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SIGMATA: This Signal Kills Fascists
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SIGMATA: This Signal Kills Fascists

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From the author of Cryptomancer comes SIGMATA: This Signal Kills Fascists, a cyberpunk tabletop role-playing game about ethical insurgency against a fascist regime, taking place in a dystopian vision of 1980's America.

Players assume the role of Receivers, the superheroic vanguard of the Resistance, who possess incredible powers when in range of FM radio towers emitting a mysterious number sequence called "The Signal." When the Signal is up, Receivers lead the charge against battalions of Regime infantry and armor or serve as the People's Shield, protecting mass demonstrations from the brutality of a militarized police force and neo-Nazi hooligans. When the Signal is down, however, Receivers are mere mortals, desperately fleeing from a powerful state that senses their weakness.

It's called the Sigmata, a Signal-induced stigmata, because it is a both a blessing and a curse. At least when you're marked by the state, you can’t sit on the sidelines anymore.

  • Construct your cybernetic revolutionary with a wide assortment of cybernetic implants, Signal-fueled superpowers, iconic equipment, and invokable story hooks.
  • Leverage strong teamwork mechanics to prevail in structured scenes of combat, evasion, and intrigue, each scene putting every player at the table in the spotlight.
  • Manage a fragile alliance of partisans from vastly different ideological backgrounds and steel the Resistance against sabotage, extremism, dwindling morale, and shocking betrayals.
  • Contend with the Regime in a constantly evolving political struggle powered by the game's built-in insurgency sandbox, which incorporates Resistance and Regime strategy, factional loyalty, and the sentiment of the people.

This Signal Kills Fascists. Repeat the Signal.

Content Warning: Explicit language and discussions/depictions of a political ideology centered around extreme bigotry.

 
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Reviews (8)
Discussions (19)
Customer avatar
Christopher L August 20, 2018 3:57 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Short version: excellent fast-paced game for playing rebels fighting a totalitarian government alongside hated allies. Definitely not a general RPG, and definitely not tame on subject matter. Extremely political in themes.

Now the long version:

Recent political events have brought fascism, Nazism and other serious topics into the forefront of modern society. So it was only a matter of time before fiction and games started to hit what is culturally relevant for this time.

Sigmata is a tabletop game of anti-fascist politics and insurgent strategy. Taking place in an alternate universe 1980s, the United States has taken anti-communist paranoia and American jingoism to its natural conclusion, and transformed into a totalitarian state where "un-American" behavior is a crime, and minorities of all stripes keep their heads down in fear of a police state that takes joy in their suffering. From there the setting takes a fantastic twist. A government experiment called Project...See more
Customer avatar
Chad W August 13, 2018 2:48 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Premium Hardcover now available. More inexpensive options coming (standard print, softcover, etc.) in next few weeks. If you already bought the PDF and want the Premium Hardcover/PDF combo price, I leave it up to you to contact me. Our FB and Twitter info is located at the game's Kickstarter page.
Customer avatar
Chad W August 17, 2018 11:42 am UTC
PUBLISHER
Update:

By the end of August, we're hoping to offer the following print options for you:

Premium Softcover - $59.95
Standard Hardcover - $44.95
Standard Softcover - $39.95

Also, there is now a Discord server for the game: https://discord.gg/5C4fkZS
Customer avatar
Blaine W August 07, 2018 4:50 pm UTC
PURCHASER
One of the game's stretch goals was a compendium of alternate settings and rules for creating your own Sigmata setting. Do you have any intentions on making this a late release or is it going to stay something only accessible to those who backed the Kickstarter?
Customer avatar
Chad W August 07, 2018 8:10 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Yes, the companion book "Repeat the Signal" will hopefully be released here in December or January. It will be a compilation of the stretch goal alternate settings, plus guidance on creating your own struggle, including blank templates to make your own war room, Regime/Resistance actions, Faction Favors/Fallout, etc.
Customer avatar
Steven B August 11, 2018 11:14 pm UTC
PURCHASER
That sounds amazing! I look forward to this!
Customer avatar
Chad W August 05, 2018 9:49 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Is this game for you?

