Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Naming Projects; Default and Generic Settings

So I'm naming my projects.

The Millennium of the fall - this is a Radical Hard Sci-Fi setting of human civilization having a socio-economic collapse and the resulting social changes that occur with the retarding of trade and increasing desperation and despair. It color is heavily inspired by my Crusades and Byzantine studies and influences. My purpose and story telling focuses on how the Macro affects individuals, how deviations from the general perception of how human civilization can be summarized in a macro perspective can have a stark difference to what happens in the individual and personal level. 

Another side aspect of this settings is that it has "dungeons" in space, because all colonies are situated in worlds where humans go deep underground to protect themselves from orbital bombardment (and the assumption weapons that can destroy planets are very rare). So its an opportunity to build vast networks underground cities inspired by the underground cities of capadocia and all those artists and visual works that try to conceptualize such. 

This uses the Real Near-Star Stellar Map, but with made up worlds and "content" in those stars (since we can't detect all the exo-elements in them yet.

Although there are many similarities to the other "dark" fallen universes out there. I tend to focus on the social aspects I am very much advocating in the real world. Particularly aspects of Poverty, Education, Common Good, and aspects of Game Theory that highlight how those balance between common good and power structures can be in direct conflict. I guess its a way to use learning through elaboration my understanding of economics, game-theory, and cognition (well I can say that about all my games). 

I also have a heavily modified "In My Traveller Universe" setting which will use the Real Near-Star Stellar Maps and the fluff transplanted. Its still traveller, but ISW 2170CE setting. 

Sins of the Crusade - this is my Crusades setting and default Ancient-Era game. I mean serious nothing Black-White about the moral and ethical aspects of the Crusades. Its not trying to be preachy about the Crusades, its just that sh*t happens and people do sh*t for all sorts of sh*tty reasons. Heavily inspired by Game of thrones [hipster]before it became mainstream [/hipster]and again my byzantine and crusades studies.

The setting is basically set on the anniversary of the fall of Constantinople 1453, but instead of a fallen Roman Empire you have a revitalized Empire but with Frankish and Norman infused nobility. What happened is that Bohemmon fell in lust/love with Anna Kommena and she was able to overthrow her brother successfully with her Norman lover and proceeded to make the most epic diabolical couple and dynasty. Their reign and their dynasty combined Byzantine Politics with Norman ruthlessness (Bohemmond having access and improving on the Strategikon, with Anna writing her version of the Prince hundreds of years earlier). It lasted for a while, till about when they were overthrown by the dynasty created by Baldwin, through the alliance with the Dynasties ADin and Osman. 

The world changed a lot since, the new Komenos Dynasty negotiated with the Mongols and they moved on to destroy much of western Europe remapping it into hundreds of petty kingdoms ruled by a Mongol Warrior class. They upgraded to western weapons and horses, as well as improved on the shock tactics. The only "western" refuge left was the Britain, Scandinavia territories, and Roman Empire (some of eastern Europe, asia minor, and levant) and many western nobles infused these territories and improving on the poor demographics of the area. 

Rome came back to its own because of these pressures, and it really helped that there was a infusion of educated and trained manpower to increase the talent pool. The roman bureaucracy came back thanks to Anna's efforts and Behommon's military success. 

The setting was also designed in mind so that I can recreate some mass combat scenarios using 11Century tech. The world suffered a huge economic collapse and there was some technological loss in the mongol invasion. Much of the equipment is mostly 11C going obsolete and with 12C tech coming into greater use. I'm trying to avoid gunpowder, to play the knights and vassals game for a longer while.   

Mahadlika: The People under Heaven. This is my Philippine Historical setting; its my default 19C setting. I still have a blog about it. It has moved from fantasy to pseudo-historical re-imagining aka alternate timeline. Inspired by the sordid historical details and study I've had regarding philippine history. Not a single proud moment that ends with tragedy, and the "bad guys" always winning because the good guys are ignorant/naive, petty, and incompetent.

As an alternate and open historical setting, it sets the stage for people to try to make characters that fit the setting but will try to change the course of history. As a GM i emphasized in historical accuracy and severe realistic limitations, particularly regarding competence and access to education and opportunities.  Basically the setting address why the good guys were ignorant/naive, petty and incompetent: starved of education and literally starved and mostly beaten by adding an immunizing tragedy: a Disaster and domino effect caused by the existing power structure to shift. 

Disasters has a great way of fixing social order, because it gives more power to the smallest unit. Also lack of resources forces Trade to occur. These early precedents, and the memory of that disaster set into motion the social and demographic change that gives the Philippines a "fighting" chance. Of course disasters also create greater extremes and creates more predatory phenotype because of the circumstance. 

Casualties of Change is my "Generic" Modern Setting, its focus on: the "3rd world countries" and how their landscape and society changes so fast. The Emerging World perspectives is a clash with the old and the new, you have archaic and almost unchecked set of assumptions of right and wrong, a lot of diffusion of misinformation, and radicalism through poverty and marginalization. Economic Prosperity or Change introduces social change and power shifting, you have the formula for radicals, clamping down of liberties and dissenting opinion, and one side turning the tide for better or for worse. 

This is I guess the focus of a modern struggle. Here in the Philippines, I'm worried about loss of separation of church and state, lack of education, informed consent, reproductive health, the possibility of losing my unenforceable rights and liberties, and demographic shift towards greater poverty and inequality because of incompetent/conflicted existing power structure (even if you have a positive growth rate, the number of people discontent regardless of their relative amount to the non-discontent will have an affect by their sheer volume). It is considering how some people prepare for the Apocalypse, but the "end of days" is something like the Arab Spring, full censorship, economic, and information lockdown, and the capitulation of civil rights and liberties; or some combination of the two.  

In this generic modern setting game, it is about worse case scenarios. Typically it is about surviving violence and extreme and adverse conditions. My last modern game was surviving a hostage taking, as a coup was about to begin. Mostly everyone had fun, and what I got out of it was a formula for running and prepping for such games. Looking at the formula, I realized a lot of ways to improve on it and shift the games into that non-puzzle problem solving focus but tactical, diplomatic, psychological,  logistical, and economic problems.

Thanks for Reading. 

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