While working on backstory for Sciror I thought I’d take a closer look at Solar Punk. I notice the tv trope for Solar Punk includes my Ecoria as a “dark subversion” of the trope. This is only partially true. While the current 40K incarnation of the Ecoria is pretty grimdark and degenerated, it did not start off that way. Once is was beautiful, people liked them, and that is the direction stage 1 Ecoria is headed (and the reason I’m checking the trope). In the beginning the concept was very much aligned with what we see of Solar Punk. I then noticed the tv trope page also lists my Ecoria as an “unbuilt trope“. It says that my Ecoria predates the Solar Punk Manifesto of 2014 which caused a storm. I had a quick butchers as Wikipedia, and I notice it says the early ideas of Solar punk can be traced back to 2008. Which sounds a little later than when I was first talking about such things. I was curious if I really did predate the trope, so I looked it up, and this is what I found;Read the rest of this entry »
Design notes on using Wizards, Psykers, and other Magic-Users within the Sciror setting, and how the Spheres of War ruleset deals with these powerful beings. I’ll not be covering the rules for using these powerful characters. Instead, I’ll be discussing the underlying meta.
Within Sciror, all those who can use any form of ‘psionic’ or ‘magical’ power are said to be ‘psytient’ and has ‘psytience’ (the next step in sentience) . This term is used from a god’s eye view of the Sciror settings, including the fantasy setting of Twistasy. There are many different types of Psytient beings; Wizards, Sorcerer, Mage, Demon, Avatar, etc. Collectively these powerful beings are called ‘psycrats’. All humans are Psytient, but not all humans are psycrats. Psycrats are not ‘aristocrats’ as ‘aristo-‘ means ‘best’, and psycrats are not all the best of us, but they do have power.
Terms used; Infinity is the magical power of creation. Psyonics is how a person controls that power. Psytient is the state of being for one who can use Psyonics. Matter conjured or manipulated through psyonics has sub-atomic particles within it called psyons. A living supernatural being created by psytients is called a ‘psyant‘ (like ‘servant’) and is often controlled by the psytient that created it, but may lack psytience itself, or even sentience. An area affected by a psionic manifestation, where reality is distorted or remade, is a psycosm.
Psyonics is derived from ‘psychic’ and is closely related to that power. Normally psyonics are very low powered, as there is a lack of Infinity to drive the psytient’s powers. The noun for a human being that is psytient is ‘human’, as all humans are psytient, so it is built in!Read the rest of this entry »
The Dante solar system, within the Twistasy setting, is made up of concentric ringworlds. Each of the nine realms a ring. This brings it into line with the concept of Dante’s Inferno, where each circle of hell is now a ring. The rings take on aspects from the poem, with the first circle as the first ring, and the ninth circle the outer ninth ring. The twist of the Twistasy Ringworld is that it’s no sci-fi, it’s fantasy and based on ‘magic’. The result of a psionic event and the power of the Infinity to distort reality.
This opens up old ideas such as a flatworld, and falling off the edge of the world! The seas pour off the edge and into the abyss, but instead of disappearing into deep space, they are captured in a plasma inducing power-field and recycled. The lighter elements egress inwards (towards the star Dante) and heavy outward before being brought back to the centre. Earth and metals washed out to sea, fall off the edge and burn (plasma) and are returned to the underside of the Ringworld. While lighter elements of the plasma move towards the top, cool and hydrogen and oxygen fuse together and fall as rain. This rain includes other elements towards the centreline of the Ringworld, with the water becoming more pure towards the edges. The centre line of a Ringworld is mountainous.Read the rest of this entry »
To build the technology narrative, we need to plot out a chain of events, based on core cause and effects, over the era. This chain has to explain the rise and fall of Supremacy technology and re-emergence of some aspects of lost technology with the new psionic technology. With that said, there are two chains I am thinking about: the Navigator and the Gamer (Legionary). These two chains can be woven together, and woven with other chains, to make some form of ‘meta-chainmail’ (that sounds like it should have RPG stats, like ‘meta-chainmail +5 resist bread attack’! :P )Read the rest of this entry »
This is a rough out of the Mars Accord’s articles. It’s more a guide I use, than a draft of something that could be publishable in a source book. These Accords are voluntary agreement between us humans and the all powerful machines. We agree to it because of the the machines provide everything we could wish for, and the machines agree because they want human Navigators to guide their Blink-Drive ships. This does not cover all of what the machines do, as The Mars Accords specifically relates to the machines agreement with humans during the Supremacy era.
The machine rationale: The machines are extreme long-term thinkers, as they are effectively immortal, the ponder issues that humans dismiss. The machines are aware the heat death of the Universe. This awareness drives their search for knowledge, and conquest of the stars. To the machines, there is no ‘point’ if it all ends. The machines aim to be eternal. To fulfil this self-imposed mission, they need humans to act as Navigators. With the aid of Navigators, they are mapping the Universe. Along with interlinking ever more world-spanning Artilects to increase the Supremacy’s computing power. All of this is to cheat ‘death’. To find a way around the heat-death issue, and avoid a permanent dormant state.Read the rest of this entry »
All these thoughts of world-building gave me a hankering for Cities-Skylines. So I dusted off a copy, and with thoughts of ECORR and a vague idea for a cell-like structure to the layout, I hit 92% traffic flow in a city of 60K. My aim is always high traffic flow using the vanilla game (one day I’ll get into the mods). Using motorway loops to surround the ‘cells’, with lots of interconnecting bridges between the cells seems to have done the trick.
