Here is some new stuff for your IF games….
As a special bonus, the creatures of the Infinite Creatures II come with their own unique Fringe world (thus allowing for a wider range of environments than are currently cataloged in the populated worlds of the Fringe. Of course, this in way means that these creatures must be used with this new world, nor that they even must be used in the Fringe setting. This new Origin World is, instead, a way of introduced strange and otherworldly sci fi creatures into a campaign within their own unique work with as little need for work from the Gamemaster to make that happen. Instead, these oddities come with a world ready made to receive them, which can be plopped down into any Infinite Futures campaign.
System: DLM 2
Owner: not held by any power
Tech Level: varies wildly, but the base origin is VIII
Sentient Population: estimated over 3 million, but unknown
General Classification: terraformed habitable world
Description: Dreamworld is a small world deep in the Fringe that has a lone orbit around a yellow sun. Its system lies far from any other habitable world and even farther from any trade lanes. Many suspect that Dreamland was chosen for terraforming for the very fact that it was so isolated. And there are those who also suspect that the entire world itself is artificial – which is not to say that they believe it is a manufactured world, rather it is a world that was towed into the DLM 2 System and then terraformed. However, most consider it to be a rather fanciful idea that some species would go to all the time and trouble to safely move an entire world into another system all in order to turn it into an isolated playland for the wealthy.
Dreamland is certainly a playland. Or at least, it was. There is some native flora to Dreamland, but almost no native fauna. What native fauna did exist has now been largely supplanted by the terraforming process and the transplantation of offworld species. Indeed, the fauna that now exists on Dreamland is mostly biogenetically modified creatures that were engineered to fulfill a certain role within a storybook setting. Vast environmental domes were built to house these settings, with each dome devoted to a particular storybook. These storybook domes were then offered up as entertainment to wealthy tourists, allowing them to live out a version of the story, but specifically being allowed to change things within that storyland as they saw fit. Some domes were even made to be dangerous, with aggressive creatures fit for hunting or war. While there were many protections implemented into these domes, making them far safer than the actual wildernesses and wars that they represented, still visitors could well be killed, and this fact was stressed to all who chose to visit those domes. But then, those who came for those domes wanted that very experience.
In order to produce and maintain the Dreamland domains, Dreamland’s keepers bred the creatures of the domes in vast underground repositories. Particularly the creatures of the war domes were bred en masse, because they had to be in order to maintain the viability of the setting as needed with the numbers that died every single day.
At one time, the only parts of Dreamland that were inhabited were these vast domes that are scattered across the land. The creatures bred to live in these domes were bio-engineered to have just enough sentience to fulfill their roles in the storyland, even if that meant they sometimes had greater or lesser intelligence than the creatures they were intended to represent as written. After all, the storyland designers obviously needed creatures intelligent enough to learn to fulfill the needs of the story – yes, even when that story defied the creature’s natural instinct or all logic (the public can be very insistent about following the “lore” of the story). But at the same time, the designers wouldn’t want creatures so intelligent that they could easily rebel from the strictures of the dome and the story encapsulated within it.
Dreamland was a financial success, too. At least initially. Whether or not it was a long-term success, though, that remains unknown. At any rate, some centuries after the building of Dreamland, the park’s keepers abandoned it for reasons as yet unknown. The Dreamland Keepers left no records behind of themselves or the then state of the park, or even how much they had siphoned off of the tourists. But then, a number of the attractions were certainly illegal under Core Worlds law, so the total wipedown of all information is – in a way – perfectly understandable.
After the Keepers’ leaving, the Dreamland domes endured for a while, but eventually the machinery that made them function started to break down – an end that was oft aided by the sentient, biomodified dwellers within those domes, many of whom had started to seek ways of escaping their limited environments, even if that meant breaking their dwelling place. The domes were well-constructed – as needed in the harsh environment that is the outside world of Dreamland – and many of the domes still retain some of their functionality even in their semi-ruined state. At least, a person can often seek shelter and sustenance within. Of course, other inhabitants of Dreamland may well be seeking the same, and may well be loathe to share.
