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  • Uniform Two Six
    replied
    Originally posted by No One of Consequence View Post

    Certain plastic polymer molecules are apparently small enough that they can be inhaled and allegedly even pass through the skin, which would make for a potential vector for Fomori infection/creation. I have this image in my head of Rainbow created fomori whose entire bodies have turned into plastic polymers, possibly making them easily mistaken for Drones by Garou who've never seen them before.
    Hmmmm... That would actually make an interesting conundrum for dealing with Plastic Elementals who Materalize as human-sized action figures. (And possibly the perfect mortal enemies for them as well).

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  • No One of Consequence
    replied
    Originally posted by Onkwe View Post
    You mentioned the private military contractors. This good be a good point for a crossover with the Templar Barrabri run outfit in M20.
    I admit to being almost totally unfamiliar with most of the X20 material (I'm one of the old guard grognards - get off my lawn, you damn kids!), but yes, a PENTEX run private mercenary group may potentially share recruits, training or battlefields with any sort of amoral or immoral group of mercenaries, including the above, front groups for the Assamite Web of Knives cult, weird war god cults, Spectre cults, Demon groups, or what have you. I suspect that a PENTEX company at one point or another would be lead by the guy whose soul Gabriel is after in The Prophecy (1995). On the other hand, I think it would be kind of fitting for it to be lead by or have as a member Barry Sadler's Casca the Eternal Mercenary reinterpreted as a Bane Mummy.

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  • Onkwe
    replied
    You mentioned the private military contractors. This good be a good point for a crossover with the Templar Barrabri run outfit in M20.

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  • No One of Consequence
    replied
    RAINBOW INCORPERATED (Plastics)

    ‚ÄčI want to say one word to you. Just one word. Are you listening? Plastics. There's a great future in plastics. Think about it. Will you think about it?
    - Mr. McGuire, The Graduate (1967)

    So, plastics are, quite honestly, the corner stone of much of the modern world. And, from an environmental standpoint, kind of suck. They don't biodegrade very well (if at all, depending on circumstances) and depending on the type is often a pain to recycle properly (if at all). And Rainbow makes plastics. Lots n lots of plastics.

    Rainbow never got much mention in detail, just that they make plastics and rubber goods, were apparently founded in the 1950s, and ... that's about it. I'd initially thought their closest real world counterpart would be the likes of DuPont and Dow until I saw where BlackFox had pointed out Rubbermaid. So, Rubbermaid grew out of the 1933 patent for a rubber kitchen dustpan, and in the 50s started working with plastics. And in 1999, were bought out by Newell Brands. In addition to Rubbermaid stuff, Newell also makes/owns Sharpie, PaperMate, Uniball, Liquid Paper, Krazy Glue, Crock-Pot, Coleman, Mr. Coffee, Jostens (the high school yearbook people), Yankee Candle, First Alert smoke detectors, Bicycle Playing Cards, and a lot of other things (including a lot of outdoor and fishing gear).

    If you want a primer on plastics, Modern Marvels has done an episode on the subject (season six, episode six), as well as one on rubber (season 11, episode 22). Book wise, there is Susan Freinkel's Plastic: A Toxic Love Story, Jeffery Meikle's American Plastic: A Cultural History, and Stephen Fenichell's Plastic: The Making of a Synthetic Century. (The last two are annoyingly out of print, but available in ebook form.) There's also a number of "documentaries" about the evils of plastics that one can find on Netflix and other platforms. Several of them talk about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which weirdly enough always struck me as a possible PENTEX experiment in trying to create a new landmass that they could claim as their own sovereign nation (which is no less insane than some of their plots).

    Certain plastic polymer molecules are apparently small enough that they can be inhaled and allegedly even pass through the skin, which would make for a potential vector for Fomori infection/creation. I have this image in my head of Rainbow created fomori whose entire bodies have turned into plastic polymers, possibly making them easily mistaken for Drones by Garou who've never seen them before. Perhaps developing powers similar to that of DC's Plastic Man. Maybe call them Plastics (after the clique in Mean Girls), created by rampant consumerism for disposable plastic goods, creating a breed that looks human, in a vapid, superficial and shallow way (like evil giant Barbie dolls).

