Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Collaborative Biopunk FKR Setting


A collaborative (me and my good friend Wendi!) setting in the vein of d66 Classless Kobolds' challenge.

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Genre: biopunk post-apocalyptic


Context: Ever so long ago the old world of metal and machinery faded away into this landscape of growing, thriving, modifying mechanorganic beings. Picture abandoned skyscrapers covered in organ-vines, cities built in the shells of long-dead Leviathans, seemingly bottomless caverns made of pulsing flesh. Biotech gone wild.


Almost all the tech you’d think of as made of shiny steel has its organic equivalent here, or has been taken over and twisted by a myriad of lifeforms in their own image. Here, the post-apocalyptic landscape is not the home of robotic overlords, nor a barren desert wasteland, but a vibrant, biting world where wildly different biomes overlap in seemingly random patterns while humans try to coexist with the remnants of a prior civilization that relied entirely on biotechnology and organic manipulation. Feisty meat wizards, lonesome spider shepherds, durable gut-rope harvesters, wandering mantis bladesmen, and so many others, all are welcome in this world. Because nature is anything but boring.


Random Tables: 

d12 modifications, mutations & quirks

1

1d6 eyes where they don’t usually belong

2

Chitinous exoskeleton with added pincers

3

Wings made of flesh (flightless, glide-only)

4

Ballistic Projectile teeth

5

Poly-ceramic armoured skin

6

1d6 extra limbs

7

Extra caustic hardened gut

8

Prehensile tail/s

9

Rebreather Parasite

10

Venom spit-sacs

11

Manipulatory tentacles/tendrils

12

A fungal colony that lives inside your brain and serves as a companion intelligence (not very smart)


d10 random encounters

1

Migrating lichen-beast forest

2

Questing spider-shepard

3

A pack of tripping mushroom-zombies

4

Parasitoid-infested old world Metal Demon

5

A mutated sapient flying snake

6

Veiled monks of the Genome Goddess, preachy

7

MEAT-MONGER of the Butchers Guild, suspicious

8

Caravan riding elephantine crab hybrids

9

An euphoric Sarcomancer

10

A group of desperate Corpse-Harvesters


d6 things you find in a Sarcomancer’s lair

1

Sentient tumour, mildly annoyed

2

Rapid-growth hormone spray

3

Scalpels and bonesaws

4

Detailed instructions on how to make a flesh golem

5

Ooze helper companion

6

Map to a place deep inside the Larvae Fields


d20 tech you can find here

1

Living buildings, self-repairing and -growing, but hungry

2

Radio-communication parasites

3

Adaptable, multi-use slime mold

4

Wasp gun

5

Spider-sheep silk textiles

6

Sentient, whispering bio-suits

7

Mining-modified plant roots

8

Portable Banshee sonic weaponry

9

Chitin-ceramic blades

10

Ant-derived wound stitchers

11

Gland-farming 

12

Pheromone Control Units

13

Kraken and Leviathan class sentient submersibles

14

Jellyfish Minefields

15

Squid-helmets

16

Meat Puppet Live Theatre

17

Fungus spore explosives

18

Ancestral memory storage in brain-banks

19

Bioluminescent plant light-sources

20

Single use implantable tapetum lucidum


https://surrealismtoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/moebius-aka-jean-giraud-32-of-41.jpg


d8 places to visit

1

Cathedral of Decay

2

The brain-dead body of an ancient god, not dead but dreaming

3

Lady Long’s Lizard Lovers Lair

4

The Bottomless Caves of Flesh

5

The ruins of a pre-war biotech weapon manufactory

6

A cemetery of Failed Chimeras

7

Lichen Ribcage Forest

8

The Pit of the Ever-Glowing Slime


Tropes: 

  1. Biopunk is -punk. This means: radical, antifascist, anticapitalist, antinormative, DIY-inclined, loud, political. It’s about making the world a better place, not killing creatures and looting corpses (nothing wrong with that, just not what this is about). It’s about punching nazis, tearing down structures of oppression and having fun while doing it.

  2. Body-Modification. Forget those neonliberal tropes of “changing your body makes you less human” shit. Biopunk is all about doing whatever you want with that sack of flesh you’ve got. Want some boobs? Go get them. Maybe some horns, or a tail, maybe some prosthetic tentacles? No problem. Mutation is not an unwanted consequence, a sign of corruption or the horrible effects of magic gone awry - it’s a choice.

  3. Organic instead of metallic. Instead of machines, try to think about what their organic counterparts could be. Make up weird biotech. Think of fleshy pits instead of the same old rocky caverns. Life is weird and fascinating, try to push that up to 11. Why firearms when you could have flesh-eating squid launchers?

  4. Humanity is part of nature. Forget the nonsense anthropocentric idea of a nature/humanity divide. We’re part of it, even if we try to pretend we aren’t. And in this post-apocalyptic example, this is way more obvious and literal. What separates you from nature if you live in a symbiotic relationship with a sentient fungus? If all those skyscrapers are now so overrun with organ-vines that they’ve become part of its organism? If your ship has feelings, how do you treat it? This kind of setting invites us to questions like those. Your sword may be a sentient, pacifist companion. Your dead friend could suddenly come back, but different.

  5. The Weird and the Other are not necessarily scary, but fascinating. Why fear the unknown? The Weird and the Other here are things to be explored, things that shatter our understandings of the world. Embrace them.

1 comment:

  1. Reminds me of Splicers by Palladium which is a great setting.

    ReplyDelete