My Games

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Third Factions for FIST

Another FIST-related post, this time a set of "Third Factions", inspired by some conversations we were having on the FIST discord server. FIST (the faction in the setting) feels heavily inspired by the paramilitary factions in the Metal Gear series (I get them all confused...), a sort of anti-establishment but mostly not quite radical group, with CYCLOPS being more like an extension of the CIA or other pro-status quo groups by way of GI Joe's Cobra. You could sort of flatten it into a good guys / bad guys type thing, but I like that the books keep it relatively unconstrained and you can make a lot of interpretations out of it. But either way, binaries tend to lead to binary thinking, so I thought it might be interesting to conceive of "third factions" for FIST; not just in the sense that they are more factions, but specifically in that they should represent some ideology that might be contrasted against some interpretation of FIST and CYCLOPS. Of course, you could just throw them all together too, why not?

Figured I'd give the new FIST module a plug while I'm at it.

PRIME: Recently IPO'd social experience-making cult phenomenon quickly taking the world by storm. Augmented reality ARG, dating app, social media network, and lifestyle philosophy, existing equally in and of the physical world and the metaverse. An alien superorganism refugee cleaning up the world and protecting it from eldritch threats. It accrues human capital and mindshare, and wealth, hunting wild corporations and fishing fringe religions for survival. It is planning for the future, cultivating a hyperconscious noosphere, terraforming the world for something beyond human conception.

RANGER: Anarcho-socialist commune colonists of dreamspace. They inadvertently protect the world from astral aliens, but this is not their purpose. Wary of outside Orders imposing onto them, they'll bind FIST and CYCLOPS alike in gordian knots if threatened. A loose collection of "non-violent" mathemartists and morphengineers not to be trifled with.

LOOP: Fringe timelooping radicals who loop not though linear time, but through the cyclical nature of things; the patterns of myth and history and human behavior. They are always one step ahead of every market trend and every fascist regime and every disaster, because they've seen it all before. Seeking to break free from the root of human suffering, they have no time for the petty and mundane concerns of any given present, or the immediate consequences of their actions. They operate in a paradox, desperate to break free from the cycle, yet the closer they come to achieving their goals, the less they can rely on their experiences to guide them.

USA: The United Spacetimes of America. An imperialist intermultiversal civilization of Americas and its colonies. They use entire universes as nodes in a network monitoring and predicting all financial transactions. They did not understand the observer dilemma of what they had created, a divine fiat economy; an extradimensional god of capitalism. Full of extraneity and innovation, equal parts gaudy and beautiful, functional yet straddling obsolescence, undeniably evil, yet comfortable for those within its span.

HEART: Empathy extremist runaways from illegal military experiments. Exposed to mind-altering substances from unknown places, they have a sense of empathic awareness that has atrophied in the rest of us; a higher emotional consciousness not unlike the gap between animal and human intelligence. They exist in solitude, in inaccessible places, overwhelmed by the suffering and callousness of the rest of the world like a foul stench or repulsive image of a rotting corpse or an arrhythmic loud beep. Meanwhile, in their corners of the world, they build a utopia and commune with higher lifeforms, who have developed ways of dealing with uncontrolled anti-empathic animal populations like baseline humans.

EXIT: Cult of nihilists, most of whom have committed shameful or violent acts, seeking a kind of redemption, tenuously coupled to wealthy narcissists seeking immortality, and a minority of some desperately depressed. They intend to pierce the film between life and death, popping consciousness like a bubble. Their research extends across quantum physics, philosophy, theology, psychopharmacology, extreme sports, or anything else which might enlighten the way beyond conscious existence. Their aims are personal, but if popping the bubble affects everyone else as well, so be it, what difference does it make?

EDIT: Almost forgot! If you like this post and are new to my blog, check out my previous post of 5 FIST Characters. I made them just from random rolls from the main FIST book, but gave them original codenames and writeups to make them suitably Weird & Wonderful.

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