    As far as the rubber side of things, Stephen Lang's A World History of Rubber is an overview. Joe Jackson's The Thief at the End of the World is a rather interesting historical account of how a British agent smuggled rubber tree seeds out of Brazil in the Victorian Era, which may be useful for period historical games. Likewise Greg Grandon's Fordlandia, about Henry Ford's efforts to establish a rubber plantation the size of Delaware in Brazil back in the 1920s. (Most rubber nowadays is synthetic, to my understanding.)

    If one wants something totally ludicrous for their Garou to fight, see the film Rubber (2010), about a killer tire with psychic powers. (Yes, you read that correctly.)

    Added: An interesting bit of apocalyptic sci-fi is the novel Ill Wind by Kevin J. Anderson and Doug Beason, about an attempt to clean up a massive oil spill using a petroleum eating microbe results in an air born contagion that eats away and dissolves everything made from petroleum, including plastics, gasoline, synthetic fabrics and other things. One might consider this as a potential chronicle plot with a mentally unstable Glasswalker or Kinfolk scientist trying to tear down modern civilization.
    Last edited by No One of Consequence; 03-11-2018, 04:28 PM.

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  • Onkwe
    replied
    'There Will Be Blood' could work as another great cinematic source for Premium/Endeon's early days. You have this insane early oil tycoon teaming up with a corrupt pastor.

    EDIT: Sorry, No One of Concequence, I failed to see you mentioned this movie in your first post.
    Last edited by Onkwe; 03-10-2018, 05:59 PM.

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  • No One of Consequence
    replied
    An Aside: The Founding Five

    While doing all of this, I've been going back and reading through a lot of the older sourcebooks for assorted tidbits, and one of the things I came across that I'd long forgotten about was PENTEX's origins as described in the original Book of the Wyrm. To wit, in 1913, the Wyrm spirit/entity that worked through Premium Oil was apparently approached/confronted by four other Wyrm entities that also worked through businesses and forced into a partnership with them. Hence, the name PENTEX, as there were five founding companies. So this led me to wondering who, besides Premium (now Endron), were the other four founding companies?

    Good House is listed as PENTEX's "second oldest" company, so it might be one of them. I'm just not sure how they'd be connected to a major Wyrm entity.

    I'm guessing that Harold & Harold Mining is probably one of them, just because the mining industry (especially the early coal mining companies, several of which apparently also worked in steel and railroads) was huge throughout the later half of the 19th century and much of the 20th. The Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company, for example, went back as far as 1792, withTennessee Coal Iron and Railroad formed in 1852, St. Joseph Lead Company in 1864, Union Pacific Coal Company in 1874, and Homestake Mining in 1877. Besides which, this would dovetail nicely into my earlier mention that the company may be built around the cult of some long buried Wyrm "god" similar to Tak from Stephen King's Desperation or the red lirium in Dragon Age.

    Young & Smith are, I presume, meant to be Procter & Gamble, who were founded in 1837, and Johnson & Johnson, founded in 1887. Because I find the urban legend about P&G's logo being a Satanic symbol to be incredibly funny, I presume that Young & Smith have a similar logo that's full of all sorts of obscure Wyrm signs, and if they were founded by some sort of cult of Wyrm-witches, they might also be a good candidate for a founder.

    Circinus Brands (the tobacco company) likely goes back to the 19th century as well, as R.J. Reynolds goes back to 1875, Brown & Williamson to 1894, Philip Morris to 1902 and Lorillard went all the way back to 1760. Perhaps they serve Lord Choke, Elemental Maeljin of Smog.

    I'd kind of like to think that a meat packing company was one of the founders, just because it seems so fitting somehow (not least of which because of ties to The Jungle).

