Pleasantville by Night: Societies that Never Were

Part of the original plan for PBN was switching out societies every few rounds to keep things fresh. Unfortunately, this never really happened, in part because societies took a ton of work to make (had to make new spells, probably new creatures, multiple new missions)  and only a portion of the player base would get to enjoy them.

I still had several new societies planned out though, some moreso than others. Here’s a list I found of possible societies that I never really did anything with:

  • Wurwolf Furries
  • Steampunks
  • Bacchanites: Would have been like a cross between Beelzebros and Cthooligans, I guess. Dedicated to getting wasted as a way to free the human spirit. Spells would have been more powerful the more drunk you were, and would have had access to “dipso-alchemy,” the ability to make powerful potions out of booze.
  • Gothy Dark Goths
  • Transhumanists: Pro-technology, powers would have involved replacing body parts with machine parts I guess.
  • Followers of the Omnimpotent: No idea what they would have done. Get favor from losing fights? Have spells that weaken you? “The Omnimpotent” is a great name for a god, though.
  • Clowns/Jesters/Juggalos/Killer Klowns
  • Laikites: Worship Laika, the first creature to be sent into space. Dedicated to protecting animals and destroying technology.
  • Led Leppards: Hard Rock/Heavy metal inspired.

Then there were a few that I put more planning and thought into, and actually intended to put in the game:

Ghostbusters-esque society, name undecided (Specterstompers?)

ghosthunterThey would focus on eliminating otherworldly creatures (ghosts, demons, angels, aliens, etc.), but lose favor from harming humans (lawsuits are expensive!). They’d also be able to capture spirits and take them back to HQ for extra favor and possible other benefits from studying them.Rather than spells, they’d receive ectoplasmic blasters, which they’d be able to upgrade to gain various special abilities. The twist would be, to use their special abilities, they’d have to have the blasters equipped.

Chüldren of the Nyghte

vampirearistocratThe Chüldren of the Nyghte are an 80s hair metal band whose members just don’t seem to age. The player would get a special backstage pass to meet the band, where they’d learn the truth: the band members are vampires!Players would pick a patron band member to become a bloodslave to, and gain abilities based on their patron. For example, the sexy lead singer would grant them powers that let them charm or control others. The bestial drummer would give them power over animals and the ability to cause frenzy or panic. The mysterious bassist would grant sneaky, mystical powers of darkness, and the manic guitarist would deal with more straightforward damage/stunning, etc.

No matter what band member you chose, you’d also develop an addiction to vampire blood, which causes your stats to be lower when you’re withdrawing, but gives you a big bonus for using it. (Obviously, I would have also added a “vampire blood” item.)

One downside is that this society would have broken the “everyone hates vampires” rule.

The Vegan Academy

hippiePlaying this society would have added an extra challenge, because not only would you have had to avoid attacking certain creatures, you’d have to avoid consuming certain foods and drinks, or risk losing your powers. Luckily, the only milk in PBN is soymilk, and there’s a lot of tofu recipes.Vegans would gain favor from destroying plants, mutants, constructs, and possibly undead, but lose favor from harming animals and eating non-vegan foods. Eating non-vegan foods would also make them temporarily unable to use their powers until the animal poison clears their body.

Vegan powers:

Vegan Metabolism (passive): Increases gains from vegan food
     Vegan Gas (requires Metabolism): Does bio damage based on fullness
     Vegan Fitness (requires Metabolism, passive): Decreases vitality costs
Vegan Focus (passive): Increases strength of vegan powers
     Vegan Ray (requires Focus): Weakens and prevents power use by enemies
     Vegan Telekinesis (requires Focus): Blasts enemies backwards, stunning them
     Vegan Empathy (requires Focus): Converts animal to side
     Vegan Shield (requires Focus): Blocks elemental damage
     Vegan Self-Righteousness (requires Focus): Enrages enemies, causing them to do more damage but be more likely to fumble/less likely to dodge
Vegan Hardiness (passive): Damage absorption
     Vegan Healing (requires hardiness): Heals

The Grievers

grieverThe Grievers were the society that came closest to actually being in the game. I’d already implemented a few of their spells, which were dropped as scrolls by the Griever enemy in the Graveyard.The Grievers serve Mr. Grieves, the Gravelord. In life, Mr. Grieves was an undertaker who always treated the dead with utmost respect. He viewed death as an essential part of life, and the grieving process to be important for psychological and spiritual growth. Eventually, his time came, too.

Having been a respected member of Pleasantville for years, most of the city turned out on the day of his funeral. A brash young necromancer was in the audience, and decided to raise Mr. Grieves’ corpse. The necromancer had no reason to do it, he was just a mean-spirited punk who was looking for a bit of grisly fun.

The necromancer got more than he bargained for. When Mr. Grieves was raised, he was reborn as the Gravelord, the god of death. He ensures that the transition from life to death goes smoothly, and that souls see their final resting place.

Mr. Grieves loathes the undead, and encourages his followers to put them down. Grievers would have gained favor from destroying undead (obviously), but would have lost it from attacking angels, demons or aliens (Mr. Grieves doesn’t want to take sides in the war for Pleasantville’s soul). They would also lose favor from harming Inquisitors, because Inquisitors also hunt the undead.

Grievers would receive a special armor, a black suit. The suit is enchanted to protect against all types of damage, and is also a badge of office, enabling them to use their powers.

Griever powers:

– Enhance Suit: Enhances their suit’s defense depending on level of favor with Gravelord
– Decay: Deals damage to undead
– Hallowed Ground: Causes all animals in a battle to run away
– Psychopomp: Cast on a dead human. Guides soul to the afterlife, netting favor and XP.
– Death Postponement: Heals living creatures and cures negative conditions
– Rigor Mortis: Stuns a creature (more effective on undead)
– Deadly Premonition: Chance of making a human run away
– Summon the Worm: Summons a giant worm, Beetlejuice-style.
– End Life: Costs 100 favor to acquire. Can only be used once, then you must pay 100 favor to get it again. Instantly kills a living creature.

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