROFESSIONALS AND JUST LIKE PEOPLE the Lifers are HORRIBLE MONSTERS ENGRAVED WITH PICTURES OF ABORTED FETUSES. No, I'm not kidding, they are.
Oh nooooooo a couple of kids are ALMOST KILLED but it's okay because CHOICER SCIENCE SAVES THEM and they become SUPERHEROES and KILL BAD LIFERS.
And apparently there is, seriously, a Lifer terrorist called "Ghost of Babies Past" and whenever the current one dies, a new one assumes the name and the crazy. Jesus.
To summarize the intro paragraph: if you think really hard and believe you're a superhero? You can totally do superhero things. Really! You can even do the crazy shit that metahumans can do just by thinking like them!
Which puts into question why we need the fucking cybernetics and genetic engineering.
Wait actually they're even better, people who practice Object Philosophies can change the weather and resurrect the dead. This beats being able to fire 2d6-damage energy bolts from your hands.
Alright, so this is basically a chapter on how to become a brain wizard. Most of these are kinda boring, blah blah you can be a HIGH CLERIC or a ZEALOT or blah blah, so let's just skip to the HILARIOUS ones- and then the chapter ends, right there, with only like two or three of these things. There are more, but they're scattered throughout the book, both far after this section and at least a couple well before it. FICTION INTERRUPT.
Again, not a very interesting one, just a soldier's train-of-thought as a bunch of Lifers go all HOO-AH, DIE YOU FUCKIN' SICKOS and gun him down with their flying power-armor.
A couple of Choicer feats. Rich parents, Universal Witch- and then a schizophrenic jump-cut right into a paragraph about implementing classes from other supplements. If any of this jumping around seems bizarre to you guys reading this, trust me, it isn't any more logically arranged to me. I'm providing this in the order it arrives and with as many of the headlines as I can, but often there just aren't any warnings when Fields decides to whiplash into something else.
At least this time it's kind of funny as he mentions that we can use some Black Tokyo stuff.
The Flow Witch Advanced Class (from Black Tokyo)
The Flow Witch is a modern magic advanced class from the sexually explicit Black Tokyo campaign setting. The Flow Witch uses her own magically active menstrual blood and bodily fluids to transform, mutate and empower her supplicants and to curse her enemies. The class’ strong feminist slant and bizarre, menstruation focused abilities give the Flow Witch a natural place within the Covenant.
And then after a couple of other examples, which are really generic like "SWORDY GUY CLASS FROM THIS SUPPLEMENT THAT HAS SWORDS," we go back to feats. If I remember right, we're about to hit one of the landmarks I mentioned earlier.
Chivalrous Defender: White Knight, the combat feat(you can add defense bonuses to nearby women, but only women). Feminist Gun: SUPERIOR FEMININE SHOOTING KNOWLEDGE(an attack boost that ONLY women can take, and which only benefits her when shooting at men). And some stuff about being a Martial Arts Witch.
Next a list of Choicer OBJECT PHILOSOPHIES. Commanding animals, using the weather, getting stat bonuses for how many children you have, shooting killer robots from your face(wait what? I thought these were all PSYCHIC. how in the what?). Ah! And
. This is the one I'd seen before, let me QUOTE.
Cyclic Ferocity (Object Philosophy)
The flow of your monthly blood brings you incredible strength and courage, allowing you to call on the ancestral memory of a thousand generations of female warriors.
“Bleeding in”- learning this feat- is one of the most important benchmarks in a woman’s training as a member of a member of a Choicer special ops unit. The fact that males can never learn this unique combat-rite has become a rallying cry for proponents of an exclusively female Choicer spec-ops community.
This is almost aggressively misogynistic. It's also part of an Object Philosophy chain of abilities that further enhance your MENSTRUAL RAGE by making it last for as long as you're pregnant or nursing a child.
MOON CRAFTER, you can make magical objects by smearing your menstrual blood on them. Oh and you can also smear it on people to heal them psionically. I think I'd rather die from my injuries than have someone dab their menstrual blood on my face.
Moonwise is the prereq for most of this, and it basically means that an ELDER PRIESTESS tattoo'd up your vagina when you first started bleeding, and this somehow makes you almost-psionic. YET MORE MENTIONS OF SMEARING WOUNDED PEOPLE WITH YOUR CUNT BLOOD TO PATCH THEM UP, BY THE WAY. KNOCK THIS OFF FIELDS. I swear to God there's like a fucking dozen of these things.
