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Author Topic: Broken World  (Read 779 times)

squamous

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Broken World
« on: April 20, 2024, 04:54:53 pm »

No one remembers how the Great War started, but everyone knows how it ended. The powers of the time spent generations for their mad conquests, never giving us a reason, never telling us why, until hardly anything was left. Just the scraps. And their monsters. It all slowly fell apart, and the remnants drew new borders and hardly remembered anything about the old ones. We grew more careful with what we had, and we built new cities on top of the ruins. And for a time we almost thought it was going to get better.

But it didn't.

We'd torn the veil too wide. Showed too much weakness. We had our man-made monsters, but the darkness had its own, and we had forgotten that. Maybe our greatest mistake. It's not safe to go out at night anymore. Not safe to be alone in the woods. Not safe to look too long at your reflection, in the really bad places.

But we live as we have, mostly. We still wake up, do our jobs, eat, sleep, again and again. We still love and cry and hate, get drunk, sing, listen to the radio. We still wage our little wars. But slower. More carefully. We don't look behind us when we get that feeling crawling up our spine that something is terribly wrong here, because we've already started running, or shut the door and barred the windows. We know it's wrong. We made it that way. And we can't put the pieces back together.

Our world is broken.

I think we're broken too.
============================================================================
What is Broken World

Broken World is a total conversion mod that takes place in a world much like our own, but after an impossibly long and impossibly terrible conflict which shattered the boundaries between the mundane and the supernatural, leaving the survivors with a medley of high and low technology, and more besides, to make the best of their diminished existence. This is no fantasy world with elves and dragons and such, however. It's a world of the creeping, hidden unnatural, of ghosts, psychics, mad science, things in the woods which call out in your voice, stories from folklore that are all too real, creatures not of this world walking out from behind a wall that isn't there. A haunted, crippled world, dotted by islands of desperate normalcy which themselves have specters lurking in the shadowed alleys and old sewers. Humans might not be the real monsters here, but they're close. War is a cruel, terrifying affair of frantic gunfire and desperate skirmishing. There's no honor or glory to be found, just young souls sent off to die. Put on the radio and let the music wash away your anxieties, coupled with potent doses of something special to blot the memory of what you saw last night. Or you can delve deeper. Brave the madness to try and make the world a better place, or just grab what you can before it all comes crashing down. Be a private investigator, a mercenary, a politician, a man-made monster, a psychic anomaly, and more, in a broken world.

Download Link: https://dffd.bay12games.com/file.php?id=17065

===============================================================================

Changelog:

1.3 Changes
-Mod released
« Last Edit: May 03, 2024, 02:42:14 am by squamous »
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squamous

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Re: Broken World
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2024, 04:56:19 pm »

============================================================================
Gameplay

Resources:

Everything we need is on the surface these days. Most mines are exhausted, have been since the War. Instead, root around in the soil for scrap to smelt. Otherwise, trade or raid. Don't expect much nuance either. Things are just metals and alloys, good gems and bad, plywood and hardwood. No need to make fine distinctions when it's all grist for the mill.

Construction:

Most buildings are made out of hardwood, plywood, or ceramic. Use the ceramic smelter workshop to make it.

Politics:

Countries are usually big. In many cases, you are small, a single cog in an immense engine. Many things are out of your hands, and the king or equivalent is certainly not going to uproot themselves from the capital to move to your little frontier town or wartorn fortress (Editor's Note: It used to be like this but the game moved that to settings now. For the intended experience set the wealth/pop level for the king to arrive to something ludicrously high). You are at best getting a local lord or senatorial representative. Focus on a specific goal, like mining, salvaging, farming, or combat. Maybe blend a little. Trust trade to give you what you need once things kick into gear. And above all, be prepared for forces far beyond your control which you had no means of preventing to arbitrarily destroy everything you love. Maybe if you are lucky you can try to put the pieces back together afterwards.

Serums:

You'll have a few of these and it is fairly obvious what they do. But the really important one is protective serums. As long as you drink it regularly, you are immune to corruption by the abnatural. Oh, you can still be killed by a beast or immortal or something else, but they can't make you one of them. If you expect to be facing something like that, your soldiers should have this in their waterskins, or you should gun the things down before they can get close.

Automates:

Humans are also grist for the mill. Using a Machine Dock workshop, a human can have their brain ripped out and placed inside a vehicle or android body. You can only do this to a person once, so choose carefully what kind of tool they will become. This also removes them from the labor pool unless you have opted for an android body.

Industry:

Certain workshops allow you to mass produce materials. These are handy for speeding up production but are not strictly necessary. Those seeking to fuel a war machine will probably benefit from them.

