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File 125922050927.jpg - (59.44KB , 480x775 , TZ_ConceptB.jpg )
6624 No. 6624 ID: 7eda8b

Discussion, speculation, questions, and feedback.
1040 posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
No. 126853 ID: 5b93d3

> I don't know what fantasy species that makes them.
Maybe Pratchett elves rather than Tolkein. Very friendly, very polite, will eat your face off with the best of manners.
No. 126854 ID: 443893

I wasn't here for it either, but I also read it and loved it. I was really moved by the ending.
No. 126906 ID: 913a24

>Elves are wonderful. They provoke wonder.
>Elves are marvellous. They cause marvels.
>Elves are fantastic. They create fantasies.
>Elves are glamorous. They project glamour.
>Elves are enchanting. They weave enchantment.
>Elves are terrific. They beget terror.
>The thing about words is that meanings can twist just like a snake, and if you want to find snakes look for them behind words that have changed their meaning.
>No one ever said elves are nice.
>Elves are bad.
No. 126910 ID: eeb7d9

Fuck elves. Nobody likes elves. Not even the space elves. Fucking eldar.
No. 126913 ID: 06fdc0

people do like fucking elves
No. 126932 ID: 7c90bc

Wow, so odd to see Tozol Quest discussion going on. Also strange to see Test Pattern around, haven't seen that name since Tozol quest ended.

Years later and I still gush about how good Tozol quest was. I don't usually go big for the "OP" characters, in fact things like Neumono annoy the shit out of me, but Tozol quest grounded it so perfectly.

It was extra great because despite being so powerful, when the suggestors went off their rockers doing dumb shit they got punished for it, and it ended up happening repeatedly because anonymous suggestors will never, ever learn. Having mistakes be punished in a way that's not just "choose your own adventure and hope you don't take the lose option" is the reason this format has so much potential.

Love you Test Pattern, and yes, I like many of you would definitely keenly follow a Tozol Quest two, despite us being pretty much confirmed to never be getting that.
No. 126933 ID: eeb7d9

Those people are HERETICS!
But, i'll admit, elfs do know their archery.
No. 127034 ID: 94cd27


Elves are like humans, only worse at adapting and even more xeno-contemptuous.

Elves are like dwarves, only the opposite of everything dwarven.

They can be summarized in three words: racist, imperious, overblown.

I don't like elves.

This is now officially elf hate-group discussion thread.
No. 127039 ID: 40df11

No, this is the Tozol Quest discussion thread, for discussion, speculation and feedback about Tozol Quest.
No. 127041 ID: 368b79

I was joking, but I'll delete my post if you thank that'd be best.
No. 127046 ID: 69573f

Is it acceptable to post Tozol quest two concept text on this thread, or is there somewhere else I should be doing that?

Or should I not do that period. Because reasons.
No. 127047 ID: eeb7d9

Asa, that is a great idea! We should make a thread about how much we hate elves!
No. 127050 ID: 40df11

Go right ahead.
No. 127051 ID: daffb0

You'd want the /tg/ board to do that then, probably, or possibly /general/.
No. 127062 ID: 4dc321

>Wow, so odd to see Tozol Quest discussion going on. Also strange to see Test Pattern around, haven't seen that name since Tozol quest ended.
Sorry for being a stranger. It's my intention to be less of a stranger. Catching up on a quest or two and suggesting.

>Years later and I still gush about how good Tozol quest was. I don't usually go big for the "OP" characters, in fact things like Neumono annoy the shit out of me, but Tozol quest grounded it so perfectly.
Shucks, I'm flattered. Though also a little concerned I might screw it up if I do a new project, lol.

With that in mind, could you expand on what bugs you about neumono?
No. 127063 ID: fe4f01

neat... they sound like a pain in the ass neighbor to have though.

>the largest coalition of vertai nations
... god damnit test now I have to ask who these guys are
No. 127064 ID: 4dc321

>Not saying you should do this just thinking out loud really. but I do have a question about the Tesau if you don't mind. What are they and their culture like?

They were good-sized flying aliens which engineered themselves to be even bigger and stronger over time. The Precursors may have made a project of it at some point in the past, before they became more hands-off about alien biospheres over time.

They rely a lot on robots, which they've taken incredible pains to make very safe to use. Their society is one we might call post-scarcity. Well, I think these days they're calling it Fully Automated Luxury Communism, though this wasn't a term back when I wrote 'em up. And it's really more of a Partly Automated Social Democracy. A huge network of machines which don't need a lot of oversight to do most of the work necessary to sustain a civilization, creating a lot of wealth which is distributed to common tesau, giving them all small estates and large subsidies they can use to live in luxury and mostly do what they like.

What a lot of them want is even more wealth (so, not really post-scarcity) and adventure, so you'll find them working as problem-solvers, advisers, mercenaries, or just very dangerous tourists, throughout known space.

They're the weakest of the "Big Three" powers (the other two being the largest coalition of vertai nations, and the Diplomats) which means they're still way the fuck tougher than anyone else. Especially "man for man," since they're big and rich and pretty cavalier about augmentation.

