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[Classic] Starting Clone Army For The Collegium. Need Advice

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  • [Classic] Starting Clone Army For The Collegium. Need Advice

    I'm a Mad Scientist with an Obligation 5 to the Collegium. My goal is to work my way up in influence in the Collegium to eventually rule the Collegium and either a. heavily influence the world's technology and bring about a technological utopia, or b. start taking over continent after continent under the Collegium's banner so that I can rule the land's laws that dictate technology and humanity's progress to bring about the aforementioned utopia. I haven't really gotten that far, but I know I want an army of 100% loyal soldiers to act as security and/or a military force if I feel like it. I thought of using clones to do this so that nobody suspects where these soldiers come from (automatons are a bit more traceable back to me). I don't want the clones themselves to be scientists, so I can brainwash them all as soldiers while the real people in the Collegium act as free-thinking scientists (until I deem the scientist heretics worthy of death, but, again, I'm not sure if I want to go that route). How should I go about establishing this loyal army with as little risk of insurrection or other problems as possible? I'll skip the part about hiding the fact that they're clones from the Collegium (obvious because they're morality slaves).

    One idea I had was that, if the cloning machine I build malfunctions and the Marshal decided to create non-loyal clones as punishment, I'll just build a fail-safe that either kills the clone before it gets released or just bricks the device; either will require mechanical parts and time to fix it to keep the game balanced. Another is that, if the device malfunctions and the clone comes out with-out the necessary injected hormones to listen to me unquestionably, I'll have a psychological exam administered by an individual or individuals that I trained to the clone(s) to see if the clone is truly loyal. The effectiveness of this test is based on a psychology roll that I make to also keep the game balanced. This way another person can look after the new clones and get them ready while I'm off on adventures with the party so that I don't slow the story down (some Marshals don't like individuals staying in one place grinding out their skills for too long as opposed to traversing an entire map the Marshal stayed up until 3 A.M. making). As I mentioned before another way is using my hormones, a series of audio-log therapy (have to buy phonographs with my voice), and my image to give the clones a clear idea who I am so that a. they are only loyal to me, and b. other people can't pretend to be me without the clones knowing it's not me.

    My biggest issue is that I'm not sure how much free will to give the clones. I don't need them to be free-thinkers, but as a science college I might need them to have some sort of decision making to interact with real people and make decisions when I can't tell them what decision to make. I recently looked into the real life Chinese brain-washing techniques, and I like the aspect of loyalty from that, but it requires that I lie to the clones to make them only know my way of thinking, and, while that's effective, it's a lot of work with so many moving parts that can go wrong. Wouldn't it just be easier/simpler to make the clones just follow me like organic robots, and not worry about those acts like giving speeches and writing manifestos to eek out a minor advantage of preventing insurrection?

    Finally, organics, automatons, or both? If both what roles? The flaws of automatons are well known (dumber than people, requires maintenance, etc.), but are they better than real people in this case?

    What are your thoughts?

    (Also, if you want to weigh in on whether to just have a security force vs taking over the world I'll listen)

  • #2
    You could look in the Lost Angels sourcebook, IIRC there's some rules in i on Patchwork Science. It could help you with your problem : neither people, neither automaton. If you don't have this book, I'll try to make a recap here.

    If you've played Bioshock, you'll remember the "Would you kinldy" phrase. If not, spoiler alert : it's a phrase, programmed in the mind of the main character, to have him do the will of whoever says it. It may be a solution : soldiers that obey you without even realizing you're giving them orders.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Meister View Post
      You could look in the Lost Angels sourcebook, IIRC there's some rules in i on Patchwork Science. It could help you with your problem : neither people, neither automaton. If you don't have this book, I'll try to make a recap here.

      If you've played Bioshock, you'll remember the "Would you kinldy" phrase. If not, spoiler alert : it's a phrase, programmed in the mind of the main character, to have him do the will of whoever says it. It may be a solution : soldiers that obey you without even realizing you're giving them orders.
      Interesting. And these soldiers based on Patchwork Science are they their own creature that I build or find? Is it a book worth buying?

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      • #4
        Patchwork Science lets a mad scientist build their own monsters, like a film style Frankenstein. There are rules about designing, constructing, and augmenting. The material includes an NPC guild focused on patchwork science, including a few full write up NPCs. There are also a few example patchwork critters (cat, hand, and spider).
        Lost Angels is a pretty interesting look at the city, society, and the Cult. It's quickly outdated by other books, and even more by Reloaded, but pretty good. Not sure if it's worth your cash, but I don't know your campaign or table.

        Originally posted by Not Clyax113 S. Xaces View Post
        I want an army of 100% loyal soldiers to act as security and/or a military force if I feel like it. I thought of using clones to do this so that nobody suspects where these soldiers come from ... How should I go about establishing this loyal army with as little risk of insurrection or other problems as possible?
        Don't use Mad Science.

