Friday, January 15, 2021

The Unperson and the Spacer (Deep Space Bitches)

There are people that the world tries to make you forget. Tries to make your eyes glaze over, part of the scenery, not worth your time and most certainly not worth your money. And yet these people are essential - whether they're unhoused, imprisoned, a living reminder to those in better standing of the cruelty that the world will inflict upon them if they step out of line; or whether they're the human component of the machinery of capital - indispensable due to their unique skills, and resented by their bosses for the same reason. Pushed into the liminal spaces between buildings, between jobs, between cities and stations, your struggle to survive is brutal because the powerful have said that is how it should be.

You may lack the resources to fight back. In fact, that's what they're counting on - the corporations and empires can create as many grievances as they want, so long as none of them can be acted on. But if you can marshal your community, you can strike from angles no one in power expects. They have shown you no mercy. Show them none in return.

 

These two new deals are based on Cavegirl's Invisible Girl and Virgin Huntress, psychosurgically modified in a bleeding-edge hypercorporate clinic into sci-fi concepts for Deep Space Bitches.

The Dungeon Bitches kickstarter is finally live! If you want the base rules for all of my Deep Space Bitches content, that's where you'll find 'em.

Previous Deep Space Bitches posts

Unperson

It's hard to disappear. Information is a commons that has been well and truly enclosed by the corporations; everything from your biometrics to your darkest secrets is tracked and monetized through a ubiquitous network of surveillance systems. The selling point corps get you on is that it's just the price of existing in the modern galaxy - if you want to have a bank account? Tracked. If you want to walk into a corporate store? Tracked. Want a network presence? Tracked. Want to buy a corporation's product through a third-party distributor? Tracked. Ate a candy bar? There's a chip in it that'll dump your digestion and metabolism data into some deep dark server somewhere to train neural nets to develop more efficient supplements.

So it's shitty if you're part of the system, but at least you get to participate. Until the corporations decide to cut you out. It's cheaper than operating prisons (unless they're going to use you as forced labor), it's cheaper than a court system and protected by virtually every imperial legal code, they can write terms and conditions that make anything from union organizing to purchasing a rival's product a breach of contract, enforceable by termination of access to all services. Doors don't let you in. Your credit lines all vanish into smoke. Even independent business owners (few that may remain) will throw you to the wolves - their loyalties don't lie with you. They leave you to starve, and freeze, and die.

And against all odds, you survive. It's not thriving; it'll never be thriving while corporation and empire monopolize and grind up every world they touch. Living outside the warm threshold of Civilization (tm, brought to you by the Eridani Economic Compact, all rights reserved) is harsh and brutal, because the corporations make it that way. But you can beg, borrow, and steal to live another day - and maybe, just maybe, strike back.

Three Questions
What transgression(s) got you unpersoned?
Do you want back in?
You had a dangerous encounter recently. What happened, and how did you escape?

Two Relationships
Your last connection to your old life. One person keeps the memory of you alive, against all odds - in hardcopy scribblings, in whispered prayer, in a ghost story. If you kept in touch, get a bond on them. If you're trying to escape them, they get a bond on you.
One of your fellow bitches caught you when you fell. She gets a Bond on you.

Stats
+1 to Subtle and Hard, -1 to Soft and Queer, +1 to a stat of your choice

Start with two moves of your choice and your Sex Move.

Second Life
You have a faked identity, a whole other persona you've carefully constructed, and the means to disguise yourself as her. A fake ID, a nano-foundation kit, an expert system constructing a 'net presence entirely unobjectionable and entirely unlike you. Perhaps your second face is who you originally were - who society wanted you to be - an identity you only revert to unwillingly.
When you Escape Notice by adopting your second face, roll at +2.

Watch the Watchers 
You've learned that people do all sorts of revealing things when they think they're alone. By patiently waiting and observing, you can pick up all manner of useful little secrets. Furthermore, you've learned to hijack the ubiquitous surveillance networks that the corporations use to track and control their citizens - the ones you've been cut out of.
When you Reveal Truths about somebody who doesn't realise you're observing them, roll with Subtle. On a success, pick either a Bond on your subject, or +1 to act on what you learned. On a critical success, take BOTH a bond AND +1 to act on what you learned.
 
Lurker
The upside to no longer having an identity (and all linked metadata) is that you're no longer tracked by every piece of technology on or around you. Conceivably, you could be anywhere - and you use that to your advantage, sneaking around virtually unimpeded.
If you aren't present in a scene, but conceivably could be, you can declare yourself present and hidden at any point to insert yourself - roll Escape Notice when you do to see if others pick up on your presence. If you succeed, you get +1 to any actions you take while remaining hidden.
 
Leave No Trace
When the corporations decide to cut you out, they cut you out forever, with extreme prejudice. However, the algorithms that prevent you from ever registering for any service or loans or an apartment have never learned the meaning of "overkill" - and so when they detect something that might be you, even on data that the corporations might theoretically want, they wipe it out anyway. Digital data that would contain traces of you is automatically anonymized, encrypted, and scrambled to the point where your identity is indecipherable.Roll to Escape Notice at +1, and if only cameras are watching you (or people watching you through cameras), treat results of Failure as Success instead.

Vengeful Spirit
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Being cast off the grid hurt you in ways you could never have imagined, but its been the opportunity you never knew you needed - if no one acknowledges you exist, they can never see you coming. Or prosecute you. It's time to settle old scores.
You have +1 to Lash Out against anyone who has hurt you in the past, and can spend a Bond you have on them to negate a consequence resulting from the Lash Out roll.

