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[CYOA] Space Invaders: Axed before it's time.

Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo A lemon squeezed in the salty fist of PoseidonRegistered User regular
edited May 2013 in Critical Failures

I. Introduction

Nine days ago the leaders of the free world were simultaneously wiped out by a terrorist group calling themselves The Yellow Sign. Prime Ministers, Presidents, First Citizens and assorted staff. The power vacuum was incredible. Inexperienced politicians were forced into lofty roles, enterprising despots seized power. It was chaos.

And worst of all, The Yellow Sign don’t exist. The reality was much worse: First contact. Life beyond the Earth. Hostile life. They came. They saw. They destroyed.

A single craft that appeared at a major international peace summit in Basel, Switzerland. Unfathomable weaponry that left over a smoldering pile of radioactive slag. The craft was annihilated minutes later as it maneuvered to return from once it came. The full brunt of all available surface to air systems brought to bear.

Nine days. Covering the incident was a triumph of the scattered governments that remained. Panic must be avoided. This was an understandable and hateful act perpetrated by undefined extremists. If they came once what was stopping them from returning? It was a race against time.

When the extraterrestrials came back Earth would be ready. Armed and ready. They would not go quietly into the night. They would not vanish without a fight! They decided to to live on! They decided to survive!

II. What is this?

This is a Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA) game. It’s sort of like a Play By Post but more freeform and with no defined player list. Every turn I’ll post an update, with a few options and then you lot get to decide what you would like to happen. With your choices determining the fate of our luckless planet. Anybody can jump in and have their say on the direction taken by the Earth Defense Agency in a given turn. I'll go for whatever gets a majority.

I also encourage you guys to post little side stories, or drawings or whatever. I’m just arbitrating. it’s your agency to run. Also, it helps me to know what you guys want so I can swing my options to fit that better.

This idea is something certain forums used to do quite a bit. I even ran one a while back,if anybody remembers it [http://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/150613/cyoa-space-australia-game-set-match]it was the story of the future of humanity, or at least its criminals. It was called Space Australia. I think it came out okay[/url].

III. The Rules
Here's a brief explanation of a set of rules that I’m largely typing off the top of my head. It's not really important, but there will be some method to the madness. Generally, you can just go right to the latest post I’ve made, look at your options and vote for whatever sounds the most entertaining. That is A-Ok.

So do not feel obligated to open this spoiler. Those that do are in for a world of poor grammar and ill-considered ramblings.

IV. Can I play?

Yes, just look at my latest post and tell me which option you want. Even better, do it in bold and red so I can see it.

For instance, if the last post ended with:
A - Build particle accelerator [€200M, +1d10 RP/turn]
B - Build Orbital Defense Node [€100M, +1 on checks to intercept incoming craft]
C - Build listening post (specify continent) [€200M, +2 on checks to detect stealth craft]
D - Focused Research [+1d10 RP]
E - Focused Training (specify soldier) [Check against difficulty 15 to promote]
F - Focused Diplomacy (specify continent) [Check against difficulty 13+Rank to improve funding]

You could say something like:
B: Our orbital network is too thin and it’s doing us no good if it’s not actually blowing up any UFOs

V. How do we start?

Well, we need to know where your agency came from. So that means voting on a faction type (a letter), picking a flaw (a number) and then choosing where you’ll be sticking your home base (vote with the name). Post your votes in bold and red so I don't miss them when I'm counting up the votes.

Like this: B 5 Africa

Also, it might be an idea to try and marry those three things into some kind of vision, that way you can try to sell your fellow voters on your vision.

Faction Types (what type of company/instituion was responsible for forming your agency?)
A: Church - All soldiers have +1 psyche
B: High Tech - All research (RP) dice are one size higher and you start with a more advanced set of labs [+2d12 RP/turn]
C: Criminals - Variable “host agency” income [1d10 * €10M rather than €50M], can spend money to directly speed up engineering projects [1EP = €10M]
D: Government - No internal funding, but level 3 funding from one council. A +2 on all checks to resist funding cuts.
E: Media - The home region of the agency starts with elevated morale [+0.2]. A +2 on any checks to avoid any region’s morale decreasing
F: Private military - All five starting soldiers are Rank 1 (rather than one Rank 1 and four zeroes). Hired soldiers have a chance [difficulty 15] to gain a free rank.