    If anyone else has any thoughts on the matter, I'd enjoy hearing them.





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  • No One of Consequence
    replied
    I've read/seen maybe two-thirds of the stuff I mention, so part of this is that I've found a lot of new stuff to add to my reading/watching list. Of course, I'm the sort of complete dork who finds, say, the history of butter or the behind the scenes story of Anheuser-Busch to be fascinating (at least when well told).

    Seriously. While looking up stuff for Young & Smith and Herrick's, I found a book on the history of butter. It must be mine.
    Last edited by No One of Consequence; 02-28-2018, 06:26 PM.

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  • grimjaws
    replied
    I really appreciate all of the legwork you've done on these bibliographies No One of Consequence. This will help add depth to my chronicles and has generated quite a reading backlog now

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  • No One of Consequence
    replied
    PRIVATE SECURITY & INTELLIGENCE SERVICES

    Something that's become a big deal in the past 15 years, what with private military contractors in various war zones, but actually goes back quite a ways. Obviously, PENTEX probably has their own such company, and a number of them have been proposed by various people.

    The best place to start, I think, is with the Pinkerton Agency back in the later half of the 19th century. Besides private detective work, they specialized in acting as body guards, private security, strike breakers and anti-union infiltrators. There've been a number of books about the agency's history, including Frank Morn's The Eye That Never Sleeps and S. Paul O'Hara's Inventing the Pinkertons: Spies, Sleuths, Mercenaries and Thugs. (Also, Chris Enss's The Pinks: The First Women Detectives, Operatives, and Spies with the Pinkerton National Detective Agency, while not really PENTEX related, does offer inspiration for Black Fury and other female characters in Werewolf: The Wild West.) The final season of Deadwood shows the Pinkertons in their full black-coated thuggish glory. Also The Molly Maguires (1970). The Deadlands RPG presents the Pinkertons as 19th century Men in Black, investigating and covering up supernatural monsters. Also, Dashiell Hammett's Red Harvest.

    More modernly, we have the rise of private security companies. Deborah D. Avant's The Market for Force: The Consequences of Privatizing Security, Sean McFate's The Modern Mercenary: Private Armies and What They Mean for World Order, Jeremy Scahill's Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army and Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield, and Suzanne Simon's Master of War: Blackwater USA's Erik Prince and the Business of War cover the subject. Fictionally, there is the 2004 remake of The Manchurian Candidate, The A-Team (2010), Blood Diamond (2006), season four of the tv series Damages, and The Punisher (2017). They also became popular episode topics for shows like NCIS, Law & Order, and Burn Notice, among others. Also Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. I will also single out the 1999 film End of Days, with Schwarzenegger as part of a private security company as they tended to be before 9/11 and it's aftermath, apparently specializing in bodyguard work, as an image of what such a company might look like back in the 80s and 90s.

    In the World of Darkness, there's NextWorld from Orpheus, and nWoD/CoD's Dogs of War includes Blackfire.

    Outside the realm of paramilitary work, there's also corporate security and intelligence work. Ami Toben's Surveillance Zone: The Hidden World of Corporate Surveillance Detection & Covert Special Operations gives a good introduction to it.

    A PENTEX owned security company undoubtably provides protection and security for their companies executives and facilities, the elite and top level people probably getting guards who know how to counter werewolves and other supernatural threats. Possibly a special breed of Fomori that passes for human and/or Odyssey psychics trained as bodyguards. They probably also work to infiltrate, undermine and destroy environmentalist, anti-corporate and other political activist groups, conduct corporate espionage against rival companies, dig up blackmail material on politicians and celebrities, and help make various problems "disappear". The more military aspects probably do security for PENTEX companies in third world nations and war zones, brutally suppress local troublemakers, and conduct seek and destroy missions against Garou and Fera targets. They're probably the primary recruiting ground for First Teams. The undoubtably buy a lot of hardware from Herculean and even Nastrum.