There are now 3 tutorial videos that show you how to play the game:

Evasion Scenes and General Mechanics
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0gahS-ModI

Blades (Cybernetic Implants) and Subroutines (Signal Superpowers)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMk_3Rj3XjY

How to play Intrigue Scenes
https://youtu.be/fs_ab6jUUnQ

More on the way!
Customer avatar
Michael P August 03, 2018 3:27 pm UTC
Are there any plans for a quick start for the game? For us fence sitters! LOL :) Congratulations Chad on getting this thing published! Looking forward to you offering a print version! Just need to drum up some funding to get a copy of the game! BTW, I don't have to agree with the game creator view of politics to enjoy a game that explores current politics.
Customer avatar
Chad W August 03, 2018 3:51 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Hi Michael P! Thanks for the support. There are currently no plans for a quick-start version, as the creation of this type of artifact is still a pretty big endeavor for an indie-shop. However, I will continue to create tutorial videos which give pretty deep insight into how the game works and are hopefully useful for people to determine if the game is right for them. And thank you for your comment about not having to agree with the creator's views. The game was not written to make *anyone* feel comfortable, author included.
Customer avatar
David B August 04, 2018 8:02 am UTC
Great comment! I don’t agree with the game creator’s political view, but think this is irrelevant as to whether or not Stigmata might be a good rpg to try out. The reviews to date are ranking very high, and I’m looking forward to learning more about the system through tutorial videos.
Customer avatar
Ian C August 02, 2018 1:08 am UTC
PURCHASER
This is my hangup and I admit up front it really doesn't have anything to do with the themes of the game, but man I would've liked a little bit of language on WHY receivers exist.
Customer avatar
Chad W August 02, 2018 1:33 am UTC
PUBLISHER
Hi Ian C! Thank you very much for supporting the game. To answer your question: Why do zombies exist? Our approach was that explicitly explaining the who/what/when/where/how origins of the game's cyber/conspiracy/skunkworks components would remove the mystery that makes it compelling, and make it cheap. Honestly, we'd rather have you define it for us. Cheers.
Customer avatar
Stefan E August 01, 2018 11:43 pm UTC
It's possible to loathe alt-right ethno-nationalism and Trump Populism, while at the same time being a bit queasy about what appears to be quite the "Antifa Glorification"-product.
This game seems to be sort of the fantasy scenario that drives street antifa who are LARP:ing out what they see as this epic struggle, while essentially being useful idiots of the state, while being driven by their own quite totalitarian ideology.

This isn't QUITE as bad as an rpg about say, "Cool Nazis, heroically fighting against Jewish World Domination" would be... but antifa are not "the good guys". This is bad.
Customer avatar
Ian C August 02, 2018 1:05 am UTC
PURCHASER
Why are antifa bad?
Customer avatar
Chad W August 02, 2018 1:29 am UTC
PUBLISHER
The game explores a plurality of tactics, including the strategy behind those tactics, the efficacy of various tactics, the drawbacks of those tactics. It also explores the potential authoritarian impulses of what starts as revolutionary principles, as well as how moderate tactics potentially bolster fascism. If you're really into a serious conversation about the interplay between moderate and radical politics, and prepared to be uncomfortable with ambiguity, you might actually appreciate this product. Either way, thanks for taking a look. Cheers.
Customer avatar
Donald G August 02, 2018 4:23 pm UTC
PURCHASER
A major theme of the game deals with how and when to apply violence while also highlighting that violence should not be the singular tactic the players are using. If it is, you lose.

The book is also good at showing that The Resistance isn't entirely Noble and Heroic: it is a loose collection of idealists who all have a different concept of what "fighting Fascism" looks like. Several chapters actually explore a bit of what you're talking about: how Revolutionary movements can be co-opted by the very people they are revolting against and be turned on themselves.