Fighting "a tesau" means you're fighting a space dragon with power-armor and force fields, plus an assorted flotilla of drones they command with cybernetics. Probably with precision orbital artillery support.

>and what the hell took a chunk out of the building in the background?
Big guns of their unseen opponent. I figure that's a member of a mercenary force hired by some panicked government to help stem the tide of a beefy conventional army come to give them a bad time.
No. 127066 ID: 4dc321
File 154607913498.png - (60.69KB , 450x450 , Vertai.png )

(Whoops. I wasn't expecting a quick reply, so I deleted and reposted.)

>... god damnit test now I have to ask who these guys are
Vertai are six-limbed, dog-sized aliens who can walk on all sixes, all fours, or on their hind legs a little.

They're the newest, and most diverse, of the 'Big Three' powers. They don't really have a central government, but they tend to work together better than they work with external powers, even Diplomats. Though that's more a guideline than a rule. There's some independent powers more closely aligned with neighbors than with the coalition, some that buck interstellar law, etc.

They're considered creative and unstable. They have a lot of different ways of doing things, and are prone to fucking around with new ideas even when that's not strictly a great plan.

This goes for military technology as well, though they like big ships with sloping armor and turrets.

Despite preferring variety, they're probably the most conventional of the big three in ground warfare, because their technology isn't as good as Diplomats or tesau, but they use a lot more manpower and heavy industry.

(Their infantry maybe isn't all that badass on average. http://www.furaffinity.net/view/5154242/ )
No. 127067 ID: fe4f01

>(Whoops. I wasn't expecting a quick reply, so I deleted and reposted.)

>see pic
aw, they look adorable
>see link
OH! uhh... walk it off little buddy?

though are they actually that small (I'm assuming the tozol is around 6ft) or was that one's size changed to better represent the painting it's themed after?
No. 127068 ID: 4dc321
File 154608052788.jpg - (27.31KB , 478x518 , vertai_aljkd.jpg )

>though are they actually that small (I'm assuming the tozol is around 6ft) or was that one's size changed to better represent the painting it's themed after?

It's a bit stylized, yeah. They're meant to be like... 50 pounds, iirc?
No. 127069 ID: fe4f01

so like, roughly 4ft high on average when they stand up?
No. 127075 ID: 2007b6

>you'll find them working as problem-solvers, advisers, mercenaries, or just very dangerous tourists
I am now imagining some Tesau getting involved in some backwater nation's civil war with about as much forethought as if it were a bar brawl, and being embarrassed when recounting the story to a peer afterward since they brought along an inadequate force of obsolete tank-hunter drones, a mistake on roughly the same level as failing to pack tanning lotion or spare underwear.
No. 127087 ID: 57717d

Hey, it's ya boy; sociopathic fanfic wizard.

Disclaimer: all following text is merely food for thought and musings. I'm just thinkin out loud, don't hate on me.

A lot of this stuff is condensed from other people's great ideas here on this thread, I can't take all the credit, or even most. You guys wrote it, I just sort of pieced it together with the power of Flex-imagination.

Here's the rough ideas:

Penji wakes up in a human apartment in a bustling super-city to find that Mitzi has been caring for her for the past two months.

Mitzi has been struggling to make money, and provide for comatose Penji. Without an ID of any kind, and a terrible secret, she has had to work small time private jobs; a freelance tech-repairwoman at the time of Penji's awakening. (Good opportunity for flashbacks here.)

Penji is tired, and weak. But she's a Tozol, and that means alive is good enough condition to fight. She is determined to find her past, and her people. As well as being determined to get off the planet, and away from the 'government's' jurisdiction.

She is in a state of disrepair, however. As her central nervous-pathway is heavily damaged. She must walk the painful road to recovery before she is fully capable. (Yeah, I know it's obvious. But this provides room for a character improvement system.)

The 'government' is now in a frenzy as many of its heads are 'missing' (ahem, Marcus). They are struggling to maintain control and secrecy as news of quadrant-five threatens to reach the public. And worse, the diplomats.

Now, Penji must recover, find a ship, find her people, and uncover a past that some would rather stay buried.

That's what I got so far, tell me what you think, and please, expand or modify however you like. This is barely a rough concept draft, and needs all the editorial power it can get.

I just think the TQ verse has so, so much potential that hasn't been tapped. I mean, seriously, I could go scuba-diving in the lore it's so deep.
No. 127089 ID: fe4f01

I like the idea of starting with everything basically being on fire since the government heads no longer exist and we need to get the hell off this rock.

Although since Tozols are bullshit, I would probably down play how long it takes for Penji to recover and instead just throw tougher enemies at her sooner so the first part of the quest is just quick refresher of "this is a tozol, a tozol is nothing but physical murder and ghost blended together with a hint of deadpool regeneration." with the later parts focused more on finding good gear to survive and to get off planet.

Not sure what the stronger enemies would be though. Could be what's left of the government trying to tie up lose ends or settling grudges as they burn, could be that the destabilization of the government has made it a tasty target for some space pirates who are equipped with a bunch of alien gear. Some of which could my be gear the big 3 use that they somehow got their hands on.