Once escaped from the limited environments of the domes (those that could survive the outside atmosphere, at least) they did not seek a harmonious existence with the other sentient creatures in the same position as they. In fact, a number of the various species instead sought – and still seek – to rule the planet. It is a harsh world that they thus have brought into existence – one of terrible warfare across a limited environment over scarce productive resources.
A number of mining outfits would likely be very interesting in the various and abundant minerals located underneath the planet’s crust, except for the fact that the world is so remote, thus leading to the need to burn a lot of resources just to get to the world and then burn more to bring the mined resources back out. Not to mention the fact that the many species of Dreamland are even more hostile to outsiders than they are to the other dwellers of Dreamland, and these various species are not without their defenses, even if they are not so technologically advanced.
The most advanced species of Dreamland have only reached Tech Level 6, and, as mentioned, there are no other worlds in the Dreamland system, habitable or otherwise. Not to mention, there are no other systems with habitable worlds anywhere nearby. Thus the inhabitants of Dreamland have been prevented from expansion into space. However, they have intercepted communications from outside their sphere of influence, so they are well aware that there are other species out there. What is more, there is nothing prized more highly than a piece of advanced technology or a castaway from some other world that washes up on their shores. They do not always treat such flotsam kindly, but they do always appreciate the knowledge it brings, as well as the chance of one-upping their neighbors with that knowledge in their constant struggle for mastery of the world.
Special: Massive radiation clouds sweep across the lands of Dreamland, as regular as rain on other, safer worlds. The movement of these radiation clouds is regular, and thus it can be predicted in much the same way as a meteorologist predicts the weather; however, no one on Dreamland with the capability of measuring these radiation currents actually does so, outside of a few private scientists, and even that is usually only out of interest of protecting their own fieldwork.
The radiation clouds of Dreamland are unusual in that they pick up various minerals and chemicals from the mineral-rich surface, and that frequently alters the consistency of the radiation cloud. A Dreamland cloud always acts as a radiation cloud, inflicting radiation upon anyone who enters it unshielded, but it will also tend to inflict a number of different effects in addition to the radiation. These effects are related to whatever minerals are then in the cloud, and thus while a cloud’s effects will be fairly consistent from one day to the next, it can change from one season to another as the cloud moves across the landscape.
While the effects a cloud contains are actually quite predictable and can be determined by any number of disciplines of science (from geology to meteorology), to the casual observer these effects can seem random. But in general, a cloud will contain two of the following effects, in addition to its radiation effect:
- Acid: the cloud contains an acidic component. Thus, in addition to doing radiation damage, the cloud does acid damage. This damage is calculated separately from the radiation damage, and it can be resisted in its entirety. While within the cloud, every exposed character and every exposed article of clothing and equipment takes 1d4-1 acid damage for every 5 minutes they remain exposed. A person can make a Fortitude save to half this damage, as normal (minimum damage 0). (The acid damage is thus slow, and it is more damaging to equipment – which tends to have little resistance to acids – than it is to people.)
- Bright: the cloud contains a mineral that glistens when light is cast upon it. In any light of daylight level or greater, the cloud causes a washout effect to anyone in the area, thus causing a -1 to all rolls that are influenced by sight (including combat rolls), which effect last for 1d4-1 rounds after leaving the area of the cloud. Unlike most cloud effects, a character does not need to be inside the cloud in order to be affected by Bright, only needs be within sight of it AND in sight of a source of light.
- Din: The cloud has picked up an abundance of minerals that works to deaden sound. Within the cloud, this can cause sounds to appear to be coming from much farther away than they actually are. But then, in another instant, due to the vagaries of the cloud, a different sound at the same distance can be heard at near normal volume. This effect makes determining things by sound much harder, thus causing a -4 to all sound-based rolls, including adding a +4 to resist any sound-based effects. Creatures that utilize echolocation have this effect doubled, and creatures that rely on echolocation (because they are blind or for any other reason) instead have this effect tripled, and so suffer a -12. Creatures that rely on echolocation will thus have to succeed at a heavily-penalized Perception check even to navigate a Din radiation cloud, since they will have effectively been made blind.
