Sins of San Dorado

For 'verse proposals, random ideas, musings, and brainwaves.

Moderators: Invictus, speaker-to-trolls

User avatar
Siege
Site Admin
Posts: 2517
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 7:03 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Sins of San Dorado

Post by Siege » Sat Jun 16, 2012 4:45 pm

This be a dumping ground for random ideas that have been percolating in my head for a while. I know it's kind of old-fashioned to start a setting without significant themes (beyond "rampant greed"), but old-fashioned is how I roll, so here goes.

Sins of San Dorado

The scene: is the great city of San Dorado. A cauldron of commerce, home to 35 million people packed into 3,500 square kilometers of rampant urbicology. From the glittering high-rise of the central districts to the blighted ghettoes of the Sprawl, a thousand streets and a million lights. Cars honk, monorails screech, a million voices clamor for attention, and an ubituitous neon glow encourages consumers to buy, buy, BUY! Helicopters soar above whilst private security patrol the streets. Music and the jingle of gambling machines echoes from arcades; street vendors advertise their wares; huge electronic billboards flicker, and news tickers scroll in glaring crimson along the facades of skyscrapers, their vast glass or sandstone brick facades marked by the illuminated logos of the corporations headquartered within. By night, the city glitters like a collection of jewels, and mighty searchlights sweep the clouds, illuminating skyships and crenellated skyscrapers alike. By day, thousands upon thousands of people in overalls, uniforms and cheap suits hurry to their work. Here is a place where the almighty Dollar reigns supreme: the city is ruled by ruthless corporations.

The setting: hasn't been quite worked out yet but the loose gist of it is that the city-state is built on a peninsula connected to an Africa-ish continent. It derives its massive wealth and prosperity from blatant exploitation: it is the biggest port and transshipment place on the continent and makes obscene profits from this, and its corporations play ruthless divide and conquer politics on the less developed nations of the hinterland. They sell weapons, buy off presidents, back warlords, supply mercenaries and basically engage in all the worst wanton crap that corporations could get into when they're not being restrained. They get paid in oil, concessions, blood diamonds and so forth which are then sold to the rest of the world. What that world looks like isn't that important right now, it's chiefly about developing the people and corporations that do the exploiting, what they'd think and believe and what a world shaped by such people would look like if you gave them free reign.

The time: is indeterminate. Since this isn't 'our' world I don't want to get too tied down in 'tech levels' or any of that silliness, and I figure the setting will let me get away with anachronistic things like pitching stuff from the sixties against nominally near-future developments if I want to. At this point I don't want to get too Bladerunner/Syndicate, but if whimsy takes me it just might at some point.

First thing though will be to figure out some of the mechanisms of how a city governed by corporations might actually work. I'll want to explore that first thing, and put some names and characters down, and take it from there. And along the way I imagine I'll be rambling about whatever strikes my fancy, be it the need for proper corporate governance, the nature of corruption in a city where every councilman is open about having been bought by a particular corporation, or the role of sustainable energy in the struggle for political power in San Dorado. You know, random stuff.
"Nick Fury. Old-school cold warrior. The original black ops hardcase. Long before I stepped off a C-130 at Da Nang, Fury and his team had set fire to half of Asia." - Frank Castle

Fate don't fail me now.

User avatar
Invictus
Posts: 1278
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 11:44 pm

Re: Sins of San Dorado

Post by Invictus » Sun Jun 17, 2012 5:53 pm

I'm glad to see this idea getting a day in the sun again, Lovecraftian accountancy or no. :P
"This explanation posits that external observation leads to the collapse of the quantum wave function. This is another expression of reactionary idealism, and it's indeed the most brazen expression."
-
REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 1 - Rey Quirino Versus the Dark Heart of the Philippines
"...a literary atrocity against the senses..." - Ford

REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 2 - Advent Rey Returns: REVERGELTUNG
Coming NEVER

User avatar
Malchus
Posts: 1257
Joined: Wed May 21, 2008 7:05 am
Location: In a chibi-land, eating the brains of H. P. Wuvcwaft.
Contact:

Re: Sins of San Dorado

Post by Malchus » Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:08 am

I was working on a similar setting myself, but going in a somewhat different direction.