Or just say fuck it and have it that Penji wakes up already in space because Mitzi was able to take advantage of the chaos from the first quest and call up some friends I'm sure she has and was able to get the both of you off planet. but now your broke, one of you is a science arts and craft experiment, and the other a fuzzy space murder weasel who's whole species has a bounty placed on their heads and now you two need to figure out how to survive.

Either way if a sequel ever does come I would like to learn more about the aliens in this universe either through a space pirate invasion, space bumming, or whatever reason.
No. 127095 ID: 3f64d3


I think that the quest should start with the planet on the precipice of collapse. You know that tension that we basically spent the entirety of the Cold War stuck in? Where everybody knows that we're a hairs breadth away from a war of total destruction, yet people are trying desperately to keep going like everything's fine? I imagine that is what it would look like after so many heads of government are killed. Conventional forces everywhere are scrambling to keep order as the threat of the diplomats inches ever closer, the people are on the verge of total, hysteria induced anarchy.

It a bloody fucken powder keg, all it needs is a spark. And Penji? She's a wildfire.

I imagine that as the planet is careening towards destruction, Penji escapes with Mitzi (and maybe others) into outer-space. Then the majority of the quest is spent following breadcrumbs to find the Tozol civilization itself, then eventually searching for where it all began; the precursor. All the while making friends and enemies (probably more of the latter) and dealing with the 'Big three' as they attempt to destroy all Tozol. All the while we'd get to see some seriously cool exotic locales.

That's what I have in my head anyway. Because there are few things I want more than a quest following fully functional Penji as she travels the galaxy, collecting absolutely badass gear and defeating enormously powerful enemies in displays of tactical combat.

Oh my god that would be so cool.

Tozol's are the best thing that has ever happened to me.
No. 127112 ID: 2007b6

If you're trying to get from surface to orbit without being shot down by a paranoid military, there's two main options, both of which could be interesting adventures.
The quiet way is, you blend in with legitimate traffic, possibly by sneaking aboard a military or diplomatic craft with legitimate credentials - and in addition to obvious sensor scans or whatnot, you'd need to match mass and position of whatever you're adding, right down to the kilogram, with legitimate cargo or passengers being removed, in order to avoid throwing off the ship's balance and other performance characteristics in ways any competent pilot would notice.
The loud way is to start by subverting or simply wrecking every other missile silo, major radar dish, and airstrip in the hemisphere, saving the one(s) you'll actually be using for last without making it too obvious that's what you're doing.
No. 127179 ID: aac38c

Yeah, you're right. With Penji and Mitzi's escape from quadrant five, the whole planet would be locked down hard. An unauthorized takeoff would probably end in AA fire.

I would always vote the sneaky route. Not only because I love stealth, but also because we've never actually seen Penji in full ghost mode. I mean, supposedly she can turn invisible, so that's something I want to see before I die. And even without optical invisibility she's invisible to pretty much everything else; heat, MR, not confirmed but I suspect X-ray. She was born for infiltration.

There's also a chance that Penji could find illegal connections such as smugglers, experts at getting contraband through whatever security the government has. Problem is, in the illegal world you can buy trust, but I don't think our intrepid heroines have quite that many digits in their bank account.

Of course, we could just pretend this is farcry, and that all you need to take on an entire army is an LMG and a bow. But somehow I don't feel that test would let us walk around just blowing up AA installations. If we took the loud route, we'd need to be careful and tactical; making sure our enemies can't call reinforcements, avoiding any position where we could get swamped, etc.

Who would've thought it'd be so difficult to oppose an entire army, and get a super mustelidae and shark-girl through customs.
No. 127240 ID: 26aa94

Test Pattern, I've been meaning to ask; can I use characters and elements from the TQ setting in my fanfiction? I'm working on a big something something and I really feel I need to include some stuff from your universe.

I'll give you full credit for everything you created, of course.
No. 127262 ID: 4dc321

>Tozol's are the best thing that has ever happened to me.
Gosh, I'm still not sure how to reply to this. Thank you for the kind words. I just wish I could promise to make a new big project soon, but it's tough to get back in the groove.

FWIW, I'm gonna see how long I can stay in the rhythm of regularly uploading things to my FA.

>Test Pattern, I've been meaning to ask; can I use characters and elements from the TQ setting in my fanfiction? I'm working on a big something something and I really feel I need to include some stuff from your universe.

I don't see why not!
No. 127264 ID: e9d442

Thanks! I shall strive to do your characters justice.

As well I would say, I don't want you to promise anything. You want to undertake a big project? Cool. But I don't want you to feel any obligation to do it, and that's pretty much the definition of a promise; obligation.

