Random ideas (again)

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

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Re: Random ideas (again)

Post by Malchus » Thu Mar 08, 2012 1:26 am

Somes J wrote:I kind of like the idea that the sheer success of Christianity was sort of an accident, with even the Only being shocked at how big he won when he just happened to hit just the right note to kickstart a massive world religion. He was only really planning to create a religion that would be more popular than Judaism, he never really imagined he'd be able to take over so much of the world, at least not in that one stroke.

I kind of like this idea because with a worship = power set-up you have to wonder how the rest of the gods just sat there and let some antisocial minor god pull a coup of that magnitude. If the sheer success took everyone by surprise then it makes sense why they didn't try (very hard anyway) to stop him.
Something like that, yeah. Most of the pantheons didn't really see any of the monotheistic religions as a threat and were too busy dicking with each other to really put much stock with them. Though Thoth was (and is still) annoyed by Aten's brief coup in Egypt. By the time the monotheistic religions really came around, it was too late for most of the old pantheons while the Hindu pantheon was too bloated and busy fighting with each other (several gods claim to be the same one being among their many reasons for infighting) to give a fuck.
AI wonder what the relation between the Only and Satan is? Are they enemies, or are they allies playing a good cop/bad cop routine? Or a little of column A, a little of column B - allies of convenience who nonetheless want to destroy each other eventually?
Actually, in this setting I was thinking of keeping that vague. Thoth is convinced that the Accuser is playing bad cop to the Only's good cop, and that the whole end times thing is nothing but a big political game.
Siege wrote:One wonders if, since belief creates these gods, changes in belief also change them.
Yup, but it goes both ways. Changes in the gods' own modus operandi also affect how people perceive them, and there's also the fact that some gods played to the expectation of their worshipers. For one, Set and Horus were never really seriously fighting with each other. It was all just to play to the newly unified Egypt turning Set into a villain for political reasons. His attempted "murder" of Osiris was also orchestrated by Osiris himself. Set loved playing the villain. It was fun.

That's also why Thoth readily adapted to the constant changing of the Egyptian pantheon and took advantage of his conflation with Hermes among the Greeks to set up his alliance with him.
Somes J wrote:Hmm, which came first, Yahweh, Aten, or Ahura Mazda?
In this setting, Thoth calls the Only Aten derisively because he's still bitter about Aten's coup. The Hindu gods are convinced he's Ahura Mazda. His servants, who do most of his interacting for him as he's retreated inwardly, vehemently deny this. Most of the other gods are convinced that the Only is both the Judeo-Christian god and Allah, but they're not in agreement over his motives. Thoth thinks it's a game the Only is playing, much like his own thing with Hermes and Mercury. Some of the others think he's turned crazy from the identity crisis and that the different interpretations of his divine will are due to his many servants with differing ideas carrying it out for him.

As for the whole communism thing, well, the gods never really took it as a threat. They thought it wouldn't last long, and in their time frame, its few short decades proved it. They actually thought it'd last a bit longer. Some of Thoth's servants also set up their own network to manipulate some of the workings of the ideology secretly (though Stalin took them by surprise).

Also, some Hindu gods attempted Confucianism to bring order into their own messy pantheon. They didn't last long.
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Re: Random ideas (again)

Post by Malchus » Thu Mar 08, 2012 2:10 pm

The hell? I thought I replied to this. What happened to the comment?
Shroom Man 777 wrote:Good to see you back mangs.
Well, hopefully, yeah. My schedule's easing off now, so I'll try to increase my long-dormant O1 presence once again.

Even thinking of possibly starting a 'verse.
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Re: Random ideas (again)

Post by Somes J » Fri Mar 09, 2012 10:17 am

A little snippet of text inspired by an alternate history scenario I proposed on another forum:

The premise is a world where the American Pliestocene megafauna survived, leading to the Native Americans having more available domesticable animals and hence A) being more advanced (around Roman Empire era Eurasia level when the Conquistadors showed up), and B) having their own nasty diseases so the exchange of plagues was more even. The latter didn't really help them directly, as they were immune to their own diseases not those of Eurasians, but it did mean the Old World got screwed over more-or-less as badly by plague as they did; the sixteenth century in this world is the century when most of humanity died (I'm going off Charles Mann's 1491 here, it's what originally inspired the alt hist thought).

