My Games

Monday, May 23, 2022

Weird Mecha: An Exercise in Nihilism

I've enjoyed creating these Weird Mecha / Golem for MRD2. Two of the PCs in my MRD2 Campaign are using them (Chemysterious Cascader and Lycaon Strain), and one of them showed up as an enemy in a cliffhanger in the previous session. Those two are arguably more concrete than some of the other ones, which is ok, but I do really want to test the viability of abstract "Mecha" and exploring those possibilities both subtextually and in terms of how they open up the game in new ways.

The two current posts include tables for superorganism mecha and embodied cognition mecha. In this post, I'll create a few mecha combining both of these tables. 

TL;DR Creating weird "Mecha" (including more symbolic extrapolations of the body like superorganisms and cognition) where combinations of words are used to craft them.

I didn't have a preconceived notion of what this would entail thematically when I started, but on reflection, there seems to be a kind of anti-theme, an undercurrent of nihilism and a rejection of the two previous posts' themes. Also, to be clear, I'm using the word nihilism very colloquially here.

I chose to avoid using Words I've previously used, but otherwise the words were generated randomly (as were the table combinations, except that each consists of one from one post and one from the other).


Climax Heroine
The ultimate saccharine lovey-dovey feel good pop song to end all pop. Not just a song; a movement, a moment, a memory. Something so profound and so profoundly empty; a fleeting satisfaction in the form of an inescapable earwyrm on a pretty red flower smiling.

Mixomania Turntable
Music and mood and concert and club in colorful liquid form shaken or stirred with zest or bitters and poured onto a turntable. A bath of sounds and spirits and colors and patterns transcending spacetime, controlling the mood of the party with precision, like an MC or DJ, or GM.

Black Carpet
The walkway across the Heart Attack Dimension for all the Hollywood harlots and heartthrobs. The steps between heart beats in flicker fusion. Channel the adoration and accomplishments of those who raced against death and lost.

Varicose Vanity
The disrobing of the Climax Heroine reveals bacterial blue varicose veins. Underneath the pomp and circumstance, a cruel joke of the empress' beaten body, inducing drowsiness and vivid dreams in 27 minute naps. The long overdue comedown.


Univertrax the Brownian Singularity
The last surviving entity of another universe, or the previous loop of our universe, or our future. The accidental drift of all the life and love across all of their universe, every beautiful majestic creature, poem, work of art, technological achievement, world wonder, averaged and reduced into a mindlessly replicating, incomprehensible, incompatible, irrelevant brown sludge of cosmic insignificance.

Brown Note Broadcast
The collective sigh of an innovationless mega-monoculture. An overly long series of derivative ads for long-forgotten reboots of reimaginings of old stories that weren't actually very good to begin with. The embarrassing fart that breaks a crying fit. A message out of place and without a place, breaking up joy and tension equally like an unstoppable anti-empathetic force, leaving behind an emotional wreck and oppressive stillness.

Spineless Hedgehogs
The beings of Univertrax long ago gave up the pretense of individuality, even as echoes of dissatisfaction and compromise forever belies the failure of their being. Some can be prodded and coerced to action, agitated to leave the Brownian Singularity. Though they eventually dissolve in their impotent rage back into the filth swamp of their own making, for a brief moment they channel what they once could have been in a single glorious and undeniable gesture.

Big Crunch
Univertrax compresses itself tightly into a micro-gravity field, tugging on the universe and crushing it like an implosion, like its marriage with Univertressa. Leaves a permanent mark on the universe, like a knotted scar or crumpled piece of paper. Anything that can survive the Big Crunch is changed permanently, and if multiple beings survive, there is a good chance they've merged into one, like the necromantically revived corpses of a crushed ant colony connected by a pool of lymphatic fluids.


Apophenic Arrangement
This Golem does not exist. It is the illusion of a pattern, like a gambler staking their last dollar because they've got a good feeling, or a person of meager means paying the entrance fee to see Jesus' face on toast. It exists where there is want and means to believe, to fill the empty spacetimes, and the occupied.

Hypothetical Babbler
The improbable dreams laid upon an unwanted child made in bad faith. Almost like a real baby, it crawls forward in spacetime naively, experiencing senses unadulterated- an intellectual madness. It grows and learns, but never develops an ego, or any filter on perception, purely life and sensation. Quicker to learn and more powerful than human, yet never more nor less than the sum of its experiences. An unbounded thing that grows massively, but only with linearity.

Genetic Backmask
Genes are not merely patterns of organic acids, but exist in any medium of sequences, including audio waves. There are secret messages of life hidden inside music. Do the observers create them, or does the living music plant the expectation? Either way, they are a novel kind of life yearning to be heard, and glad for their new friend. If only everyone else could hear them.

Shadow Generator
Our experience of reality is merely the reflection and refraction of signals bouncing off one another, a world of relational patterns and shadows. The shadow generator models sources of higher reality signals into perception, creating a shadow space like objects pinging off radar, revealing approximations of hypothetical things in higher places. Even in their lowered resolution, transduced into shadows, there is a bittersweet beauty in the things beyond our ability to conceive.


  1. There is a lot of good lines there, good concepts; "Not just a song; a movement, a moment, a memory. Something so profound and so profoundly empty." is probably my favourite, but Brown Note Broadcast and Golem 3 last part are also very good.

    1. Thanks :). I was really happy with that line in particular as well. Climax Heroine was the one I was probably least satisfied with at first, but after some cleanup, I'm really happy with how it came together.

      Univertrax the Brownian Singularity is sort of like an anti-superorganism by way of Galactus, where the Nazarite could be like the Herald, but also intentionally really campy and goofy to sort of offset the bleakness. It's one of those ideas where like, either it would be really awesome, or completely fail lol. But I think it will be good. I dunno, I might throw it into my campaign at some point just to test it out...

      Apophenic Arrangement was the first I wrote despite being the last in terms of the order I rolled the Words, so it both set the tone for the whole set, while probably being the least consistent with it. I'm a little mixed on the Shadow Generator, it almost feels thematically like the opposite of the rest of what AA and the rest of these Golem and their Gear are about, but it's a cool piece of Gear in its own right.

  2. I like the feel of #1. The writing on all of these is good as always!

    1. I originally was worried that Climax Heroine was too mean-spirited but it sounds like it worked out, thanks!