You just do what you feel.
No. 127270 ID: 5b93d3

>The quiet way is, you blend in with legitimate traffic, possibly by sneaking aboard a military or diplomatic craft with legitimate credentials - and in addition to obvious sensor scans or whatnot, you'd need to match mass and position of whatever you're adding, right down to the kilogram, with legitimate cargo or passengers being removed, in order to avoid throwing off the ship's balance and other performance characteristics in ways any competent pilot would notice.
>The loud way is to start by subverting or simply wrecking every other missile silo, major radar dish, and airstrip in the hemisphere, saving the one(s) you'll actually be using for last without making it too obvious that's what you're doing.
The Tozol way: subvert at least one surface-to-orbit missile complex, and infiltrate a craft with legitimate credentials. Leave aboard at least one undeniably Tozol artefact (farewell, Wrecking Bar) disguised as well as possible but pre-set to break that disguise once the craft makes orbit.
Wait for the inevitable panicked shoot-first-ask-questions-to-whoever-cleared-the-shuttle S2O missile strike, and hitch a ride to orbit in place of a warhead in one of the missiles from the subverted S2O complex selected for its position along the flightpath of that shuttle.
No. 127307 ID: 2007b6

Couple different problems here. One, anti-satelite missiles don't need nearly as much payload mass or delta-V as actual satelite launchers, because they don't actually need to reach orbit; an intercept at orbital altitude is sufficient, and then five to ten miles per second relative velocity does the rest.

Two, even if you hijacked an ICBM and swapped out a multi-ton warhead for a less-than-one-ton tozol to get it up to orbital velocity, that doesn't make you invisible. Modern radar can track space debris almost down to the size of paint chips; an amazing spacefuture society set on maximum paranoia interdiction presumably wouldn't miss a stray warhead that's more than a meter wide. When the self-destruct fails, they'd go right back to trying to shoot it down.

Three, okay, let's say you work past all that somehow, make it to low orbit. Congratulations, you're halfway to anywhere in the system. How are you planning to cover the second half? How long can a tozol survive in hard vacuum, what sort of ship are you going to try to match speed with and sneak aboard, how are you going to avoid triggering anti-micrometeorite defenses?
No. 127329 ID: 64a03e
File 154767382687.jpg - (94.74KB , 603x445 , image.jpg )

Pic related.
No. 127333 ID: ada24e

I always thought that if there were going to be a Tozol Quest 2, we'd start either with Mitzi trying to get Penji back up on her feet, or immediately after Mitzi does some sneaking around to help Penji recover. In the latter case, Mitzi would serve up some initial exposition on the area and have some contacts so the story could get moving.

In the former case, Mitzi would sneak around the planet, trying to get materials to help a creature she doesn't fully understand recover and get back on her feet. Mitzi would have to learn how to use her spacewhale abilities in sneaky, subversive ways and get what she needs slowly. Penji would need to be hidden while unconscious, and eventually Mitzi/Penji would be found and they'd need to spend most of their time on the run.

Eventually Penji would recover and get back on her feet (or we could get the bad end and have nothing). Or perhaps the Tozols would show up on the planet in greater force. Sooner or later, I imagine (perhaps at the very end as a teaser for future events?) we'd run into a Diplomat.

Getting off the planet would, obviously, be either the end goal or an important part of the journey.
No. 127338 ID: d0b4e7

I would personally prefer the quest start after Mitzi's done the sneaking. It's not that Mitzi isn't cool, it's just that Penji is super cool.

I would also personally prefer part of the quest be spent traveling space. I'm a sucker for grand journeys across uncharted planets. Aliens are cool, man.

Plus, I still want to see these other advanced species cultures. We haven't ever actually seen what Tozol culture looks like, that would be neat.

But these are just my preferences, I understand some people don't like the grand space odyssey type of thing.

Damn, I don't know if test just wanted to spark speculation, or if it was on purpose. But TQ's end was basically the perfect set up for a continuation. You would be guaranteed to hit plot if you were flailing aimlessly. It really doesn't matter how we look at it (not that I'm saying we should cease speculation), you'll always end up with great quest opportunity.

Seriously, it's like the most open ended cliffhanger I've ever seen. I didn't know it was possible to leave so much room for choice, and yet have someone so hooked as I am on finding out what happens.

Test is obviously at least a level 25 quest author. He must have rolled a natural twenty on plot hook.

I underestimated his power level.
No. 127421 ID: 99ed9b

Hey Test, if you still wanna know why I'm not a Neumono fan, it's mostly because they basically take over any story the show up in.

They are so overpowered with their perfect regeneration and hive mind that they sort of would be unstoppable in any military context, and the in depth mechanics of how they work and the culture that forms around that end up taking more than half the story time from a narrative sense as well.

And maybe I'm a little sour that every story Lago story ends up being a Neumono fest. I was loving Asteroid quest, and then it became about Neumono. I was loving Unnatural selection, but then it suddenly it was all Neumono. They aren't awful, Lago is good at what he does, but I fell like the Neumono are an albatross around the neck of his stories.

On a different not, I like a lot of these ideas for a Tozol Quest sequel. Like was state by the wizard here, it's so open ended that literally anything could come next.

I'd start it off with Mitzi being a foil to what we saw in Tozol Quest, she's trying to keep Penji hidden and alive and fed with all the rare materials she needs to start repairing her tatterred body. It would be something akin Tozol quest, in that you are in literally constant danger and failure would punished in small or eventually big ways, but instead of a closed setting with limited resources Mitzi would be dropped on a hostile planet with limitless resources around in an open setting. She wouldn't be able to travel freely, but with effort could anywhere you could in a sci fi world and get what she needs... if she can manage it. There would be little combat, and exploration would take a second seat to hitting a few major goals. Mitzi would be expected to fast talk her way around, conceal Penji and her needs, but work towards finding transport off the planet.