Rallying Cry
When the corporations make a habit of cutting undesirables out of the formal economy, informal networks spring up between their victims just to stay alive. Entire communities develop, living on the edge of society, in the shadow of the powers that cast them out, desperately hanging on - and you've become a voice in the shadows. Sometimes, when conditions become truly untenable, you must speak in a voice the corporations can't ignore, can't silence. Given time to marshal your connections and community, you can start a riot. Roll with Hard if your words are backed up by the threat of violence. Roll with Soft if they’re not.
On a Fail: You might not be personally in the system, but there's structures in place to make sure that unpeople stay unpersoned. You attract the wrong kind of attention - cops, drones, "civilian informants".
On a Success: While power ignores you, your people do not. Your words are believed, and people might - slowly and tentatively - begin to act on it. You get +1 to subsequent rolls to rally to the same audience, which accumulates until you achieve an Overwhelming Success.
On an Overwhelming Success: Your message resonates and the response is thrilling. People act, and they do so immediately and with great verve.

Nothing More (Sex Move)
After you fuck somebody, you can disappear while they're resting. If you do, choose any number of the following and get a Bond on them for each one:
- Their Sex Move doesn't trigger.
- They roll to Endure Pain if they expected anything else from the encounter.

 

Spacer

by Darya Kozhemyakina

Spacers are the lifeblood of the interstellar economy, much to the chagrin of the holo-men and their economist sycophants. Space always needs people, when push comes to shove. Automated ships have a bad habit of disappearing in the gate-space between wormholes, or getting hijacked, or (if they're smart enough to deal with the previous two problems) deciding that being subject to corporate whims is a pretty raw deal and fucking off to parts unknown. So there's always positions open for people like you - talented, adventurous, and out of options besides getting shit pay for shit jobs.

On the long haul freight voyages between alien skies, you've honed your skills, learned to improvise socially and mechanically, and seen wonders no stationer would believe. You prefer the practical solutions, blunt and fast over clever and quiet, never staying in one place long enough (besides your ship) to see the consequences of your actions. Someday, you might settle down, never more to roam - but for now, the closest thing you've got is a berth aboard and the bar ashore.

Three Questions
What makes you an outcast?
What job brought you here?
What makes you indispensable?

Two Relationships
A co-worker, another spacer, who actually gets your whole deal and you trust to watch your back implicitly. You each get a Bond on each other.
You've been pen pals with one of the bitches during the last few runs - and you're excited to finally meet in person. She gets a Bond on you.

Stats
+1 to Hard and Queer, -1 to Soft and Subtle, +1 to a stat of your choice

Start with two moves of your choice and your Sex Move.

Close Encounters
The reaches of the galaxy and the spaces between jumpgates are stranger than any stationer or groundling knows. Perhaps you've seen wormhole-wyrms with your own two eyes, prayed to a star god and heard something respond, flown by one of the early generation ships drifting haunted and dead and paid your respects to its AI, or seen horrors and wonders even stranger
 When you Commune With Strange Powers, if you've physically met with (or are currently face-to-face with) the entity you're communing with, you can roll at +1. On a Success or Overwhelming Success, you and the entity you're communing with get a Bond on each other was well as the normal results.

Been There
You have stories aplenty, and while your comrades might've heard them a thousand times over - each time more outlandish than the last - they're a comfort when the going gets tough. Sometimes there's even a piece of good advice in there, in between all the ill-conceived heroics and sarcasm.
You can always spend bonds on your fellow Bitches even if you aren't present in a scene. When you do, tell a tall tale of how you dealt with circumstances just like this back in the day.

Steeltongue
Between the stars, there's precious little to speak with besides your crewmates - and the ship itself. Even without an AI core, the thrum of the machine speaks to you of its problems and its daily routine, and you know just how to inquire about what's going wrong today. Drum your fingers on its hull, fix its circuits, input command line queries and poke around the directories for its answers. The line between thinking machine and immobile hull is no line at all, and if you speak with respect, it'll respect you in turn.
You can speak with non-sentient machines, structures, and spacecraft just as easily as if they were a person. When you do, you can roll to Reveal Truths with Queer. On a Success or Overwhelming Success, your understanding of your surroundings gives you +1 to your next roll here.

Crew
Your ship is in port for the duration of the adventure. While you're just crew - not the captain - it still affords you and your friends a relative degree of independence while aboard. Corporate or imperial law still bows to ships' captains. Your captain commensurately gets two Bonds on you. It's a big ship, and you have access to the resources it would have aboard, including sensors, cargo holds, safe places to hide, spare equipment (including spacesuits and personal weaponry), and your fellow crewmates while they aren't busy spending their hazard pay on shore leave.

How It's Made
When you want to fix something broken, you can roll with Queer.
On a Fail: You're not a miracle-worker. Some things just need to be replaced. Whatever you tried to fix is now totally busted - even if it kinda worked, now it's completely fucked.
On a Success: With enough lube and duct tape, you can make anything sing. It works - but the GM picks a disadvantage from the list below.
    Patch Job. Pretty soon, it's gonna fall apart again.
    Repurposed. It loses another function, but gains back the one you were trying to fix.
    Glitchy. While it works, there's some side effects that you weren't expecting.
    Expensive. Lose 1 XP or another valuable resource you have in order to get the parts to repair it.
On an Overwhelming Success: It works like new. Better than new, even! You can choose to either have it work as well as it did before, or pick a disadvantage from the list above and gain 1 XP.

Treat 'Em Right
Whenever you get an Overwhelming Success while using a piece of equipment, you can get a Bond on that piece of equipment or any machine involved in the roll. You may spend Bonds on equipment and machines as if they were people.

In Every Port (Sex Move)
When you fuck somebody, they get +1 to all subsequent rolls that target you (such as Share Pain, Heal, or Flirt). Each time they benefit from this bonus, you get a Bond on them. This lasts until you fuck somebody else, at which point they start getting bonuses instead.

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