For how the governance works, perhaps you could try researching the truck system and company scrip--basically, a company town writ large. Then perhaps blend it with, say, the guilds and noble estates of the 16th century for how said corporate territories interact to form a larger whole.
Image
I admire the man, he has a high tolerance for insanity (and inanity - which he generously contributed!). ~Shroom, on my wierdness tolerance.

User avatar
Siege
Site Admin
Posts: 2517
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 7:03 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Sins of San Dorado

Post by Siege » Sat Jun 23, 2012 3:52 pm

Sidney Haynes is the chief executive of Universal Metals & Petroleum, the city-state's largest, oldest and wealthiest corporation. He is a tall man in his early fifties, and with his slender sun-tanned face, lush brown hair daubed with just the right amount of gray at the temples and handsome, trustworthy smile Haynes looks every inch the CEO's CEO. And in a very real sense he is. Under Haynes' leadership UMP has negotiated landmark deals with several continental governments, massively increased its number of extraction sites, and made record-breaking profits.

But his impressive record belies the fact that Haynes is also one of the continent's most singularly ruthless men, and almost certainly its most reviled. His machinations are responsible for the fall of at least half a dozen governments, several civil wars and the deaths of tens of thousands of innocent civilians in civil wars and terror attacks, all engineered solely so UMP could increase its margins of profit. And though it was never proven in a court of law it's commonly accepted as fact that it was Haynes who ordered the cold-blooded assassination of his ex-wife shortly after their messy divorce and her attempt to cross the border with their then-four year old daughter. He is also implicated to be the mastermind behind a series of unfortunate 'accidents', most of them lethal, that befall those who would attempt to threaten UMP's de-facto stranglehold on the market for natural resources. To boot, amongst UMP's top corporate officials it is common knowledge that Haynes' approach to firings can be awfully literal.

Still, his cutthroat approach to business has made Haynes a multi-billionaire as well as the target of at least a dozen failed assassination attempts. As a result he rarely appears in public outside of the yearly shareholder's convention, and spends most of his time traveling between a series of highrise offices, penthouse apartments and compound mansions in unmarked private helicopters. On top of UMP's own corporate security Haynes' safety is guaranteed by his personal holding, which employs additional security contractors to protect himself and his daughter. Haynes' relationship with his twenty-something daughter, Ashleigh Haynes, is known to be strained. She has been arrested at least three times for hit-and-run DUIs and once for involvement in a lethal shooting, but was never prosecuted.
"Nick Fury. Old-school cold warrior. The original black ops hardcase. Long before I stepped off a C-130 at Da Nang, Fury and his team had set fire to half of Asia." - Frank Castle

Fate don't fail me now.

User avatar
Czernobog
Posts: 1315
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 9:27 am
Location: Holy Terra

Re: Sins of San Dorado

Post by Czernobog » Sun Jun 24, 2012 6:33 pm

I miss the eldritch accountancy. :(
You have ruled this galaxy for ten thousand years.
You have little of account to show for your efforts.
Order. Unity. Obedience.
We taught the galaxy these things.

And we shall do so again.

User avatar
Siege
Site Admin
Posts: 2517
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 7:03 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Sins of San Dorado

Post by Siege » Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:54 pm

I haven't ruled out its return yet, but if it does it'll be a very low-key thing. Probably. I think.
"Nick Fury. Old-school cold warrior. The original black ops hardcase. Long before I stepped off a C-130 at Da Nang, Fury and his team had set fire to half of Asia." - Frank Castle

Fate don't fail me now.

User avatar
Invictus
Posts: 1278
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 11:44 pm

Re: Sins of San Dorado

Post by Invictus » Mon Jun 25, 2012 2:21 pm

Whether you should keep the stuff depends on the direction you want to take the setting, I suppose. Personally, the San Dorado so far as presented already bestrides the world like an octopus without any supernatural assistance, so I don't think it's necessary to add any invisible tentacles of the free market literally ruling over the whole thing.
"This explanation posits that external observation leads to the collapse of the quantum wave function. This is another expression of reactionary idealism, and it's indeed the most brazen expression."
-
REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 1 - Rey Quirino Versus the Dark Heart of the Philippines
"...a literary atrocity against the senses..." - Ford

REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 2 - Advent Rey Returns: REVERGELTUNG
Coming NEVER

User avatar
Shroom Man 777
Global Mod
Posts: 4615
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 7:09 pm
Contact:

Re: Sins of San Dorado

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Mon Jun 25, 2012 2:23 pm

This should be in the same universe as Shear Anarchy. :twisted:

EDIT:

If you want supernatural, then the thing I'd suggest would be... I dunno, the Max Payne movie approach to supernatural? Very low key. Very, very low key.
Image

"Sometimes Shroomy I wonder if your imagination actually counts as some sort of war crime." - FROD

User avatar
Siege
Site Admin
Posts: 2517
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 7:03 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Sins of San Dorado

Post by Siege » Mon Jun 25, 2012 3:34 pm

Setting the city in Shear Anarchy was at the back of my mind actually. It might be, but the focus for that particular setting ought to be on Vlasenica for the time being, so best to keep this semi-separate for now. I very much like the idea though.

And yeah, the outright supernatural meddling is probably out. Still, it could be fun to include things like peculiar oddities in the deep financial markets, weird currents spotted by the hardiest of traders that in turn spawn superstitions... You know, things like that. I don't think there'll be eldritch gribblies popping up anytime soon.
"Nick Fury. Old-school cold warrior. The original black ops hardcase. Long before I stepped off a C-130 at Da Nang, Fury and his team had set fire to half of Asia." - Frank Castle

Fate don't fail me now.

User avatar
Shroom Man 777
Global Mod
Posts: 4615
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 7:09 pm
Contact:

Re: Sins of San Dorado

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Tue Jun 26, 2012 6:58 am

Maybe supernatural things actually happening and eating people is out, but people's beliefs in supernatural things could still make for nice flavor pieces to define the culture of this world, or rather city. Like Lady Fortune.
Image

"Sometimes Shroomy I wonder if your imagination actually counts as some sort of war crime." - FROD

User avatar
Siege
Site Admin
Posts: 2517
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 7:03 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Sins of San Dorado

Post by Siege » Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:14 pm

Yeah, the weird superstitions surrounding a fickle personification of luck and fate are definitely a go.

And then there could be stuff like CREEPY MONSTERS! living in seedy and invariably dark back alleys or abandoned metro tunnels, eating bums and chasing high-heeled girls. 'Course the CREEPY MONSTERS! don't have to be supernatural per se, they might just've hitched a ride on a riverbarge coming up from the deep jungle or escaped from a megacorp biolab somewhere. One figures SinTEK will be up to its usual shenanigans, after all...
"Nick Fury. Old-school cold warrior. The original black ops hardcase. Long before I stepped off a C-130 at Da Nang, Fury and his team had set fire to half of Asia." - Frank Castle

Fate don't fail me now.

User avatar
Invictus
Posts: 1278
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 11:44 pm

Re: Sins of San Dorado

Post by Invictus » Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:47 pm

One question I'd like to know the answer to, if it's not too presumptuous at this stage to ask, is how does the city deal with the hordes of immigrants looking for riches and opportunity. What are the official (and unofficial) requirements and procedures for immigration/citizenship/residency like? Are the naturalized citizens of the city utterly outnumbered by guest/migrant workers like the Middle Eastern post-oil states or boomtown urban China? What are these immigrants up to and how do their demographics affect the culture or politics of the city?
"This explanation posits that external observation leads to the collapse of the quantum wave function. This is another expression of reactionary idealism, and it's indeed the most brazen expression."
-
REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 1 - Rey Quirino Versus the Dark Heart of the Philippines
"...a literary atrocity against the senses..." - Ford

REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 2 - Advent Rey Returns: REVERGELTUNG
Coming NEVER

User avatar
Siege
Site Admin
Posts: 2517
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 7:03 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Sins of San Dorado

Post by Siege » Thu Jun 28, 2012 3:29 pm

As I used to play San Dorado way back when, and I think I'll go with a very similar system here, it used to be that immigration is a complete free-for-all: anyone was free to come and settle, but the massive majority of poor uneducated fortune-seekers would end up in giant flophouses in the Sprawl, working twelve hour shifts in sweatshops in neighborhoods segregated away from the well-to-do. From the slums to the skyscrapers might only be a handful of miles as the crow flies but it might as well be another world. Tens of thousands of cheap subsistence laborers would live pretty miserable lives down in the Sprawl, with the tantalizing lights of the downtown districts ever-visible yet always out of reach.