        There is zero possibility that an army - made from the product of demon-tainted fear crystals and the insane products of a mind influenced by the whispers of demons - will not go horribly and spectacularly wrong.
        Mostly likely, you'll end up creating an army of Harrowed super soldiers, all controlled by their Manitou. Kind of like the Nemesis project in Monster Hunter Nemesis.
        Maybe they'll just come up with creative interpretations of orders, like walkin' dead.
        Or possibly they'll just explode during manufacture, destroying the facility and killing the workers.
        Or worse.

        Good luck, and have fun!
        I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.

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        • Not Clyax113 S. Xaces
          Not Clyax113 S. Xaces commented
          Editing a comment
          I see your point, but you didn't really help me find an alternative. Also, these are clones. It's real science that these humans will exist (how consciousness works is a mystery to us in out world), so no demons controlling them. The only demon controlling them is me (and I control my own demon[s]). Anything come to mind when hearing this?

      • #5
        Edit: I had some heavy but well meaning sarcasm here. Then I realized I might be spoiling some of the fun of the setting, so I removed it.

        My point was that there is zero possibility of this going according to plan. Not possible. Accept that, so you can enjoy the obscene violence and ridiculous story points your Marshal will make of this.

        Countermeasures will depend upon what technique you use.
        Clones need to grow up - cloning is a naturally occurring process, it's why Identical Twins are identical; to make an army of clone soldiers you'll need some kind of rapid aging technology. You'll also need some kind of rapid-training technology, or you'll lose six months teaching them to walk, poop, feed themselves, and not stab themselves with their rifles, plus another six months training them to be anything more than bullet sponges.
        Clones can be controlled by a) conditioning and indoctrination introduced during their training, b) pain compliance such as an implanted shock device, c) death threats, possibly from an implanted explosive or intentional genetic defect, d) mind control technology (the Collegium has some), e) proper magic, or f) some combination of the above. Personally, I think you'll get best results from a combination of conditioning and remote explosives, but that's me.

        Patchwork men don't need to be grown, and the parts can be pulled from any large battlefield (notably including a Great Rail Wars battlefield). Assuming combat skilled sources, you can even skip the laborious training process.
        Control is going to be iffy, since hodge-podge corpses with little or no memories of life don't have many psychological levers to use. I'd go with death threats, mind control, or magic since magic has the highest odds of working as desired. Bonus, if the magic fails the Marshal has the most options about what insanity ensues, for maximum fun.
        Any other walking corpse variant will have the same issues.

        Automatons are generally less combat effective than other troops, require a much heavier resource investment, require the most direct management to not ruin everything, and can be traced to you, but would be the easiest to control. The mechanical brains would be built with obedience to your orders, making them the least likely to rebel or maliciously interpret orders. Figure 80% loyalty.

        Other options include trying to capture and train various monster species. Wormlings would be near ideal but they don't really exist yet. Wolflings are a decent choice, being numerous, aggressive, and smart but control could be iffy. Wave Shadows (amphibious reptilian humanoids in the Great Maze) are probably the best choice, especially if you have access to a large supply of firearms.

        Good luck storming the Collegium! It would take a miracle.
        I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.

        Comment


        • #6
          Originally posted by ValhallaGH View Post
          Edit: I had some heavy but well meaning sarcasm here. Then I realized I might be spoiling some of the fun of the setting, so I removed it.

          My point was that there is zero possibility of this going according to plan. Not possible. Accept that, so you can enjoy the obscene violence and ridiculous story points your Marshal will make of this.

          Countermeasures will depend upon what technique you use.
          Clones need to grow up - cloning is a naturally occurring process, it's why Identical Twins are identical; to make an army of clone soldiers you'll need some kind of rapid aging technology. You'll also need some kind of rapid-training technology, or you'll lose six months teaching them to walk, poop, feed themselves, and not stab themselves with their rifles, plus another six months training them to be anything more than bullet sponges.
          Clones can be controlled by a) conditioning and indoctrination introduced during their training, b) pain compliance such as an implanted shock device, c) death threats, possibly from an implanted explosive or intentional genetic defect, d) mind control technology (the Collegium has some), e) proper magic, or f) some combination of the above. Personally, I think you'll get best results from a combination of conditioning and remote explosives, but that's me.

          Patchwork men don't need to be grown, and the parts can be pulled from any large battlefield (notably including a Great Rail Wars battlefield). Assuming combat skilled sources, you can even skip the laborious training process.
          Control is going to be iffy, since hodge-podge corpses with little or no memories of life don't have many psychological levers to use. I'd go with death threats, mind control, or magic since magic has the highest odds of working as desired. Bonus, if the magic fails the Marshal has the most options about what insanity ensues, for maximum fun.
          Any other walking corpse variant will have the same issues.