    More later.

    (Currently working on Rainbow and Avalon, as well as meat and dairy.)

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  • No One of Consequence
    replied
    CRIME SCENE CLEAN UP/BIOHAZARD REMEDIATION (An addendum to Ardus)

    Ardus handles waste disposal, and that may or may not include the specialized realm of cleaning up after dead bodies. Ardus may have a subsidiary that handles this sort of thing, or there could be a completely separate PENTEX company which specializes in the trade. Either way, in addition to cleaning up after crime scenes where blood and/or other bodily fluids/materials are left behind, these companies also handle things like industrial accidents (of which I'm sure PENTEX has quite a bit), infectious diseases (repeat previous comment), and disaster aftermaths (again).

    Bookwise, there is Gil Reavill's Aftermath Inc: Cleaning Up After CSI Goes Home, Alan Emmins's Mop Men: Inside the World of Crime Scene Cleaners, and Jeff Klima's Dead Janitors Club: Pathetically True Tales of a Crime Scene Cleanup King. More on the technical/how-to side is Erasing the Aftermath: Crime and Trauma Scene Recovery. The business has been the subject of films, such as Sunshine Cleaning (2008), and television, such as Spotless (2015). There's also Wendy Roberts's Ghost Dusters series, about a crime scene cleaner who can communicate with ghosts and solves mysteries.

    Clearly, any PENTEX run cleaning outfit is going to have. lot of experience cleaning up after messy deaths. Werewolf attacks tend to be messy, as do fomori who spontaneously self destruct. More often than not, they probably get there before any sort of official investigators do, making Garou attacks, dead environmentalists, and deadly industrial accidents disappear without anyone ever knowing it happened. Fewer insurance premium increases, troublesome police investigations or nosy safety inspections that way.

    If you want to add a deeper, Ghostbusters-like level to things, these cleaners may also trained and equipped to round up any stray spirits at a clean up site as well. Banes attracted by trauma or disaster, or the ghosts of the recently deceased, they can be used by PENTEX for something useful (read, destructive). Maybe Endron has a "renewable energy" project that runs off of tortured wraiths, or Project: Iliad needs some new raw materials for fomori production (in addition to any brain matter that happens to be laying around for the psychic mutants to eat). And, if said company happens to have something like "Dunsirn" or "Koenig" or "Oburtus" in the name, well, maybe there's even more going on.

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  • No One of Consequence
    replied
    HERRICK'S
    "When I signed a contract to be the Mega Lo Mart spokesman, I didn't read it carefully. I have to be at every store opening, and they open 400 stores a year."
    - Chuck Mangione, King of the Hill ("Mega Lo Dale")


    So, Herrick's was originally, back in the days of Book of the Wyrm 1st and 2nd editions, just a grocery store chain. And, rather oddly for one of PENTEX's major companies, they didn't actively do all that much to corrupt people and places. Primarily they just acted as an outlet for the sale of various products made by Young and Smith, Good House, Magadon, King and others. Near the end of Revised, Walmart was becoming more and more of a thing, so naturally Herrick's was starting to evolve in that direction. Nowadays, they probably are a full blown Walmart/Target discount store. But there still doesn't seem to be that much happening with them. Grocery stores and discount stores seem to end up more as settings, such as in Stephen King's The Mist, than as active antagonists. With Herrick's I suspect the ultimate enemy is just us humans and our endless desire for more stuff.

    History wise, if you've ever been curious about how the modern American model of the grocery store came about, see Mike Freeman's Clarence Saunders and the Founding of Piggly Wiggly. They're potentially a good template for how Herrick's got its start.