Flaws (what are your agency bad at?)
1: Smiling accountants - All funding levels worth €20M rather than €25M
2: Bad blood - -5 on all rolls to increase funding for one specific council and their morale lowered by 0.5
3: Continental engineering - All engineering (EP) dice are one size smaller [Start with 1d8 EP/turn]
4: Commercial pilots - -2 on all aerial combat rolls
5: Medical cutbacks - Wounds/Psyche damage recovers at half speed

Home regional council (where are they based?)
Middle East
North America
Central America
South America
Antarctica [This region has no council, so you won't start with any external funding]

Mojo_Jojo on
Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
Erich ZahnKaplarkaliyama


  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    B 1 Asia
    We must up our tech to protect ourselves, but there's no staunching the financial bleeding. Asia for available land and population density.

  • FailsafeFailsafe Registered User regular
    B -1 -Europe

  • TheRoadVirusTheRoadVirus The DM with the plan... that is sure to be ruined soon Baton Rouge, LARegistered User regular
    C - 1 - Central america

    We have the money we need (hopefully), and the ruthlessness to kill some alien sumbitches

    New ep. every Monday. On iTunes and Android podcast apps!. Subscribe by Email
    PM with questions/critiques, or if we are not showing up in your app of choice.

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  • NotoriusBENNotoriusBEN Registered User regular
    edited October 2012
    ohmigod, jojo, you dunno what your doing to me right now.
    Also this:

    Also this:

    "Plata o Plomo? Mi amgios?" The group of sharply dressed gentlemen stood in a marginal circle in the den. The fire in the marble pit cooked and crackled to emphasis his words, but the saying almost fell flat. For too many years the North Americans have fought the supposed war on drugs and the wars with the middle east had just made moving product across the borders too difficult. Border state legislation even went so far as to deputize concerned citizens, which basically meant a bunch of red necks ran up and down the dunes shooting walkers and mules on sight.

    This meeting was supposed to be about how the cartels were going to react to this new iron curtain, but rumors had it that something else was afoot. Something big happened in Europe and it had the whole world in a buzz. Phone videos of strange craft in the sky were pulled from eyetube almost as fast as they were posted and the Euros mentioned ships disappearing without a trace. Were it the authorities, it would all be splashed on the news as successful busts, but this... nothing.

    "Why not both?" A newcomer spoke from the archway. "Power is shifting and in flux around the world, and it is not because of some extremist religious group. This is what has everyone in an uproar." He produced an Ephone and pressed play on the video. A tourist and his girl were taking videos in front of the Summit building when a large ship from those hollywood movies appeared. The bomb blast that was splashed all over the media was actually a beam of light from the ship as it annihilated the building.

    "Gentlemen, this is no special effect. This is what actually happened in Switzerland. There are things in this universe that are much bigger than the piles of cocaine that we produce every year. Come the next few years, humanity will either be decimated or taking its first steps into the stars. And I for one will be there to exploit the hell out of the riches we find there. The only question is, are you willing to spend a little plata y plomo?"

    C - the cartels are moving to capitalize on this venture.
    2 - There is bad blood between the cartels and the funding nations after years of Drug Wars.
    South America - is where the cartels are (Australia shined last game, its time for a new heroes!

    NotoriusBEN on
  • Captain CarrotCaptain Carrot Harrisonburg, VARegistered User regular
    B 4 Oceania
    We're going to need tech to solve this, and we can probably rig something up to compensate for poor piloting.

  • blahmcblahblahmcblah I never drink... wine. Registered User regular
    B 1 Africa

  • TipharethTiphareth Registered User regular
    edited October 2012
    B - 5 Europe

    Research is easy when you have lots of test subjects resting in the infirmary...

    Tiphareth on
  • Void SlayerVoid Slayer Very Suspicious Registered User regular
    D(Europe) 2(North America) Antarctica

    Because nothing can possibly go wrong in a government funded research site in Antarctica! Or if it does The Doctor will rescue us!

    He's a superhumanly strong soccer-playing romance novelist possessed of the uncanny powers of an insect. She's a beautiful African-American doctor with her own daytime radio talk show. They fight crime!
  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo A lemon squeezed in the salty fist of Poseidon Registered User regular
    Glad that there is some interest in this. I plan to kick it off this afternoon. Void Slayer has certainly picked an exciting combination of things there.

    I suppose I should do a bit of whoring out to the guys who played Space Australia in case they fancy this one too.


    Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
  • AbdhyiusAbdhyius Registered User regular
    Aw yeah mojo let's get it on like donkey kong

    B 1 Europe

  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    edited October 2012
    Thanks for sending up the notice Mojo. I'm growing to like the new forums, but they mean I tend to spend less time looking at new threads...