TO make it difficult, the world they are on would either be in anarchic disarray as the ability to project government military force disappeared with the collected heads the Marcus murdered, or maybe they aren't in disarray at all and are searching for escapees from the lab debacle. In the anarchic situation you could even light "get set up" fuse as it would take a few days for shit to really hit the fan.

Make the game about bring her "back online" by bringing her specific elements she can use to repair her spinal/brain injuries, as well as the more superficial ones. Penji would come online as a more combat capable character as the story progresses, and open up options of stealing a ship or attacking antagonizing military elements.

With regards to punishing poor behavior, Mitzi is a modified human so things like escaping soldiers should be pretty easy, but every fuck up means more patrols, checkpoints, and a closing net as they narrow down the area Mitzi is hiding Penji in. As thing progress, if it gets bad enough, you could have Mitzi be forced to kill soldiers to protect Penji, or even just plain lose Penji outright. It has the potential for emotional weight as players need to decide how far Mitzi will go to protect the creature that saved her from the lab.

There's also lots of cheesy stuff you could do know that they are out. Have an underground of Mitzi-esque modified people. Get help from smugglers to get through nazi style military checkpoints. Make deal with off-worlds arms dealers to get out of there just to get imprisoned as valuable merchandise. Or, fuck leaving, join the resistance and fight the power. Get Penji fighting fit, and then have her lead a rag-tag crew of rebels against a superior army of well equipped elite soldier. Hunt down the suits behind the military guys that Marcus murdered. Forget the government, it's Weyland Yutani that's behind it all, make them pay.

Really, Endless possibilities.
No. 127424 ID: 5fc3a0

As a quick aside, thank you for the feedback on neumono, I'll keep this in mind.
No. 127425 ID: c920f6

>hive mind
So I know you probably don't read Lago quests anymore for the reasons you gave but claiming that the empathy sense somehow makes them stronger when it only seems to cause them severe, abusable problems is a little odd to me

also you're calling neumono regeneration overpowered when a tozol can, and allow me to quote from ITQ and throw in whatever else I can remember:

- sprint 180 km/h, or run all day at half that
- survive and recover from weapon injuries that would fuck up power armor
- hear heartbeats and sense things at range with their blindsense
- see IR, UV and energy signatures unaided
- hear and analyse radio unaided
- resist biological and chemical agents as well as radiation
- survive in vacuum
- superhuman reaction and reflexes
- shoot a missile down in flight
- rigid unbreaking loyalty to the precursors and their standing orders
- cannot be compromised mentally or socially

Let's compare that to neumono:
- are hard to take down unless you shoot them in the stomach a lot of times
- pretty good regeneration
- abysmal reflexes
- highly vulnerable to anything fucking with their empathy to the point one of their natural predators abuses this to mind control them into compliance
- require ridiculous amount of calories to remain functional
- can just for no clear reason lose connection to their hives and enter a suicidal downturn bereft of familial connection and purpose

Let's not forget that the whole "neumono are super powerful killers who are really hard to put down" thing is largely because we're only ever examining neumono at the top percentile of their species' capacity. Let's also not forget the only reason tozols seem less powerful than they otherwise are is for the exact opposite reason where we followed a 90% broken tozol as she slowly self repaired while shaking off the effects of special god-knows-what alchemical concoctions that exist purely to try and bring down a tozol.

You're right on the narrative takeover though.
No. 127428 ID: 6a6833

I'm not sure it's neumono that take over AQ so much as that a few particularly key characters are neumono (in particular, Rokoa), and that a lot about them was shown in part to try make them not seem overpowered. Like, leaving aside fanworks and patreon driven stories, which are about neumono because fans wanted it so that's hardly blameable, let's look at the timeline:

- Asteroid Quest 1 was about Hok, the thief, on a thief adventure. Rokoa shows up as a scary alien mercenary whose species is suited to her profession. We get to control her for a while and learn that they're psychic as well. So far it's not much different from what you might see in any other sci-fi story.
- Polo Quest was about Polo, a tiny sniper girl whose most notable ability is turning her psychic powers off. She meets Rokoa, revealing that this quest is partially about a (very popular with many readers) character's backstory. Then basically the driving conflict of the whole quest is about flaws in neumono biology being exploited to do terribly horrible things to them, using psychic predators, robot bugs and dream gas. We meet Likol, a neumono scientist, because it wouldn't really make sense for a non-neumono scientists to have been in the middle of that mess. Also the whole quest is set on their homeworld, and the main villains are also natives to that homeworld, because if they weren't then the whole neumono control horror thing probably wouldn't have occurred to them in the first place.
- Back to Asteroid Quest. Neumono are secondary characters again, showing up primarily due to player choice (using neumono mercs, bending time to keep Jessica alive) and because the villains are smart enough to go "hey let's use these guys as mercs because why wouldn't we" and also, again, take advantage of flaws in neumono qualities (psychic examination during torture, for example).
- Polo Quest 2, it's Polo, we're on her homeworld again, working for her government, so again the story doesn't make sense unless it's all about neumono, and once again it's mostly about neumono being treated terribly and taken advantage of.
- UnSe up until this point has been mostly not about neumono, with only some incidental mention, but as they break out they see Likol, who was previously established as a guy working for the person who's controlling their situation. He breaks them out and goes on an escape adventure, again with half of its conflict based around "oh fuck what did they do to my incredibly exploitable biology", at the end of which everyone is set up to go to their various dooms.
- And we have Penn Quest, which is about a genetically superior space princess who's better than everyone but it's so hard, you guys, and no-one understands, and parents are terrible, and being so amazing is a horrible burden. Only actually it is, and they don't, and they are, and it is. And neumono are there because this is their planet and it all ties into the plot that's driven by how exploitable they are.

