So, freakin’ Under a Serpent Sun has been worming its way through my brain. I figure I’ll just keep dumping the ideas out on this forum.
First off, I think the chain of being would be best suited as a spiritual one, going from machines to animals to needy humans to desperate humans to holocaust seed to the swarm (various degrees within the swarm, with angels of genocide and red queens being out of the reach of desperate humans without extraordinary measures).
Next, thinking about nature, I’m thinking Needy, Desperate, Answered, or Swarm. The human natures are a description of the state of the individual, hence the change of phrasing. I hate it when equivalent terms are not in the same part of speech. I know, I have a problem.
Needy Nature: Brainwashed, Restrained by Phobia, Submitting, “Scoring”
(“Scoring” is getting what you need, in an addict sense not in a “Shit this car could use some gas” sense).
Desperate Nature: Restrained by Phobia, Suicidal, Violent
Answered Nature: Vicious, Questioning, Psychic
(Psychic allows Nature to be used to understand or influence other thinking beings and to predict what is going to happen).
The Swarm’s Nature: Symbiotic, Grotesque, Terminal Spirit Disease
This leads us straight to the biggie, how to handle TSD. I’ve figured it is something that attaches to your Nature, but in a special way. It has a numeric rating, increases every Will days, and must be fed less it destroy you.
When TSD is higher than your Nature, you cannot recover from conditions and all Health tests are +1 OB per difference. At TSD > Nature + Will, you die without recourse.
How do you feed TSD, with the Silencer Question.
A Vulture has Swarm Nature: Symbiotic, Grotesque, Terminal Spirit Disease, Silencer
Questions are added to your Nature. For Silencer, you roll Nature against victim’s Will, successes siphon the victim’s Nature. You must feed the disease Nature points equal to its current rating, additional points drop it on a 1:1 basis, and you start counting from that day for its advancement. Dropping someone to Nature 0 kills them, if the victim survives, add Terminal Spirit Disease to his nature, but unless he is Answered, it does not provide Silencer automatically.
Note that feeding can kill you if you fuck up and drop your Nature too far below TSD. Being a bastard, I’d also say that you can attempt Silencer without it being part of your Nature. But, it means you are going to be using Nature for something outside/against it. So, you’ll be sure to lose some Nature and become more vulnerable to the TSD.
Other questions work similarly, allowing Nature to be added to new things or being rolled independently for new effects.
Beyond that, I’m sort of thinking the starting ranks would go:
Child, Victim, Suicidal, Old Man, Voice of Stars.
If you start Suicidal, you start Desperate, and if you start Voice of Stars, you start Answered; all others are Needy. There can only be one Old Man per group.
Just some random ideas that were keeping me from getting work done.