Wednesday 20 September 2023

d12 Mostly Harmless Cults for Outer System in Strange Stars

So as I'm designing a space wheel station with thousands of inhabitants for some urban adventures I want players to investigate cults on the station. Ill do a separate naughty cult. One of the best things about the Cthulhu Mythos is all human occult, religious and mythology knowledge is bullshit. I don't think Call of Cthulhu RPG really does this well. I'm trying to not name creatures much - mostly its too much info and the game and monsters once innovative and weird in 83 is mainstream pop culture now. I can see why raiders of  Ralyeh has more one-off unamable things which I'm leaning into in my fantasy game too. Possibly excessive Taxonomy and fan lore isn't good for horror. 

Descriptions include goals, public opinion, how AI/security/government treat them and possible secrets or dangers. Someone could join several such cults.

Terra mostly doesn't stand for this BS. Venus more interested and recreational AI humours them, Mars is mostly skeptical but has a strong minority of believers. Like the Inner worlds promote capitalism and run crime syndicates in secret in the free outer system some say they run cults as a psi-op. Problems are only found in a minority most are just mooks or dupes or useful idiots for authorities or real cults. All have public offices and some even have fewer AI administrators. Some are less obvious targets for real cults.

d12 Harmless Cults for Outer System in Strange Stars
1 Crypto Hunters - believe there are non-sapient creatures living in the void and asteroids and planets and moons of the solar system. Mostly based on blurry images, satellite pictures of shadows and wild stories of people alone in space too much. Many claim it is science but really want fame. Authorities think are harmless and possibly a safety hazard. They monitor them because AI admits it is possible. Real cults might well recruit from them and even show them real monsters
2 Cosmic League - believe in making contact with aliens, seek first contact, broadcast into space welcome messages. Will propose poorly interpreted phenomena as intelligence and seek fame of discovering intelligent life. Authorities mostly view them as harmless but are concerned cults may rush into danger or they might beat officials in a real contact scenario. Might well be dupes of actual aliens and overly friendly
3 Star Ancestors - believe aliens visited Earth in past and built monuments and modified humans. Mostly dismissed and not taken seriously. They are partly right but all their scenarios are false and based on inventions of older cults proposing humanoid aliens and weird race theories. Their searches off Earth authorities see as harmless but if identified kept away from historic sites on Earth. The real problem is they are hopelessly optimistic and open to real cults. Humanoid aliens may well be faked by real aliens or might be modified human servitors 
4 Serpentine Sentinels - believe alien reptilians infiltrated society through history and control all human civilisation. Dismissed by authorities but aware some extremists are potential terrorists. Really reptilians were prehistoric species created by an alien entity in prehistoric times and mostly killed by dinosaurs. Some slumbered in underground shelters and occasionally created human hybrids to spy on and manipulate humans but were never capable of control imagined by this cult. Some hybrids might infiltrate the cult to manipulate them. Some of the reptilians and their creator god might be somewhere in space or there might be shelters or space ark ships
5 Sea Harvest - a semi-respectable group working on sea colonisation on Earth and some of Jupiter or Saturn's moons. They hope to start a colony on a water planet in the future. Mostly they are involved in legitimate science like sea farming. but also their dreams are costly and possibly not the most efficient. Authorities regard them as sometimes overly enthusiastic. They are stooges of deep ones and include hybrids who use it to recruit cultists and to spread their species beyond the stars. They also hope to meet their creator gods far from Earth 
6 Martian Dream - almost a new religion on Mars. They speculate on life 3.6 billion years ago on Mars when it had oceans and an atmosphere. Started as a sort of fan fiction and grew, Many claim to have dreams of old Mars and even claim to be reincarnated from ancient Martians. They disagree on what Martians were like but others say all theories are true as the Martian age was quite long. They look for evidence but ideas are often used in pop culture and theme parks. Authorities think it is harmless but believe some exponents shouldn't be in any position of trust. Many members don't really take it seriously and think it is fun or for shared fiction and cosplay events. The dream is real, psychic echoes of the past and from deeply buried vaults. Mars seems to have had a small spindly barrel-chested humanoid, a tripod psychic insectoid species, a bear-sized octopid blood-sucking conqueror and possibly others. Some possibly arrived later to conquer the humanoids. Wars and failed terraforming slowly degraded the planet but an alien god spelled the final end and slumbers in a vault with its humanoid thralls  sending out dreams
7 New Sun League - a pro-colony organisation, popular and accepted in the generation and near FTL colony ships programs. Many in the colony projects are still a decade away for the first ship with plans to keep sending a ship per year for decades. Some members really are cultists convinced their gods are on other worlds they hope to colonise. Some surmise there are already colonies of cultists across the galaxy created aeons ago by aliens. Cultists dream of turning whole planets to serve their dark gods
8 Psionic Academy - believe that psychic powers exist and may yet evolve if not present. Authorities tolerate them but believe it is wasteful but may infiltrate them to keep an eye on them as some have tried illegal modifications as a scam. Psionics don't really work like theorists propose. Either they are gene mods or implants from alien cults and possibly interface with technology in hyperspace built by ancient aliens
9 Gourmet Gathering - a VIP eating club from Venus seen as a frivolous, wasteful luxury but also many are interested in their gatherings and feasts. Some sects have been caught practising cannibalism as the ultimate taboo thrill often in ritualistic ceremonies mostly for aesthetics. Is growing and authorities are monitoring in case the whole group is contaminated. Real cultists have joined and are pushing sadism and depravity in the name of some alien god that may or not be real 
10 Belter Freedom League - advocates for more freedom from the inner worlds, an end to manipulation and their own colony ships. Have already sent some slower-than-light vessels not expected to reach anywhere in the next decade. Some extremists Free Belters are terrorists and thus all movement is monitored. Other cultists in the outer system use them to hide from authorities and to recruit the desperate and angry. It is especially easy to stay off the grid in the Kuiper Belt beyond Inner's interests but perhaps cults seek something there 
11 Human Ark Project - convinced in the event of disaster humans need to prepare with archives of knowledge and technology in case humanity falls and needs to rebuild. Keen to settle new worlds and bury time capsules that also include, seeds, DNA and possible frozen agents. The AI of the Inners don't take the idea too seriously but think it has some possible merit so tolerate them. Scenarios include war, tech failure or even alien exterminators. Often work with pro-colony groups as their interests overlap. Some worse cultists think they too need to plant the seed of their alien religion in such capsules and some might plan to destroy technology-based humanity in the future when their ark vaults can create a new order with a revised history 
12 Advance Humanity - pro genetic manipulation of humans, cloning, bio and cybernetic implants to make humanity superhuman and transcend to new evolved beings. Some believe humanity can evolve beyond bodies or merge with supercomputers and be immortal. Believe current tech repressed. One faction cloned genetic infantry and wiped out several belt colonies based on racist ideas almost a hundred years ago giving the 
public and authorities a bad taste for the cult. Many seek to infiltrate new colonies and interstellar missions and conduct illegal experiments. This opens them to alien cult infiltration offering technology not of the Sol system

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