-------

From Chronicle of the Life of Emperor Sakwa II, historian Sagada of the Misi-Ziibi Empire[1]

That year a Spanish ship called at Nayatik[2]. Today the inhabitants of that city have become accustomed to these barbarians, who call at the port regularly, but during those days they were still a source of wonder and fear. The Duke arranged for a parade of the Ninth Legion, with a great show of infantry, cavalry, and war mastadons to impress them. They left in peace some days later, having given us many fine cannons and guns in exchange for some trinkets and also for a fierce saber tooth cat from the Duke's menagerie, as a present for their king, as there are no such beasts in their country.

Their captain spoke of a great plague that had struck their land, emptying their cities and turning their land into a great charnel house. The court was frightened upon hearing this, for it made it seem all the more as if the world must truly be dying, for the death was everywhere, from the shores of the Great River at the center of the world to the bastions of the Northerners in the frigid north, to the strife-riven kingdoms of the Dawnlands, to the fierce savage nomads of the plains, to the pirates of the Southern Islands, even to the distant lands of the Mexica and even to Spain, that land of the utmost east so distant that it must surely be the most remote and desolate corner of the world. Nowhere did the plague not walk, and it seemed if it continued much longer there would be no people left in the world.



[1] Going with the idea of the Americas being more advanced because of more domesticable animals, there are large organized states in the OTL United States; Wikipedia tells me Misi-Ziibi is the Ojibway root word for Mississippi and it means "Great River", think of this state as a more temperate Egypt (I've taken some artistic license and used some familiar names, to give readers a certain grounding).

[2] OTL New Orleans, more-or-less.
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Re: Random ideas (again)

Post by Somes J » Sat Mar 10, 2012 1:18 am

Another bit I felt inspired to do, from the above scenario:

From The Great Dying: A History of the Plague Years, by Scholar Wang Du, Fuzhou University

The sheer scale of the plagues can be appreciated by comparing estimates of the global population at the beginning and the end of the Century of Tears. According to a 226[1] estimate by the World Census Bureau, the world population during the last years of the Ming Dynasty was between 500 and 600 million. A similar estimate was conducted for the end of the Century of Tears, and during that period the world population was around 150 million. In the intervening century the plagues had claimed the lives of 400 million people, or almost four out of every five human beings. Even today, 400 million would represent more than 10% of the world population. The Century of Tears changed the entire face of world civilization. Of the world's major inhabited land masses, only Aozhou remained untouched. The World Census Bureau estimates that the world did not recover its late Ming era population until late 50s GGD, more than 300 years later.


From The World Economy In the Four Kingdoms Period, by Scholar Chou Fu-Chi, Guangzhou University

During its golden age in the first centuries after the Century of Tears the Far West enjoyed exclusive access to the wealth of the Far East. For the most part, military technology was traded to the states of the Far East, in exchange for gold and silver, with which the Far West could then buy the products of the Center and Near and Middle West.

It is sometimes said that this system first began to be undermined when their neighbors to the south began to compete with them in the Far East trade. This is significant, but should not be understood as a dramatic upset. The warring states of the Far West competed against each other for access to Far Eastern wealth (just as the Four Kingdoms would compete against each other after the establishment of direct trade between the Far East and the Center prior to unification under the last Taizu Emperor) and the number of competing parties increased through the Far West's golden age as more Far Western states became involved. Monopolistic control of the Far East trade only ever existed during the short period between the Gold and Silver Wars and the establishment of the World State, in the early industrial age, and was of course carried out by Zhongguo. The immediate effects of the establishment of the southern Far East trade was to weaken the Far West's economic influence in the south and diminsh the Far West's purchasing power somewhat. The former was the one that would eventually prove more damaging, after the establishment of the direct Far East-Center trade.

The real end to the Far West's brief time in the sun came with the establishment of direct trade with the Far East by the Three Maritime Kingdoms. Instead of going through the hands of the traders across most of a continent Far Eastern silver and gold (and other trade items) now flowed directly to the Three Maritime Kingdoms, and silver and gold now flowed into the Near and Middle West from the east as well as the west. For the Far West this was a disaster. Effectively, they were returned to the economic position they had been in during the Ming era.


[1] 2076 CE. The calender counts from the reunification of China after the Four Kingdoms period, which happened in 1850, shortly before the industrial revolution really got rolling...

