Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Gamebuilding Vomit 1

This is where alcor's brain barfs ideas all over a page. This is not a story -- it's just a bunch of ideas.

Light Specializations:

  • None -- generic transforming creature. Has two default forms: puddle and human. All Lights can turn into humans at will because their bodies "remember" what being human was like, and so they can intuitively assume that shape. However, augmenting their skills as a human (higher strength, etc.) beyond typical Light acceleration, is difficult due to this intuition problem. All Lights can turn into puddles simply because that's what you get if you don't hold yourself together.
  • Flight -- one of the Light's forms can fly. Flying is a very difficult task, because seriously, have you ever been a bird? No. So you don't have any knowledge of how animal flight really works, not viscerally, and you'll land on your head or your ass enough times before you can master the art of mass distribution, muscle power to weight ratio, proper wing construction, so on and so forth. But eventually, you can fly.
  • Heavy Infantry -- one of the Light's forms is impressively strong and heavily armored. It's a melee tank with legs. This takes training to beef up the form while still maintaining control of its shape and functioning, just like Flight.
  • Biomechanical -- being able to assimilate metal parts into a form. This can provide additional armoring against things like fire, and can also make Lights capable of running huge machines by themselves. It means that the metal is literally part of you, and you have an intuition for mechanical functioning.
  • Bioelectrical -- being able to connect yourself to electrical wiring. This isn't as badass as it sounds, because it's pretty much limited to small signals, so you can't exactly hook yourself up to the local transformer. Also, no, your brain does not know how to read computer data. However, if you have the right technology, you can just merge electrical chips and so forth right into your body's signals, because suddenly the issues involved in foreign object rejection and sickness and cutting nerves and so forth, are completely moot. The result is basically a cybernetic interface, insofar as we can make one. (If a Light ever figures out how to make a biological transistor, well then, we can talk real interfaces.)
  • Polyform -- the Light has a large number of forms that it can use. This is for people who got the knack of shapeshifting faster than everyone else and has a better intuition for the way different shapes work.
  • Disguise -- you're a real expert on people specifically, and can imitate them down to a very detailed level. This isn't something people can just do by thinking about others; you have to study the person, really know where every wrinkle and mole and birthmark is. Portrait artists and the like get a boost to this.
  • Wide Range -- you can get big, really big. You can eat a city block and just kind of shrug. You're the kind of creature everyone is trying to kill unless you lie low, but you're a real whiz-bang in a battle because you just roll everything in your path. If you actually specialized in this, you are either one lucky bastard, have iron self-control, or you were infected out in rural Montana where no one cares if you take out N square acres of forest once you wake up for the first time. Most Wide Range folks get burned out within a few hours of their appearing.
  • Water Tolerant -- unlike many Lights, you're really good at holding form. Thus, you can go underwater without being washed around and losing coherent shape.
  • Chemically Tolerant -- you can consume more hazardous material than most people, such as compounds that might ordinarily kill Light cells.
  • Chemovore -- you specialize in eating a certain kind of chemical. For all others, you are normal, but you are superior to Chemically Tolerant in this area.
  • Projectile Weapons -- you can create and project spikes, thorns, liquid, or other sorts of distance weapons.
  • Non-Destructive Mind-reading -- if you can come into contact with someone's neural tissue, you can actually read their thoughts without destroying the tissue. You have to be in contact with someone's actual brain, which presents its own problems, but you can, under the right circumstances, pull thought and memory out without harming the human very much.
  • Fast Eater -- consumes mass at a higher rate than most. Helpful for getting rid of your enemies in a pinch, or being discreet.
  • Infrastructure Growth -- you can create and maintain load-bearing structures using your mass. You are stronger and can withstand more pressure, stress, strain, etc. than most.
  • Low Metabolism -- you don't need as much food as others to survive, so you can go for longer without it and feel less overbearing desire for it.
  • Flesh Maintenance -- you can actually keep human (or other) flesh living by interfacing with it and allowing it to draw nutrients from your body. As such, you can wear another person's skin, keep an organ living, and so forth. This is especially good for, say, getting through biometric security.

  • Weak-Willed -- you can't control yourself as easily as others. You have to disappear more often for food, or you screw it up and eat humans, their pets, and/or pieces of various living spaces so on more often than you'd like. People should watch their couches around you, and maybe their arms and legs.
  • Water Intolerant -- you get dissociated more easily than most when coming into contact with water. Don't go swimming. Ever.
  • Predator -- you will go out of your way to eat living creatures instead of safer matter. This can be more or less harmful depending on whether your living creature of choice is an animal or a human.
  • Difficulty Disguising -- you always look a little Light-ish in human form, no matter what you do. You can't hold yourself to a form as well as others.
  • Small Range -- you really can't grow very much past your original human size. You're fine at melee combat, but you suck at actually holding a line because you can't secure it by yourself. You have to be a team player.
  • High Metabolism -- you have to eat a lot. This is distinguished from Weak-Willed in that you can easily redirect your desires to more acceptable targets, but you still have to consume more mass than most others on a day-to-day basis. (Combined with Weak-Willed, this is a recipe for getting incinerated.)