    As for Walmart, Charles Fishman's The Walmart Effect is pretty good. Anthony Bianco's Walmart: The Bully of Bentonville is also full of a lot of potential inspiration ideas about Herrick's behind the scenes activities. I've never read Bill Quinn's How Walmart is Destroying America and the World, but I'm sure one can find additional ideas in it. Oddly, there are few if any books about Target Corporation, mostly ones that feel like they were commissioned by Target themselves, and next to nothing about how "evil" they are. (One might almost think there was some sort of class based bias that makes one company hip and trendy and the other worthy of nothing but scorn, but I'm sure that couldn't possibly be true.) Nick Copeland and Christi Labuski's The World of Walmart: Discounting the American Dream looks at the store from an anthropological perspective that is pretty interesting if you are into that sort of thing. Penn & Teller's tv show BULLSHIT did an episode about Walmart (season 5, episode 2). And the King of the Hill episode "Propane Boom", in which Mega Lo Mart is running a number of local retailers out of business. One can also Google various articles about how, during the 1980s, they made a place on their board specifically for the wife of the Governor of the state they are based out of in order to insure a "friendly" working relationship with the state government.

    For a more conspiratorial angle, there is the South Park episode "Something Wall-Mart This Way Comes", in which the stores are effectively a malevolent entity of their own beyond any human control, mentally pushing customers to buy more and more, feeding on their money and consumeristic urges (perhaps even their souls?). The fact that the store was built on the town's Stark Pond makes me think that perhaps Herrick's deliberately sites all of it's stores on locations that may have some special significance. Ancient and forgotten Native sacred sites or burial places, lost or potential future Caern locations, places where the Uktena bound powerful Wyrm spirits, and other things of that nature. Maybe there's some sort of secret plot to tie all these locations together and draw on their power for a doomsday ritual.

    If you're looking to set a Werewolf game in the United Kingdom, Asda is the name of the supermarket chain that was acquired by Walmart, with their Asda Supermarkets, Supercentres, Superstores and Living outlets. Herrick's probably has something similar. I think Tesco is the name of Britain's biggest grocer chain. Geoffrey Randall and Andrew Seth's The Grocers: The Rise and Fall of the Supermarket Chains is a history of the British supermarket industry.

    A possibly angle for Herrick's is that, as they may be open 24 hrs, the stores may have turned into potential hangouts for some vampires. A pack could decide to take action against a local store, only to suddenly find themselves facing all of the local vampires who are angry that their Elysium and/or Rack is being threatened.

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  • No One of Consequence
    replied
    Private Education

    This sort of thing isn't likely to be a big money maker, but does offer up another area of interest for possible PENTEX corruption and conspiracy. I suspect that the standard private day school is more trouble than PENTEX would care to deal with, unless it's one of those super elite places near New York City, Washington DC, LA and similar locations where the children of politicians, financial giants, studio executives, mafia dons and the like go to. The better bet, I think, is in the realm of private boarding schools, the sort of places where they can co-opt, brainwash and corrupt the next generations of upper class kids whose parents don't really have time for them at home. Alternately, it can also be the sort of places where "troubled youths" are sent in lieu of juvenile detention or the like. Military academies, work farms, and creepy old gothic fortresses abound.

    A PENTEX funded school is likely to advance their own corporatist agenda combined with a mindset of the strong dominating, devouring or otherwise abusing the weak, winners succeeding by being the most ruthless and amoral, and success being rewarded with whatever ones corrupt little heart desires. Any school is likely peppered with "special" students, including BSD Kinfolk (knowing or unknowing), Ferectoi, Widderslainte, members of Revenant families, Asian Dhampyri, Wildlings of House Balor and who knows what else. There's almost certainly at least one teacher who looks like the "Schoolmaster of Sin" character from the Followers of Set clanbook.

    This is just the "real world" type boarding school. If one wanted to go over the top, there's always Pigzit's School of Wyrmcraft and Witchery as a chronicle option.

    Ideas for private schools and boarding academies can be found in The Moth Diaries (2011), Dead Poets Society (1989), Taps (1981), The Lords of Discipline (1983), Cry_Wolf (2005), The Woods (2006), Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975), The House That Screamed (1969), Evil (2003), and the comic series Gotham Academy.