- Dust: One of the most common additions to a cloud is Dust, or an assemblage of dirt and hair and the other stuff found under your bed. While a little bit of dust is of no matter, a great deal of it obscures vision and clogs throats. While under the effects of a Dust radiation cloud, characters have their vision reduced to 1/10 of its normal range, and movement is reduced by one factor (Hustle requires the effort of a Hustle but only results in a Walking speed) unless the character succeeds at a Fortitude roll each round against the strength of the storm. Should they succeed at their Fortitude roll, the character can move freely within that cloud for the rest of that one round.
- EMP: a number of minerals interfere with electronics, but certain combinations of chemicals and minerals can drain them of energy. Electronic devices carried into an EMP radiation cloud will eventually have all of their power drained. The rate at which the cloud drains power depends on the strength of the storm. Every minute that such a device is within a storm, it must succeed at a Fortitude save against the strength of the storm or lose one charge. Anything that relies on a battery power or similar will thus eventually be rendered useless if it continues to remain within the storm. Whether or not the storm can render electronics permanently useless or simply drains them of power, that depends on the interactions of the particular radiation of the storm. If a storm makes electronics permanently useless, then any charges lost are permanently lost, and if the device is reduced to 0 it also takes on the broken condition. All such damage can be repaired.
- Magnetic Pulse: a number of different elements can interfere with sensors. Whether the particular elements within a Magnetic Pulse radiation cloud reduce sensor range, have a chance of obscuring sensor detections, have a chance of distorting sensor readings, or simply eliminate the possibility of taking sensor readings is up to the Gamemaster.
- Polar Wave: One of the primary methods of determining direction is to utilize the natural magnetic forces of the world. Within a Polar Wave radiation cloud, however, these natural forces are distorted, thus causing false readings. Whether that leads to the storm messing with the reading of what is due north or simply causing the reading to spiral around randomly, that depends on the type of wave generated within the cloud.
- Reflect: Certain materials naturally reflect light, and a Reflect radiation cloud has picked up a large source of such materials. These materials are often used in Reflec armor – armor specifically designed to reflect light-based weapons, such as blazer rifles. The range and damage of all such weapons are halved for every square of such a cloud that they must pass through. Thus, while such weapons due technically work within such clouds, there are many who simply say that Reflect clouds prevent the use of light-based weapons, since the ability to penetrate such clouds in an effective manner is lowered so close to uselessness as to be effectively useless.
- Strong: the intensity of the radiation is unusually strong in this cloud for a radiation of its type, doubling the effect of either the radiation or one of the above effects.
- Toxic: the air within the cloud is toxic. While the air may contain the specific ingredients needed to breath, the relative amounts are not such as to make the air breathable. A character entering poisonous air immediately falls under the effects of asphyxiation, which follows the same rules as drowning.
Special II: Dreamland is a smaller world with a low gravity. While not a Moon-like gravity, by any means, those traveling upon this world can safely jump twice as far and twice as high, and falling distances are doubled (for instance: falling 100ft on Dreamworld is the equivalent of falling 50ft under normal gravity).
Special III: Dreamland has a non-breathable atmosphere for oxygen-based life forms. While there is oxygen in the atmosphere, and while the bio-engineered “natives” of the planet can breath the toxic air, normal oxygen-based life forms will asphyxiate if they try to breathe it. The air of Dreamland isn’t so bad as to be immediately deadly, but an oxygen-based life form attempting to breathe it will immediately find themselves short of breath and know that something is wrong. They will not start asphyxiating for one round for every point of Constitution after they attempt to breathe the air, but after that point they will start to asphyxiate as normal (under the normal rules for drowning).
Because the atmosphere of Dreamland is nearly right for oxygen-based life forms, such creatures do not need to wear full space suits in order to survive in the atmosphere – an oxygen mask or even an oxygen-line mask filter is more than effective enough. Most Core Worlds expeditions have access to small masks that fit over the nose and mouth and that have compressed oxygen in small, three-inch canisters inserted into the side of the mask that grant air for one -three hours (depending on the size of the inserts). Most such masks have a canister insert in each side, thus allowing for twice the amount of air, while also allowing a canister to be replaced while the secondary canister is still supplying air.