Make no mistake though, in this fictional setting, The Regime as it is portrayed is an absolutely brutal and abhorrent government that has lost all sense of ethical or moral obligation in governance, and The Resistance is opposed to that entirely. While it is certainly inspired by modern and past real world events, The Regime is not current day America and The Resistance is not "Antifa Glorification". If anything,...See more
Customer avatar
William B August 02, 2018 7:43 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Please cease with the false equivalency. 'Antifa', by defiiniton, is anti-fascist. Without the alt-right ethno nationalism that you mention, they would have no raison-d'etre. If you cannot do that, at least take your *cough* concerns about leftist LARPers elsewhere.
Customer avatar
Chad W August 02, 2018 11:18 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
I'm only addressing because, again, a plurality of tactics and approaches are discussed in the game. Given that neo-Nazis and ultra-nationalists are literally the only political bloc getting exactly what they want right now (e.g. mass deportation, border walls, letting refugees die in the ocean) while everyone else is either holding their nose to get a minor boon (e.g. tax cut, justice pick, etc.), or pearl-clutching over broken windows, I'd suggest that those who engage in antifascist action might be the *only* folks who understand who is actually in power right now.
Customer avatar
Malthe C August 03, 2018 1:15 am UTC
Border walls? You'd prefer nations without borders, then? Which ultimate end of that policy would you prefer? A global Imperialist super-state that would inevitably result in the most authoritarian rule man has ever seen? Rule by international corporations through financial domination, jumping from country to country as it pleases them, leaving behind drained economies to later exploit? Or perhaps you'd prefer an anarchy in which the strongest would rule? Are you a Libertarian?

Mass deportations? Tell me: If hundreds of thousands of White Americans flooded into northern Mexico illegally, encouraged and aided by an organization literally named "The Race", ranting and raving about old grudges and celebrating the country's demographic change, would you then suggest that the Mexican government would be wrong to deport them? What if the Chinese were to, say, overwhelm Tibet through immigration to the point where their people and culture are on the brink of disappearing? Are you perhaps a fan...See more
Customer avatar
Chad W August 03, 2018 1:18 am UTC
PUBLISHER
So, does this mean you aren't going to buy the game?
Customer avatar
Malthe C August 03, 2018 1:31 am UTC
A terse reply demonstrating an immense intellectual curiosity. If your noggin' gets joggin', I imagine you can figure out the answer to your question.
Go ahead and delete/report what I've written, if that's what you're waiting for. Strike a blow for the revolution. I'll be smugly content either way.
Customer avatar
Chad W August 03, 2018 1:33 am UTC
PUBLISHER
Nah, you're good. Controversy is good for sales. Thank you for supporting this project, comrade.
Customer avatar
William B August 03, 2018 4:20 pm UTC
PURCHASER
And yet the most famous fascist regime to date was decidedly very 'into' enthno nationalism. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Socialist_Program
Trying to decouple the ethono-nationalistic portion from NSDAP and their spirititual/political successors is pretty much missing the point of what self-declared Nazis have been about since 1919/1920.
Customer avatar
Malthe C August 03, 2018 5:39 pm UTC
I'm certainly not trying to decouple Nationalism from National Socialism. It's a core tenet of the ideology. But the NSDAP was a National Socialist party; not a Fascist one. They are two different ideologies with distinctly different aims. One seeks to mimic the character and spirit of a distinctly Imperialist Rome, whereas the other seeks an ethnically determined Nationalist state. Imperialism and Nationalism are antonyms. If Hitler had been a Fascist, he would not have had the same issues with Austria-Hungary that he did.

Instead of simplifying the two concepts, try reading what I've actually written, or research the two ideologies on your own.
Customer avatar
Lila R August 03, 2018 11:08 pm UTC
Just going to toss out that you can't always look at the name of a thing to define it. For instance, the somewhat ironic tendency of an inverse relationship between authoritarianism and national names that refer to democratic or republican ideals (conceptually, not politically). e.g Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Republic of the Sudan, Islamic Republic of Iran, etc.
You need to look at the behaviors of groups to identify them. To wit, definitions established by historians are a much better gauge. Robert Paxton has a very good concise definition: "A form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation or victim-hood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external...See more
Customer avatar
Malthe C August 04, 2018 3:46 am UTC
It's certainly true that names can obfuscate the actual ideology of those who use them, but that is hardly relevant to this discussion - at least not in the manner you refer to. Neither of the two states discussed used misnomers in such a way.