    The other possibility for PENTEX related education shenanigans is the realm of after school tutoring and academic coaching services. The main potential for this, I think, is in using it to look for potential candidates for Project: Odyssey, possible Ferectoi, or those suitable for corruption via PENTEX produced toys, video games, movies, reading material and other "rewards" for their studies.
    Last edited by No One of Consequence; 02-11-2018, 08:43 PM.

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  • No One of Consequence
    replied
    ARDUS ENTERPRISES

    The wonderful world of waste management. Your trash is their treasure. Waste management and disposal is a huge industry, both in scale and in the amount of money involved. Two massive companies, the creatively named Waste Management, Inc. and their rival Republic Services, Inc. handle more than half of all garbage disposal in the United States. (Waste Management was the subject of the first episode of Undercover Boss, for those wanting a sanitized - npi - look at their operations.)

    If you want a good, basic and easy to read introduction to the topic, I recommend Elizabeth Royte's Garbage Land: On the Secret Trail of Trash. It looks at everything from trash collection and landfills to waste energy collection and recycling, mostly in the New York City area and it's surrounding environs, including certain political aspects of the industry, long term environmental effects, and industry corruption. Also, Susan Strasser's Waste and Want: A Social History of Trash, looking at the issue from a long term historical perspective that many may find useful for more historical oriented games. Other books on the subject include Heather Rogers's Gone Tomorrow: The Hidden Life of Garbage, Edward Humes's Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash, and Adam Mintner's Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion-Dollar Trash Trade. There's also Stewart Edwards's My Rubbish Career: Municipal Waste Management, more of an insider look at things from the UK and Australian perspective.

    At the street level of things, with waste pick up, one aspect of the industry, especially in the American North East and Midwest regions, has been the presence of organized crime, mostly the Mafia, who would use trash hauling companies to launder money, as well as engage in price fixing, extortion of protection money and other illegal activities. This isn't as big of a thing now as it used to be, at least in New York, mostly owing to the crack down during the Giuliani era. Ironically, this allowed Waste Management to come in and now run most of the city's trash disposal that's not handled by the Dept. of Sanitation ("New York's Strongest"). But, according to Waste-Management World, it's still a problem in New Jersey. The tv series The Sopranos dealt with certain aspects of this, and it does offer an interesting potential origin for Ardus back in the 1950s and 60s.

    City's used to dump their trash in near by swamps or other undesirable areas, and a lot of these eventually became landfills. Many of these places closed after the creation of the EPA and introduction of environmental laws, but many of these places are now Superfund clean up sites. Many cities, such as NYC, now have to ship their garbage out of state, to new landfills typically established in poor rural communities. The towns and counties usually get a lot of money out of the deal for schools, scholarships and other projects, but there's the constant environmental concerns of ground water contamination and air pollution (often involving methane and other gasses). In the World of Darkness, odds are that Ardus deliberately looks for townships or rural areas near established Fomori Families (like Lovecraft's Whateley family or the freaks from the original Wrong Turn film), so as to increase their numbers. The other likely target for new landfills is probably any area that is suspected of holding a Garou cairn or other sacred site. This could easily turn into the sort of situation where a cairn's neighbors - perhaps majority kinfolk towns - being corrupted and turning into something similar to The Crazies (1973/2010) or Stephen King's "Children of the Corn". (Weirdly, a lot of the contracts for these landfills include clauses that forbid protesting from the citizenry once the place is up and running.)

    Outside of the US, Italy has apparently seen a "perfect storm" convergence of organized crime run waste companies and landfills with the discovery of an illegal dump site in Naples roughly the size of at least 30 soccer fields with 10 billion tons of waste, including radioactive material.