    F 3 Antarctica
    Basically, I want to be these guys when the aliens terrorists come again.
    The Covenent’s military forces are small, but thanks to their extraordinary grasp of technology, they command offensive power out of all proportion to their numbers. The Antarctican military are commanded by War Master Maximilian Schneider, a grizzled former Prussian colonel turned mercenary, whose entire army was hired by Sturgeon in 1850 and subsequently swore allegiance to the Covenant...

    ...Such is the hostility of the environment that all settlements are at least partially buried in the ice and rock, well-insulated in order to preserve every scrap of precious heat. The Covenant utilises much of the knowledge gleaned from the Vault to sustain its civilisation. Subterranean farms provide nourishing foodstuffs for sustenance, and fish are farmed in specially constructed lakes, carefully temperature-controlled to keep the water in a liquid state. Travel between settlements is achieved mainly by autogyro aircraft, or via a network of railway-equipped tunnels burrowed through the rock by ingenious mole-machines....

    see317 on
    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
  • BobCescaBobCesca Registered User regular
    B 4 Oceania

  • CelebrimCelebrim Registered User regular
    B-2 Africa

  • Virgil_Leads_YouVirgil_Leads_You Registered User regular
    B 1 South America

    Steam Amazon Wishlist, what!? 3DS 4012 4146 9468
  • Jeep-EepJeep-Eep Registered User regular
    B 1 Europe

  • SnicketysnickSnicketysnick Saving the Earth, one autopsy at a time.Registered User regular
    edited October 2012
    B 1 Europe (Because I don't want to commute and Angela has a tight hand on the purse strings)

    Also, looking forward to this Mojo, Space Australia was great fun!

    Snicketysnick on
    D3 Steam #TeamTangent STO
  • ElderlycrawfishElderlycrawfish Registered User regular
    Oh, oh my! Is it my birthday? Christmas? Birthmas? It must be something like that because this is a wonderful gift! Thanks for the heads-up, Mojo!

    B 5 Europe

    Our bloody, traumatized troops need the best iPods money can buy. And Europe just because Tiphareth is the only other genius to go B5 so I'll support Europe!

    PSN/Steam - Elderlycrawfish
  • NotoriusBENNotoriusBEN Registered User regular
    edited October 2012
    hey, guys.. smiling accountants is rather crippling. it deals with *ALL* funding levels, and I bet it affects all funding nations.
    so looking at the math:

    smiling accountants compared to normal funding
    level 1 funding is $20 or $25
    level 2 funding is $40 or $50
    level 3 funding is $60 or $75
    level 4 funding is $80 or $100

    I dont know if funding levels go up that high, but as we increase the levels, the loss becomes more dramatic.
    I'd rather deal with one specific council (even if its our starting council) than loose so much cash ongoing.
    I'd even be ok with commecial pilots over the accountants as there may be a possibility to catch the bastards on the ground.

    NotoriusBEN on
  • shalmeloshalmelo sees no evil Registered User regular
    This sounds very cool.

    B-2-Asia, I'm thinking.

    Steam ID: Shalmelo || LoL: melo2boogaloo || tweets
  • Erich ZahnErich Zahn 69 Paper Dome Heals the Sun Registered User regular
    B 4 Europe.

    Our pilots are going to need retraining for lifter tech anyway, so...

  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo A lemon squeezed in the salty fist of Poseidon Registered User regular
    edited October 2012
    Turn 1
    Decision: B 1 Europe - A European research body with nightmarish bureaucracy? Done.


    Fooling a group of astronomers, space scientists and comms experts about exactly what happened at Basel would have been impossible. The European Council, even severed of its leaders, knew this. No sooner had the international media started reporting about The Yellow Sign, this mysterious and all-powerful new terrorist organisation, that several key personal were approached by a very professional looking couple. White teeth, perfect hair and ethnically blended skin tone contrasted with very well tailored businessware. They sat down with the leaders of ESAC (the European Space Astronomy Centre) and told the whole truth: 2014, the year that humanity made first contact with another species.

    A single alien craft had been detected as it entered the upper atmosphere directly above the peace summit. Immediately all available combat aircraft in range were scrambled. Lazily, and ignoring all transmissions it had descended over the conference centre and then it had fired. A single weapon of incredible destruction. What had once been an elegant chateau used to hosting meetings of the most important men in the world was a fiery wasteland. Rather than retreat, the craft (a slim disc some two hundred metres across) had remained perfectly stationary. The full retaliation of the assembled nations fell upon the unidentified hovering object proving that human weaponry was just as devastating.