And I think you can tell where this is heading... Yes, I know, China-wank probably isn't the most original thing, but I have a bit of a soft spot for the idea of a world empire*, and the idea of Europe's star declining when its fortunate middle-man position was undercut by those brave explorers tickles me, given I've heard people explain why the Middle East fell behind OTL in the same way. Plus, I remember hearing some speculation that it was the Black Death that first set Europe down the path that lead to the industrial revolution, this seemed like a perfect opportunity to give the same stimulus to China. This is a premise that invites so many butterflies it seems like a decent place to go a little bit wild.

* Mostly because of a, maybe naive, belief that such a timeline might be better off as there would be less war and a state like that might care more about improving underdeveloped areas than we do about improving Random Banana Republic # 50 where it's all good as long as the megacorps can do business over there.

And yes, I know some people may question whether the plagues would really be that bad ... but the idea of pretty much having a mutual apocalypse in the 1500s is what drew me to this idea in the first place, so I decided to run with something pretty close to the worst case scenario.
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Re: Random ideas (again)

Post by speaker-to-trolls » Sun Mar 11, 2012 5:41 pm

Mobius 1 wrote:I think he's suggesting you need to take a look at basic anatomy classes.
TBH I was mainly thinking of the eyes, which were intentionally weird looking, but having said that... Yeah, Zor, a few aspects of your people need some work, and it's mainly the faces, they're very flat.

OK, just thought I ought to respond to that.

On the whole subject of gods and things: The problem I've always had with the whole system of gods being created and fed by belief is the very problem of what constitutes a god and how you differentiate one god from another, what happens to one god when it gets syncretised with another. Are the gods of Christianity and Islam the same? How about the Christs of Catholicism and Protestantism (to say nothing of all the different versions of Protestantism or Orthodox Christianity)? The Greek and Roman pantheons? The list goes on, and it gets much more complicated if you say that a god doesn't have to be something that people actually believe in as a being with a distinct personality. I mean if you take the route Gaiman does in American Gods and have things like cars, tv, drugs and the internet getting their own personifications because people 'believe' in them, so to speak, then things get really confused. How long does a thing have to be 'worshipped' before it gets to be a god? How coherent does the belief or reverence in something have to be? The beliefs within religions are certainly variable enough to suggest that as long as there's a vague kind of consensus then the thing can have some kind of existence, but then again noone can say what the personality of Communism or The Internet or, I don't know, Energy Drinks (all these capitalised because they would be proper nouns in this case) is.

It gets very confusing very fast. That said I think there is possibly something to be said for such a confusing and frantic spirit world, there would probably be just as many 'people' there as there are in the real world. You'd go into some kind of hall of the gods and meet the spirits of medicines, newspapers, fast food chains, political theories, philosophical ideas, musical genres, and all kinds of things alongside the gods, monsters and spirits from mythology. It'd be a little trippy.

OK, rambled a bit there.

I'd be interested in Malchus;s story idea for seeing how the gods fight in his setting. Can they fight each other directly or do they have to fight each other by diminishing each other's belief? IF the second one it makes the Thermercury (Or Djhermercury, really) triumvirate a lot harder to be targetted by 'Aten' or any of the other gods who have more believers and might want rid of them, I mean it's not like there is a Temple of Helipolis that he can hit with an earthquake these days.
somes J wrote:China World
Sounds like an interesting concept, and I've read 1492 as well, it's a really interesting book. I'm tempted to think that the Native Americans might still have ended up worse in the scenario you posit because, as that book points out, they still had less genetic diversity than Europeans even without the fact that they had no real animal husbandry of their own (which was still the main reason they suffered so much from the contact).

I don't know about a Chinese World Empire being better for the world than our current system, but I really don't know enough history, politics or sociology to say whether it's realistic, I'm just very suspicious of anyone saying that Imperialism and Peace Through Superior Firepower (PTSF) would totally work if only it were this group of people doing it instead of Americans or Europeans.
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Re: Random ideas (again)

Post by Somes J » Mon Mar 12, 2012 5:33 am

speaker-to-trolls wrote:On the whole subject of gods and things: The problem I've always had with the whole system of gods being created and fed by belief<snip>
I kind of like something along the lines of the Warhammer 40K approach to this: a god is something that comes into being as a result of a lot people similar thoughts or having similar emotions or beliefs or something like that, and the more people think/feel/believe in it the stronger it gets.

