Friday, October 19, 2018

[IN THE NEWS] Return of the Auroch

Article: The wild, extinct supercow returning to Europe

The earliest cows were mighty beasts that stood almost as tall as elephants, with lean, powerful frames and fearsome horns that would make a hunter think twice.

In a recent discussion with some friends, the topic went to lab grown meat and how it would impact the animals we domesticated in order to have ready and easy access to them as a food source.  The main animal we discussed was the domesticated cow.  Would they be allowed to go extinct, kept in small numbers as a source for "authentic" beef, or returned to the wild?

The first option, allowing them to go extinct, would be a big mistake.  Another article I came across recently talks about the devastating impact we have had on mammal biodiversity and how it could take millions of years to recover (Mammals Are Going Extinct so Fast That Biodiversity Will Need Millions of Years to Recover).  So, most likely, scientists/conservationists will step in to ensure that domesticated cattle wouldn't just die out; but possibly try to "return them to the wild" in small herds.

Conservationists now believe the loss of the [auroch, a keystone herbivore,] was tragic for biodiversity in Europe, arguing that the aurochs' huge appetite for grazing provided a natural "gardening service" that maintained landscapes and created the conditions for other species to thrive.

This in turn led me to finding the article above regarding the recreation of the Auroch, an distant early ancestor to the modern domesticated cow.  The part I find brilliant, is that instead of genetically modifying existing cattle, they are reverse breeding them.

Rather than attempt the type of gene editing or high-tech de-extinction approaches being employed for species from woolly mammoths to passenger pigeons, Goderie chose a method known as back-breeding to create a substitute bovine he named "Tauros."

The bast part is that these new Tauros are able to defend themselves again natural predators like wolves, and aren't acting like domesticated cattle anymore, increasing their survivability.  And with survivability comes the restoration of biodiversity, and hope.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Fillable Character Sheets

Special thanks to AtBer Josh Paquette for turning my old PDF Character Sheets into Fillable Character Sheets.

Download a copy of these sheets to your computer, and you should be able to fill them out to have a copy of your character where ever you go.

Character Sheet Front

Character Sheet Back

Got a character (NPC or PC) you'd like to share with the community?  Send it over and I'll post it for everyone to see.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Creating Interactive Text Adventures

Create, play and share text adventure games
textadventures.co.uk is a community of interactive fiction game makers and players.
http://textadventures.co.uk/

inklewriter - Write your very own interactive stories.
inklewriter will be shutting down in August 2018.
https://www.inklestudios.com/inklewriter/

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Things They Left Behind

HU/AtB Post-Human Setting

While poking at an AtB scenario I've been working on-and-off on for a few years (The Things We Leave Behind), I had the idea of turning the underlying theme into a game setting.  The following is the skeleton I've come up with.

Fantasy like post-human world where lifted species and AI creations (Player Characters) struggle to survive against the monsters (sentient machines and genetically engineered organisms) that “those who left” (humanity) left behind.  Some of these monsters are discarded tools, while others were meant to heal the world of the damage their forebears had wrought upon the Earth by tearing down the cities and buried infrastructures humanity had now abandoned, as well as repair the damage to the ecosystem.  Unfortunately, the lifted species and AI have started to move into the old cities and to reclaim the infrastructures as they try to claim the Earth as theirs, and so now have to fight the things “they” left behind.

The characters will need to defend against the beasts that want to destroy the areas they are trying to rebuild, as well as old tools that had been discarded and just want a place to rest peacefully. They will be sent to areas to scavenge and salvage the means to protect and grow the new civilizations populated by them, “the things ‘they’ left behind”. They will occasionally stumble upon some who worship "those who left" as gods and the things they left behind as their angels and demons doing their gods work.

Who will survive the things they left behind?
Who will dominate the things they left behind?
Who will defeat the things they left behind?
Who will control the things they left behind?
Who will be consumed by the things they left behind?

Will they return... for the things they left behind?

Friday, March 10, 2017

[IN THE NEWS] Invasion of the Radioactive Boars

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/radioactive-boars-running-rampant-japanese-towns-article-1.2994205

As soon as I started reading this article (linked above), I could see this as something that could have happened in the years following the Crash once people started to reorganize.  Humans returning to their homes, towns and cities to find them now occupied by these strange mutant animals playing at being people.

I can see this as something Emperor Christian would say in rallies to raise the Empire of Humanity:

“It is not really clear now which is the master of the town, people or wild boars.  If we don’t get rid of them and turn this into a human-led town, the situation will get even wilder and uninhabitable.”
I've long tried to relate the Empires rational to fight against the anthropomorphic animals.  Most people try to equate Emperor Christian and the Empire of Humanity with Hitler and the Nazis, but I think it's closer to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  One side (the EoH) sees the other (all anthro Animalkind) taking over the lands of their birthright.