For those people it'd be an absolute imperative to get out, and there's only one surefire way to manage it: shareownership. Shareownership is what distinguishes the have's from the have-nots. A San Dorado Share is a ticket out of the Sprawl, it opens doors to educational institutions, it's necessary to buy a home in the middle class residential areas, and it gives the owner a say in government. The city itself is run like just another corporation, it's registered at the San Dorado Stock Exchange and traded publically -- with the notable exception that only shareowners are allowed to buy or sell its stock. Children of shareholders are automatically issued a share at birth, but foreigners have only two ways of obtaining shareholdership: they can apply for a broker's permit (rarely granted unless there's a good reason for the city to give you de-facto citizenship, i.e. you bring a shitload of cash to the table), or you can be issued one by a patron, usually an employer. Effectively this means most immigrants have no other recourse than working their asses off to catch their employer's eye, in the hopes of winning a promotion or, more importantly, being issued a share in City of San Dorado, Inc.

Now, because there is no limit to the number of shares a single person could own and because of San Dorado's ideas of corporate personhood, the majority of city shares are owned by the dominant megacorps, its multi-billionaire CEOs and the executive class in general. This makes them even more disproportionally influential than they already otherwise would have been, but their massive power is nonetheless balanced out at least a little by the teeming tens of millions of blue collar shareowners. The common Joe owns only a handful of shares so does not pack the absurd political punch of a CEO, but there are a lot more of them and they tend to vote fairly unanimously, whereas the megacorps and executives are constantly jockeying for position and trying to curtail each other's influence. The disenfranchised immigrants meanwhile I imagine make up something along the lines of thirty or forty percent of the population, but nobody knows for sure because, well, nobody really bothers to keep count. They only really pop up on the radar when (if) they're granted a share, which by no means happens to all or even most of them.
"Nick Fury. Old-school cold warrior. The original black ops hardcase. Long before I stepped off a C-130 at Da Nang, Fury and his team had set fire to half of Asia." - Frank Castle

Fate don't fail me now.

User avatar
Ford Prefect
Posts: 957
Joined: Tue May 20, 2008 11:12 am

Re: Sins of San Dorado

Post by Ford Prefect » Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:25 pm

The idea of the city itself being publically traded is actually really fascinating, but have you considered running with that? Like making it literally publically traded with no limitations? I realise that you want to create that stratification betweens the haves and the have-nots, but the opportunity is still there for that: say all the shares are already owned, so you must either engages with someone with shares to spare or rely on rare issuing of new shares or whatever (my economics is very rusty).
FEEL THESE GUNS ARCHWIND THESE ARE THE GUNS OF THE FLESHY MESSIAH THE TOOLS OF CREATION AND DESTRUCTION THAT WILL ENACT THE LAW OF MAN ACROSS THE UNIVERSE

User avatar
Siege
Site Admin
Posts: 2517
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 7:03 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Sins of San Dorado

Post by Siege » Tue Jul 03, 2012 1:41 pm

Oh, I see your point. That is a very good idea. Way back when I implemented the permit system because the city was part of a game populated by players with bigger nations and I needed to prevent them from buying the city out from underneath me. But now that you've mentioned it I've realized this mechanism is obsolete and actually pretty pointless.

So, yes, let's just abolish that and say that shares are up for grabs for anyone but the money -- but new batches of shares are rarely issued and between corporate bidding wars and the fortunes of CEOs with vested interests in acquiring as many of them as possible, prices are usually high to the point where the average slum-dweller will be hard pressed to afford one. The few thrifty slummers who manage to nonetheless save up enough to buy themselves a share are the definition of the self-made man/woman and are held up as shining examples of citizenhood by corps and Sprawl-dwellers alike.
"Nick Fury. Old-school cold warrior. The original black ops hardcase. Long before I stepped off a C-130 at Da Nang, Fury and his team had set fire to half of Asia." - Frank Castle

Fate don't fail me now.