So some wacky fringe cult's diety might not be a god because it hasn't reached critical mass yet, if the cult gets successful you might have a weak one, and if it really hits it big the way Christianity did you get an extremely powerful god. You'd probably need a certain focus/coherence to get critical mass for a god, so drugs might not be a god because "worshipping" drugs isn't really coherent enough (at least the way people do it in this culture), but an ideology like communism might get a god because it's relatively coherent and popular.
Sounds like an interesting concept, and I've read 1492 as well, it's a really interesting book. I'm tempted to think that the Native Americans might still have ended up worse in the scenario you posit because, as that book points out, they still had less genetic diversity than Europeans even without the fact that they had no real animal husbandry of their own (which was still the main reason they suffered so much from the contact).
Yeah, I think they probably would get hit worse, but it might be much more even than OTL, where they got totally decimated while the Eurasians barely even noticed.
I don't know about a Chinese World Empire being better for the world than our current system, but I really don't know enough history, politics or sociology to say whether it's realistic, I'm just very suspicious of anyone saying that Imperialism and Peace Through Superior Firepower (PTSF) would totally work if only it were this group of people doing it instead of Americans or Europeans.
Well, my suspicion isn't that the Chinese or anyone else would necessarily be better than us, but basically that you'll likely end up with a generally better situation with a large organized state than a bunch of small balkanized and warring ones, all else being equal. A big organized state probably means less warfare just because it's in the government's interests to monopolize force, a more coordinated economy, and simply by commanding so much wealth it might be able to do things that are beyond the ability of any of the smaller states on their own. Also, I think there might be more of a sense of obligation for the rich areas to help poor ones if the people there are fellow citizens instead of foreigners.

Sure, things might still be far from ideal, but maybe we'd have been spared most of the twentieth century's wars including the two World Wars, Africa would be less of a mess etc..

On the other hand, maybe I'm just indulging in "the grass is always greener on the other side" thinking, the World Wars would just have been replaced by similarly destructive civil wars, the Third World would be even worse off than today as the empire just plunders it for resources while making only the most minimal improvements and if the locals protest shoots a bunch of them until they quiet down for a while, and the world empire would constantly have a bunch of Vietraqs going on.

I could certainly imagine it happening either way, I'm not sure which one is realistically more likely.
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Re: Random ideas (again)

Post by Somes J » Mon Mar 12, 2012 7:35 am

Somes J wrote:On the other hand, maybe I'm just indulging in "the grass is always greener on the other side" thinking, the World Wars would just have been replaced by similarly destructive civil wars, the Third World would be even worse off than today as the empire just plunders it for resources while making only the most minimal improvements and if the locals protest shoots a bunch of them until they quiet down for a while, and the world empire would constantly have a bunch of Vietraqs going on.
Hey speaker-to-trolls, you've just indirectly given me an idea for another dystopian world for my personal uni! A world that runs with this premise.

I'm envisioning a world run by something like a twisted parody of the British Empire; a supremacist hypercapitalist society that views most of its subjects as inferiors and treats their land as good only for plundering resources, only bothering to make the most minor improvements, most of them more about making for a good "business environment" than actually helping the people. When the natives get uppity their usual solution is shooting people, and as you might imagine they're pretty unpopular with their subjects and constantly have a bunch of Vietraqs on their hands, are targets of terrorism etc. (of course, a lot of people on this world think this is just because pansy liberals are forcing the army to fight with one hand tied behind its back and the answer is obviously to turn up the brutality and show those uppity child races who's boss).

Maybe have one other major independent state: a China analog that managed to industrialize like Japan on Earth and by a combination of adept political manuevering and being too big to be worth directly conquering managed to survive up to the point they could hold off the imperialists with the threat of nuclear MAD. After 100+ years of being under threat of conquest by racist imperialist dickbags they'd probably be a heavily militarized seige mentality culture. The Empire's government would get propaganda value back home scaring people of the evil godless heathen power that threatens the very fabric of God, King, Family, and Empire.