UTERINE NANO-ARMOR, WHEN YOUR CUNT BLEEDS A "SYMBIOTIC NANOVIRUS" THAT'S HANGING OUT IN YOUR VAGINA ARMORS YOUR ENTIRE FUCKING BODY.
Okay thank God we got to the end of that. Now there are a couple of Advanced Choicer Classes which are basically either YOU DEFEND THE WITCHES(bonuses for defending witches, being a White Knight from beyond the grave) or YOU ARE THE WITCHES(bonuses to healing women, FEMINIST PRIDE!).
A rundown of some FAMOUS CHOICER MILITARY UNITS mostly detailing how awesome they are and with a bit of fluff about how the Lifers totally love snuff porn and are awful people that way. By this point these minor twinges of bullshit don't even register as they pass through my brain.
A sidebar informs us that if we purchase the APEX sourcebook we'll finally find out what all the rest of the American philosophies and religions think of this. I can only assume that Buddhists and Islamists alike look at all this bullshit going on and want to kill everyone for being so blitheringly stupid. Either that or Fields is going to make hideous stereotypes of them, too! Five bucks says the Buddhists are totally buddies with the Choicers and the Muslims are EVIL LIFER BADGUYS.
WHIPLASH BACK TO GEAR.
Choicer rifles, Choicer inhumane warcrime weapons(a bomb that rewrites people's minds, intending to erase Lifer sympathies/allegiances). Guns guns guns guns guns armor. This is incredibly boring and frankly none of it's worth reading unless you intend to actually PLAY this game or get a stiffy from numbers. There are power armors, there are laser guns, that is it.
Back to the Lifers
We start with some quick fiction where a pregnant Lifer soldier somehow talks a 20'-foot alien battle-cyborg into joining them, just because she shows off her pregnancy and goes: "YO STAR LADY I KNEW YOU ONCE HAD AN ABORTION. SUCKED DIDN'T IT. YOU SHOULD TOTALLY JOIN US AND HELP KILL THESE ABORTION GUYS." and the alien goes: "OH OKAY YEAH THAT'S COOL LITTLE MORTAL LADY."
Sidebar reminds us that LIFERS BLACK, DEAD, NO NICE THINGS. CHOICERS WARM, PLEASANT, PLANTS. CHOICERS GOOD.
More fiction about ALIEN BATTLE GODDESS whom the Lifers are now brainwashing to be their super weapon.
Then back to LIFER OBJECT PHILOSOPHIES. You can REJECT EVOLUTION so hard that anything with abnormal physiology(lifechain, psionic, metahuman) takes extra damage from you depending on how much religion and philosophy you know. A bunch of generic psionic powers which are less DRUID-THEMED like the Choicers' and more MURDER 'EM ALL AND MAKE THEM GO CRAZY FROM TERROR. An OP specifically for knocking down force barriers defending abortion clinics. You can turn into a BATTLE GHOST that sets people on fire by walking through them. And you can resurrect the fucking dead.
You can also resurrect dead fetuses as sentient creatures who become anti-abortion speakers. No, I'm not fucking kidding you. The Lifers can resurrect the fucking dead and this is what they use the ability for. They also instantly grow up to look like they would've if they'd actually been born and been allowed to reach somewhere around young-adulthood, though you can also choose to leave them as zombie children when creating them.
Back to the Object Philosophies, you can also generate a jamming field that shuts down high-tech stuff(usually of the level used by Choicers). You can become a holy combat medic, speak languages or create a fucking Nightmare Aura wherein which your knowledge of philosophy translates to spellcasting ability. Raise zombies! Turn people invisible! Explode doors!
Oh, yes, and if you're pregnant you can turn your fetus into a familiar that grants you some minor advantages, while in turn indoctrinating the yet-unborn child with your philosophy. It also comes with a special advantage that you'll probably really want if you have Fields for a GM.
Sheltered Womb, Object Philosophy posted:
Special: You, your sheltered womb and the fetus within cannot be harmed or manipulated by any of the violent, hentai inspired feats found in the Black Tokyo campaign setting, such as Black Fatherhood or Wombscrape.
Thank fuck, I guess?
Oh and you also get to fucking FLY.