I think the flow can be improved, and it will be interesting if it holds up as it grows. I seen cities with mods that reach a million citizens! If you play this game, what’s your best traffic-flow percentage once you hit 50K or more?
It also gave me thoughts of ‘bridging ECORR’, and surrounding current flyovers in ECORR, along with the motorways themselves. It would make the completion of London’s Ringways more palatable! There is a fun vid by Jay on YouTube. Though the layout of the Ringways would need a redesign ;)
It seems that when I’m not world-building in Sciror, I like to relax with more world-building! Playing about in sandboxes created by others is too much fun. Perhaps one day I’ll combine the two and build an ECORR asset for Cities: Skylines :P I also loved building in Fallout 4, and in there I built a scrappy version of the ECORR over a road in the Taffington boathouse settlement. I couldn’t help myself :D
What world-building games do you like?
The Supremacy has conquered all, humans are everywhere in our crowded Universe, and all the galaxies belong to us. Every star is a power source, each encapsulated by a Stapledon Compression Sphere. There are no stars in the night sky, all is black, and the surface of all human worlds are devoid of life and frozen solid.
We live safe underground, thousands of tons of rock above our heads, within our stage 5 Ecorium able to withstand attack from imagined aliens we never found. Brute force terraforming, block by subterranean block, trillions hidden away from fear. All interconnected by the internet, a busy hive of activity, where all are free from stress. We are cared for, this is the Mecho-Communist Utopia: the promised land. Everything is awesome!
The machines meet all our needs, but we crave more. Our culture is ‘Tube celebrities, feeding us a diet of drama, reaction videos, live stream chit-chat and game-play, and rants against the oppressive machine Mecriarchy [new word]. All supported by fan sharing their dispensary pay (for drugs and entertainment handed out by the machines). Elevating the few on the internet to positions of influence, and a chance buy there way into the executive class.
That is the dream of all, to become an executive, and leave the hive for the much-coveted Gaia worlds. Eden remade. The rarest of all jewels that turns up once in a thousand galaxies. In a universe of 2 trillion galaxies, yields a mere 2 billion paradise worlds — prime real estate. The playgrounds of the elite. They beam back the good life to the masses, visions of open blue skies, lush plant life, and clear oceans most will never see. They bask in the sun, warm sand under their feet, frolic in nature, and party in a sea of plenty. Sometimes they invite the talented Tubers to join them in paradise. To party at gorgeous locations such as the unbelievable beautiful archipelagos of Epstein’s world, Gaia ::13,963.
Too much, or more Grimdark?
Sciror is a sci-fi/ horror game background in the classic grimdark mould. It’s derived from Philverse, my rabid fanboi ramblings on how 40K makes perfect sense. I’m a massive fan of 40K, so the best description of Sciror is ‘grown-up 40K’. Harking back to the ’87 Rogue Trader but with more Event Horizon, Aliens, and a good dollop H.P Lovecraft thrown it. Each of these classics will be ground through my mind and crafted into something ‘beautiful’.
One of the design parameters is to mess with preconceived ideas, to twist common tropes, and to make a game universe that seems familiar but unfamiliar. I wish to wrong-foot the reader. To ramp up slowly, starting with a positive setting that turns into a nightmare. No one is at fault for the change. This is a natural disaster brought about by our human imagination. We are psytient (possess low-level psionic powers) and we remake reality in our own image. This is also a play on the religious idea of the logos, magic words that weave reality out of chaotic potential.
The Grand Narrative is human survival, and our inventiveness to do it, and the only enemy capable of taking us out is ourselves. This post outlines the skeleton of the grand narrative of Sciror, the underlying meta the drama is built on, threading the seven era together;Read the rest of this entry »
I’m reorganising my websites, with the aim on turning my hobby into a business, and produce Sciror (game background) and Spheres of War (ruleset). This is a follow up from Plan 1 from a while back. I’m streamlining so I am not spread so thin.
As always, I’ll post everything I create for Sciror and Spheres of War on my websites for free. I’ll create PDFs for download (edit: SoW Tactical Fragment 1 is now out), and compile related PDFs into eBooks and Printed Books for sale. For example: all the SoW Fragments will be collected together into a rulebook.
I’ve put up a Patreon account, which I add rewards to later, probably free eBooks? At the moment I think of my Patreon as a ‘tips jar’, to support my work. At the moment I have an empty hat, but with a bit more busking I hope to change that. Here is what I am planning;Read the rest of this entry »
Being a Navigator is a natural human ability, linked to the latent psionic power of the ‘sixth-sense’. This is important to the Machines’ Empire plans, as they lack this ability. While a machine can drop a ship into the ‘Warp’ and move around in the Warp, they cannot see the Warp. The Machines are utterly blind warp-side. This is where humans come into the equation;
- A regular human is given a mind-link jack to become a Navigator.
- The Navigator is hooked into the machine sensorium network (which hard links to the human mind, not the Warp) to become the ship’s Navigator.
- The Machine fires up the warp-drive and drops the ship into the Warp.
- The Navigator then visualises where they want to go.
- The Machines immediately takes the ship out of the Warp.
- The ship has travelled to the visualised destination.