Friday, July 25, 2014

Deck Of Fridays 24: Made Up For It

Starchild with Stylus

Welcome back to DECK OF FRIDAYS, our weekly feature here at FATE SF! Each week (more or less) since the release of the Deck of Fate, we have made a draw from the Deck of FateRPG Inspiration Cards, or another Aspect-generative randomizer. Then we do something interesting with it, using the Aspect as inspiration for a campaign or scenario seed, a situation, scene, location, NPC, thingie, etc.

This week's draw from the Deck of Fate is a card with the aspect Made Up For It. The card has a value of zero, so my guess is that the original intent behind this Aspect was "equivalence" or "a wash". But zero really isn't that exciting a standpoint, so let's get creative. Let's assume this is actually about appearance.

As in, "You're made up for it."  Here's a 4DF table of SF cosmetics and beauty supplies.

Essential SFnal Beauty Supplies Table

Every starport's Essential Beauty Supply franchise has just what you need. The very thing to get your face on. Or get it off. Stretch out that sagging integument. Swap out that old keratin for something with a bit more pizzaz.  Roll 4DF or draw a card from the Deck of Fate, and consult the appropriate outcome corresponding to the numerical result on the left.
  • -4: Envizion (TM). It's expensive. The ultimate anti-aging product, the Envizion chemical peel uses proprietary alien enzymes to dissolve and reshape wayward flesh. It is injected subdermally. Then you just wait - a few hours or a few days, depending on your physiology - and meditate.(But don't fall asleep.) Imagine the face or body you want to have. Usually that is what you get. Indefinitely.  Side effects, which can be avoided or minimized by retaining a licensed Envizion meditation coach, include Doppelganger Syndrome, in which the user begins to resemble a celebrity from the Signal - and Spiders from Mars Syndrome, which is just plain bad. 
  • -3: Stylus (TM). These wand-like programmable fabricator-applicators use triple effector beams* to apply cosmetics flawlessly. They can also be configured to custom print and apply nails. A favorite tool of assassins, the Stylus can produce nails and lip gloss with a range of toxic and hallucinatory affects.  
  • -2: COMpact (TM). This small programmable beauty kit includes a mirror, a nanofabricator, and a convenient reservoir for balms, creams, and serums. Visit any world with Signal, and the COMpact immediately hooks into the vine and downloads the latest data on cosmetic trends. Select preferences displayed over the "mirror" touchscreen, and then the nanofabricator sets to work producing the cosmetic options of your choice. A variety of applicator extensions are also available for this kit.
  • -1:  Freshwig (TM), Hair that Doesn't Fight You! The ultimate in reflexive personal defense, Freshwig comes in many varieties, textures, and colors. But the one thing that all Fleshwig have in common is that they won't give YOUR head a bad hair day. Your remote-controlled weaponized wig will keep you safe anywhere! No more worries about papparazzi, aggressive fans, or kidnappers! The monofilaments of the Freshwig cap read your thoughts, making it easy to trigger a range of effects, from piercing locks of hair to tentacular grasping strands, to the release of toxins.  
  •  0:  Spray-on-Face (TM), the Perfect Disguise (TM) for alien or human, living or dead. Sold in packets roughly the diameter of burrito wraps, each SoF is a 1 cm thick layer of programmable flesh. It can be shaped, textured, and colorized to make radical changes in facial features. Each application works for 24 hours - and more if you feed it. But don't wear one too long.
  • +1: Animate (TM), roll-on depilatory jellies. You'll be scaly for a few days (all over), as body hair, horns, and scales just flake off. But they're gone forever. 
  • +2: Reanimate (TM), programmable keratinizing jelly. Add a new layer of hair, horns, or scales in the colors and textures of your choice. 
  • +3: Sign Vine (TM), the Living Extensions that keep you connected.**  These hair extensions look like dreads, but they are plants that form symbiotic relationships with hair follicles. They range in color from rust red to dark green to brown and sustain themselves through photosynthesis. No one with Sign Vine is ever truly alone, because via scalp induction, the vine connect the user to the local Signal. 
  • +4: BounzTatz (TM). Popularized by spacers, these "living tattoos" range from animated flesh glyphs to three dimensional biological graft creatures.*** Want a parrot or a monkey on your shoulder - permanently? BounzTatz brings it.

*Iain M. Banks just keeps on giving.

**Inspired by Nnedi Okorafor's Zahrah the Windseeker.

***Inspired by Samuel R. Delaney's Nova and Babel-17.


  1. Good stuff! In one of his ribofunk stories Paul di Filippo had someone with a Tat-toon.