Further, a number of the states that adapt the title of Republic do fit the definition: Presuming that they must adhere to a Western democratic standard in order to be a Republic is, in my view, rather presumptuous. By my account, it is the structure of the government that dictates whether or not a state is a Republic or Democracy; not the individual rights and freedoms of its citizens, or even the effective voting power of its electors. A state can be simultaneously Democratic and Authoritarian (or even Totalitarian), in spite of however unlikely it may seem. Would you say that the original Greek Democracies weren't so because they fail to adhere to modern definitions?

You wrote that the character of an individual "Fascist" ideology is...See more
Customer avatar
Lila R August 04, 2018 5:59 am UTC
Your response is largely sophistry, focusing on minutia rather than clear intent and claims to challenge my statements while only doing so in the sense that you mention that you disagree. I used Paxton's definition because of his expertise and special focus on the time period in question in regards to the rise of fascism, unless you're aware of some specific academic refutation of his assessment that I am not (that does not come from supremacist, or neo/proto-fascist groups) please feel free to share it.

As to my "bias" in my statement. In that fascists deliberately gaslight and seek to muddy issues to prevent real opposition to their attempts to seek power, as such, their word, is worth nothing, hence why I said you must look at the aims and results of their arguments, logically in advance when possible or regrettably after when not. Intent is important when you accidentally hurt someone's feelings, not when you've inflicted real physical/economic/psychological harm or are supporting those...See more
Customer avatar
Malthe C August 04, 2018 1:18 pm UTC
You've refuted nothing. You are clearly too biased to engage in an honest discussion or consider alternate views, and you rely on logical fallacies to disguise your lack of an argument. You appeal to Paxton's authority, rather than using the supposed knowledge provided by him to form a coherent counter-argument. You hold your opponents to be deceitful, in order to engage in blatant deceit and circular reasoning of your own. You dismiss accusations of bias and then immediately confirm them.

Perhaps worst of all is the presumption of moral high ground, which you claim in order to be able to fall back on emotional and illogical shaming tactics when your arguments inevitably collapse by their lack of merit. I could just as easily dismiss arguments for any other ideology by claiming that they've "inflicted real physical/economic/psychological harm and are supporting those that do."

You are not arguing in good faith and there is no point in continuing a discussion with you.
Customer avatar
Timo M August 05, 2018 9:48 am UTC
If I may ask something from the sidelines:
@Malthe C Could you change your closing line to include "sheeple" in some way?
That would be the last bit you need to align your posts fully to the standard Anti-Vaccer/Sovereign citizen and other assorted "special people" discussion script.
I need it for my Bingo Card.
Thanks in advance.
Customer avatar
Stefan E August 05, 2018 12:48 pm UTC
Not quite false equivalency, since I wouldn’t equate Antifa with the alt-right, and the ethno-nationalists. The alt-right generally has more abhorrent views, while Antifa are more violent (at the moment).

Of course you have to keep track of different elements and to what degree they are generally bad.
Customer avatar
Stefan E August 05, 2018 12:51 pm UTC
Because they tend to be zealously dogmatic marxists. They feel it is valid to confront speech with violence.
Customer avatar
William B August 06, 2018 10:36 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Stefan, how did you come to the conclusion that most Antifa members are zealously dogmatic marxists? Is there a manifesto or manifestos I'm not aware of? I'm asking seriously, since I've not really seen anything from them other than some form of , "We're here to confront the ethnic nationalists with no intent to back down."
Customer avatar
Stefan E August 12, 2018 6:57 pm UTC
Uhm, try just googling Antifa and Marxism together... you'll find a bunch of stuff. Try googling and looking into the origins of "antifaschistische aktion" in the Weimar Republic..

