"Contagious" special rule

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trooogdooor
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"Contagious" special rule

Post by trooogdooor » Sun May 13, 2012 7:41 am

Brilliant to watch the new 0.2.1 rules!

One nitpick: pls remove the "virus" part from Contagious?

Here's how a virus works: it invades your cell, incorporates into your DNA (or not, sometimes), makes RNA, RNA makes proteins, proteins accumulate and do stuff. Virus copies itself using proteins. The above can be abbreviated somewhat, but that's the gist.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0h5Jd7sgQWY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rpj0emEGShQ

Usually, virus take days, or perhaps half a day, for anything noticeable to happen. Slow.

Now, if you are the smartest possible bioengineer ever, you can maybe make something happen in, say, a few hours. If we say "it's science fiction!", we can cut this down further. But there's just no sane way to make a virus hurt people on the timescale of a few seconds in a game, to say nothing of reproducing and spreading to a new host - unless we're in the area of "wolf kills airplane" and just don't care.

Suggest in stead of "virus" we say "bioweapon". A critter injecting venom or something would do all the stuff the rules need, no prob. Generally speaking, anything you imagine being done by a virus, is probably done as well or better by a "bioweapon" (which can use a virus!).

Anyway, good to see such a big playtest!

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lean-v
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Re: "Contagious" special rule

Post by lean-v » Sun May 13, 2012 3:53 pm

At first, I was thinking that a simple solution would be replacing the viruses with hostile nano-machines. However I seem to remember somewhere that the X'lanthos actually don't have much knowledge on circuitry and seem to use some sort of Bio-manipulation to simulate technology.

I think this still allows for a biological psudo-nanobot though. Perhaps just a high concentration of 'programmed', incredibly small, flesh-eating bugs? Something that would cause rashes and lesions in the time-frame of the battle, but nothing that could outright kill the afflicted unit.

I'm thinking incredibly small bugs/animals simply because (realistic) viruses can't travel or act in the implied time-quota.

Interesting thread, can't wait to see some others' input on this.
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trooogdooor
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Re: "Contagious" special rule

Post by trooogdooor » Sun May 13, 2012 4:16 pm

Definitely, bugs would work perfectly. A swarm of tiny, 2mm bugs injecting cyanide, for example...
Image

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lean-v
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Re: "Contagious" special rule

Post by lean-v » Mon May 14, 2012 7:45 pm

Neat picture, but I'm almost thinking that 2mm might still be too large if they're going to be referred to as a 'contagion'. I'm not suggesting anything as silly as micrometers in size, but plainly visible bugs would probably be seen as more of a swarm/ball o' gnats than a disease cloud.

You also have to think about it in terms of the victim's perspective. What's scarier? A swarm of paralyzing bugs, or a homing cloud of nerve gas? Just my two cents.
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Cow
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Re: "Contagious" special rule

Post by Cow » Mon May 14, 2012 9:31 pm

Tyranid flesh borers? Do those not shoot bugs at folks and they eat them alive or something? Starting to sound relevent to this thread, thought I'd bring it up.
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khsrio621
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Re: "Contagious" special rule

Post by khsrio621 » Mon May 14, 2012 11:39 pm

One idea is that it could work with nanomachines, which could also help to explain the medic effect, in terms of nanomachines stopping nearby friendly squads' internal bleeding, or whatever the equivalent is in X'lanthos biology.

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darzinth7
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Re: "Contagious" special rule

Post by darzinth7 » Tue May 15, 2012 12:15 am

Hmm, if X'lanthos use nanomachines, and when we say "machines" we mean "bio-engineered machines." Then, yes, the Infector could use bio-engineered nanomachines to do his/her/it's dirty work.

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trooogdooor
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Re: "Contagious" special rule

Post by trooogdooor » Tue May 15, 2012 4:01 am

Sure, bacteria and virus are sort of nanomachines. ^_^

It's something you need to balance with a size / complexity tradeoff, of course. Generally speaking, small things have poor control. Virus can't move at all, really. Bacteria can slowly swim, with poor directional sense. Eucaryotes (multicellulars) can act the part of "homing nerve gas cloud" (love the metaphor!). Also, there's a size / payload tradeoff - the smaller you are, the smaller the fraction of your weight that can be used for your ordinance.

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Ygds
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Re: "Contagious" special rule

Post by Ygds » Wed May 16, 2012 2:27 pm

What I though some time ago was of something more like bio-mimetic technology, has cells and can self replicate but is constructed from non-biological or more specifically inorganic compounds (well...probably needs some organic compounds, but you get the gist, no DNA, no RNA, no Proteins, but a different system). I know everyone loves biotechnology, (heck I want to make the stuff reality someday, maybe before I turn 150) but it is overused and every science fiction universe seems to use it. The technology would still be "alive" but completely fabricated rather than derived from classical biological systems.

Anyway, how does this apply? Well I think once you remove the strictly biological mechanisms as they have evolved here on earth, where a virus does just fine with an incubation time of a week, a set of "nano-machines" that are not restricted to carbon chemistry to carry out functions not found in life as we know it. Also little micro-injectors with poison seems to be the way to go, ones that simply convert some common metabolite into a poison or for instance increase the amount of a poison in a persons system (e.g. lactic acid?). Also this would be able to take away or limit the Salvagers immanent immunity to the function, essentially being digested for building more nano-machines.

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