Fuck you Choicers, the Lifers totally get the best crazy mind powers.
Brief bit of fiction afterwards where a Lifer wielding like half of these powers at once goes intangible and murders a bunch of APEX(unaligned America police force) soldiers, but has trouble fighting their super-armoured metahuman backup. So she turns her rifle intangible with her, swings it through his head... and then lets go of it while it fills the same space as is brain, brutally and instantly murdering his shit quite dead.
Were we supposed to sympathize with the Choicers again? I think we were supposed to. I just can't bring myself to, though, the Lifers are way cooler.
205 pages down! Only another 51 to go! Home stretch!
The Final Stretch
Original SA post
The Final Stretch
Whew, almost done. And thankfully most of the remaining stuff isn't too bad, though there are 100-something "adventure seeds" which cap off the book, I haven't checked those out yet.
Anyway, the thing we stopped at the threshold of last time was...
Lifer Advanced Classes
Remember what the Choicers got? WITCH DEFENDER, BE A WITCH and a recommendation that you stole CUNTOMANCERS from Black Tokyo. Lifers get it a lot better. They've got two, the Closer and the Vindicator, the latter of which already gets points for the name.
The Closer's pretty rad, though. Basically the Lifers harvested a lot of tech from the Cyborg Star Queen that they hooked up with, and some of it they can use to turn you into an evolving cyborg, meaning that a couple of levels into this class you sprout railguns that generate their own ammo and are wired into your nervous system. You also start getting heavily armoured, grow flamethrowers, turning into size Large and, for your final class trick, can pack yourself into human form again for hours equal to your CON modifier.
This also hides all your mods from scanners and shit, even cybernetic boosts unrelated to the Closer class. The options for shenanigans here are obvious.
Meanwhile, the Vindicator remains human, but instead becomes a Katana Vampire Cleric. You get supergood with blades(you can learn to phase them through enemy armor and into enemy organs, or use the phasing to perform really sensitive surgery on allies), you can heal friends by injuring enemies(storing up a life pool with no upper cap that you can transfer to friends or yourself simply by touching someone) and as your final ability you can resurrect a friend whenever you've killed an enemy, as long as both happen within relatively short time periods of each other and you strike the killing blow.
All in all? The Lifers win this one.
There are also rules for if you want your character to be some crazy hermit living in a backwoods part of the US, surviving off of old MRE's and complaining about the impending ZOG invasion.
FIELDS SIDEBAR(tm): Summary, the Choicers are assholes who're infiltrating the Lifers and trying to twist their faith into a pro-Choicer direction. Choicers are also dicks to anyone who acts too "20th century" and doesn't go with the new Choicer sexuality, religion and morality.
Fuck the Choicers sideways with a Closer's railguns.
FINAL FIELDS FICTION(tm): To summarize the remaining fiction, all of the stuff we've reading so far has been about the run-up to the Abortion War and immediately after its ending. Artemis(the ALIEN SPACE CYBORG) they recruited was actually killed at the end of the Abortion War, and she's basically why the Lifers are even still in the race of advanced tech at all, because they plundered her corpse for every advantage they could find. Also the Lifers would have kicked the Choicers in the dick seven ways from sunday if a reactionary faction had not started the war early.
I'd also like to point out that the Fields Fics(tm) actually become pretty decently written as soon as he's not writing stuff that's exalting the Choicers or about kids preparing to fuck.
Lifer Gear is about as boring as Choicer Gear, though unlike the Choicers they don't have any Brainwashing Bombs or similar hilariously inhumane weaponry. Instead it's noted that they actually use toxins and the like to take down Powered enemies without needing to resort to weaponry that will completely devastate the surrounding area.
Otherverse: America, Adventure Seeds
Most of these actually don't seem too bad at first, aside from one that's about stealing the brain patterns of celebrities for making porn.
Some of them are also kind of clever, like the Lifers having a hidden arms cache in plain sight: A museum exhibit of a bunch of their "old" war tech, all secretly arranged so that it can be reactivated with just a few hours or minutes of work. I mean, that's the sort of thing that'd make for a cool section of a plot, even if not an adventure seed in itself.
You named him WHAT? posted:
Lord Charles Starspiral
, a third degree high priest of the Gardnerian tradition ...
The actual quest seed is some interesting political stuff, but LOOK AT THAT FUCKING NAME. I think it's justifiable that the Choicers are the bad guys just for their INCREDIBLY FUCKING STUPID NAMING.
