*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
November 28, 2021, 04:12:08 PM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 82 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
Pages: [1]
Print
Author Topic: The Setting  (Read 3875 times)
xiombarg
Member

Posts: 1183


WWW
« on: August 13, 2003, 10:36:11 AM »

Split off from the playtest thread:

Quote
Yup. I'm gonna have big trouble with that. It makes little sense to me. If I as an Archon want to prove the sun is a ball of gas I have to challenge Apollo for it? What about the billions of non Archons who already know its a ball of gas. What about the thousands of scientists who've studied the sun 6 ways to tuesday and have conclusively proven that its a ball of gas. You're saying they're all fooled by an elaborate illusion?

Sorry. I'm not going to be able to buy that. Disbelief Suspenders a-snappen. That would be WAY too complicated and involved an illusion to work.
That seems kinda odd to me, considering that there tons of Hindus and Buddhists that believe just that. They might not believe in the gods as they are in Nine Worlds, but the idea that the "real world" is just a powerful illusion is a pretty common one.

Matt said this himself: The game is about spirituality. And this is a common spiritual belief in the real world, though perhaps not in the West -- though the Gnostics believed it.

On a fictional level, in every work of fiction, you are supposed to give the author at least one "gimme" if the very premise of the story depends on it. In Nine Worlds it's the idea that if you're a sleeper, the world you experience is an elaborate illusion.

If that's a turn-off for you, fine. But the fact of the matter is, it's what makes the setting what it is. My question for Matt is from the previous thread: Why was the current illusion set up? I think it's important because you can interact with the beings that set up the illusion, and while it's less important to a Buddhist (it just is), it's pretty important to a GM in 9W, so he can understand how the Eternals will react to certain changes to "reality".
Logged

love * Eris * RPGs  * Anime * Magick * Carroll * techno * hats * cats * Dada
Kirt "Loki" Dankmyer -- Dance, damn you, dance! -- UNSUNG IS OUT
Valamir
Member

Posts: 5574


WWW
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2003, 10:51:22 AM »

Heh...good point Kirt.  It should probably come as no surprise that I have about zero interest in eastern spirtualism.

BUT here's where I counter that its a bit deeper than just my opinion.

The game 9 Worlds is centered on Hellenistic Myth...not Budhist or Hindi concepts.  The difference between the world the mundanes live in and the world the Archons live in should be explanable in terms that Socrates and Plato would nod in agreement with.  Preferably even in terms that they wrote.
Logged

Matt Snyder
Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 1380


WWW
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2003, 10:57:18 AM »

Quote
My question for Matt is from the previous thread: Why was the current illusion set up? I think it's important because you can interact with the beings that set up the illusion, and while it's less important to a Buddhist (it just is), it's pretty important to a GM in 9W, so he can understand how the Eternals will react to certain changes to "reality".


Excellent question, man. I have muddied the waters just a little bit when I gave the Apollo/Sun illusion example. Some one asked in the thread (Spooky Fanboy, I think?) whether such illusions about reality were put into place by the gods or the archons or what?

The answer is both, and I'll give a bit of setting history to explain. Ok, for millennia, the Eternals ruled after stuffing the Titans down in the deepest, darkest pit they could find (Tartarus). Their vision domineered, but it also had suffered in the efforts to defeat the Titans and send them to hell. See, Prometheus allied with Zeus and friends in that first war. And, he helped Zeus create humanity. But he didn't like the way Zeus treated humanity.

So, Prometheus gave humanity the spark -- he empowered select few of them as agents of the Demiurge, a force greater than any single immortal. Some of the first Archons were figures like Odysseus and Daedalus. They set out to change the way humanity existed in the world. Over time, other Archons guided fate as they would. Plato. Da Vinci. Edison.

These creative souls changed the universe, and their ideas flourished. They possesed creative (and sometimes destrutive) power great enough to challenge the way the Eternals said the world should be.

So, what happened over time is that the gods enforced some illusions, erecting barriers so that humanity wouldn't look behind the curtain. In some cases, it was the archons who did so. In total, they weaved a mask of the physical world that cloaked the Nine Words, the true world possessed of spirit and virtue.

Humanity (sleepers, mainly) strained in placing its reverence appropriately. It revered traditions of virtue laid forth by the gods, and yet many Archons earned respect from humanity at large. The seeds of doubt were planted.

Then all hell broke loose, literally. About a century ago, a disgruntled Atlantean made a terrible bargain, and his decision unfettered the Titans from their pit in Tartarus. The Titans launched a campaign of war and terror in and around the aether, wholly taking the world of Saturn. This war, the second Titanomachy, continues today.

What happened is that many Archons retreated to worlds, and especially earth. Earth itself became more close off from the other worlds, as travel became very dangerous. Fewer Archons could ply the aether, as fewer awakened on earth. Worlds became more isolated. Technologies around the worlds stagnated, which is why most of the worlds except earth are locked in early industrial revolution type technology.

