Kuildeous wrote:The infections are mostly contained by Kanawa. In fact, if they wanted to, they could stop it entirely. Of course they don't want to do that because each outbreak that happens frightens the populace who are all too willing to put control into Kanawa's hands. Kanawa doesn't get Possibility Energy from dead people, so it doesn't spread the virus willy-nilly. Kanawa creates an outbreak for various reasons:
* Reinforcement. When a populace is starting to feel confident and might start to drift away from relying on Kanawa's security, a well-placed outbreak can remind people who their savior really is.
* Punishment. If a recalcitrant state refuses to give into Kanawa's demands, then an I-told-you-so outbreak can happen in a very sensitive area to punish the government.
* Cover-up: If someone slips up and leaves evidence at a site, then Kanawa can create an outbreak at the location. Kanawa security would be on hand to contain the outbreak, of course, but they also can burn the evidence.
* Assassination. If Kanawa knows where a political enemy is, it can stage an outbreak in the hopes of the target being a casualty. If not from the infection then from the security team that happens to make a "mistake."
* Expansion. The ole real estate trick. Businesses and residents not interested in selling their properties? An outbreak would remove many obstinate holdouts as well as give the survivors motivation to sell their ruined property. A new munitions plant coming soon.
* Accident. Of course, microbes are funny little things, and they can never truly be controlled. A stray germ makes its way into an area that's not a Kanawa target. It could in fact be a Kanawa holding as nature bites the hand of the creator. In this regard, Kanawa is forced to use its security forces against neutral targets or even against itself!
I have no intention of throwing the jiangshi at my group very often, but I do intend to use the knowledge of them to encourage paranoia and strife. At any time, an outbreak could happen. When tales of stormers turning into yokai become known, this should cause a lot of worry.
So that's my take on PP until the sourcebook comes out.
Blightcrawler wrote:It's dystopian fear, not apocalyptic horror.
They are directly part of the high-tech conspiracy. Something public and obvious to put on TV to distract from any news stories about people giving up religion and tradition, of companies being purchased and reorganized by suddenly active and unfamiliar power-players, where whistle blowers are silenced and disappeared. The public outbreaks can disrupt the pattern of people in positions of power, both in governments and large corporations, being suddenly ousted by scandal and betrayal and deadly "accidents." They are a front to enact martial law and hide the totalitarian movement that is consolidating power behind the scene. Absolutely nothing about them is strong enough to prove a true threat to the status quo.
Without them, Kanawa would be facing public protests, and those can be empathized with. Even though they can also be dealt with violently, it doesn't make for great news, and greatly risks turning public perception against the powerful. Protests would be difficult for many PP states to manage, it's rarely easy to make it appear as the violence is coming from the people instead of armed police or military. On top of that, PP has a higher social axiom, which practically eliminates violent handling of protests as a go-to tactic. But if instead of young and vulnerable people promoting their political rights, we have ravenous infected cannibals, then it's pretty much open season. They don't have to worry about being too aggressive, and the danger will keep most people off the streets and from gathering in public.
Like TorgHacker said, this is also the first stage. Later stages could very much be closer to Tetsuo or even weirder and more varied. But the infected are a result of industry and society, not a threat to it. It's a threat to the common people, first, and those who believe they can hold power and not embrace the new regime, second.
Synarchist wrote:For me, the key that helped me get on board with Pan Pacifica and the Resident Evil vibe was figuring out how the whole "zombie outbreak" keyed into the bigger picture of their intrigue.
The whole "diabolical corporation" part of the RE games is very base and kind of simplistic and nonsensical, because it's a freaking video game. But that's not actually what Pan Pacifica is doing or what it's about. Because to me the primary "mark" in this particular intrigue isn't humanity - we're only the surface level and PP has a dozen other ways to deal with us. The zombie outbreak targets us because it's efficient given Kanawa's *other* goals.
To me, the primary "mark" is the Gaunt Man.
The Gaunt Man shows up, and "gifts" Pan Pacifica with Gospog when they get invited into the invasion. They can't say "no," or risk angering the Gaunt Man or being cut off by him. But none of the savvy High Lords especially *want* the Gospog, because they all know the Gaunt Man is going to turn those suckers on them somehow as soon as the time comes, and nobody's thrilled about giving the Gaunt Man a built in army in their own Cosm.
Now, Pan Pacifica doesn't know squat about magic and occultism. But they *do* know genetics - and the Gaunt Man does *not.* So what do they do, as a Cosm dedicated to intrigue? As probably the *only* Cosm with a High Lord better at intrigue than the Gaunt Man? They smile, take the Gospog, and immediately begin genetically modifying them until they're so different from what the Gaunt Man gave them that whatever control mechanism he has to assert control over them might not work.
Then they develop a "cure" that gives Pan Pacifica an easy way to kill them all if the Gaunt Man *does* get control. And Kanawa just says "thanks *so* much for these Gospog! We're using them as part of an intrigue against Core Earth, so of *course* we have a cure - it's all part of our master plan!" Which it *is*... It's just that said master plan is as much about the Gaunt Man as it is about us.
And the Gaunt Man absolutely *knows* this, but *he* can't say or do anything about it without admitting his *own* game and intrigue, which Pan Pacifica *also* knows. So the Gaunt Man smiles, and makes a mental note to make Kanawa pay later, because just now he *absolutely* got outmaneuvered and played. Because long-view, multi-goal, multi-level intrigue is what Pan Pacifica does better than *anyone,* even the Gaunt Man himself.
The above quotes encapsulate how I hope Pan Pacifica is portrayed in its eventual sourcebook. PP can't be a completely totalitarian surveillance state like the Cyberpapacy, simply because there's less intrigue when a single faction undisputedly rules everything. The Law of Intrigue requires multiple sides, all vying for advantage . . . Kanawa, local governments, SK groups, etc. Kanawa may be the biggest and baddest player on the block, but even if Kanawa is kicking the other sides' butts, they still need to be there as independent factions. You can't trick, betray, play sides against each other, or seek out vengeance without someone else present to trick, betray, or seek vengeance upon.
The zombies are just a distraction, on the surface. A false-flag excuse to gain control over the seized areas, and leverage more capitulation when threatening neighboring areas. I'm hoping they're only a background simmer by month three, rather than the raging threat they seem to be in the early days. And I like the idea that they're part of a deeper intrigue, at the same time. One directed at the Gaunt Man. The High Lords are all competitors, and nobody understands undermining the competition better than PP. Each High Lord will filter the situation through their own lenses. Baruk Kaah may plan to overwhelm the Gaunt Man through brute force eventually, Doctor Mobius may count on winning through how over-the-top, inevitably-returning awesome he is, but the High Lord of PP? When the time comes, he/she's already set up in advance, all prepared to do what they do best . . . betray.