[FS2]why don't heroes evacuate people from the future ?

I adore the new setting. I'm among those people who though the BURO future wasn't very fun to send characters in (My old GM back in the FS1 days actually never sent us here in three years of weekly Feng Shui, and when I read about it years later I understood why).

But even if I dig post-apocalyptic settings, I haven't introduced my group to it yet because... I don't know how to render it.

It's not a true post-apocalypse rpg setting (in my opinion anyway) because the characters know the world still exist somewhen else, and they know they can go back there. So the whole feeling of doomed civilisation doesn't fly (but it's Feng Shui, so games aren't supposed to be about survival and existential angst anyway). I know that, and I am somewhat ok with it (I prefer straight post-apocalypse, but then I wouldn't be doing it with Feng Shui).

The thing that bugs me out is that... Well, you're a player and your GM sends you there for whatever mission it is Dragons decided to pursue. You see this desolate place, where hope has died for the 3% population that remains, where cyborg apes try to enslave what's left, and asshole warlords do there warlords bullshit. You know it's there, you know stable portals exist, that it's not just a pop-up juncture, that long-term plans are possible.

I don't know about you, but I, as a player, would immediately drop everything else after the mission to try and establish an "underground railroad" to funnel refugees from this terrible future to the nearest netherworld portal. I mean, that would become my main priority. Screw the Chi War, there are people living in hell right there, just a portal away, and we pop in and pop out and leave them to their misery ?

So you're going to say "yeah but that's you, you can't be sure this is what your players are going to think". And I agree. But the problem is, I'm the GM, and since I see things this way I have a hard time staying neutral. I genuinely don't know how to sell them this future neutrally, as a detached GM. I don't see how this situation works, how it stays that way, and why nobody has started to funnel people out yet. Why there is no "underground railroad". Of course, I could rule that there is ! But in that case, what are the reasons it's not working ?

Too many people to save ? Hard to reach them ? The risk of warlords discovering the portals, so the operation has to stay small ? Other factions not keen on taking up refugees in their junctures (I though about this one but the refugees could simply stay in the netherworld so it doesn't fly) ?

I need help wrapping my head around this status quo, being demonstrated why it stays that way ; or I won't be able to send my players there :frowning:

The following reasons

  1. Traveling through the netherworld is both rare and incredibly dangerous
    For small groups of elite fighters, it's doable, but they still lose people in there. But large groups of refugees? That's a problem. There's no food, tons of danger from the monarchs and the demons that live in the netherworld, and its absurdly easy to get lost. Large groups of people tend to attract the attention of the OMFG crazy stuff that goes on in the neitherworld.

  2. Traveling through the post apocalyptic juncture to round up refugees who are generally hiding and distrustful is dangerous.
    3% of 10 billion is still 33 million. These individuals are spread out throughout the entire post apocalyptic zone.
    They need to be found, convinced to come with you, convinced that everything they know is wrong, marched to a portal (which is likely guarded). You'll need spare food, not easy for the area. Sure, the Simian Army doesn't know about ALL the portals, and can't defend all of them, but moving large groups of refugees? That's not easy, and is going to get noticed if you keep zig zagging their territory nabbing people.

  3. WTF do they go?
    Ancient China: Killed by the Lotus, because they don't want guns and tech in their juncture, or foreigners.
    Contemporary - The lodge mercilessly gun them down to keep the chi war hidden.
    1850 - Lodge + Guiding hand will hate these people.

But the main moral reason not to?
4) It makes far, FAR more sense to instead disrupt chi, change history and ensure this never takes place. I mean, a 97% extinction rate event? Combined with the destruction of most of the world's chi sites (which may make long term life on the planet completely unviable?) That's something that needs to be PREVENTED, not fixed. If they do that, then all the refugees will be living nice happy lives free of the simian army and maybe (if they are lucky) the Buro. Unless someone was an idiot and threw them through a neitherworld portal, cause then they'll never really belong in time. Besides, the players are highly unlikely to have the resources needed to save a meaningful number of people.

I have to admit this thought has occurred to me too. I came to similar conclusions as Fugitive did in his great response.

I try to paint the Netherworld as a pretty dangerous place in my games. The heroes don't have much problem because they're great fighters. But if they tried to bring hundreds of refugees through there would probably be complications, like Wee described.

But hey, if your players wanted to try it, that could make for an interesting session!

Our heroes in my game just got back from the Future Juncture and they're about to learn of a Popup Juncture into the Buro-controlled future which will only be open for a few days. I've basically got an Escape-From-New-York style adventure cooked up, where NYC has been made a prison and they need to extract a scientist who's been imprisoned there.

I'd tend to agree that the original Future Juncture doesn't sound like much fun even to adventure in, but we've got a ticking clock on this one.

EDIT: Oops, I meant Fugitive's response to Wee's post!

Thanks, Fugitive (I think you meant him instead of me, Isaac, right ?). Your answers are spot on and will definitely help me shape up my personal representation of the future (and also, make me able to give reasons to my players if they ever start thinking like I was).