Earth, meanwhile, thrived under its illusion. Many archons had retreated there, forsaking the other worlds to help protect, guide, and even take advantage of humanity at large. Terrible, unprecedented wars broke out over the century. Technology, the vision of Archons, thrived.

Today, the result is that Earth is more closed off than ever, more dedicaed to the confusing web of illusions (in the form of science, religion, apathy, and many other barriers) erected by Eternals and Archons who have long since perished. Prometheus has taken it upon himself to go to earth and find budding Archons, because he believes that the second Titanomachy will end in total destruction for his beloved humanity. Only enlightened humans themselves can resist the stagnant vision of the gods or the terrible tyranny of the Titans. They must struggle to envision their own fate.
Logged

Matt Snyder
www.chimera.info

"The future ain't what it used to be."
--Yogi Berra
Matt Snyder
Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 1380


WWW
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2003, 11:05:19 AM »

Quote from: Valamir
The game 9 Worlds is centered on Hellenistic Myth...not Budhist or Hindi concepts.  The difference between the world the mundanes live in and the world the Archons live in should be explanable in terms that Socrates and Plato would nod in agreement with.  Preferably even in terms that they wrote.


Ralph, I argue that Plato, at least would indeed nod at the vision I've put forth. Plato believed that the only things real were ideas, spiritual concepts possessed of virtue becaue they were true, and therefore Good. I think you're seeing things like "greeks" and thinking "AHA! Democracy, science and reason." Yeah, but lots of other stuff, too. And nevermind that it's precisely those visions (like science) that the Archons may challenge with their Hubris in the game.

Here's some philosophy text I turned up in a quick search:

Quote
A universal can be defined as an abstract object or term which ranges over particular things. The classic problem of universals involves whether abstract objects such as "largeness" exist in a realm independent of human thought. Realists argue that they do.

Plato, the first and most extreme realist, argued that universals are forms and exist in their own spiritual realm. Individual objects, such as a large mountain, then participate in the universal form largeness. A universal can only be known by the intellect, and not the senses.


I see this kind of philosophy as not just compatible with the game, but rather the inspiration OF the game itself.

Plato doesn't care about, oh I dunno, cardboard boxes. He only cares about the IDEA of cardboard boxes, which possess certain virtues.

Similarly, this game doesn't care if your character is strong or smart or skilled or whatever. It only cares whether your character possesses certain virtues, and the system puts those virtues into motion. The players will have to work at seeing this level of abstraction in the mechanics and translating that into thought, motion and "stuff you do." This is not to say that the text shouldn't help them do that. Naturally, it should and it's probably among the greatest challenges I face.
Logged

Matt Snyder
www.chimera.info

"The future ain't what it used to be."
--Yogi Berra
Valamir
Member

Posts: 5574


WWW
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2003, 11:51:12 AM »

Quote
Over time, other Archons guided fate as they would. Plato. Da Vinci. Edison.


So Newton was an Archon who challenged the Immortals and defined the natural world the way he wanted (I'm guessing he used Hubris...alot).  And then Einstein came along and used his powers to alter Newtonian Physics with his crack pot relativity stuff (I'm also guessing hubris).  And then Hawkings comes along and starts tweaking things further (I'd probably plug him as more an arete user).

That's pretty much a Mage / Technocracy type thing.  Groovy


Quote

Here's some philosophy text I turned up in a quick search:


Cool.  I'd include copious passages direct from Plato et.al. in the setting info to ground your setting further into the concept.

Remember I said I didn't buy into it.  I didn't say I couldn't be brought to buy into it.

I do think you have your work cut out for you in more ways than one, though.

The first hurdle will just be presenting this to people (like me who wear tighter suspenders).  The second hurdle will be differentiating it from Mage and Nobilis without making it uncomprehensible.

I think presenting the setting not as a "from the mind of Matt Snyder" universe, but as a "from the mind of Plato*", "the Universe as Plato envisioned it" type of universe might help with both.

*and whoever else.
Logged

Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2003, 12:02:06 PM »

It's ironic that, contrary to Ralph, I'm totally into Eastern Philosophy, and that I buy into the idea of the world illusion implicitly. OTOH, you can see it in our personal takes on Universalis. Ralph knows that there are some things that you just "should" pay for, as having obvious intrinsic value as Facts or Events, and, for the life of me, I have no idea what he's talking about.

Anyhow, it's also ironic, however, that the problem I have with the game has nothing to do with the concept of the game, but rather the "what you do" part. Which Ralph seems to be having no problems with.

That said, I think the small amount of history above goes a long way. I mean, if it's war against the Titans (or more thougtfully, existential crises in the wake of war against the Titans), in order to save humanity, well, that's a pretty solid start.