User avatar
Siege
Site Admin
Posts: 2517
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 7:03 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Sins of San Dorado

Post by Siege » Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:35 am

After some consideration I'm now wondering if it would be interesting for San Dorado's top CEOs to be vampires. Like, literal blood-sucking types: a ruling class that's instituted some kind of blood tax and a kind of incentivized scheme that gets people to be vampires after X years of service, wherein the top people running the show are actually immortal demi-god creatures damned near impossible to beat if you don't have some awesome physical skills and/or the ability to beat them in a straight up commercial slogging match.

A further interesting idea would be that, well, vampires can't stand sunlight, right? So the reason they adopted industrialism back in the 19th century was because all those god-damn smokestacks blotted out the sky. Black out the sun. Make ungodly amounts of money. Gather peons in the slums who willingly donate a liter of blood a month in the hopes they are chosen as worthy by their vampire overlords.

Works for me, really.
"Nick Fury. Old-school cold warrior. The original black ops hardcase. Long before I stepped off a C-130 at Da Nang, Fury and his team had set fire to half of Asia." - Frank Castle

Fate don't fail me now.

User avatar
Invictus
Posts: 1278
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 11:44 pm

Re: Sins of San Dorado

Post by Invictus » Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:45 pm

I think it's difficult to have the dominant force in a setting be vampires and not let the setting become something that's just about vampires, if you know what I mean. I don't see anything wrong with playing up the privilege of the 1% to the point where it transcends even nature and mortality, or emphasizing the rampant capitalism by having the bourgeoisie literally squeeze the very lifeblood (and souls, and various other important things) out of the lumpen masses, but I think you need to be careful about using the v-word, which brings a lot of baggage with it.
"This explanation posits that external observation leads to the collapse of the quantum wave function. This is another expression of reactionary idealism, and it's indeed the most brazen expression."
-
REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 1 - Rey Quirino Versus the Dark Heart of the Philippines
"...a literary atrocity against the senses..." - Ford

REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 2 - Advent Rey Returns: REVERGELTUNG
Coming NEVER

User avatar
Siege
Site Admin
Posts: 2517
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 7:03 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Sins of San Dorado

Post by Siege » Wed Dec 12, 2012 6:17 pm

Yeah, you're right. It'd be too much on the supernatural front, and probably too much on the nose theme-wise too. It was a fun thought though. I kind of do want the arcane accountancy going on, and maybe the occasional transgressive ritual involving blood and cash, but it's difficult to find an angle to make it work without dominating the setting.
"Nick Fury. Old-school cold warrior. The original black ops hardcase. Long before I stepped off a C-130 at Da Nang, Fury and his team had set fire to half of Asia." - Frank Castle

Fate don't fail me now.

User avatar
Lelouch vi Britannia
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri May 18, 2012 10:27 am
Location: Ashford Academy

Re: Sins of San Dorado

Post by Lelouch vi Britannia » Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:46 am

Arcane rituals strike me as a sort of desperation move. Once you've exhausted all of your non-magical options, you get out the grimoires and go for broke. I'd also imagine that even the smallest of these rituals would have a very steep cost in terms of blood and cash, and those costs only go up further in proportion to the area and magnitude of the desired effect. If you stake everything on a ritual only to have it fail, you're pretty much finished.
I ship Eino Ilmari Juutilainen x Lydia V. Litvyak.

Image

"YOU JERK! YOU WOULDN'T KNOW SEXY IF IT BIT YOU!" - Erica Hartmann, Strike Witches

User avatar
Invictus
Posts: 1278
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 11:44 pm

Re: Sins of San Dorado

Post by Invictus » Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:13 am

What sets the price of magic?

Why do the forces of darkness (assuming it's not an impersonal principle of the setting) accept this much blood and souls for this much worldly power?

Ans why wouldn't the capitalist barons of San Dorado want to experiment, if only to find a better deal than their rivals?
"This explanation posits that external observation leads to the collapse of the quantum wave function. This is another expression of reactionary idealism, and it's indeed the most brazen expression."
-
REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 1 - Rey Quirino Versus the Dark Heart of the Philippines
"...a literary atrocity against the senses..." - Ford

REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 2 - Advent Rey Returns: REVERGELTUNG
Coming NEVER

User avatar
Lelouch vi Britannia
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri May 18, 2012 10:27 am
Location: Ashford Academy

Re: Sins of San Dorado

Post by Lelouch vi Britannia » Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:49 am

I'm now reminded of an early episode of Metalocalypse where the members of Dethklok try to bargain with the Blues Devil for blues fame and talent. The Blues Devil asks for Dethklok's souls in exchange for granting blues fame and talent. Dethklok manages to negotiate down to a $5 Hot Topic gift card in place of their souls, and they somehow manage to receive 7% of the backend of the Blues Devil's own soul in addition to blues fame and talent.