    Explosions wracked the craft and it plummeted from the air, slamming down upon the crater it had made. Twenty-three seconds later it exploded catastrophically. Fifty square kilometres of Switzerland were replaced with a single massively irradiated hole in the earth. The explosion was ruled non-nuclear, there was no pressure wave or EM pulse. It was simply other. Something previously unknown. And six hours later, the well dressed couple were explaining to a group of grubby academics that they would be heading up the response. If another of these craft arrived it had to be intercepted and destroyed immediately. It took the assembled researchers quite by surprise. Their eyebrows raised even higher when they left the meeting room to see the sky was filled with supply helicopters.

    The ESAC is located in the Villafranca del Castillo, just outside Madrid, Spain. Nine days later there was no sign of the heavy construction work that had filled every hour. The site was largely back to how it was. Most of the staff had simply deleted the emails about critical, structural maintained and complained vocally in the restaurant. Most didn't know about the subterranean city that now existed below their feet. The idea was that they never would.


    Within the secret facility a large number of people were gathered in what was called on the Command Centre on the blueprints but which everybody had taken to calling The Pit. Ranks of computer circled the sloped room and at the centre was a dull grey sphere. A dull grey sphere which abruptly displayed a topographical map of the Earth. A holographic map speckled with green moving dots. There was a loud cheer across the room, and more than a few sighs of relief. Network access to all air traffic control centres in Europe (civilian and military) had been secured by the council themselves and nobody in the ESAC seemed to have much faith that the data stream would work. Every green point corresponded to a known aircraft.

    Rapidly more and more of the green dots appeared as the data was collected and integrated by Mother (the facility supercomputer).

    The sound of dissent came from Dr. Thomas, one of the younger, more female and more Scottish members of the assembled scientists and technicians. Her hand extended towards the holographic projection. There were a pair of red dots nestled among the green swarms.
    "Should they-?"

    Mother cut the question off,
    "An unidentified craft has been observed entering the atmosphere."
    The third red dot was higher than the other two.

    Champagne bottles were dropped to the ground as bodies hustled towards computers. Uptime was less than ten seconds and already there were three potential targets. Velocity vectors and likely targets were projected for each. The new-comer was heading with all haste towards Egypt, a list of likely targets buzzed beside the red spec, possible destinations vanishing as it sped onwards.

    The pair of dots began to diverge. Both had started in the central Atlantic. One was now swooping towards central Europe, the other apparently heading for Canada.

    A: Send the assault transport to investigate the landing at Mut, Egypt, Middle East
    B: Send the interceptor to the craft en route to somewhere in Europe
    C: Send the interceptor to bring down that UFO heading for Canada
    D: Deploy no craft

    If you want, you can send out both aircraft. Vote AB or AC if you want to do that. Otherwise I'd assume that the assault transport will be deployed following a successful crashing of the appropriate enemy ship.

    (I'm breaking up turns into combat and management sections. The idea being it should be easier for me and give you more control. So you'll do some fighting after you vote, then the next vote will be on selecting research and the like. Obviously there might not always be alien craft to intercept)

    Mojo_Jojo on
    Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo A lemon squeezed in the salty fist of Poseidon Registered User regular
    Also, you lot should all feel free to invent people, places and things and I'll work it in.

    I suppose the head of the agency needs a name. As does the agency, it's a part of the ESAC, but it's not the same entity.

    I may also need to host some bits and pieces on a google doc (a bit like the UFOpedia)

    As always, feel free to ask questions or discuss things.

    Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
  • FailsafeFailsafe Registered User regular

  • NotoriusBENNotoriusBEN Registered User regular
    A and B If we can only choose 1, just A.

    lets be proactive about this.

  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo A lemon squeezed in the salty fist of Poseidon Registered User regular
    Ah, the problems with my ambiguous decisions. I remember them well.

    If you really want you can select AB or AC. Otherwise, it's sort of implied that you'll be troops to the crash site (assuming you win). I will edit to clarify that.

    Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
  • NotoriusBENNotoriusBEN Registered User regular
    edited October 2012
    ohh~ i see it now. but I think I'll stick with AB. it lets us keep europe happy (at the loss of recovering the vehicle) but we get to take the egypt ship too. it will be a harder fight, but if we win, we get some pristine alien tech out of it all.