    Incinerators are still used for burning trash, and a lot of them end up in or next to poorer neighborhoods. While this get's decried as "environmental racism", it's really a matter of socioeconomics and income levels, similar to why landfills are located in poor rural areas of West Virginia or Pennsylvania rather than, say, Park Avenue or Beverly Hills. When it comes to NIMBY, money talks louder than anything else. While the pollution from incinerators has decreased dramatically over the past two decades, they aren't 100%, and any Ardus runs are likely worse, contributing to the creation of Smog Elementals, lung diseases, and other problems for the neighboring areas. The ash generated from incinerators still has to be disposed of, and at times no one wants it. The most infamous of these occurrences is the Khian Sea incident in the 1980s, where a ship full of incinerator ash from Pennsylvania eventually ended up dumping 10000 tons of ash into the Indian Ocean after being rejected from over a dozen countries.

    Transporting regular trash has it's own environmental problems, with garbage trucks being notorious fuel hogs and air polluters, and the trucks that take compacted trash to out of state landfills are known to leak liquid waste and spew litter from improperly secured loads. Undoubtably, Ardus's fleets are even worse than average in these regards.

    In the World of Darkness, it's entirely possibly for a massive pile of garbage to become sentient from spiritual possession, including by a Bane. I refer to such trash-fomori as Heaps, after the 1940s comic book character.

    Beyond normal trash, there's also the realm of toxic waste disposal, including dangerous chemicals, radioactive byproducts and biohazards. I've not yet read Eddie Girdner and Jack Smith's Killing Me Softly: Toxic Waste, Corporate Profit, and Environmental Justice, but it does seem to cover some of the history of the business and it's development after WW2. There's also Craig Colton and Peter Skinner's The Road to Love Canal: Managing Industrial Waste before the EPA. Ardus likely follows the above mentioned Italian method and hides as much toxic materials in their regular landfills as they're able to get away with. They probably also like to just stash it in underground locations, be they in out of the way places underneath a city, such as in C.H.U.D. (1984), letting it fall off a transport train like in Return of the Living Dead (1985) or burying it under new suburban housing developments like the real life Love Canal. Richard Newman's Love Canal: A Toxic History from Colonial Times to the Present gives a look at the city from a historical perspective, which may offer ideas for Storytellers wanting to delve more into the history of the area as part of a Rage Across New York based campaign.

    And, of course, toxic waste is a classic catalyst for the creation of fomori, with The Toxic Avenger (1984) and various aspects of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles giving various potential examples. Also the take on Parasite from Superman: The Animated Series.

    Finally, for those wanting a really ludicrous tie between Ardus and Nastrum, I offer up Hasbro's 1991 G.I. Joe Eco-Warriors sub-line, with former corporate executive Cesspool offering weaponized toxic waste to COBRA. This may explain where those Bale-Fire flamethrowers come from.

    Added: Rather obscure and long out of print is the 1985 book Poisoning for Profit: The Mafia and Toxic Waste in America by Alan Block and Frank Scarpitti.
    Last edited by No One of Consequence; 03-03-2018, 07:46 PM.

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  • No One of Consequence
    replied
    BLACK DOG GAME FACTORY

    White Wolf's parody of itself. From a personal stand point, as much as I enjoy all the in jokes and self referential humor, it's always felt a little too on the nose for me. But, that aside, the RPG industry in general offers a lot to play with from a Wyrm/PENTEX perspective.

    Before I get into the obvious Satanism angle, I'll mention that RPGs grew out of the world of tabletop miniature wargaming, which goes all the way back to the Napoleonic Wars with the Prussian Army's Kreigsspiel system. Just before World War One, H.G. Welles (yes, that H.G. Welles) wrote Little Wars, a set of rules for wargaming with toy soldiers aimed at young boys (and girls as well, believe it or not). In the 1950s, wargaming became a sizable hobby, and the 1970s are often described as its golden age. It was medieval and fantasy style wargaming that eventually gave birth to Chainmail and eventually Dungeons & Dragons. Michael Witwer's Empire of Imagination is a good biography of Gary Gygax and how he helped develop D&D. Also of interest if David M. Elwalt's Of Dice and Men, and David Kushner & Koren Shadmi's graphic novel Rise of the Dungeon Master. I'll also note the Designers & Dragons tetralogy, a set of books giving a history of the roleplaying industry and profiles of most of the gaming companies for each decade of the 70s, 80s 90s and 2000s.