With that in mind, I can definitely see some members of the San Doradoan ruling classes trying to figure out good ways to stiff the forces of darkness by seeing if they can negotiate prices or offer substitute commodities.
I ship Eino Ilmari Juutilainen x Lydia V. Litvyak.

Image

"YOU JERK! YOU WOULDN'T KNOW SEXY IF IT BIT YOU!" - Erica Hartmann, Strike Witches

User avatar
Siege
Site Admin
Posts: 2517
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 7:03 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Sins of San Dorado

Post by Siege » Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:32 pm

Invictus wrote:What sets the price of magic?

Why do the forces of darkness (assuming it's not an impersonal principle of the setting) accept this much blood and souls for this much worldly power?

Ans why wouldn't the capitalist barons of San Dorado want to experiment, if only to find a better deal than their rivals?
The price of magic is set by the embodiment of luck. But the San Dorado version of Lady Fortune is extremely two-faced: one of her aspects is the personification of fortune and luck; the other is its mirror opposite, a destructive destroyer goddess drunk on the blood of her victims.

Now, I imagine these are actually highly anthropomorphized public images that work well with day-to-day proverbs or maybe as pictures on little shrines that Joe Average burns some ghost money for in return for a bit of good luck for themselves, or perhaps a bit of bad luck for competitors or annoying coworkers.

Meanwhile the CEOs and assorted financial wizards probably have a fuller understanding of what they're doing, and they know they're actually interacting on a very rudimentary level with a sort of trans-yuggothian godhead that is simultaneously extremely dangerous, extremely fickle and extremely difficult to interact with. One day she might accept burning a million dollars in cash in exchange for a critical bump in the market, the next she might charge a year of bad luck, or the untimely death of your firstborn child. You can attempt to negotiate, but it's a dangerous proposition at the very best of times and even if you give her everything she asks you might not actually get what you want, or you might get it in a way that's more than you gambled for. Or you might get everything you want and more for a fiver -- that's also always a possibility. But one way or another it tends to cost you a piece of your soul and presumably Bad Things happen to those who give too much of themselves away.

So I imagine experimenting with rituals is something you only want to do if you're in dire straits. Sometimes you might not even get contact. And maybe sometimes contact might get you. I fancy the idea that the more you deal with Fortune, the more it owns you. and can make you do things for her own reasons. That might not be a bad thing as long as she likes you but in the end her schemes always seem to add to the chaos and disorder in the city. Shades of King's Needful Things there I suppose, but I enjoy the idea that the city's elites are willfully hurtling themselves toward the abyss in the pursuit of short-term gains by meddling with things they cannot possibly comprehend. Just like the international financial markets, am i rite?
"Nick Fury. Old-school cold warrior. The original black ops hardcase. Long before I stepped off a C-130 at Da Nang, Fury and his team had set fire to half of Asia." - Frank Castle

Fate don't fail me now.

User avatar
Invictus
Posts: 1278
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 11:44 pm

Re: Sins of San Dorado

Post by Invictus » Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:08 pm

A sudden idea: the trans-yuggothian godhead that is Lady Fortune is impossibly fickle because it's probably a vast, vast entity with patterns of behavior that are complex beyond human understanding, such that it's a crapshoot for any individual trying to make deals with it, or indeed trying to interact with it on any meaningful basis. Human beings are simply too small and too limited in scale to do that. You average day trader sacrifices a prostitute to her, smearing blood in the shape of sigils deciphered from watching too many flash trading patterns, and she wouldn't even notice.

But what if you got a lot of people together...