          Automatons are generally less combat effective than other troops, require a much heavier resource investment, require the most direct management to not ruin everything, and can be traced to you, but would be the easiest to control. The mechanical brains would be built with obedience to your orders, making them the least likely to rebel or maliciously interpret orders. Figure 80% loyalty.

          Other options include trying to capture and train various monster species. Wormlings would be near ideal but they don't really exist yet. Wolflings are a decent choice, being numerous, aggressive, and smart but control could be iffy. Wave Shadows (amphibious reptilian humanoids in the Great Maze) are probably the best choice, especially if you have access to a large supply of firearms.

          Good luck storming the Collegium! It would take a miracle.
          I'll quote this to further discussion with everyone. Hot dang! This is certainly something to consider. So, from what you've gathered, you find that, relative to the other options, people clones are medium investment cost, medium loyalty, and medium traceability. Patch-works are low investment cost, low loyalty, and low traceability. Automatons are high investment cost, high loyalty, and high traceability. This seems like a great starting point to make decisions on/ adjust.

          Another thing to talk about is this: what if I clone human bodies, but I use automaton brains? This way they're medium investment cost, high loyalty, and low traceability! If I want to get really crazy I could use patchwork bodies with automaton brains. This will have low investment cost, high loyalty, and low traceability! Obviously only I could work out the details for how to go about doing this, but general suggestions would be accepted. What do you or what does anyone else think?

          Edit: I also have a +4 persuasion from Purity and Soothing Voice on a 5d12, and I have a 5d12 bluff, so maybe just persuading people to obey me could be a better option overall. I mean loyalty would have to be AT LEAST medium, right?

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          • #7
            Originally posted by Not Clyax113 S. Xaces View Post
            Hot dang! This is certainly something to consider. So, from what you've gathered, you find that, relative to the other options, people clones are medium investment cost, medium loyalty, and medium traceability. Patch-works are low investment cost, low loyalty, and low traceability. Automatons are high investment cost, high loyalty, and high traceability. This seems like a great starting point to make decisions on/ adjust.
            Mostly.
            I think clones are going to be high start-up costs and medium to low ongoing costs; all that revolutionary fast growing and fast training tech is going to be a major outlay. Their loyalty is the most variable, ranging from low to high depending upon the technique(s) used and how much your Marshal plays along.

            Originally posted by Not Clyax113 S. Xaces View Post
            Another thing to talk about is this: what if I clone human bodies, but I use automaton brains? This way they're medium investment cost, high loyalty, and low traceability!
            You'd lose the advantages of clones (creativity, adaptation) and most of the advantages of automatons (durable, simplistic logistics). You'd end up with predictable, squishy, and poorly skilled cannon fodder. Not much of an army of conquest.

            Originally posted by Not Clyax113 S. Xaces View Post
            If I want to get really crazy I could use patchwork bodies with automaton brains.
            That's probably your best option. The patchwork bodies would be fairly cheap to get, and the automaton brains would give you the obedience and guaranteed skill levels.
            They'll be horrific monsters, prompting Fear checks in pretty much everyone that sees them, but they'll be tough, loyal, and probably medium cost to build (cheap bodies but mechanical brains are going to be expensive). They're likely to be fairly easy to trace back, due to distinctive appearance and specialized production requirements.
            I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.

            Comment


            • #8
              Originally posted by ValhallaGH View Post

              Mostly.
              I think clones are going to be high start-up costs and medium to low ongoing costs; all that revolutionary fast growing and fast training tech is going to be a major outlay. Their loyalty is the most variable, ranging from low to high depending upon the technique(s) used and how much your Marshal plays along.

              You'd lose the advantages of clones (creativity, adaptation) and most of the advantages of automatons (durable, simplistic logistics). You'd end up with predictable, squishy, and poorly skilled cannon fodder. Not much of an army of conquest.


              That's probably your best option. The patchwork bodies would be fairly cheap to get, and the automaton brains would give you the obedience and guaranteed skill levels.
              They'll be horrific monsters, prompting Fear checks in pretty much everyone that sees them, but they'll be tough, loyal, and probably medium cost to build (cheap bodies but mechanical brains are going to be expensive). They're likely to be fairly easy to trace back, due to distinctive appearance and specialized production requirements.
              Yes, I think that last part with the patchworks and automatons would work the best. As far as traceability goes I could blame it on that evil doctor in the Collegium book that's the mortal enemy of the good doctor that's sided with the Collegium. I could put something like "Property of Dr. X" or something. I could also look more into the Infernal Machines or whatever those enemy automatons are called. I could persuade others to spread rumors that they are built from a scientist up in the Sioux Nations when they're actually built somewhere in the uncivilized California. This could throw any suspicious people off of my trail.

              What do you all think is a good way to do this while also keeping traceability to me minimal (unless it really shouldn't matter)?
              Last edited by Not Clyax113 S. Xaces; 08-23-2019, 12:59 AM.

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