So we started veering towards neumono stories because they tied into Rokoa, basically, because the authors and readers like her, and then from there we got neumono-centric plots because the particulars of their biology were the central plot device - those stories couldn't have been told if neumono had been different from what they are. Since those stories are about neumono getting horrible things done to them, it's also sort of incompatible with the idea that neumono are overpowered.

Neumono kind of have a species-wide Worf problem where in theory they're really tough and strong, and we do get to see that sometimes, but mostly they get the shit kicked out of them repeatedly, and when the plot centers on them it's usually about something in their biology or culture going wrong for them.

If we had more tozol stories, then most likely they'd run into the same problem of mostly getting wrecked (which happened to Penji, really), because the alternative would be for them to seem overpowered all the time. Even a small pack of tozols would be very difficult to write around, because what problems can't be solved by throwing tozols at it? Even the non-tozol characters' thinking would center around using or avoiding the tozols (again, this sort of happened to Penji). I'm not saying it can't be done (I definitely want to see more tozol stories!), but it would be very difficult.

It was one of the things that was tricky to wrestle with in Battle Quest, iirc.
No. 127429 ID: ada24e

Battle Quest's problem was that the three authors all had different perspectives on how the fight should go down (primarily narrative vs simulationist) and that the three races used were all built for different kinds of stories; Astranians were made to win pyhrric victories while the Scellor were comedic RPG protagonists who got stronger as the game progressed, but the powerful ones were generally assumed to be exceptions rather than the rule (even ignoring the drones). (Tozols arguably also fit the RPG role, but Penji was trying to get back UP to standard Tozol rather than be an exceptional example in her own right) And to a lesser extent, the three quest authors had their own ways of handling player choice; Jukashi liked to make things light-hearted in tone, but difficult, and experiment with new control schemes. Lonelyworld enjoyed Grimdark pyrrhic victories.

For Tozols, otoh, they were built to start off crippled, at the very bottom of the ladder, and to get more powerful as the game/story progressed and they healed themselves.

In Penji Quest, Quadrant Five had Penji and Mitzi pinned down and under constant assault from everything and anything that the planet could throw at them. They had a general idea where they were and had Penji too crippled to fight at full strength for most of the quest. That was not even *close* to the case with the Astranians or the Scellor. The Tozols were outnumbered and outgunned, yes, but the odds weren't unbeatable by any means; the Astranians and Scellor didn't know the Tozols were there, and probably wouldn't have been prepared to face them in any case. The Ayaar and the Astranian mech walkers could do basically nothing against Tozols hunting them. There were 8 Tozols that worked together as a single unit, all connected to one another thanks to years spent preparing the spire for a hostile invasion.

Compare that to Penji's situation. Not only was she physically crippled to a point that should have been beyond recovery, but she was also pumped full of a drug specifically designed to keep her that way. When she eventually got out, the entirety of Quadrant 5 encircled her and brought its full firepower on her. She was ONE Tozol with no memories/experience, no back-up (beyond Mitzi - a civilian in over her head - and arguably Marcus, who had his own objectives) and no equipment/weaponry to start with.

And Penji was designed to (potentially) find a way to make it through all of that alive. Granted, she only barely made it, and then because a space whale was feeling generous, but she still made it to the point where that was possible to begin with.

Of course something like that is going to be unstoppable at full strength; that's kind of the point. Especially when you've got EIGHT of them that have been training their whole lives for war, one of whom was literally raised from birth on the planet they were fighting on.

But the Tozols in Battle Quest did demonstrate two potential ways to make their kind more vulnerable: it's been implied both in BQ and elsewhere that the Tozol's higher command structure has been severely crippled (probably by the diplomats, but it's unclear). Meaning that what Tozols remain are potentially *all* in Penji's general situation: cut off from reinforcements and comrades, surrounded on all sides by enemies. And no one who knows what Tozols can do is going to let them be. Sooner or later, no matter how skilled, every Tozol's gonna run out of ammo and places to hide.

Secondly... every Tozol in BQ was important to the squad, either in terms of their personal skills or their importance to the squad's mental health. Baj, for example, was the youngest Tozol there, and he had the most insight into how the xeno thought; he was also the son of Reja and Anak, and was involved romantically with Thane. Kill him, and you've mentally destroyed the team's best rifleman, the only spare cyberwarfare specialist, and the best pilot. Look at each of the characters in BQ and you see connections like this (even among the other factions, though the Tozols have it most of all) that would render the loss of any one part of the squad difficult to handle.