It's not something that they generally try to hide, that they're largely marxist.
Customer avatar
Stefan E August 12, 2018 7:02 pm UTC
Also, a lot of old-school AFA-peeps (and even to a large extent a lot of the american Antifa-rookies) express kinship to the anti-francoists in the Spanish Civil War... a decidedly marxist guerrilla movement... it's from them that they get the "Alerta! Altera! Antifascista!" and "No pasarán!" battlecries.
Customer avatar
Timo M August 19, 2018 7:27 am UTC
Nah, they have started out as mainly communists but have veered off that with each year ticking by. You say it yourself with the "a lot of old school AFA peeps" line, generally oriented toward the left, yes, but not closely tied to communism anymore.

But that discussion in itself is entirely beside the point, stemming from a misconception you have about the game.

I dont own it (yet) but have carefully read into what Chad has written/said about it.
What I have gathered from it (Chad please correct me if I got it wrong):
-You play as an person that has a personal reason to go against the regime and are not tied to any one alligeance.

-The group you play in can choose to support different factions that fight against the regime for various reasons, often even with
conflicting interests beside the one baseline that they want to see the current goverment change. There is a communist faction, sure
but thats just one of them. There is even...See more
Customer avatar
Stefan E August 19, 2018 5:39 pm UTC
Wait,... they have AnCaps also?

Ok, I'm in. :P
Customer avatar
Timo M August 19, 2018 6:43 pm UTC
Citing from the Kickstarter:
The Makers: A loosely organized collective of entrepreneurs, industrialists, and venture capitalists who have decided that the Regime's interests no longer coincide with their own. Some are appalled by the Regime's actions on a moral level, some see it as just another federal grift of unprecedented scale.

The Faith: A fringe religious movement that became radicalized once it perceived the Regime's actions as an all-out assault on Christendom, thrusting the Faith into what they perceive as a final apocalyptic battle, the very Tribulations mentioned in the Book of Revelations.

The Old Men: A collective of libertarian militants, many of them veterans of foreign wars, who have declared war on an executive branch they believe has overstepped its Constitutional bounds and is emulating the very regimes that so many of their brothers died fighting.