What if corporations, composed of thousands upon thousands of human beings working under complex and arcane modes of behavior, but together creating an entity with its own distinct and inhuman drives, are the only things big and complex enough for the Lady to even recognize? Maybe it takes something like a corporation to communicate with and propitate the Lady with any regularity, using rituals encoded in board policies and corporate guidelines that affect thousands of livelihoods and sends shockwaves through the entire world economy. But it works.

(This also works with governments, but corporations are easier for rich people to set up)

Of course, the Lady's ability to interact through this method is still...fuzzy. While it's the corporation as a whole that is the target of her pleasure, displeasure, backlash or whatever, the corporation is still made of people - and it might be any random director, employee or shareholder who suffers a freak accident, or physical assets catch fire, or something. Not to mention the fact that there is more than one corporation in San Dorado, and all their competing demands cast noise into each others' efforts at communing with the godhead; not to mention all the sabotage and subtlefuge that inevitably occurs.

And suddenly there is a whole lot of crazy overlaid on top of the cutthroat competition.
"This explanation posits that external observation leads to the collapse of the quantum wave function. This is another expression of reactionary idealism, and it's indeed the most brazen expression."
-
REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 1 - Rey Quirino Versus the Dark Heart of the Philippines
"...a literary atrocity against the senses..." - Ford

REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 2 - Advent Rey Returns: REVERGELTUNG
Coming NEVER

User avatar
Siege
Site Admin
Posts: 2517
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 7:03 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Sins of San Dorado

Post by Siege » Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:16 pm

:D

Vic, that is a thing of beauty and I absolutely adore it. The idea that corporations are cults striving for the favors of an insane and insatiable god of chaos makes so much sense! And it's so terrible at the same time! And all the madness of road rage and street shootings and insane blood sacrifices are simply the result of arcane white noise driving average citizens to the brink of madness and beyond...
"Nick Fury. Old-school cold warrior. The original black ops hardcase. Long before I stepped off a C-130 at Da Nang, Fury and his team had set fire to half of Asia." - Frank Castle

Fate don't fail me now.

User avatar
Siege
Site Admin
Posts: 2517
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 7:03 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Sins of San Dorado

Post by Siege » Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:27 pm

Lately an old and half-formed Comix idea bubbled to the surface of conscious thought, and I was wondering if I could work this into the San Dorado setting somehow.

The original idea was a group of formerly possessed people working against an ill-defined group of demon creatures that had come crawling up from the Abyss. It might however also work as people who've had brushes with the Lady, Senior Management and the Reckoners and somehow survived not just with their sanity more or less intact, but also with the scales removed from their eyes. They try to stem the tides of chaos and combat the encroaching darkness, but they are only a handful against the cabalistic workings of massive corporations.

It's a suitably dramatic setup, I think. The doomed struggle: the antagonists are overwhelmingly formidable, every victory is a Pyrrhic one, and the odds of eventual failure are practically guaranteed... But what other option is there when the fate of the city hangs in the balance?

So far I have five tenuous character ideas. Noel D'Arby, a hedge fund manager; Cyd Dallen, or 'Zero Order', an enhanced terrorist; Romeo Salvatore, an unnaturally old millionaire and connoisseur of every indulgence, gluttony and vice known to man; Keiko Kagami, a Reckoner for Stromberg, Angaline and Evison Auditing; Jesper Sabat, a movie star; and Raven Mzansi, an officer in a corporate paramilitary police outfit.

They are only tangentially aware of each other's existence, at least at first, and receive their assignments from an elusive figure who calls herself Charlene Mercy. She might be a benefactor... She might also just be stringing them along as part of one of the megacorporations' convoluted schemes. I imagine she provides the occasional supplies, quite possibly in the form of the drugs that Vic mentioned in the ye olde Eldritch Enterprise thread: Somapax™ and Nepenthe™, highly restricted substances at least one of which enhances rather than decreases one's hold on reality.

Now it's off to the races, as five people who've never met and have little reason to trust each other must learn to work together to stop the elusive and harrowing figure known only as the Son of Perdition as he plots to drown San Dorado in the pandemonium snarls of the Outer Dark!

Or something along those lines, anyway.
"Nick Fury. Old-school cold warrior. The original black ops hardcase. Long before I stepped off a C-130 at Da Nang, Fury and his team had set fire to half of Asia." - Frank Castle

Fate don't fail me now.

Post Reply