I think that the chargen needs a section on making sure we know where the character stands on the subject of the war. Are they newbies just getting a hold on the idea? Does Prometheus select Archons from those he thinks will be committed to the war, or is it random? How does time in the Aether fighting affect Archon's perceptions? How do the Gods really feel about the Archons? Is it galling to let them fight on their side (more or less)?

And, as someone posted (probably Ralph), what does the war look like? Is there attrition? Of whom?

So many questions. I'm slowly becoming intrigued, despite myself.

Mike
Logged

Member of Indie Netgaming
-Get your indie game fix online.
Jason L Blair
Member

Posts: 636

Nothing is sacred.


WWW
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2003, 12:30:37 PM »

I want to chime in and say I think what you've presented here, Matt, has gone a long way in cementing the idea of 9W. Also, I agree with both Ralph and Mike on two important issues. With Ralph, I agree that having Plato back you up will help a lot, both conceptually and in marketing. With Mike, I agree with "what do you do?" part but I expressed that in The Closed Thread.

You do have your work cut out for you, but I really don't think it's going to be that bad. Just don't psyche yourself out about it.
Logged

Jason L Blair
Writer, Game Designer
Matt Snyder
Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 1380


WWW
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2003, 12:34:17 PM »

Quote
I think that the chargen needs a section on making sure we know where the character stands on the subject of the war. Are they newbies just getting a hold on the idea? Does Prometheus select Archons from those he thinks will be committed to the war, or is it random? How does time in the Aether fighting affect Archon's perceptions? How do the Gods really feel about the Archons? Is it galling to let them fight on their side (more or less)?


Excellent -- that's a concrete suggestion that I find very helpful. To answer your questions briefly here . . .

Prometheus just awakens anyone and everyone, and lets them sort out what they'll do with their newfound power. Spending time sailing the aether changes archons on all sides of the war. To each his own, though there are indeed factions that will potential sway them one way or another (Aquarians, for example, view the whole system as corrupt, and aim to reveal the truth to humanity, damn the consequences.)

As for the gods, most do find it galling to compete with mortals, but some are ok with it. Zeus is particularly reluctant, while Apollo is plainly an opportunist who sees them as mortal tools to outwit.

Quote
And, as someone posted (probably Ralph), what does the war look like? Is there attrition? Of whom?


Well, I said earlier that it basically looks like a mythic Cold War. We have two warring superpowers (Eternals and Titans) acting through many agents (Archons, mortals, monsters, etc.) more so than outright conflict. At stake is, basically, Earth and its sleeper population. Therefore, one question I need to answer is: Why don't the gods just show up and take it over. The answer? Just as Archons have to deal with the illusions of the gods, so to do the immortals have to contend with the illusions Archons have erected. In other words, if Kronos shows up in NYC, the populace will just reject the experience, rationalize it, etc. Because they'd reject the virtue, the reality of his act, he's screwed. So, the war is indeed one of attrition, and the folks at the center of it all are the archons. They're mortal, but the hold the key to power, making a kind of arcane Détente situation.

Also, another big setting issue I haven't touched on at all yet is the orichalcum trade. Orichalcum acts as a kind of arcane lode stone. You can steer an aethership without it, but you'll very likely get lost. Forever. With an orichalcum navigation device, which always points toward the Ouroborous, the Axis Mundi, you can steer through the aether and find the worlds in orbit. That one's a pretty necessary step. Better yet, though, if your ship has an orichalcum skeleton, it acts as a kind of conductive coil that speeds your progress along aether currents.

So, orichalcum is a lot like oil. It's a hot comodity. The immortals vie to control their reserves of orichalcum. Zeus has plenty on Jupiter, for example. Endless wars are fought over the orichalcum mines on Mars. Mercury has leased its mines, garnering Hermes much profit. But, he's cornered the market on quicksilver, which acts as the medium in which orichalcum is suspended for navigation equipment. Hermes is very wealthy, indeed.

So, trade wars, smuggling, and piracy all center on this trade. Not surprisingly, Earth is rich in orichalcum, but no one's really mining the place for the same reasons the immortals don't just waltz in and take over. It makes Earth worth fighting over, though.

Quote
So many questions. I'm slowly becoming intrigued, despite myself.


Thanks, I think ... ;)
Logged

Matt Snyder
www.chimera.info

"The future ain't what it used to be."
--Yogi Berra
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2003, 01:27:21 PM »

Commodity?

Sold!

Mike
Logged

Member of Indie Netgaming
-Get your indie game fix online.
AnttiK
Member

Posts: 10


WWW
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2003, 01:28:57 PM »

My quick 2 cents on the "What to do" part. When creating their characters, both of my players deliberately chose a Patron, Nemesis or similar Muses towards the eternals and/or titans. This effectively created a sort of splat character (only sort of, mind you), who has an initial side chosen and an easy entry to the politics of the Titanomachy.

Think it will be easy for me as a GM to start the game this way, too.
Logged

Antti Karjalainen
Pages: [1]
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!