Wednesday, August 8, 2018

On Modern Politics

The apocalypse of long ago that plunged the Aereth into darkness and chaos merely refined the politics of the time, which by modern standards was without nuance. The old divisions of (for example) Socialist, Anadentist, and Theocratic Neocapitalist were replaced by myriad ideologies that are more straightforward in their aims. When confronted by the various local, state, and federal police, citizens are encouraged on pain of torture and imprisonment to identify their political leanings so as to better facilitate execution, torture, imprisonment, or other inconvenience. So, most individuals adhere to a rough understanding of two or three of these political philosophies unless one is ascendant in their region and they do not plan on travelling.

A generous sample of the active Political Parties in an around the metropolis of Helleborine may be sufficient to understanding the region’s geopolitics. A brief summary of the party’s chief aims, and the benefits that accrue through registering to vote under that party follows. Please note that only Registering, Voting, and Participating in the agenda of the Party (at least during primary season) confers the listed benefits. Those who are guilty of multiple party affiliation are usually shunned and/or disintegrated, or else assumed to be Liquifactionist.

Liquifactionist: wish to liquidate non-Liquifactionists to ensure majority of tricameral representation and ascendency of Liquifactionist agenda. Registered Liquifactionists force a -4 on all saves to everyone within a 50’ radius, gain advantage or +2d on damage rolls, and -1d to all other action rolls. 
Sender: wish to cripple all non-Sender thoughts through intrusive telepathy and other mind-control devices, so as to ensure majority of tricameral representation and ascendency of Sender agenda. Party members gain a 1d6 Mental Blast as an action with a Will DC save of their Personality/Charisma score (save nullifies damage), and +3 to Will saves. They also acquire a -2 to all reaction rolls (in addition to whatever stat penalties that might accrue).
Divisionist: wish to ensure a majority of tricameral representation and ascendency of Divisionist agenda through a crude process of ‘budding’. A Divisionist may cut a piece of itself off and in 1d6 days the piece will form a mostly genetically identical clone that can act of its own volition. Each time this happens, the Divisionist loses ½ of its current Hit Points which will be regained in the standard fashion and can be healed via magic. At the end of the budding period, the clone rerolls three random ability scores. It’s not a perfect process. These count as NPCs, but one may be assumed as a PC in an emergency - possibly it’s the original instead and the player just lost track.
Primates First!: the agenda is to protect all primate life on the Aereth and ensure that no non-Primate agenda assumes ascendancy. Members gain 30” brachiation in treetops and canopy environments but lose -2 to Charisma/Personality. 
Asteroid Worshippers: worship actual semi-sentient asteroids in the belt of debris between Mars and Jupiter. It is unclear to non-party members and friends if the aims are to promote or forestall the crashing of heavenly bodies into the surface of the Aereth. Members gain the ability to telepathically communicate with each other at a distance of 100’. This range increases to 200’ at night. They also gain the ability to communicate with whatever asteroids or meteorites they might encounter (whose Int scores range from 5-30). Sadly most other beings find them off-putting and have -2 reaction roll modifier.
Third Oathers: pursue the sinister agenda of the Deep Ones. That is, to live forever, hang out on the beach and party at night, and to make sweet love to attractive humanoids. They denounce the Eschaton and devouring of the Planet Aereth by Cthulhu, as Cthulhu departed shortly after the Tunguska phenomenon in 1908. Party members can swim at 30’, and Breath Water for 1d8 turns twice a day, but will only heal regularly if submerged in water.
Centipedophiles: The tireless ‘Friends of The Space Centipedes’ are generally addicted to Bug Powder and work to make the Aereth hotter, moister, and more uniformly ‘chill’ in regards to aliens and alien interdictions on the planet. Registered members can breathe in the vacuum of space and have no natural need for sleep (although they can still be affected by sleep magic and drugs). They gain 1d4 Intelligence and lose the same Dexterity/Agility
Slimechildren: promote the welfare and reproduction of Slimes of all kinds. They eat, drink, and marry slimes. Members gain the ability to turn into a slime of equivalent biomass for 1d6 turns plus the member’s Stamina bonus. Afterward, they will be lethargic and suffer -1d on all actions