I have a couple of worlds in my uni with a planetary state, and they tend to follow my idea that such worlds might be better off, even the one that's supposed to be a dystopia (that Buddhism-inspired theocracy I talked about earlier) is better than our world in some significant ways. This seems like it might be a good thing for me to follow - a world that deconstructs my own bias.
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Re: Random ideas (again)

Post by Invictus » Mon Mar 12, 2012 9:34 am

Somes J wrote:I'm envisioning a world run by something like a twisted parody of the British Empire; a supremacist hypercapitalist society that views most of its subjects as inferiors and treats their land as good only for plundering resources, only bothering to make the most minor improvements, most of them more about making for a good "business environment" than actually helping the people. When the natives get uppity their usual solution is shooting people, and as you might imagine they're pretty unpopular with their subjects and constantly have a bunch of Vietraqs on their hands, are targets of terrorism etc. (of course, a lot of people on this world think this is just because pansy liberals are forcing the army to fight with one hand tied behind its back and the answer is obviously to turn up the brutality and show those uppity child races who's boss).
Charles Mann's 1493, the sequel to 1491, actually deals a bit with "resource extraction states" in colonial Africa. The social and economic models that colonial empires built up in sub-Saharan Africa were focused entirely on removing wealth from the continent at the expense of infrastructure development even compared to in India or the Americas, simply because Europeans died to African diseases too much there to want to establish any presence there. Such models impeded the subsequent development of African (and American) states for centuries. It can be quite nasty on the people affected.

Though building resource extraction states isn't difficult, I'm not sure how possible it is for such a colonial empire to be the only game in town. Of course this isn't Earth so the history of the planet could simply have failed to cause another such colonial system to develop due to various geographic factors. Heck, they might have developed their civilization in Draka-like isolation, somehow acquired a commanding lead in technology over the rest of the world (handwaving away Jared Diamond's theories), sailed forth in conquest only to be hit in the face by the rest of the interconnected world's fermenting plagues, but nevertheless prevailed to rule over everyone largely in absentia while the colonizers still mostly live in their homeland where environmental conditions prevent the diseases from following. It does seem a bit implausible.

Another possibility relates to the MAD capabilities of the isolationist power: your hypercapitalist world empire is the only game in town because it has long since nuked all the other ones off the map, unrestrained by any sort of basic civilizational respect or international consensus on humanitarian warfare. There is no namby-pampy community of nations nonsense here, only arrogance and grudging realpolitik when a nation the Empire didn't previously regard as any sort of threat suddenly develops a retaliatory capacity. Of course, this posits a geopolitical environment that is brutalized beyond all imagining and I'm hesitant to go in a particularly grimdark direction, but since we're already positing a whole world of Raj-era Indias and Leopoldian Congos already, we might as well.
speaker-to-trolls wrote:On the whole subject of gods and things: The problem I've always had with the whole system of gods being created and fed by belief<snip>
I ran into the same issue when coming up with my Universal Tribulation idea which is why I decided that only one narrowly held worldview is true, which is fair because it has an equally horrible outcome for almost everyone.:P Nevertheless, the idea of rival pantheons trying to avert the Apocalypse is another intriguing direction to take it.
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Re: Random ideas (again)

Post by speaker-to-trolls » Fri Mar 16, 2012 4:01 pm

Invictus wrote:I ran into the same issue when coming up with my Universal Tribulation idea which is why I decided that only one narrowly held worldview is true, which is fair because it has an equally horrible outcome for almost everyone. Nevertheless, the idea of rival pantheons trying to avert the Apocalypse is another intriguing direction to take it.
I think having one consistent worldview is more interesting in a lot of cases because you don't get distracted by trying to cram all of these mutually exclusive ideas into the same world, and it allows you to be a lot freer to go thought experimenting with the source material, so you can go 'well, assuming this or that religion has it right, how do these aspects of the modern world/other bits of fantasy or myth fit into it?' You have to either have it very well thought out and intricate system and/or be able to convincingly write in a way that gets the point across that the world is basically subjective in order for multiple mutually exclusive mythologies to mix... ah... melodiously? (Sorry, just didn't want to break the alliteration)
Invictus wrote:Somes J's hypercapitalist bastards and isolationism via disease
You know, since we are talking about some kind of colony planet here, you could have the hypercapitalist bastards be some kind of latecoming colonists. They arrive on the planet hundreds or thousands of years after the rest of the population and their ship crashes, but they retain higher technology than everyone else. Unfortunately they have been living in a squeaky clean ecosystem in a bottle for hundreds of years while the rest of the world has swarms of nasty diseases from both the human colonists and their livestock and the native biosphere. The newbies are almost wiped out by the diseases but their medical tech is able to save some of them, and after that they basically become these stripmining isolationist bastards, shooting the fuzzywuzzies with their lasers and taking their stuff back to fuel the industries of the motherland.
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Re: Random ideas (again)

Post by Somes J » Thu Apr 05, 2012 9:35 am

An idea I had, copy-pasted from a Hunger Games discussion on SB:
Not really on topic, but from something I stumbled on while Googling:
Laura Miller wrote:Given that the winning tribute’s district is “showered with prizes, largely consisting of food,” why isn’t it the poorer, hungrier districts that pool their resources to train Career Tributes, instead of the wealthier ones?
You know, that sounds like a good point, and I could see that being taken pretty interesting places:

In one poor District, they have a system. When the children reach 8 years old the names of the healthy ones are entered into a lottery. A do it yourself preview of the official lottery, if you would.