Combat

It must be said, while the high technology of the Great War remains, it has fallen far. Too much has been expended to be regained, and too much has been made for anyone to innovate. Easier to simply recycle, re-use, do what has been done before. And so war stagnates. The age of black or smokeless powder passed, for such things were far too wasteful, the logistical burden too immense. The guns of this era are more varied in their propellant. Spring-power, pressurized air, centrifugal force. Expensive to make, but they last for decades and require far less regular maintenance. And they are so much quieter.

Soldiers too, can no longer be wasted. Body armor and melee fighting is essential for victory, for most often battles are brutal close-quarters skirmishes where gunfighters must contend with metal-clad stormtroopers charging their positions. Of scrap, at least, there is plenty enough to furnish every fighter with armor, some thick enough to turn small arms. If one is invading another settlement, it is of utmost importance that such heavily armored melee fighters be deployed alongside gunners, or they will assuredly be overwhelmed.
============================================================================
« Last Edit: May 03, 2024, 02:41:57 am by squamous »
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squamous

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Re: Broken World
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2024, 04:57:36 pm »

=========================================================================================

Governments of the Post-War Era:

Humanity persists, in the form of feuding microstates and rogue militaries. Some are more civil than others. Regardless, do not expect the leaders to come uprooting everything to make your settlement the new capital. You are but a single appendage of a much vaster organism, and no matter what accolades you obtain that is not going to change.

Playable Factions:

Autocracies:

Autocratic states leave little for the people, but neither are they hereditary like a feudal kingdom. It would be remiss to say that they are driven by merit, but it is true that climbing up the ranks is possible by the sufficiently ruthless.

States: The standard autocratic unit. Led by a dictator, run by oligarchs. Will do anything to hold on to power and to further their ambitions. The people are kept in line by fear and apathy. There's plenty of ways to get rich in such a place, if you're willing to dirty your hands to do it.

Unions: Collections of bureaucrats unshackled from the will of the people. Sometimes it is a runaway federal government, sometimes the product of some attempt at collectivization and redistribution gone awry. Notable for their extensive surveillance networks.

Nations: Autocracies built around the traditional concept of a nation, that being a people who share a language, culture, ethnicity, and so on. Rather than simple repression, the nation's government feeds its people propaganda about the importance of their struggle and the demonization of the other.


Democracies:

Places where a vote actually matters, a rare thing in a world of scarcity and terror. Beacons of hope, they are hardly perfect, and often fleeting.

Republics: What most think of when considering democracy. A president and the representatives from many districts, working to serve the will of the people. Some resolute, others corrupt. More stable than most, but always at risk.

Confederacies: Democracy without a strong central government, the representatives coming to conclusions only through deliberation without the swift hand of executive power to guide them.

Federations: While still democratic, power is more highly concentrated along the executive axis rather than the local, trading some representation for a swifter response to the dangers of realpolitik. Often associated with a greater fixation on conquest.

Feudalists:

Countries bound by hereditary blood ties.

Kingdoms: The typical configuration, a king or queen and the lords surrounding them. Nobility and commoners. Social mobility is nearly nonexistent and the right of the elite to rule hinges on the standards of nobless oblige, or at least their ability to give the impression of adhering to it.

Clans: Rather than a single king, each territory has its own lord, and they deliberate among themselves regarding the future of their peoples. Often isolated and insular, this lot is prone to internal quarrel, and while some do in truth unite in the face of foreign invaders, others are just as happy to sell out their neighbors to avenge an old blood feud.

Failed Countries:

Places where the social contract has collapsed and power belongs only to the strong, without even the pretense of legitimacy or purpose. Effectively pirates of the land, they pillage others to sustain themselves, or simply turn inward on each other. Expect no help here, no envoys or diplomats. You are alone.

Hordes: A swarm of raiders united by a charismatic individual of exceptional skill, their prowess lasting only as long as their leader can hold them together. A horde's own lands give the impression of places occupied by an invading army, which in a sense is true. Without nuance or justification, hordes rule by fear and retain loyalty through tribute.

Anarchies: Lands with no authority beyond local, each settlement ruled by a small-time gang of criminals. Some unspoken codes of conduct may exist on a regional level, but in general anything rules. The boss's reach extends only so far as the guns of his henchmen, and while this means you will receive little help from the region you come from, you also have no one breathing down your neck and can do whatever you like.



Non-playable factions:

Governments:

That's what they call themselves. Remnants of the old nations, whatever those might be. Relics of the past. But how does something like that persist, centuries after everyone else moved on? It's because they don't die as easily. A true capital-G government is a society of androids, humans interred into undying, psychically-attuned chassis. They lack the power to restore true order, but if they're nearby, its best to keep them on your good side.