    NotoriusBEN on
  • Captain CarrotCaptain Carrot Harrisonburg, VARegistered User regular
    edited October 2012
    Better to stay close to home for the time being, I think. B

    Captain Carrot on
  • ElderlycrawfishElderlycrawfish Registered User regular
    A and B. Our rookies need some field time, and no way do we let those alien assholes invade our airspace in glorious Europa./

    PSN/Steam - Elderlycrawfish
  • Erich ZahnErich Zahn 69 Paper Dome Heals the Sun Registered User regular
    edited October 2012
    Jean Patrick Fitzgerald had gone from being a starving intern to being on the underground floor of a shadowy paramilitary organization. Like many of the people working in The Pit he had blown his hush money in a single day. The flood of financial transactions was quite suspicious, and a cover story had to be devised. The lucky few enjoyed their sports cars for now, but in the future, Agencia Aeronáutica Especial would more than stingy.

    Erich Zahn on
  • TayrunTayrun Registered User regular
    Mojo this is the absolutely the best thing, you are a wonderful person and I will love you forever.

    A and B, definitely. We don't know how much we can handle at the moment and, like I said to my girlfriend earlier, you find that line by crossing it.

    3DS: 5257-9337-8263
  • Erich ZahnErich Zahn 69 Paper Dome Heals the Sun Registered User regular
    edited October 2012
    Vote AB and pray pray pray that they don't survive our interdiction attempts.

    Because they're coming for us.

    Erich Zahn on
  • webguy20webguy20 Registered User regular
    Vote AB

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  • Jeep-EepJeep-Eep Registered User regular

  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    edited October 2012
    Keep our boys at home and our interceptors close for now. I'd much rather our first ground encounter be with the shell shocked survivors who just got their ship blown out from under them then the possibly entrenched and prepared foes who've landed successfully and had time to set up who knows what in defenses.

    As for directors, I'd suggest co-directors going by code names "Fish" and "Chia".
    They've done well protecting Earth from aliens in the past, even the underwater variety.

    see317 on
    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
  • zekebeauzekebeau Registered User regular
    A B

    As scientists we can only come to reasonable conclusions after comprehensive experimentation. So we must experiment by sending a response to every possible target. Even if our craft are utterly destroyed, it will lead to new data, new models to test, and further refinement of our hypotheses. It is a win win scenario.

  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    zekebeau wrote: »
    As scientists we can only come to reasonable conclusions after comprehensive experimentation. So we must experiment by sending a response to every possible target. Even if our craft are utterly destroyed, it will lead to new data, new models to test, and further refinement of our hypotheses. It is a win win scenario.

    Sure, it's win-win for you scientists, but for our interceptors (a limited resource) and our pilots (a very limited resource) and our ground troops (an irreplaceable resource), your win-win scenario isn't likely to be as popular.
    I'm just as eager to get this going as you gentlemen are, but I'd like to bring some of our boys back in one piece so they can provide what are sure to be valuable observations of the enemy we face. Observations that we can't make from recovering corpses or wreckage.

    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
  • zekebeauzekebeau Registered User regular
    Just last month, Generalmajor Reichenbach was filling out paperwork to coordinate his division's operations with other European allies and pouring over reports about the threat of China. Now he longs for the peaceful days where his enemies had only the human motivations of money and power. This was new, it was unknown, and it scared the hell out of him. But Reichenbach never ran when he was scared. In the fight and flight response, he always chose to fight. It served him well in Kosovo, where his actions saved his commanding officer. It would serve him well now that he has to deal with little green schiesse from space. He was now in charge of the first ever anti-alien combat division. It would be a monumental task combining these lab techs with seasoned fighters, all with his superiors breathing down his neck. But he would not let his home be torn apart, and he would not allow a repeat of the "Yellow Sign" incident. He was scared, but he knew what to do when scared.

  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited October 2012

    We're a European agency, and we're going to not attack the thing that might be headed to land right on top of us for all we know?

    The Canada intercept is probably too far away to reach in time, whereas we should be able to double down and either bag us some aliens on the ground in Egypt or get us some corpses from something we blow up over Europe.

    Also we should have some forms made up to start the paperwork for declaring returned hostiles when the soldiers bring them in to reception.

    electricitylikesme on
  • TipharethTiphareth Registered User regular
    edited October 2012
    AB, is the best bloodtype. And I expect there to be lots.

    Tiphareth on
  • Shiny New ToysShiny New Toys Registered User regular
    If I am understanding this correctly (which may not be the case) it would be a good idea to start getting other territories on side as they could give us more money for research and blowing stuff up. So lets help out in the Middle East, it may bag us some bodies to autopsy and some influence with their ruling council, whoever that now is.
    Also defend Europe! Its our home.

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