Those who are picked spend the next years being indoctrinated and trained to become their community's warriors. For years they train hard, toughening their bodies and minds, learning to endure all manner of pain, suffering, deprivation, hardship, hunger without complaint. Being trained to be able to fight enemies stronger and better equipped than they are and win, and to kill without hesitation. When they become old enough they volunteer for the Games, to go forth and, if they are lucky, win badly needed supplies for their people.

They would not think of refusing. They and their families would be shamed, their families would become outcasts. If they win, they become Heroes. If they die, they become Martyrs. In every town there is a stone with the names of all the Martyrs. The family of a Hero or a Martyr is never to go hungry, unto the fourth generation. The others will give them their rations. The souls of Martyrs always go to Heaven, so the underground priests tell them. Hero or Martyr, their deeds will live forever, not in the video reels of the Capitol, but where it really matters, in the stories the Rememberers tell the children when the Capitol's police aren't listening. The stories filled with the glory and tragedy of the Heroes, and the tragedy and glory of the Martyrs.

The warriors go into the Arena wearing sashes with the names of the Martyrs. They go into the Arena knowing that their families, their friends, their communities are depending on them for their meager prosperity, if there's a bad year perhaps for their survival. They go into the Arena knowing that they will be heroes if they succeed, remembered with honor if they fail nobly, and cursed and their families outcast if they fail despicably.

They go into the Arena with a secret weapon. If the time comes, they have a system for deciding which one of their players will win and live and which will lose and die. It is disguised as superstitous battle magic, so the Gamemasters do not catch on, but in essence it is a coin toss. Heads, I live, tails, I die. The one who gets tails will go to his death, to his Martyrdom, willingly and without resistance. Oh, he will put on a good show of trying to fight off the winner for the cameras, but in the end, he will willingly submit his throat to the blade. Not to do so would send his soul to the lowest part of Hell. Not to do so would shame his family and see them outcasts onto the fourth generation. Not to do so would violate years of conditioning leading up to this battle. This is the District's secret advantage, since their warriors know that who lives and who dies among them turns on a coin toss they can trust each other completely, knowing that one will not betray the other.

They send trained volunteers not unwilling conscripts to the Games, not because they see any glory in the Games, but because they eat more, hunger less, die less, because of the victories their heroes win for them in the Arena.

On the top of the sash of Martyrs their warriors go into the Arena with is written a reminder:

Death is lighter than duty
.
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Re: Random ideas (again)

Post by Invictus » Wed Apr 11, 2012 7:47 am

So, you're all blood-childer of the hard-partying King of the Vampires, sired during another one of his months-long benders and reluctantly retrieved by the wider vampire society while in the process of cleaning up after said months-long benders. You could have been from anywhere out of decent society or the occult underworld, but you were nevertheless swept up in the tornado-like passing of the hard-partying King of the Vampires, much to your initial misfortune. Maybe the hard-partying King of the Vampires saw something in you, or maybe be was too blind drunk to, but you're a full-fledged vampire now, catapulted past the learning stages of the recently turned by the unspeakable potency of the blood of the hard-partying King of the Vampires himself.

This does not sit well with those vampires who are decades and decades older than you but still haven't entirely mastered turning into mist, nor with those traditionalist vampires who disapprove of the hard-partying antics of the hard-partying King of the Vampires, or indeed with vampirekind in general who are rather too comfortable with slowly building webs of influence and patronage to accommodate all these sudden influxes of unduly powerful players. But of course, making an actual move against you would raise the ire of your direct patron, the hard-partying King of the Vampires, and every vampire remembers what happened the last time someone raised the ire of the hard-partying King of the Vampires, who is the King of the Vampires for a very good reason. On the other hand, the hard-partying King of the Vampires is quite often partying too hard to spot all the plots directed against you or him, and it's quite often up to you to get him to sober up enough to do so...
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Re: Random ideas (again)