Armies:

Mostly vivisects and reanimates. The soldier slaves of the latter half of the Great War. Bred or built to die, still around even though the ones that made them aren't. The war shaped everything they were, and it never truly ended for them. That doesn't mean they're unreasonable, though. They just man the old posts, guard the old routes. Like wind-up toys that just kept going. Maybe someday they'll snap out of it. Some do, the ones that move to the cities. Most don't, though.

Scourges:

The defects and deserters. The degenerated. Made strange by their existence in no man's land, generations of eating each other, drinking water tainted with toxic runoff. Maybe something more, though. Something deeper. Maybe that's the spur in their brain, making them boil out of their half-ruined bunkers to slaughter hundreds, thousands, without giving a reason. Those that snap out of it, try to live a normal life in a normal place, they don't talk about it. Maybe they don't understand it themselves.

Tribes:

Not everyone tries to keep civilization going. Some fall back to the old ways. The oldest ways. Hunt, gather, and write nothing down. Forget this whole mess called progress ever happened. Maybe then the monsters will go away, or at least notice them less. It doesn't work, but they've become great at hiding, taking only what they need. Most end up facing a firing squad once they annoy someone important, but there's always a few around.

Empires:

Deep underground, it's said they come from. The men with metal spheres in their skin. Withered and ancient, their minds alien to our own. Those that talk at all whisper of a time where they ruled, long before history ought to have started. They speak of a time where they tore the world, just a slit in the fabric. And it was enough to ruin them, send them to hide deep where it couldn't find them. Now we've gone and ripped it wide open, and they're coming up again to try and put it right, even if it means the end of everything besides them. It's all for nothing, and I think they know it. They're still trying, though.
=========================================================================================
Peoples of the Broken World:

Humans:

Standard fare. Two arms, two legs, one head. Same souls we've always had. Nothing special about us, except that we once ruled the world, and now we ruined it, and don't anymore. We're still the dominant species out of all the ones that build tools, make no mistake, but it's as dangerous in the streets at night as it is in the darkest jungle, now. Most of us live with that fear in the back of our mind, so we try not to think about it, and usually we succeed. But if not, there's enough over-the-counter medication to make you forget. Under the table stuff too. The psychologists call it generational trauma, an echo of the Great War's horrors that the stress and insanity of the current world keeps fresh, so we keep inflicting it on the next in line. I don't really know how it can be stopped. There's still the good, mind you. Love, art, all that. But it's rare. So if you find it, keep it safe. There's hardly enough to go around.

Reanimates:

One of the first real signs the Great War was going wrong was when they made the dead walk. The psychics were one thing, but this was worse. Millions were made, millions died. We still make them because they're so damn useful. Emotionally numb, physically numb, memories shredded like tissue paper and built back up again, but you can cut them up however you like and put a dozen rounds in them before they die. The smartest ones become personal pets, get masks melted onto their face so you can't see who they used to be. Dolls for their owners. The others just get used until they fall apart. It's the second best kind of immortality most can hope for, so plenty sign their bodies away in hopes that enough of them makes it back out the other side to appreciate it.

Vivisects:

An alternative to a soldier that never died, an army that never depleted. Take a human and lower it to just above a beast with the needle and the knife. Use methods we can't even begin to understand these days to make sure it bred true. Better senses, births litters, lives to fifty, if its lucky. Drop them off on a front intended to last for decades and let them outbreed the enemy lines. A miserable lot with little going for them, but they can settle near anywhere and breed a whole civilization after a few generations. They're not sustainable, but they were never intended to be. A lot of them live just fine in human settlements. A bit uncanny, but they're living people at least.

Automates:

They were intended to just be weapons, I'm told. Not supposed to be our rulers. But that's what happened. Once people realized getting your brain carved out and put in a vat could keep you alive indefinitely, they didn't mind the cost. Hardly any feeling, any warmth. Just a mind in a bubble of froth, puppeting a cold metal shell. A sharp mind, though. A refined mind. They're some of the smartest things around, and when you're smart and also inside a multi-ton psychically-puppeted war machine, people listen to what you have to say. Most think they're the only reason humanity is still in charge today, because even the monsters are scared of them. Sometimes I think I agree.

Degenerates:

Lots of soldiers deserted during the Great War, when it was still mostly fought by humans. They hid in no man's land or the places too ruined to fight in, eating vermin and the wounded, drinking water tainted with toxic runoff and worse besides. They made new gods, or found old ones again. They grew twisted, strong, and cruel. They were never meant to exist, by the laws of nature they shouldn't have gotten like they did, evolution doesn't work like that, it just doesn't. Some can be better than they usually are, but it's a rare thing. They're hated for good reason, but anything that big and mean is a real help in a fight, so you'll always see some around.