    (There's occasionally a weird thing in wargaming with some people becoming overly fascinated with WW2 Germany because of the design of their tanks and uniforms, among other things. This phenomenon even popped up in Palladium Games' Rifts RPG, with some players and even writers getting really invested in the genocidal fascists of the Coalition States just because they had all the cool "death head" armor and vehicles. One could easily read into this some sort of 4th Reich inspired conspiracy to attract new recruits.)

    Back in the early 80s, there was a backlash against D&D, claiming it encouraged Satan worship, delinquent behavior, suicide and other problems. The Jack Chick religious tract Dark Dungeons is famous among gaming circles, mostly because of how over the top ridiculous it is. Catholic Answers had an article titled The Nightmare World of Jack T. Chick, saying "Chick protray's a world full of paranoia and conspiracy where nothing is what it seems and nearly everything is a Satanic plot to lead people to hell." If that doesn't describe the World of Darkness to a T, I don't know what does. Dark Dungeons has apparently been made into a short film in 2014. I've never seen it, but heard that it's actually pretty awesome in a very surreal way that cranks the ludicrousness of the original up to 11 while playing everything completely straight.

    The other big one was Rona Jaffe's Mazes and Monsters, a thinly veiled fictionalization of lurid (*cough*made up*cough*) press accounts of James Egbert's attempted suicide at Michigan State University conflated with urban legends about D&D LARPing in the steam tunnels of Midwestern universities. It was made into a film staring Tom Hanks in 1982. William Dear, the private investigator who was hired by Egbert's parents to help find him during his 1979 disappearance/suicide attempt wrote his own account of the case and the news media's misrepresentation of it in his book, The Dungeon Master.

    Of course, in the World of Darkness, this is all probably true. RPGs really are produced by Satanists, Wyrm cultists, vampires and other freaks, all in order to corrupt people and lead them to damnation. You really can learn black magic from D&D, and you really do die if your character does. In my own games, all of the RPG companies are/were fronts for one dark conspiratorial force or another - PENTEX and other Wyrm cults, the Nephandi, Infernalist/Earthbound, vampires, Spectre cults, the Fomorians, space aliens, the 4th Reich, the cult of the Assassins, secret terrorists organizations, crab people, and more - each of them using their products to brainwash, indoctrinate and corrupt players for their own nefarious ends.

    All of these companies work their freelance writers (all under "work for hire" contracts that give the company ownership of all intellectual property they develop) like rented mules, having them write massive amounts in as little time as possible for a penny or two a word, until the writer burns out and is taken behind the building and given a bullet to the head (sometimes figuratively, sometimes literally). Because there are always a dozen eager fans ready to take their place. Those that don't burn out are likely to have become fully corrupted and willing servants of which ever force the company serves and be offered full time staff positions as editors or developers.

    Any sourcebooks detailing magic rules include "real" rituals and practices, which can include Satanic pacts, Lovecraftian summonings, prayers to dark gods, Wyrm rites, chaos magic, pornomancy and other fun things. Players properly obsessed with mastering the rules and mechanics of the game will inevitably unlock powerful dark magic, making them a threat to school mates, neighbors, and small animals.

    Finally, I'll offer up the long running comic series Knights of the Dinner Table, whose characters embody all the worst traits and stereotypes of the gamer community and its behaviors over the decades. Also of note are Dork Tower and Nodwick.


    (Coming next, Ardus, and a bit about education.)
    Last edited by No One of Consequence; 02-10-2018, 06:45 PM.

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  • No One of Consequence
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    Originally posted by Fat Larry View Post


    I could've sworn I read something about Pentex being 100% against discrimination in any forms, and are as inclusive as can be.
    As opposed to the old days:




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