And, you're right, you two : I tend to forget that the Netherworld is dangerous. I'm tainted by the way my GM did it for us ten years ago : it was just a connecting hub between the junctures, nothing ever happened there other than having a chat at the Genocide Lounge. Because of that, I now have a hard time seeing the Netherworld otherwise. I only see the goofy side, what with NTV and all that. I've read elevator to the netherworld but still, I still see it as a bunch of corridors to other junctures with a living space in the middle where the Lounge, NTV, and a lot of street bazaars are.

Isaac, your next scenario sounds like a lot of fun ! Personally, I'll send them in the Buro future in a session or two. I'm in fact running the first sessions in the pre-chi bomb game setting. My players don't know anything about Feng Shui, so the big changes from 69 to 690, and from dystopian future to wasteland future, that veterans like me found very cool in the new edition, would be lost of them.

So I decided to create my own veterans. I'm making them familiar with the two junctures that got changed, making friends and enemies here and there... and then, chi-bomb. I'm hoping they'll be as stricken as old players of FS1 would be.

Right now they're in 69, and they're going to 2056 soon, and then... magic accident in the netherworld, trapped in a magical stasis field for 5 years, and when they come to, the chi-bomb will have happened.

330 Million; you're off by a zero. The world population around 1900 was about 400 million so we're not talking about an "empty landscape" by any means. We're talking about a Europe, China, India, and US with enough population to run industrial societies, complete with large armies etc. and everything we would recognize as a functioning nation (assuming that they can reform nations). Frankly the past junctures may have much more to worry about them being enemies rather than refugees, because once those future societies find out about the Chi war and what the jammers were doing, they're likely to be really angry at all chi warriors and invade the netherworld rather than asking for anyone's help. But that's every GM's call. Another problem with evacuation: with that sort of population, you could never evacuate everyone without a globally organized effort, because the population would reproduce faster than you could evacuate them. They're having 3-6 million babies/year, so you'd have to evacuate about 10,000 people/day just to keep up with population growth! So overall, I agree with Fugitive that the smartest thing for time travelers to attempt would be to change the future rather than transport people through the netherworld.

Of course, the best reason for an evacuation to either happen or not happen is story. If your players think its the only right thing to do and want to try evacuating people, I think it could be fun and interesting to run a "Mad Max" style series of adventures. Evil future overlords trying to prevent you from leaving, car chases through apocalyptic landscapes, the works.

One slight change I made in my Future Juncture was to say that the Chi Bomb happened a generation or so ago (and nobody's quite sure what year it is).

I wanted a really run-down, lived-in, Road Warrior/Fury Road-style apocalypse where there were kids that had grown up never knowing about the previous civilization. Also, I never played Feng Shui 1 and until recently I didn't know anything about the Buro or Architects of the Flesh in the original future. So to avoid having to refer to it I set my Future Juncture in a world where it's been mostly forgotten.

At least, that's the Australia part of it! The North America part of it might be much different, with the remnants of skyscrapers and civilization that the Buro had built.

I also have to admit I'm not a huge fan of the cybernetic apes with punny names. We like to have fun in our game but I'm just not feeling the whole Battlechimp Potempkin/Furious George thing.

I asked the question to Robin himself by email and to my surprise he took the time to answer. This is what the man himself had to say :

This and all your answers definitely made up my mind. Thank you.

You know, that's the feeling I would like to have too. But I also want to make them able to meet NPCs they had met in the Buro future, who are now wastelanders...

So I think I'm going to add that the chi-bomb had an effect on the memories of the few survivors. It happened only a few years ago, but the maelstrom created by the destruction of the chi screwed up everyone's mind and they can't really remember anything of value from before.

Also the ruins of the world themselves seem older than just 5 years. The chi had that effect on the scenery, and on the people, the memory glitch. The children and teenagers had it especially bad for some reason, and it's like they never knew about the previous civilisation. The adults and elderly remember more stuff, but vaguely.

That way I can have a traditional wasteland feel, but with the PCs meeting people they knew before, and that only aged 5 years.

It seems like a lot of far-fetched, unprecedented effects, but as they said, the chi-bomb is an unprecedented event. It even made the 1850 juncture double-back on itself (if you want to do it that way) so I don't see why stop myself :wink:

To be honest, as a Frenchman, I understand most puns, but I never understood Furious George. What's the joke ?

It's a play on words, referring to "Curious George," a famous (for Brits and Americans) monkey character from children's book. I believe in France he's published as Georges le petit curieux. Anyway, in English, "curious" and "furious" are pronounced very similarly, only the initial hard 'c' and 'f' are different. Battlechimp Potemkin is a similar play on words, this time on the name of a famous silent movie-era Russian propaganda film, Battleship Potemkin. Similar plays on words would be things like A Clockwork Orang or Gorillas of the Fist.

I always found most Jammer nicknames and puns very transparent and easy to understand, especially the Battlechimp. I mean there's the name of the ship and everything, it's not like the Potemkin is an obscure historical reference (the french translation is very good. "Cuirassinge Potemkin", which is a portmanteau of cuirassé, meaning armoured battleship, and singe, meaning monkey. You lose the specific reference to chimpanzee, but it stays a pun that looks and sounds identical to the original name. Very elegantly done. As a professional RPG translator myself, I salute my colleague of yore on this one)

But I didn't know about Curious George so I couldn't understand Furious. Thanks ! :smiley: