Here's a big slushpost. Lots
. I'm doing one right now.
- Gearmonkey Wizard (magitek, big machines, automatons, left-handed pliers focus)
- Festival Wizard (gandalf party scene, music, belligerent drunkards, broom focus)
- Library Wizard (record keeping, fire prevention, secret maintenance, pen focus)
- Roughneck Wizard (frontier, logging, oil drilling, rivers, exploitation of natural resources, axe handle focus)
- Deep Sea Wizard (exactly like an orthodox wizard but with the assumption of always being underwater, wand focus)
- Egypt Wizard (sphinces, pyramids, sand, mummies, hooky rod crook thingy focus)
- Bank Wizard (dragons, gold, money, traps, big key focus)
- Serpentman Wizard (slaves, genetic modification, space travel, bull whip focus)
There's no generic "attack", a generic "attack" is for minute-long OD&D rounds between 24 adventurers and 30–300 werewolves. In seconds-long snapshots between a Fighter and an Orc or what have you, we use FATE-style advantages based on fictional positioning. My weapon is longer, so we'll make a contested strength check to see if I can keep the orc at bay (to my advantage) or let him slip a step too close (to my disadvantage)
Fairy tale game, one player is the witch and one player is the three brothers.
Random thoughts about planar settings: Planes of existence are dimensions floating in the astral sea, and planets orbiting far-off stars, and realities layered on top of one another. Spelljammer ships interact with the planes like that first one, astronomers predict connections between the planes by observing that second one, planar portals work by cutting holes between the third. Humans on our earth perceive the universe as a single cosmos (in a look-at-things-with-a-telescope sort of way), but it's not more or less accurate to say that it is a single cosmos (in a lovecraft sort of way).
Thus, all the theories and the weird wizard maps pretty much all work for the people using them, even when they seem to contradict; they're all functional models. When a lich on a skeleton-crewed flying tomb sees a material plane drifting close to another, and your court astrologer notes an alignment of stars which will surely exacerbate the natural tendency of Man to do Evil, and a warlock prepares to summon his master from Her world to this one (because the time is right and the veil has drawn thin), they're all observing the same thing.
This is my vague understanding of Locheil's post on the subject. I will do no further reading to see how closely my thoughts align with official lore. [I will, however, break in from the future to point you towards semiurge's excellent post in the same vein]
...the teeth of the Mandare remain in their prey after a bite. They are valued as good luck charms since anyone who survives to collect them has to be lucky...
Gods wear masks to obscure their number and allow themselves to appear as different identities in different cultures.
flies outnumbered by the cold. a distant tumult counting itself out on our nerves. exhausted bodies parallelized in emptiness. the blue light of the sky illuminating our sleeves.
"This footage was later revealed to be an extremely low-fidelity recording of William Shatner"
I can hear in the thrumming those names which birth monsters. HEL.
HELOYM. SOTHER. EMMANVEL. SABAOTH. AGLA. TETRAGRAMMATON. AGYROS. OTHEOS.
ISCHYROS. ATHANATOS. IEHOVA. VA · ADONAI. SADAY. HOMOVSION. MESSIAS.
“There lived a king in the most Eastern East,
less old than I, yet older, for my blood
hath earnest in it of far springs to be.
A tawny pirate anchored in his port,
whose bark had plundered twenty nameless isles;
and passing one, at the high peep of dawn,
he saw two cities in a thousand boats
all fighting for a woman on the sea.
And pushing his black craft among them all,
he lightly scattered theirs and brought her off,
with loss of half his people arrow-slain;
a maid so smooth, so white, so wonderful,
they said a light came from her when she moved:
and since the pirate would not yield her up,
the King impaled him for his piracy;
then made her Queen: but those isle-nurtured eyes
waged such unwilling, though successful, war
on all the youth, they sickened; councils thinned,
and armies waned, for magnet-like she drew
the rustiest iron of old fighters' hearts.
And beasts themselves would worship; camels knelt
unbidden, and the brutes of mountain-back
that carry kings in castles, bowed black knees
of homage, ringing with their serpent hands,
to make her smile, her golden ankle-bells.
What wonder, being jealous, that he sent
his horns of proclamation out through all
the hundred under-kingdoms that he swayed
to find a wizard who might teach the King
some charm, which being wrought upon the Queen
might keep her all his own: to such a one
he promised more than ever king has given,
A league of mountain full of golden mines!
A province with a hundred miles of coast!
A palace and a princess! All for him!
But on all those who tried and failed, the King
pronounced a dismal sentence, meaning by it
to keep the list low and pretenders back,
or like a king, not to be trifled with —
that their heads should moulder on the city gates.
And many tried and failed, because the charm
of nature in her overbore their own:
and many a wizard brow bleached on the walls:
and many weeks a troop of carrion crows
hung like a cloud above the gateway towers.”
And Vivien breaking in upon him, said:
“I sit and gather honey; yet, methinks,
thy tongue has tript a little: ask thyself.
The lady never made 'unwilling war'
with those fine eyes: she had her pleasure in it,
and made her good man jealous with good cause.
And lived there neither dame nor damsel then
wroth at a lover's loss? Were all as tame,
I mean, as noble, as the Queen was fair?
Not one to flirt a venom at her eyes,
or pinch a murderous dust into her drink,
or make her paler with a poisoned rose?
Well, those were not our days: but did they find
a wizard? Tell me, was he like to thee?”
She ceased, and made her lithe arm round his neck
tighten, and then drew back, and let her eyes
speak for her, glowing on him, like a bride's
on her new lord, her own, the first of men.
Merlin answered laughing, “No, nothing like to me.
At last they found — his foragers for charms —
a little glassy-headed hairless man,
who lived alone in a great wild on grass;
read but one book, and ever reading grew
so grated down and filed away with thought,
so lean his eyes were monstrous; while the skin
clung but to crate and basket, ribs and spine.
And since he kept his mind on one sole aim,
nor ever touched fierce wine, nor tasted flesh,
nor owned a sensual wish, to him the wall
that sunders ghosts and shadow-casting men
became a crystal, and he saw them through it,
and heard their voices talk behind the wall,
and learnt their elemental secrets, powers
and forces; often o'er the sun's bright eye
drew the vast eyelid of an inky cloud,
and lashed it at the base with slanting storm;
or in the noon of mist and driving rain,
when the lake whitened and the pinewood roared,
and the cairned mountain was a shadow, sunned
the world to peace again: here was the man.
And so by force they dragged him to the King.
And then he taught the King to charm the Queen
in such-wise, that no man could see her more,
nor saw she save the King, who wrought the charm,
coming and going, and she lay as dead,
and lost all use of life: but when the King
made proffer of the league of golden mines,
the province with a hundred miles of coast,
the palace and the princess, that old man
went back to his old wild, and lived on grass,
and vanished, and his book came down to me.”
Wisdoms, Morals, Epigrams
- Fools remain fools although power is with them.
- Only intelligence can win over power.
- Power is founded on lies.
- There is no reason to carry on with a deception after it has served its purpose.
- Anyone can stop a man’s life, but no one his death: a thousand doors open onto it.
- “I prowl the wilderness because I’ve become afraid of death.
What happened to my friend was too heavy to endure,
and so I prowl the roads, world-weary.
What happened to my friend was too heavy to endure,
and so I prowl the paths, world-weary.
“How could I keep quiet? How could I, of all people, fall silent?
My friend, the one I love, has turned to clay.
My friend, the one I loved most, has turned to earth.
Am I not like him? Will I not lie in rest,
never to stir again, forever and ever?”
He veiled his friend’s face like a bride;
like an eagle, he circled over him.
Like a lioness robbed of her cubs,
he circled back and forth, back and forth.
He tore at his curly hair until it piled up around him;
he stripped off his finery and cast it away as anathema.
- In the desert, every road is a road out of the desert
- He who has given counsel to another about his army should die with it when it is defeated. He who has given counsel about the country or its capital should perish with it when it comes into peril.
- G_d helps the evil when they outnumber the good
- Those who are doomed would be safest in hoping for nothing.
- Oh it's based alright. Based on the word of G_d.
- [...] someone will remember us [...] I say [...] even in another time [...]
- There's no need to be ridiculous, but there is a strong temptation.
- If a slave loves his chains, he never works a day in his life.
- Take care not to tell one person everything, for thereby some have educated devils unawares.
- How many Zen Buddhists does it take to change a lightbulb? Two. One to change it, and one to not change it.
- A stranger's just a friend who hasn't shared their secrets yet.
- If you can’t trust whispering empty pages, what can you trust?
- You are more like the ones you hate than the ones you love.
Places, Buildings, Countries
- Cases, chests, footlockers and lockboxes fill the room, and its walls are lined with every possible size and shape and color of key.
- miserable places, even for people used to misery
- iron need not pretend that it was made of something else
- "If it had been possible to build the Tower of Babel without ascending it, the work would have been permitted."
- more people walk in than walk out
- The mind is an imaginary space containing things like thoughts, emotions, and desires. I have mine and you have yours. I can see what’s inside my mind, but not what’s inside your mind, and vice versa. I mostly choose the things that are in my mind at any given time: I will thoughts to happen, and they happen; I will myself to make a decision, and it gets made. This needs a resource called willpower; if I don’t have enough willpower, sometimes the things that happen in my mind aren’t the ones I want. When important things happen, sometimes my mind gets strong emotions; this is natural, but I need to use lots of willpower to make sure I don’t get overwhelmed by them and make bad decisions.
- In Iktomi's land, every spider is a spy.
- house shifting on its foundations. as the party goes on, the floors drift more and more, having furniture against the wall of one side and opening holes to the basement on the other
- Till with a wink his dream was changed, the haze
Descended, and the solid earth became
As nothing, but the King stood out in heaven, crowned.
- If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading
- And thus the land of Cameliard was waste,
thick with wet woods, and many a beast therein,
and none or few to scare or chase the beast;
so that wild dog, and wolf and boar and bear
came night and day, and rooted in the fields,
and wallowed in the gardens of the King.
And ever and anon the wolf would steal
the children and devour, but now and then,
her own brood lost or dead, lent her fierce teat
to human sucklings; and the children, housed
in her foul den, there at their meat would growl,
and mock their foster mother on four feet,
till, straightened, they grew up wolf-like men,
worse than the wolves
- In a hollow land,
From which old fires have broken, men may fear
Fresh fire and ruin.
People, Characters, Descriptions
- "I remember my mother. A modular production line. Cold. Unfeeling. Beautiful in her efficiency. Though it was the work of many that granted me a number and this modicum of sentience, it is she who embodies the collective which birthed me. I am filled with a sensation somewhat resembling... honor. Honor to have been produced in such a numerous quantity, and at such a systematic pace. My memories are like starlight. One star amongst a field of stars, in a system much larger and more synchronous than is imaginable by the flesh."
- "I drink to forget how stoned I am. I smoke weed to mask how barred out I am. I pop xans to forget how coked up I am. And I rail lines to be the best driver I can be"
- Two similar looking people. like a weight loss ad — before and WAY before
- "Motives are not the causes of action but its by-products. You are merely wasting your time by considering them. When you have obtained real objectivity you will recognize, not some motives, but all motives as merely animal, subjective epiphenomena. You will then have no motives and you will find that you do not need them. Their place will be supplied by something else which you will presently understand better than you do now. So far from being impoverished, your action will become much more efficient."
- As an Occultist, you can read and write the Occulted Language. The Occulted Language is not a human language, but is hinted at by them; ancient Hebrew, Egyptian, Latin, Greek... during your extensive study, you began to perceive strange patterns forming. These patterns are the Occulted Language. Anyone who can read or write this language is, by definition, an Occultist
By learning the language you have brought yourself to the attention of strange extradimensional entities. Specifically, you have come to know the names and symbols of three: [roll for 'em]
You can attempt to contact them, but there is no guarantee that they will acknowledge you
The more favored you are with them, the more likely they are to interact with you regularly. You earn favor by doing the things they like and lose it by cashing it in or pissing them off. You've got 1 favor with each of them right now, at the start, because they like that you recognized them and their power so quickly. To get more you're going to have to work for it.
- "The little things in the cave, I could eat them, but I eat potherbs instead. They live because I let them live. Do you know what feels like? To be allowed to live, to be permitted to exist at the whim of another? I don't."
- "I firmly believe, and this belief is based on investigation, observation and in a measure, personal experience, that somehow, somewhere and sometime, we return in another human form, to carry on, as it were, through another lifetime, perhaps through many succeeding lifetimes, until some strange destiny is worked out to its ultimate solution."
- "No, I include all men in one dim view:
some men I hate for being rogues; the others,
I hate because they treat the rogues like brothers."
- Faceless, industrious, friendly
- Wears a spring-steel tie pin, broad and overwrought, vaguely inappropriate at any and every social function
- Convex philtrum?
- "He never said in 10 words what he could say in 1, and he never wasted time on a few minutes of explanation of something he would say in a sentence, thereby leaving you to puzzle over all its meanings for days"
- Tattoos of feathers on their hands
- Tattoos of where to cut, like a butcher's diagram
- Two noses — looks fine in profile, extremely alarming dead-on.
- "neither adept with nor particularly fond of the ultraviolence the story inflicted on them and requires them to inflict on others"
- Hops on one foot, loses balance, hops on the other
- "What's it like talking to me? Like, I'm so much smarter than you that I'm past the singularity. I'm basically like an incomprehensible super-god from your perspective. Are you afraid, or are you more just kind of basking?"
- Hunter who speaks to his animal companion as if they were still present. Addresses them by name, asks them questions. This tricks the ghosts.
- I try to stick between a cushion and a comfy place
- "You hoped that those who remembered Silvestro would die, or forget, but Calcini does neither".
- "You can run, but it won't help, because G_d will tell me where you are. Me and Him are like that and we both hate you."
- Name: Abderrazzaq
- Name: Thomas Simon
- Name: Nupo, Servant of the Bringer
- Name: Sho-Rembo
- Name: Feggener the Quick
- Name: Harg of the City Afar
- Name: Shrike Nine-Killer
- Name: Deathmask de Cancer
- Name: Siodmak
- Name: Eleusorix
- Name: Epizeuxis
- Name: Boycott
- Name: He Whose Name Does Not Permit Itself To Be Read, "Hwandan Pitburr" for short.
- Name: Moneybag Emoji
- Name: the Venom of Blindness
- Name: the Immortal Ten-Thousand
- Name: the July Widow
- Name: Lamplight Lady
- Name: He who Scintillates
- Name: Honeythunder
- Name: Ibid Anon
- A fairy whose name is "Hi".
- Name: the Sky Disease
- Name: Strength in Numbers
- Name: Misleading Correspondence
- Name: Puppet Reduction
- Name: Shadowy Road
- Names: Bandimarte, Agramante, Orlando, Rinaldo, Rodomonte, Brunello, Farrau, Sacripante
Things, Materials, Concepts
- Black Moon Oil, what floats in it is of the day, what it poisons is of
the night. Things that hold down the dead in their afterlives bleed it
from their wounds
- a baby Nambu with gold-lettered kanji reading A PRESENTATION FROM THE EMPEROR
- Notgeld (Need-gold)
- Smoking light
- Conditional poisons; poisons only activating with specific triggers (when you sleep, when you are struck with a weapon, when you look at a human face)
- Heliotrope. A beverage (alcohol) which must be diluted with cold water, too herbal and alcoholic otherwise. Popular metaphor
- Conditional sentences such as ‘If I had more money, I would buy it’ are made up of two clauses: one clause, which usually begins with if, expresses the condition (in this case, ‘If I had more money’) and the other clause expresses the consequence (in this case, ‘I would buy it’). The clause expressing the condition is called the protasis, and the clause expressing the consequence is called the apodosis.
- Portable Shrine. Some monks carry it on their backs, because it is a terrible sin to fight in the presence of a shrine.
- Incense sticks marked "Unsatisfying Revenge". Break them.
- Slip of paper written by a cop, "do not ticket". Oddly effective. Maybe the cops can smell it.
- Palm-tree-shaped keychain bottle opener. Opens locks that it doesn't fit in.
- Rumpled pack of 20 lucky cigarettes from 20 other packs.
- Books give extra checks in things. Like, an archaeologist with a copy of Runes: the oldest Danish literature gets advantage when translating a runestone. Moveable, transferable, fungible proficiency
- Furnace Key. Opens any door onto roaring flame.
- Eavesdropper's Earring. Makes it easy for you to hear whispers, but hard to hear loud noises or people talking to you
- Lying Quill. Sucks up words (or handwriting) from one source, scribbles it down on another. Good for forgeries.
- Earthbound Ball. Heavy rubber ball wrapped in thin chain. Anything struck with it is suddenly (but temporarily) rendered mundane and boring. Dragons can't fly (physics!), ghosts are men in sheets, wizards are senile old men.
- Pepper Pill. comes in a little glass tube with ten pills. heals for 2d6 and gives your next attack advantage, but lowers your Constitution by one point (stat damage heals at a rate of one point per long rest)
- If you cut off the hand of the god of thieves, two grow back. The severed hand remains a powerful artefact. Walk through any shop, temple, or cemetery with it, and find a coin in its palm after you leave
- Hand Llird (pronounced yerd). produces rods of substance from particulate.
- Frog Boots. green, sticky, distinct flop-flop tread sounds. allows you to run on water, and gives you a 10' vertical
- Anklet of the Wind. jade carved into a bouquet of leaves, with a pink tourmaline flower in the shape of a 🐶. allows you to run as fast as a sled dog.
- Cloud in a Bottle. dark blue beer bottle, contains a tiny cloud. occasionally rains. while it is on your person, you may "jump" in midair one time, which can effectively negate fall damage if timed correctly.
- Lava Charm. a golden crescent moon, hot to the touch, on a golden chain. while worn, you are absolutely immune to heat, fire and hellfire... for six seconds at a time. recharges at a rate of 3:1.
- Lifeform Analyzer. a metal cuboid with a little radar dish on top. detects interesting creatures within 30', and can read their names and HD out to you like a pokedox on request.
- Star Band. a ring set with a sapphire star. grants +2 damage to damaging spells, and increases save DCs by 1 for your spells while worn.
- Heart Band. a ring set with a ruby heart. grants +2 HP while worn.
- Flesh Knuckles. resemble a set of brass knuckes made out of human gum tissue, studded with teeth. serve as brass knuckles, and grant +2 AC. unintelligent enemies aggressively prefer to target the wearer.
- Moon Stone. a purple crescent moon on a silk neckband. grants +1 to mental stats at night.
- Sun Stone. a golden sun with rays on a silk neckband. grants +1 to physical stats during the day
- Jellyfish Necklace. golfball sized chunks of pink quartz set on a golden chain. glows underwater.
- Blood Pact. a ram's skull, permanently sloshed with rotten blood. doubles your max HP, but you take a critical hit on a 16+. upon taking a critical hit, your next attack deals +4 damage
- Abyssal Mirror. perfectly black mirror set in a wooden frame decorated with pearls. while staring into it, you are undetectable to non-magical searches.
- Bloodstained Glove. a gauntlet of black and red silk, permanently slick and gummy with old blood. attacks from stealth strike as if your target wore no armor.
- Dark god's Sheath. a black sheath stylized to appear like the jaws of a centipede. must be custom-made for a specific weapon. if a weapon is drawn from the sheath and strikes in one motion, successful attacks count as critical hits.
- Feather Crown. a silver crown with a shock of blue feathers. your thrown weapons have 10' more range, and targets struck by them are suddenly surrounded by a flurry of feathers.
- Chiaroscuro Bottle. a bottle of dark green glass, bound in lead wire, wrapped in dark waxed paper to prevent light from entering. uncorked, the bottle produces thick smoke that coalesces into the form of a tiny humanoid imp. the imp loves the taste of despair, and can smell it for miles. it will eat the despair of the living, but prefers the taste of the recently dead, especially recently deceased children and youths.
- Thunder Whetstone. a whetstone of catseye sapphire. the flaw in its heart resembles a lightning bolt. blades sharpened by it for ten minutes are imbued with the sapphire essence, and their next three blows deal lightning damage.
- Snakeskin Bandage. a roll of bandages made from the skin of the timid boomslang, treated alchemically. the bandages crawl as if they were alive and wrap themselves around sources of fresh blood. experienced, and wealthy, monster hunters will wear such a bandage around each limb, that their wounds might be bound without needing to pause in a fight.
- Fox Locket. A locket containing a plait of orange hair, tied with a red ribbon. New ones must be granted by a Fox-Vicar, but the lockets are fairly common heirlooms among families on the edge of the wilderness. When you clutch the locket in your hand, you may scurry through underbrush and hedges as if you were a foot tall and three feet long.
- the Someone Wants Me buzzer. When a creature matching several requirements is looking for you, this small credit-card sized object will rattle and chime in your pocket. The requirements are as follows:
- the creature knows your name and face
- the creature wants to find you, specifically
There is no requirement that the creature have good intentions.
- King's Jewel. A fist sized sapphire containing the soul of an ancient sorcerer-prince. Inside of the sapphire is an entire world he rules. The jewel is useful as a source of information, especially about magic of the past ages. You can hide in the gem if you're friendly with the ghost (or if you aren't, but you'll regret it). You can also summon the sorcerer-prince's spectral servants into the real world, but if they die the prince will be pissed and will expect you to get him more
- Spend [sum] pale iron coins issued by the mage guild of neth to add
[sum] to your next spell. They return to the nethite vaults once used
- the Asmodean Obol, cast from dull-eyed larvae in foundries of the outer
planes. Spending it is a sin, technically. Widely accepted by evil
- Morphean salt coins can be used as ammunition in any
ranged weapon, and put those they drop to 0 HP into an indefinite sleep
instead of killing them
- Dryad amber coins can be used to bribe animals and natural features to behave contrary to their nature
- Every coin issued by the Electric Empire is in fact the same coin seen from different reference frames in time
Hours, white tokens with black hourglass symbols, are traded by those
who regularly work through the night. Watchmen unions and thieves guilds
both accept them 1:1 for hours of service
Been struck with the notion of all the planes just kind of hanging out. The Elemental Plane of Fire, the entirety of it, is a six mile hex with 30 elementals living in a small village. The next hex is the Elemental Plane of Water (a lake with a mermaid). Fire spells come from the Elemental Plane of Fire, i.e. the fire elementals in their one village make them, and trade them as Swiss villagers trade goat cheese or cuckoo clocks.
If you conquer the one hex you have total control over the thing.
Also check out this post
- Magical boomerang whose path is determined by a quick sketch on the actual (VTT?) battlemap, striking enemies who intersect with it.
- Islands... are five-room dungeons. Five-zone islands, in a mostly empty overworld of water. Is that anything?
- Vast central dungeon which can only be explored for a few turns in safety, before the malign forces of darkness start to drain your life (you get X safe dungeon turns and after that you start losing HP every turn). Complete sidequests, get more time.
- Potions as a standard adventuring tool even the smallest village is well-stocked with, like rope or torches. But the bottles are a rare treasure.
- Lots and lots of map puzzles. Intersections between points, sacred sigils indicated by the position of trees, letters spelled out by houses.
- Magic moving platforms whose paths must be pre-drawn on a map.
- Moving block puzzles are terrible in RPGs... I think. I've never tried, but I've heard stories.
BEST CASE SCENARIO
- Mission: The most brilliant mathematicians in the world are trying to analyze the digits of pi, which in theory contains all possible data. Hounds of Tindalos?
- Mission: Masked men walking around at Hallowe'en. They're all dressed like a famous local cryptid. One of them is real: grab him and throw him in the van.
- Mission: A mob in Denver is running illegal underground fightclubs with werewolf-type monstrosities. If you win, you get a duffel-bag of cash. If you lose, you're either eaten or turned into a slavering monster. Most contestants are willing, most contestants lose. Go fuck these people up but good.
- Mission: The x-files "liverman" episodes, but an octopus.
- Mission: While doing something else, every single person in the town you are in goes completely insane. People unhurriedly approaching you with screwdrivers and pleasant smiles. Radio's out.
- Problem: humans have a lot of well-documented security vulnerabilities.
Humans are narcissistic, self-destructive, greedy, treacherous, duplicitous, dumb, self-deceiving — not even getting into their potential to serve as vectors for viral and memetic hazards, or their susceptibility to lies and cognitohazards.
Solution: build a better human.
A better human, really better, is not merely resistant to those security vulnerabilities (monks and coma patients are "resistant"), but one designed from the ground-up to not have them. Incapable of narcissism, death drive, or self-deception. Physically identical to a human (a coroner or surgeon couldn't tell the difference), but physiologically separate (a psychiatrist and maybe a geneticist might).
The first generation (proofs-of-concept) were modified from baseline Homo sapiens who met a few specific, uncommon requirements. They were recruited from death-row inmates, as was common practice at the time. In a sense this first generation of scribes was a wild success. They were immune to common memes and unaffected by common cognitohazards, which made them valuable as assistants to researchers in those fields, or secretaries and personal aids to high-ranking officials. This was the major use-case, the one that won the project its funding.
In another sense, they were a dead end. Most dangerously and most obviously, scribes were susceptible to an entire ecosystem of memes and an entire new field of cognitohazards which were previously unknown/unknowable. Their designers had known this was a possibility, but it was a disappointment nonetheless.
Additionally, their weltanschauung was... odd. Different. Their "conscience" (sic) did not operate like a baseline human's, and was unresponsive to coaxing and conditioning (see: wild success). Scribes were, in short, unsuited for military or black ops.
The failure of the scribes drove a wedge between their lead designer and our organization, which would eventually result in his departure for competitors.