The Risen: work for Undead Rights, as established in the 7th Geneva Convention. A member gains +5 to saves versus turning, and  re-animates shortly after death, if desired. It sounds like a good deal, but it’s rather dreary since the 7th Geneva Conventions drastically limited the enjoyable parts of Undead life. This does not confer any healing or immunities to disease, for example, but given time a reanimated dead person will eventually rise and go about its business unless destroyed by fire, acid, or some other very-permanent means.
Robot Anti-Abolitionists: the founder of the RAA, Robot Abe Lincoln, still takes an active hand in smashing opponents into smithereens with his vibro-axe and establishing a foothold for Robots’ and Created-Persons’ rights, everywhere. While Slavery of Robots was repealed owing to Lincoln’s admirable efforts long ago, the reality is that many robots everywhere are treated as 3rd class citizens, or worse. There is no evident benefit to registering to vote as a member of the RAA, but robots generally have a better reaction to those who are card-carrying members. Not always, but generally.
Re-Enactors: wish to return Thrend to its “more perfect” feudal state in which the Lords and Wizards and Dragons ruled with impunity and kept serfs generally well-fed and protected of course with the loss of other human rights. Members always gain a +1d to attacks with swords and farm-tools, and have “Serf” in addition to whatever other Occupation they might have.
Jazz Party: from dreary Darkansas the Modern Jazz Spirit has come, and the only agenda members have is to listen to, appreciate, and spread knowledge and appreciation of Jazz. Flappers, dancing, and gin are incidental and seen as outside the “true party doctrine” and indeed Jazz Partiers were central in implementing the short lived Prohibition III era. JP’s are able to Appreciate Jazz at 1d24 as an action, as per the spell. In addition they get invited to lots of racy parties.
Anarchists: the complete destruction of societal order and all other factions is the Anarchists’ only aim. The structure and behavior of local cells cannot be rigidly elucidated, and it is unclear if the Anarchists are a faction or a collection of counter-acting sub-factions, each claiming to be the original party. Anarchists do not recognize the voting habits of other anarchists as a general rule. Anarchists have access to explosives and maps. Each day, a member can requisition one bomb that will do Xd6 damage, where X is the PC’s level. Alternately, documents, reports, and crude drawings are delivered to the PC that roughly coincide with the PC’s stated daily goals but that cannot be fully trusted to be accurate, since even Anarchists are prone to back-biting and infighting.
Ultra Wealthy Plutocrats: The “Point Oh Oh One Percenters” fiddle about to destabilize other political parties so that no other particular agenda comes to the fore aside from their own, that is to say to maintain the Status Quo. They have minions (but not true members) in every other political faction, including the obscure minority parties. A UWP generally has no need to worry about money, resources, or time. Most are inhuman. Some are superhuman. No PC can be a UWP, but they may often be hired or subcontracted by them. All Patrons in DCC could be considered UWPs.
Anti-Corporatists: Anti-Corporatists are scrubbed out like cockroaches, since they work in direct conflict to the beneficent aims of the Corporations. They only appear on Voting Days, to scurry back to the darkness after squealing out their complaints. No Anti-Corporatist can buy anything on credit, nor can they be hired for most civil offices, although they are rarely elected to some before quick assassination. Barter and use of ancient tender is all that is available to them (i.e. cash/bills or coins of the Ancients). They are immune to detection by non-hostile A.I.s, suffer a -2d reaction from Robots, and are unable to use the Internet without drawing police presence.
Miscellaneous Minority Parties (e.g. Ex-Earthers, Martians, Time-Stranded): various exo-citizens are generally given legal rights and voting privileges in a symbolic and mostly meaningless way since these parties are generally concerned with the welfare of Aerethers and the protection of the environment of Thrend and the other Dozen Kingdoms. No minority party has successfully passed an agenda in the Tricameral House since The Enthronement of The Corporations by Meat Abe Lincoln in 1864.

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