Changed:

There are things in the woods that look like people but aren't, and are very good at faking it. Sometimes they take children and turn them into something like them for reasons we don't understand. They live like feral animals in the woods, but sometimes they join civilization. They are strange and know things they shouldn't and don't know things they should, but they are useful in ways most humans aren't.

Canopics:

The men with metal spheres growing out of their skin. Withered and stretched thin. They're different from us, their minds are split. We have a voice in our head we're reasonably sure is our own. They act as if it isn't. Maybe they're right, but that's not important. What's important is why they are here. This world was theirs until they marred it, and so they slept. It was supposed to fix itself. But we ruined it further, and forever now. So they hate us like nothing else, as much as something like them can hate, and they come up from the deep places they hid in to try and repair what was lost. They can't. They never will. And they take that out on anything in their way.

=========================================================================================
Technology:

It's an eclectic mix. The world has been ruined for a very long time, and we make do with what we have. As far as can be told, most of the big deposits, metals, oils, all that, it's all gone, mined out. Most everything is recycled or synthesized from something renewable. Tools are built to last, because you never know if you're gonna get a replacement.

Guns though, that's one that's really changed. Smokeless powder is a relic of the old war. Impressive, sure, but the costs, the corrosion, the noise, it doesn't fit the world that exists now. Smaller supply chains and reliability, that's the winning move. And using explosions to propel projectiles is old hat. There's three main kinds of gun now.

Firstly are mechanical variants. These use a powerful mainspring to shoot their payload. Often they're single-shot affairs, but revolver variants exist as well. If a civilian will have a gun, it'll probably be this kind. Shotguns are almost universally mechanical. Using percussive firing systems is too dangerous to launch explosives though, so you won't see mechanicals that launch grenades or HE shells.

Then there are pneumatic guns. These use compressed air. They're expensive, high-end, and hit harder. Pneumatic guns are better, but a real pain to maintain in the field if they break down. You can also make them fire bursts of bullets, or semi-auto. In theory, anyway. Most still go by single-shot models, they just hit harder. Due to using compressed air, its save to launch explosives from them, so grenades, rockets, and artillery usually use this firing system. They tend to expend their air quickly though, so fully automatic is off the table.

Lastly, there are centrifugal guns. Powered by electricity, the main feature is a large disk somewhere on the gun that spins the metal balls until they rocket out with the force to shred anything in front of them. Of course, they're bulky, and this method isn't the best if scaled up. However, they're excellent in their niche, that of suppressive fire and bringing a storm of lead to bear on a target. And unlike pneumatics, they'll keep shooting as long as you have bullets.


=========================================================================================
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squamous

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Re: Broken World
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2024, 04:58:46 pm »

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squamous

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Re: Broken World
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2024, 04:59:22 pm »

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squamous

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Re: Broken World
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2024, 02:42:05 pm »

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squamous

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Re: Broken World
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2024, 02:40:28 am »

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squamous

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Re: Broken World
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2024, 02:41:36 am »

Small Gods

The Church died sometime during the War. Oh, religion didn't. Humanity still has that great worship-shaped hole in its heart. But the great structure which covered a good portion of the earth, its branches and splits, heresies and syncretisms, that all went down in flames. What's remained keeps to itself, and even then it slowly is eaten away by the madness that afflicts the rest of us.

This is the time of small gods.

A man survives a battle. He cuts his thumb with a knife and baptizes the next bullet he would have fired in bloody humor. A village burns the carcass of an ox before an effigy of wood and twine. A mayor prays to something he has never seen, but swears he had heard, for guidance in the upcoming election.

The old Church had its doctrines and morals and ways. Its purported miracles and its comforts of the hereafter.

The new gods have results.

Not all the time, not even half the time, but enough of the time, things go right. The soldier keeps on living. The village has a good harvest. The mayor's rival is hauled off his carriage by wild dogs and eaten.

You don't just pick a god, find a faith. You study up on what's listening. You pray because you are surrounded by things that are out there and watching you and if you do the dance and spill the blood and say the words they give you what you desire. It doesn't matter what they are or how they look like, what they promise or threaten. Its a matter of necessity and pragmatism.

But this is all insanity, of course, so no one actually admits that these practices exist, not outside their quiet congregations in the hills at the dead of night, or the solemn ceremonies in a church that once hosted the icons of a kinder power.

But when it happens, when the gods decide they were listening after all, and they act, the people glance at once another for just a moment, and they know.

Small gods are still gods, after all.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2024, 03:36:19 am by squamous »
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