That level of interconnection was pretty unique to their situation, but the divide in their skillsets wasn't (since all but one Tozol was originally planned to go to the planet anyway). Given we know Tozols can die, be too injured to continue fighting, and/or be mentally broken beyond repair from Penji Quest, the Tozol's individual level of skill becomes a liability for the squad. Make one Tozol unable to act, and you ruin their unit. Add in that backup is unlikely to ever come for the Tozols, and... well, you know the rest.

Any problem can be solved by throwing *enough* Tozols at it. But then you might just not have enough.
No. 127444 ID: becba8

As much as I admire the tactical approach to conflicts Test Pattern use, I got to say Penjii successful scape had less to do with her abilities than the underground facility being designed as a challenge she could beat. If I had any saying on how that underground complex worked the quest would involve much less guns and much more digging through rock and concrete for year.
There is nothing wrong with a story that offer problems the protagonist is good at solving, but you can't conclude from such specific circumstance that the character was inherently capable of winning any foe with that level of resources.

I never got the impression Battle Quest was unbalanced. Yeah, the Tozols are overpower, but so is Astranian's tech and their security measures (could only be used by their specie). Don't forget that the psychic Scellors not only had numbers in their favour, but also saw every individual present as disposable.
Personality wise the Tozols had a disadvantage. They were competing with the cool power couple and a drunk evil empress, not to mention those guys were motivation by ambition while the Tozols were told to guard a treasure and were planing on doing so as good little dogs. They had no chance to cause a better impression than their enemies, still their family relations and individual quirks shined.
The thing I liked the most, and I don't recall seeing in any other quest, was how the suggestions were frequently integrated: they would become opinions voiced by different individuals during discussions. If the quest wasn't so short lived this could stablish personalities just by associating certain types of suggestions with each individual (one of them could even have Kome ideas) and turn disagreements in conflicts within the narrative.
No. 127450 ID: 91ee5f

>compares Neumono with Tozols
>claims Neumono are more overpowered than Tozols
That is incorrect.

Like >>127425 said, Tozols are way more overpowered. They’re on a level higher than any Neumono could ever hope to reach.
No. 127462 ID: 99ed9b


I never actually compared Nuemono to Tozols, and while I apparently have read all of Battle Quest our only exposure to Tozols has been one that's confused and badly injured. Positing that they overpowered is kind of pointless since we've never had a story where they did much of anything.

But that's not my big complaint about them anyway, even if it's something I don't like. 6a6833 probably explained it best, look at the list of Neumono quests. If you don't like Rokoa because she IS that silly overpowered stereotype, than you aren't going to be reading a lago-quests. When you do, expect them to weasel their way in and take over eventually.

And Lagotrope, don't take my dislike of Neumono as a condemnation of your work. You do great work, and you do a mega-shitload-hell-of-a-lot of good work, things like Fen Quest or Unnatural selection kept me coming back to tgchan even when nothing else I liked was updating. Neumono and Rokoa might not be to my taste but I know they are very popular around here too.
No. 127472 ID: 3166ea

I'm still confused about how you could possibly think tozols aren't overpowered, when the two quests they appeared in were 1) a facility specifically designed to contain creatures like them failing to contain a single injured confused one, and 2) A quest where one team of them was matched up against two whole strike forces and that was presented as, and evidently was, an even match-up. Yeah they had a prepared defensive ground but their enemies had space ships.

I'm not implying it's bad that tozols are powerful, they need to be to facilitiate the kinds of stories they're designed to be used to tell. I guess if you want to focus on the "over" in "overpowered" then that doesn't count because they're just as powerful as they need to be, but that's heavily contextual and subjective. That's the kind of thing where a protagonist would be overpowered and an antagonist with the exact same strengths and abilities wouldn't be, because antagonists need to be obstacles and protagonists need to be presented with them. If that's what you're going for, though, then your argument is that neumono are more powerful than their narratives need them to be? And I'd disagree heavily with that.

Like, I don't know how intentional it is, but the Asteroid setting quests seem to return a lot to questions and themes of use and abuse and exploitation. How much are you willing to be used for a purpose, is it ok to be used, when does it become not ok, is it worth being used if you get something in return, what's the exchange rate, that sort of thing. Unnatural Selection is all about a system that makes AIs, how much should they put up with, how much is right for them to sacrifice for each other, how do you deal with people who consider you a tool to be used, et cetera. Itcher's story, again, he's a mob henchman, he asks how much he's willing to do and to be used for and to and put up with. Kappi's relationship with Rokoa would look abusive to a lot of aliens, but it legitimately makes him happier than he would be otherwise, is that ok? Rokoa herself, she's one of the best warriors of her whole species but becoming that literally broke her mind, she risks death and deals it constantly for her hive even though they don't like her, is that ok? Penn gets brought in as a pawn by Arza, is she ok with that if it's for a noble cause, how far will she go using other people as tools, and how does that contrast with her fear and others' perceptions of her similarities to Sapphire? These kinds of ideas pop up in the background again and again.