The Party: The political and activist vanguard of a worker's revolution. They espouse the Marxist...See more
Customer avatar
Brad E July 31, 2018 9:37 pm UTC
The premise of this game is hilariously pedestrian.
Customer avatar
Chad W July 31, 2018 9:50 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
I'll be the first to admit, I didn't have to look very hard for inspiration.
Customer avatar
John N July 31, 2018 10:23 pm UTC
Yes but the execution of that premises is majestic.
Customer avatar
Saul M July 31, 2018 10:38 pm UTC
On a site that sells RPG material your calling the premise "pedestrian"? Move on!!
Customer avatar
Tim G August 04, 2018 3:48 pm UTC
I'm sure there's cars and bikes and stuff.
Customer avatar
Jason M July 31, 2018 9:33 pm UTC
The game is a political statement. If you subscribe to the auhor’s politics it’s probably something you’ll get off on. If not, buyer beware. A revealing interview with the author, who describes himself as a “radical leftist”, may be read at https://antidotezine.com/2018/06/01/sigmata-antifascism-fantasy/. Be warned that the link is to an antifa-related website if that kind of thing offends you or is something you’d rather stay away from.
Customer avatar
Chad W July 31, 2018 9:47 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Correction, I describe myself as a "classic insufferable liberal."
Customer avatar
Jason M July 31, 2018 9:52 pm UTC
probably also true, but I did provide a link.
Customer avatar
Chad W July 31, 2018 10:01 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
And thank you for sharing that! It's a great resource for people trying to figure out this game's political approach. But yeah, literally my first five lines in that interview are "As a classic insufferable liberal..."
Customer avatar
Jason M July 31, 2018 10:17 pm UTC
My apologies, that was Ed Sutton, not you. I conflated that with a later paragraph beginning “My go-to leftwing anarchist has been you”, in reference to Sutton. I did not mean to mischaracterize you and if I did I’m quite sorry.
Customer avatar
Chad W July 31, 2018 10:19 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
No problem! Thanks for stopping by!
Customer avatar
YANN E July 30, 2018 8:13 pm UTC
what is the game system ?
Customer avatar
Chad W July 30, 2018 10:30 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Thanks for asking! If you scroll down, there are two tutorial videos on YouTube that describe some of the basic mechanics.
Customer avatar
Patrick G July 28, 2018 2:17 am UTC
PURCHASER
Ok, so the artwork looks good, although there are only a few pictures. But the arrangement of the text is not beautifully presented and is extremely confusing. Why was the text not split into two columns on each page, as is common with many other core rule books? The whole layout looks very amateurish and considering how little artwork is included, the price of this pdf is simply too high. I don't think, i will use this book for playing the game or even finish reading. Sorry, but for me this product is a "thumbs down".
Customer avatar
Chad W July 28, 2018 2:49 am UTC
PUBLISHER
Sorry you didn't like it, but thank you very much for taking a risk on an independent game.
Customer avatar
Patrick G July 29, 2018 3:53 am UTC
PURCHASER
Thank your for your reply. I am always willing to support Indie RPG Creators. Maybe there will be other games from you in the future, that are more my taste. We will see. Until then I wish you good luck an all the best for you und your game(s).
Customer avatar
Brian B July 27, 2018 3:58 pm UTC
Wow, like to stir the pot any?
Customer avatar
Chad W July 27, 2018 4:22 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
This Signal Stirs Pots.
Customer avatar
Timo M July 27, 2018 6:03 pm UTC
Pot stirred, repeat the Signal.
Customer avatar
Jarad C July 28, 2018 2:19 am UTC
Imagine feeling this threatened by an RPG about resisting a white ethno-nationaist regime.
Customer avatar
Schaeffer T July 31, 2018 2:34 am UTC
PURCHASER
This has made me buy this. Can’t stop The Signal!
Customer avatar
John N July 31, 2018 10:24 pm UTC
The stirring of pots must be done.
Customer avatar
Saul M July 31, 2018 10:39 pm UTC
Damn right, it has to been done.
Customer avatar
Jeremy T July 26, 2018 4:12 pm UTC
So you get to destroy leftist dictatorships?
Customer avatar
Chad W July 26, 2018 4:54 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
The game is about resisting authoritarians of all stripes. There are left wing authoritarian examples referenced in the book, but the core setting's struggle is against the tyranny of a white supremacist / ethno-nationalist state slowly moving towards genocide. Depending on where the campaign against the Regime goes, the game's strategic/insurgency mechanics can cause the Regime's ideology to shift in substantive ways, but always manifesting as authoritarianism.
Customer avatar
Schaeffer T July 31, 2018 2:36 am UTC
PURCHASER
And this has also sold me. I better quit reading comments and get to capitalism!
Customer avatar
Josh H July 25, 2018 5:37 pm UTC
Will hard copies be available here?
Customer avatar
Chad W July 25, 2018 5:40 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Big time. Hopefully late August!
Customer avatar
Josh H July 26, 2018 5:28 pm UTC
Excellent, thank you sir!
Customer avatar
Brendan S July 25, 2018 1:15 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Love the concept and the execution. It brought me back to a time when I used to buy and read game manuals for games I was never going to play because I loved world-building and interesting mechanics (but I'm also very happy I get to actually play this one). Well done!
Customer avatar
Chad W July 25, 2018 2:47 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Awesome! Thanks for taking a chance on an indie designer, Brendan.
Customer avatar
Chad W July 24, 2018 10:11 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Is this game for you? How do the mechanics work?

I made tutorial videos that show you how to play the game:

Evasion Scenes and General Mechanics
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0gahS-ModI

Blades (Cybernetic Implants) and Subroutines (Signal Superpowers)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMk_3Rj3XjY

More on the way.

Thank you for taking a look!
Customer avatar
Ryan W July 26, 2018 5:19 pm UTC
Thanks for these! I'm very excited to try this game out. Transhumanist Anti-Fascism is definitely my jam. A friend of mine bought the PDF and I'm likely going to buy the POD once it's available.

Cheers!
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