The Pulp (10-14-12)

The Traders: Scythejaw, Alden, and Saul

It’s hard to sum up the strangeness of the last few moons.  I’d have written it as it all happened, and tried – but coughing a gout of blood deep into the workings of a word-masheen makes it work a wee mite less than well.  But it’s clear of the blood at last, and carefully pieced back together.  Since I took the cure, the same could be said of me.  From here on out, I should be able to pick up the Weekly Pulp once again.  And there’s no end of tales to tell. Long struggles – with sickness, with Outlanders, with each other – have seemed to come to a head.  Clans thought long since dead have limped back to life.  Other alliances seem to wane. The sands have ravaged two Barrens now, burying some things, revealing still others.  Two new Traders have come to trade their wares, offering items that have not been found in our sands for many spans — and items never seen before at all.  The Season of Hoarding has come, and once again we run through the last of the heat to prepare ourselves for the cold moons ahead — and whatever change they may bring.


THIS WEEK IN THE WASTES:

MONDAY

DJ Giuseppe Spicoli @ The Boat House, Burnt Oak 6:00-7ish SLT
Audio collage, bastard pop, obscurities, oddities, and old-school vinyl.

Movie Night @ Burnt Oak Drive-In, Burnt Oak 7:30 SLT
Absurd comedies, so-bad-it’s-good relics of the 80s, occasional documentaries, and things un-categorizable.

WEDNESDAY

Guerilla Learning @ TBA 4:00-5:00 SLT
Thematic documentaries and post-apocalyptic television, at a different spontaneous location every week.
This week:  Documentary Night!

SATURDAY

Fight Night @ The Arena at the Old Potato Farm, The Wastelands 3:oo – 4:00 pm SLT
One-on-one combat in a brutal, trap-filled combat arena.  Occasional guest DJs!

Apo’s Audio Atrocities @ TBA 5:oo – ??? SLT
Mashups, bizarre covers, retro, silliness, and whatever sounds like fun at the time.

*Note:  Sunday’s Savage Worlds: Deadlands tabletop RPG campaign is on a temporary hiatus until November.

UPCOMING
The Gathering of the Tribes 
@ MutanikA, Fort Stygian Saturday, November 3  10:00am – ???pm SLT
Be a Mutant For A Day and take part in a day-long festival of hunting, feasting, games, music, and good old-fashioned sacrifice.  Current schedule (events and times subject to change:)
10am-12pm: The Big Hunt (Mutants of all colors and shapes hunt all non-Mutants in the Estate)
12-1pm: Music – Diamanda Gustafson
1-2pm: Gameshow- Giuseppe Spicoli
2-3pm: Music – Kendo Inaka
3-5pm: Fight Night (with a secret team-based twist)
5-6pm: Music – RedZone
6-??pm: Music – Aposiopesis Fullstop

MutanikA – site of the upcoming Gathering of the Tribes

ESTATE NEWS:

The Community Meeting notes for the past few months, including September, are up on the Forums.

Here is a bullet-point condensation of the whole works!

ESTATE:

  • After shedding Malady Bog and Hambone Slash, occupancy numbers have improved!
  • The Arena has been moved to The Wastelands.  One Healing Machine has been moved to The Junkyard; one Salvage Machine has moved to The Great Fissure.
  • The Great Fissure has received a makeover, using Aki’s cliff walls for the Cape, to make the place more navigable and physics-friendly.
  • The Telehub areas of Fort Stygian, The Junkyard, and The Wastelands may receive some makeovers with WLPW assets.
  • As usual, summer saw an uptick in occupancy and visitors, which lessened again as school started.
  • SL suffered a bug that caused excessive bandwidth use that could easily max out a user’s data caps or cause one to be throttled.  This bug has now – finally – been fixed.
  • The Wastelands’ hosting provider has had many periods of downtime over the past few months, causing interruptions to gameplay, tier payments, etc.  It has recently been moved to new hardware, which will hopefully stop the problems.
  • The Barrens of Ashvasta and North Yard are now under new ownership – crimson242 Stipe and SecretLie, respectively.

GAME:

A new HUD update including the following features and changes:

  • Hunger:  there is now an orange Hunger Bar on the HUD to show how full you are.  You can now eat twice as much food as before, and a full Hunger Bar will take about 6 real-world hours to metabolize away. When at 0% fullness, you will enter Starvation and begin to lose health at random intervals until you eat.
  • Dying will now teleport you to the nearest safe area — close to an NPC or a Healing Machine.
  • The new Jump Limiter will prevent the high, floaty moon-bounce that is the default Linden jump height, while still allowing you to leap over a grown man’s head in a single bound.
  • The improved Speed Limiter has better detection of when somebody is driving or even riding in a vehicle, and will break the user’s HUD.  Worn attachment “vehicles” are still disallowed, though, because most of them have AOs that misrepresent the true location of the avatar. It also will have less “false alarm” breaks on region crossings, etc.
  • There is now a height limit for avatars: anyone with an avatar under 4’6″ tall, as measured by the green button at the corner of the Arena, will be unable to wear the HUD.  This is a game balance mechanism, as smaller avatars are harder to hit, but are not in any way weaker, slower, or stuck with a shorter attack range to compensate for that advantage.  (This will be changed in V2.)  Avatars found to be too short can change their avatar’s height by a few inches permanently, or might use different avatars for scavenging/fighting than used while RPing.
  • Immersion Add-On:  The sun dial shows the current position of the sun in the Estate, and is synched to SLT.  The square panel gives a visual representation of the weather – from clear to stormy to hazy and more.  The thermometer at right indicates the temperature.  When the HUD is clicked, a Local Chat text description of the current roleplay date and weather conditions – generated dynamically every hour using real-world historic data from an area much like The Wastelands – will appear.