Post by Heretic » Sat Apr 14, 2012 7:39 pm

Lol sounds like a World of Darkness campaign plot or a good supernatural story, Invictus!
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Re: Random ideas (again)

Post by Siege » Sun Apr 15, 2012 12:11 pm

It begs the question though: how does the hard-partying King of Vampires party?
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Re: Random ideas (again)

Post by Invictus » Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:12 pm

Siege wrote:It begs the question though: how does the hard-partying King of Vampires party?
Well, just think of how much cocaine you can do when you have the indestructible magical constitution of the King of the Vampires.
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Re: Random ideas (again)

Post by Ford Prefect » Mon Apr 16, 2012 12:12 am

I bet Stevie Nicks wishes her nose could have regenerated.
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Re: Random ideas (again)

Post by Invictus » Tue Apr 17, 2012 6:11 am

While his later biographers liked to paint Howard Phillips Lovecraft as some kind of utterly misanthropic recluse, in reality he was a big ol' geek whose many hobbies included visiting interesting architecture. He corresponded vigorously with a large circle of other writers and liked to take daily morning walks while he lived in New York. If he didn't travel much further afield, it was mostly due to his lack of means to do so.

But in this scenario, sometime in the mid-Thirties Lovecraft comes across a sizable inheritance or some large sum of money. He gets a better diet and uses the money to finally travel across America to meet his pen-pals, most notably talking fellow writer Robert Ervin Howard out of eating a shotgun in 1936. The two develop a personal friendship even as they butt heads over their diametrically opposite literary philosophies (of barbarism vs. civilization), but they both agree to use all that new-found money to take a sabbatical and take a tour across America for leisure and inspiration both. During the trip the two find themselves caught up in all kinds of interbellum paranormal weirdness that they get out of through Lovecraft's skepticism and scientific knowledge and Howard's indefatigable two-fistedness, even as they find their beliefs challenged by broader movements in history such as the rise of fascism.

tl;dr H. P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard travels across 30's America, solves mysteries.
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Re: Random ideas (again)

Post by Invictus » Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:43 am

Also, a What-if for Warhammer 40K from the Great Crusade up to the 42nd millennium if the loyalist Primarchs were all Showa-era Kamen Riders.

EDIT: Which means that the Emperor was actually the Great Leader of Dai-Shocker JESUS FUCKING CHRIST
"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."
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Re: Random ideas (again)

Post by Czernobog » Fri May 11, 2012 9:23 pm

God, I've been inspired.

This is totally damn cool, and I have to put something similar in whatever 'verse I make next.
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Re: Random ideas (again)

Post by Heretic » Fri May 11, 2012 10:08 pm

Dude..that's pretty surreal.

Invictus, I almost can imagine SPEISS MEREINES as Kamen Riders, but hell, that's probably something the Japanese would do.
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Re: Random ideas (again)

Post by Invictus » Sat May 12, 2012 6:04 am

Heretic wrote:Dude..that's pretty surreal.

Invictus, I almost can imagine SPEISS MEREINES as Kamen Riders, but hell, that's probably something the Japanese would do.
Think about it. Secretive organization whose goal is world domination? Immortal leader whose scientific knowledge is leagues ahead of the world he dwells in? Puts inordinate effort in creating one-of-a-kind superhumans as a template for mass-producing super-soldiers, except they keep ending up turning on him? The Great Crusade really is one of those Kamen Rider evil organizations gotten really lucky.

Of course, there aren't enough Showa-era Kamen Riders to make up all the Primarchs and the newer Heisei ones don't really have the right origins to map onto Primarchs. Not to mention sorting them into the Loyalist and Traitor camps...
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Re: Random ideas (again)

Post by Ford Prefect » Sat May 12, 2012 6:44 am

I dunno, Tendou Souji is pretty close to Kid Emperor.
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Re: Random ideas (again)

Post by Invictus » Sat May 12, 2012 7:49 am

He can be Horus then.
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Re: Random ideas (again)

Post by Booted Vulture » Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:06 pm

So one thing t hat always strike me about spacefleets is that, they're usally described using the same terminology as WWII esque fleets. Corvettes<frigates<dstroyers<cruisders<battlecruisers<battleships/carriers. And its so boring. I really like quite like the system in the Culture Novels. Where vessels are given a more discriptive name Rapid/General Offnsive unit for far ships. And General Syste Vehicles. General Contact Unit for large general purpose units.