So, given that, are neumono overpowered? I'd say no, for the same reason that explains why they've been so dominant in those stories. They fit those themes so well. The ambiguity between being used vs. being abused is writ large in their biology, mindset, culture and history. They have large flaws which allow them to be exploited, and large strengths that motivate others to exploit them. How much of their own culture do they sacrifice to be uplifted? How many of their own members does a hive allow to suffer for the good of them all? How much of their body do they let be ripped apart because they can survive it? Does being able to recover justify requiring them to suffer more? Neumono as a species are practically designed for these questions to be asked. So, they've gotten such huge focus for the same reason the next biggest/most populous group of characters in the setting is AIs. They're just really suited to the core themes.

So, as such, the qualities that make them so suitable can't make them "overpowered". They're as powerful as they need to be. The same reason tozols, in their stories, aren't overpowered either - even though, on a strict objective power scaling level, they're way powerful.
No. 127475 ID: ada24e

We don't actually know for sure if Quadrant 5 was built specifically to keep a Tozol in. In fact it probably wasn't. What we know about Penji's capture suggests (to me anyway) that it was a fluke, an accident of fate. Quadrant 5 was an absolute nightmare to escape from, and Penji wouldn't have been able to do it without a colossal amount of luck and outside assistance (anti-suppress).

Also consider that Penji wasn't the only thing being held there: there were Jabberwocks, supersoldiers, a Valcien... all being researched and experimented upon.

From a meta perspective, yes, Q5 was built to be a problem Penji could potentially overcome, but from an in-world perspective, Penji was escaping from a top-secret *research facility*, not an anti-Tozol prison.

On top of that, Q5's primary problem wasn't Penji; it was Marcus. Yeah, Penji was the greater threat militarily/physically (which is why so much effort was put on her, once they realized she was awake) but Marcus was the one with the plan. A lot of the gains Penji got in the Quest (I'd argue most of them) were because of Marcus doing something elsewhere. She only escaped because she enlisted the aid of a creature that absolutely hates Tozols (unless I vastly misread the Valcien's behavior) and just happened to have a friend spliced with a Valcien on her side. (two, if Marcus counts)

> quest where one team of them was matched up against two whole strike forces and that was presented as, and evidently was, an even match-up.

1) The 8 Tozols were evidently an elite unit that had trained and prepared for DECADES for this exact scenario. The other two forces just seemed to stumble onto the spire and decide 'oh hey that looks neat let's take it'.

2) Battle Quest ended before any of the 3 sides really suffered any serious losses (unfortunately =( )

I loved the Tozol's dynamics. They had little in-jokes and a familiarity between the 8 of them that the other factions lacked imo. Piyerra and Radde were (as said elsewhere) a power couple with the best motive of the three, and the Astranian's GRIMDARKNESS, infighting and/or shifting behaviors was fun (Fuze in particular stuck out to me as a minor character) but the Tozols were not just colleagues, they were family fighting for their 20 year home.

Even if said home was a sandball that they all hated and wanted to leave.
No. 127547 ID: ada24e

Not Fuze, Cudd. MB
No. 127688 ID: 055cbc

>1) The 8 Tozols were evidently an elite unit that had trained and prepared for DECADES for this exact scenario. The other two forces just seemed to stumble onto the spire and decide 'oh hey that looks neat let's take it'.

Historically, the ability of a small but elite force to fight a larger force has hinged ENTIRELY on the small force being the attacker, with the ability to melt away and cede territory. The Tozols were the defenders, which SHOULD have put the encounter somewhere more along the lines of the Waco Texas siege. Traps and prep time are great, but overwhelming force is still overwhelming. The difference is that in these force calculations, one able and equipped tozol is rated somewhere between a siege engine and a battlecruiser.
No. 127719 ID: ada24e

You may not have noticed, but that's exactly what they did. Their strategies almost always revolved around hitting hard and then fading away. The Scellor and the Astranians both landed and their main contesters on the way down were each other.

The Quest unfortunately ended before we really saw how the walker invasion played out but we know from TestPattern's comments that the walker was never going to go down. Which implies to me that this was going to be the point where the Tozols failed/lost somebody. Probably Baj. And once that happened, the Astranians would know the Scellor were not alone.

(also I get the impression that Ellatriz had escaped and/or that the Undermind had already bounced over to her before her Orel was ripped off so the enemy forces would both know about them)

The Tozols were technically the defenders, yes, but the two forces attacking the planet had no idea they were there and the fighting didn't take place at the spire. For the moment the Tozols were not in a siege, they were a guerilla force.
No. 128210 ID: 87dacc

Test Pattern, I got a question.

Did you ever write deeply into the lore surrounding Tozol's culture? It was never relevant in Tozol quest itself, so I didn't know.

Like, what does a Tozol society look like? how many Tozol's are actually left? what does their tech look like? How do they interact with other cultures?

That sort of thing.

I ask because I'm about to write some fiction involving heavily the Tozol and the Precursor, and I want to be as accurate as possible with the lore and setting.
No. 129785 ID: 529684

Hey if you use Telegram I made a Tozol Quest sticker pack for it by converting images from the quest.


Also sorry for necromancing this thread.
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