Rustmouth:

  • The Wastelands’ first contagious illness, Rustmouth, spread like… well, like the plague.
  • Two new lootable resources – the Green Prickly Ball Cactus and the Scarlet Spikeflower – were released, with a new method of harvesting.
  • A new NPC, Doktor Aeg, has been installed in Cormac.  He works as a sort of specialized salvage machine to help users make the Cure.
  • Dok Aeg also brought other new features to test: collection bins, which can receive and remember contributions by multiple players, long-term.
  • The disease now becomes fatal if one does not get the Cure: as soon as a long-infected player puts on the HUD, they will go unconscious and will not get up.  The user will have to remove the HUD, rez and touch the Cure before they will be able to play again.  The Cure must be rezzed within the Wastelands estate in order for it to work.
  • Neo has hinted that these new elements have been early tests for V2 features.

General:

  • The Food Trader, Saul, has been completely recoded and is now permanently installed at the bottom of the Great Fissure.  He trades food for scrap at a ratio of 3:1.
  • The Surplus Trader, Scythejaw, now works where the Healing Machine once stood in Fort Stygian.  He lets you trade excess or unwanted scrap for other types of scrap, at a ratio of 6:1
  • The Big Ticket Item Trader, Alden, works at the top of the cliff in the Cape of Ruin.  He trades at a ratio of 9:1, but offers things that cannot be found anywhere else.
  • The Big Ticket Item Trader has offered scrap not seen since earlier versions of the game – such as Pistons and Basic Frames – but which now have Barter Values.  Most of these items are for trade purposes only, but some may work in future recipes.
  • The Traders also take another new item: Trader Scrit.  These small coins come in various denominations, and the Traders will trade for them at face value, instead of at their 3, 6, or 9 to 1 ratio.
  • A new food item, the WL: Cheese Wheel, was released as a Fight Night reward to the three finalists.
  • Rumor has it that Doktor Aeg may know how to make more than just the Cure, and was once something of a cook…
  • Rumor also says that the Traders’ manager, Trade Boss Debslok, may make her way to the Wastes eventually…

 

ROLEPLAY:

In the last days of Malady Bog, the ancient ziggurat and its altar were destroyed.  Togora, a Mutant woman who spoke a strange language (Aposiopesis Fullstop,) had been defacing it slowly for moons, unable to make much progress alone – and later racked with sickness.  When she was found by the Smoothskin Tsukiko, the two began to learn enough of the other’s language to communicate — and to learn that the Mutant saw the temple as cursed, that it needed to be destroyed. Tsukiko rallied more people to the cause, and despite sickness and weakness, over the course of many hours, the unspeakable temple was reduced to ruins, not long before the Bog itself became impassable.

The Key and the Courier story arc has come to a close.  Lajka, the Firestarter, was killed — she was pushed from the bridge in The Rot, and while she held out for a long while in the shade of the Schooner, beneath which her sister was buried, she did not survive to see the end of it all.  Ozgram and his army of Black Market Ghouls raided the Barrelhead Bazaar, destroying much of it and wounding many.  Ozgram himself was killed. The Key was given in secret to Sam from the Digger.  Somehow, it had found its way back to him and he had kept it safe and secret while others fought and forgot about it entirely.  Sam used the Key to unlock the hidden door beneath the bridge in The Rot, revealing a strange lift.  She, the Mutant Witch, the Ghoulkat, and young Jordy entered the lift and fell into a hidden chamber, the lift cavern collapsing behind them.  There they met the fabled Monster, and freed it – although few have spoken clearly about what happened, down there in the dark, and perhaps it was not a thing that could be put in words but it’s telling will come.

As the weather changes, folks come and go.  A couple new groups have been trying to make their mark — the passing of a moon or two may bring changes, though; now’s too soon to tell.  But Fort Stygian and Kronbelt seem a mite more active than in past days.  Still, word on the wind says that more groups will be coming soon:  the Mutant Witch speaks of the Gathering of the Tribes.  Mutants from many clans, both in the Wastelands and in the distant Outlands, are even now walking over sand and rock, mountain and swamp, to seek the honor and protection of the King of Fire as the cold moons come to the Wastes.  Any non-Mutant would do well to hide, either far away or far underground — especially when the Big Hunt happens, and all the Mutants lay waste to everyone else they can find, hauling the bodies back to the gathering grounds.  The air will be filled with the smell of strange smoke, the scent of roasting meat that comes from no Sand Hippo or Bird Dragon, and the distant sound of voices and drums and a hundred dancing feet.