But the other thing is that as all geeks will know, things like Star Trek and Honour Harrington are pretty definately passed and Hornblower novels and other age-of-sail adventure novels. Which coupled with the idea that in early TOS the Enterrpise was considered a very rare 'Starship- class' vessel. Lead me to wonder why don't more sci-fi setting conscious base themselves on a napoleonic naval model rather than a modern one?

There were two things controlling a classification of an ocean going vessel. It's sail plan that gives it its name (where it is a schooner or a brig or a sloop or a ship etc.) and the number of guns it mounts giving it its rating. (assuming it mounts 20 or more its anything from sixth rate to first rate)


So how to apply this to spaceships? Well the obvious analogue for the sail plan would be the FLT Drive. So, taking a lot of inspiration from Star Trek, I came up with an idea that vessel would be classified by the number and usage of 'warp motors' it mounted. Warp motors which would be made out of highly expensive exotic matter, to increase cost and means that fewer/small motors can be afforted by private interests.

So vessels can be:-
  • Starship A space going vessel capable of sustained flight at FTL velocities by use of its twin warp motors operated in parallel. (using both engines at once for efficiency)
  • Pulseship or Pulser a ship that has multiple warp motors that are operated in series. Ie) one at a time in short burst. So that by the time the last engine fires, the first engine has cooled down and ready for use.
  • Skipper A vessel with a single warp motor and a big power supply/cooling system. Allows the single motor to be used repeated. Just Not as quick as pulsing.
  • Hopper One warp coil. Low power generation or cooling. So only capable of infrequent jumps.
Finding an equivilent to the rating, is a bit more of a challenge. I think perhaps the most obvious one to go for would be reactor output. But it seems very fattynerdish to me to go for that way out. (I say having thought up a complex classification system based on ftl, :lol:) Like I'm just begging for an saxton incredible cross sections or something.

There of course would have to be a lower threshold for a starship's power generation based on the abillity supply sustained output to its two warp motors.


Anyay: comments? other ideas for ratings in this system? Other ideas for class sytems not based on modern navies?
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Re: Random ideas (again)

Post by Destructionator » Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:33 pm

I like your ftl thing. That sounds fun.

---

Not quite classes, but something I've grown to like is new words for ship and fleet.

Someone on the internet started throwing around the term "laser star", meaning simply a laser armed ship. The star part was just borrowed from Battlestar Galactica.

Another nice thing though is what would a far away spaceship look like? It might be like a little star. Suppose there's a fleet flying in formation.... you have a constellation.

So instead of having "fleets" of ships, you have "constellations of [type*] stars".

* type might be laser, missile, spy, etc. Big or small, whatever description is best. Or the generic "battle" or "war". I guess this is your question :)


---

You might do how many missiles for the rating of some ships. Or perhaps the size of the main gun if it is some kind of projectile or laser thing (power output or focus size - does punch or range matter more?). A number of guns analogy would depend on what kind of guns it has though.
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Re: Random ideas (again)

Post by Booted Vulture » Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:00 pm

I like that naming system as well. You could have smaller task forces being constellations and big fleets as a galaxies or whatever.

---

Number of missiles could worik I guess as a direct analoge to the guns thing. I was sort of thing more of energy biased weapon. Sort of like ST Phasers being their primary argument. I was also thinking you might mount more guns on space ships that you could actually power. So you can shoot in all direction in 3D space without having to maneouvre the ship and your stl engines can keep accelerating you in whatever direction you want. Hence why it would be the amount of energy you can push to your weapons that would couny, rather than the number of emplacements


Another thing I've been thinking about is the age of sail distinction between frigates and ships of the line. Especially in the case of heavy frigates and razees. The difference is not the sail plan. It's the number of decks. They had less and though had much more sails for their mass. Making them much faster. (this may not be at all correct, my knowledge is sketchy on the subject.)

Now in the age of sail, chopping off a deck, also reduced the number of guns you can carry and thus your rating. But if we go by the power generation model. You can have frigates be created by stripping off armour and secondary weapons (like missile magazines) and creating a much faster but more fragile ship. (i suppose we're getting back to wwi/wwii analogies here and this is a battlecruiser) But anyway this would give you Frigates as a subtype of starship that is avalible across the entire rating scale. You could have fourth rate starships and first rate frigates. etc.
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