There's even an interesting quest hook involving romance that isn't incredibly creepy. Try to figure this shit out, I'm still not sure if Fields had someone else ghost-write this part.
29. While attending a clinic demonstration (either as a clinic defender or as a rescuer), one of the characters has the chance for romance with a charismatic, non-superhuman activist from the other side. Things are slightly complicated by a poorly coded thought virus that’s zipping through the crowds, playing with emotions, lowering inhibitions, and making violence… and sudden love more likely.
Not that I think I'd use it myself but... it just lacks that characteristic Fields Grease Field, and could lead to interesting scenarios.
37. Seventeen cryo-frozen embryos and their life support tanks are stolen from RESCUE International’s Dallas exo-womb facility. The stolen embryos belong to prominent Choicer families across the Southwest, and within 12 hours of the crime, RESCUE is contacted with ransom demands. Lifer and Choicer metahumans, assisted by RESCUE’s own combat volunteers, work together to teach the kidnappers some things are utterly beyond forgiveness.
Just quoting another one I feel is pretty okay, plus strikes on something the two sides can actually cooperate over rather than demonizing one or the other.
66. Switch Hit and Pinch Hit (Elena and Thomas Cruz), two arrogant young Choicer powerthieves are the media-friendly face of the pro-incest Powered set. The twin’s Meshblog and interviews are widely broadcast, giving them an unexpectedly wide following among other iconoclast Powereds.
GAH, NO, BAD FIELDS. KEEP THE INCEST OUT OF THE ADVENTURE SEEDS. Or wait, I suppose it could be an adventure seed to bump off these creepy assholes...
74. As a recruiting tool, the Covenant has begun fielding a flight of light reconstruction cyborg ‘mecha musumane’ styled on famous Choicer shell suits and starships. Despite their comically sexy stylings, the cyborgs are surprisingly effective.
I googled "mecha musume" since I thought I remembered the term from somewhere and basically got "plane-girls." Now I guess the Choicers are the faction of choice for nerds who yank it to anime, too.
90. Neo-Witches dedicated to the dark goddess Hectate began a brutal purge of non-pagan Philosophy users. Viewing Object Philosophies as true magic, they want to take the power out of the hand of Christians and other barbarians. The terror cell starts small, killing or crippling low-level and unaligned post-humans. The witches manage to take down dozens of third stringers before they turn their attention to a recognizable Lifer Object Philosopher.
Also here I guess we have the final proof that Fields didn't write this: There are actually horrible Choicer terrorists, too, being evil is no longer something that the Lifers have a monopoly on.
94. The Firedance Free School, located outside Phoenix, AZ comes under scrutiny when it’s revealed that as part of its curriculum, it uses psionic memory alteration and deep hypnosis to implant false memories of dying as a medieval witch in its students. Though the mem-plants are voluntary, the general public, and even most Choicer pagans worry about the psychological effect of implanting the memory of dying during the Inquisition in a 12 or 13 year old student.
Actually, let me rephrase: THE CHOICERS ARE JUST PLAIN CREEPY NOW. EVEN MORE THAN THEY ALREADY WERE WITH ALL THEIR INCEST AND CHILDFUCKING.
And that... ends it. We're done, I'm done, with Otherverse... at least unless someone wants me to tackle another book related to the setting. Guide to the Known Galaxy(Lifechains and aliens) is the one I'm considering having a look at, but I could be convinced to bump into other books assuming they're available as .PDF's from RPGNow and not too expensive(there's a limit to what I'm willing to spend on Fields' bullshit, even to mock it).
For now, however, I'm doing Mutant Future next to refresh my palate. It's short and largely hilarious, if for no other reason than that they seem to have hired a 12-year-old to do their art.
EDIT, Epilogue: Ultimately, as much as I want to completely savage Otherverse, I just find that I can't help but kind of like it. If you scrape away the worst of the grease and the writer's hamfisted favouring one of the factions, maybe push back the Choicer vs Lifer thing a bit to focus on external threats(like unaligned terrorists, extremists from either faction that are hated by their "own side" as well, aliens, whatever) and possibly balance things a bit... this is actually something that I'd kind of want to use. Whether this is a credit to Fields' writing ability or to my ability to like horrible things is left as an exercise for the reader.