Ok, let's assume you are somehow transferred to the SA universe, and after the necessary adjustment period, you are free to pick your place in that society (for simplicity, let's assume a setting where all Civilizations, Societies, and tech are available, including Chronotech, and travel is easy, so say the Patent Office). What would you look like, as a character ?
I'd probably go for Stardweller. I mean, it's an entire civilization full of sci-fi nerds, and I'm (as you may have guessed) kind of a sci-fi nerd. Lots of freedom, seeing new and fascinating things every day - that sounds like my bag.
I'd be happy in Independent space or as a Daoine. I'd be ok in Mechanica, but I'm not a big fan of plutocracy and the lack of immortality would be a deal-breaker for me. I don't have quite the right mindset for a lot of other civilizations. Like, I enjoy the Masquerade (they're the first civ I ever came up with and still one of my favorites), but I'm not sure I'd want to live that way myself. I'm not religious in general, so the more religious civs wouldn't work for me. The Perpetua would be totally claustrophobic for me.
I'm not sure I'd join a Society. Maybe Hospitalers or Dancers.
As for Capabilities, I'd want to get my Cognitech as high as possible, and everything else to at least 3. I might have to go for Stringtech 5, because as much as I don't want to blow shit up, I would love to be able to make my own wormholes.
Hmm. Can we include fan civilizations?
Sorry for the delay - I'm on call this week and the help desk guys are reaching for the paging system a lot.
Tricky. There are so many things that appeal to me. Immortality. Serial experience. Freedom. Equality. Liberation. Sensation. Adventure. Terror (for others, thanks).
Wonder. After some thought I narrowed it down.
- Replicants - Immortality, sensation and enough time to do something with it.
- Daoine - Because they're what I'd want to be in so many ways.
- Stardwellers - Freedom, liberty, equality, exploration and some truly amazing conventions.
- Nanori - Nanotech experimentation taken far and fast, then blended into the people. Just think of the possibilities.
- Tao - The part of me that adores reading history and thinks that it would be fun to experience it - minus the uncomfortable bits - would delight in the Tao.
- Hedonia - Another one I came up with and it sounds like a nice plact to visit and live. And vacation from.
- Data Angels - I joke I have the mind of a hacker. On a flashdrive on my keyring. But still, wouldn't it be cool to live somewhere like that? Where the hacker ethic was ubiquitous?
- Nou Occitan - For the same reasons I like the Tao, but not as tied to history. Plus the idea of a high tech duelist appeals to this beat up old fencer.
So which of the 8? I'm genuinely torn between the Replicants, Hedonia, Nou Occitan and the Data Angels. And if it's 2nd edition, I'd probably go with dual citizenship in Hedonia and the Data Angels. Maybe Nou Occitan.
Trickier, and Colin did a good job coming up with things to catch my attention. If I went with the dual citizen, I wouldn't be able to have a society. But I'd be interested in the following.
- New Worlders - Again, the hacker in me and exploring how people live with technology.
- Wargamers - Duh. I'm here aren't I?
- God's Janitors - Especially if I went Replicant, Nanori, Daoine or Stardweller.
- Technomagi - Possibly the best reason to go against dual citizenship. "Hey look over there!" And then make off with their data… Or whatever else amused me.
A Nou Occitan Wargamer and Technomagi would probably be very hard to take. A Data Angel New Worlder would hopefully be fun for everyone at the table.
Sticking with Hedonia and Data Angels (and converting by dividing by two and rounding up), I'd go Bio 3, Cog 5, Nano 5, Meta 3,String 2, Chron 3.
For expertise, I'd go with Master and Adept. Professions would probably be: Hacker, Courtesan, Athlete (Fencing), Athlete (Juggling), Programming, Crisis Control, Medical, Engineer (Cognitech), Researcher (Cognitech), Explorer (Datasphere), Spacer and Locality for Replicants, Daoine, Stardwellers, Tao (especially if it gets me backstage!) and Nou Occitan.
And with that, I itch to blow my budget, buy a nice hard copy and make some characters, then find a group…
In all likelihood I'd join the Stardwellers, the Daoine, or the Nanori. Perhaps the Replicants, too. The Stardwellers because they are one of the most advanced civilizations, their culture is very appealing, and living among them promises an endless parade of wonders, what's not to like ? The Nanori seem a good alternative for the same reasons and I like their mindset too, although I'd be a frequent traveler and the suit requirement to visit other civilizations sure seems burdensome. However I expect their advanced technology can make the suit much more like a skintight costume and much less like bulky OTL hazmat or space suits. The Daoine because they are still an advanced society and their attitude to life resonates with my own. The Replicants' dedication to immortality appeals to me, although I'm not sure I'd be able to cope with their lifestyle.
The Tao society seems interesting enough to be a recurring tourist but not a permanent member, their values appeal little to me. The Logicians' values I approve of but they are too hierarchical for my tastes. The Spacers' ethos is appealing but they look like the backward, poor person's version of the Stardwellers. The other Civilizations' lifestyle and values do not appeal to me at all, or even register to me as incomprehensible or deluded fools.
Regardless of the Civilization I pick, I'd surely maximize my Capabilities. I'd want Biotech 5 and Stringtech 5 to be immortal and live like a bloody superhero, and Cognitech 5 because there is no such thing as too much brainpower. Nanotech 5 and Chronotech 5 because total sensory awareness and never having to regret my choices certainly seem appealing. Metatech 5 seems a little less strictly necessary to my ideal lifestyle but it seems enticing being a master of the social field for once.
I'd try and join as many Societies I like as I can afford in terms of committment, perhaps even at the price of making my Civ membership nominal. The Societies I'm interested in include the Explorers (let's tackle that final frontier), the Hyperevolutes (I approve what they try to do and the benefits they provide), the Instinct-Builders (ditto), the Technomagi (being a magitech wizard ? sign me in), and one among the Musashi Flex or the Wargamers (too much pacifism makes existence boring, even in utopia).
I like what the Breathstealers try to do, but I expect immortality would make it kind of obsolete most of the time. The Artisans and CAPP are interesting, but I do not have an artistic bone in my body and I do mind the mental instability and total social exposure. The CAPP lifestyle seems rather claustrophobic, I already find OTL social media intrusive.
In any case I'd pick Omnicompetent and Temporal expertise. There is no such thing as too much knowledge, I always admired polymaths, and I fancy generalist characters. I think I'd want my Spy familiar, security issues be damned.
I would choose to be in the Patent Office universe, as it's probably the biggest, most optimistic, and most advanced tech-wise SA universe.
And I would live with the version of the Nanori from Chronotech. That civilization is right up my alley.
For Capabilities, I'd choose Metatech 5, Cognitech 5, and
Chronotech 5 for all the useful thinking abilities, and Biotech 5 for immortality and cool stuff.
Stringtech 1 though as I can't see it as too useful and having to recharge would be a pain, although having inbuilt batteries would be nice.
Nanotech 3 is fine, dermal microbots sound so useful, but I wouldn't really need the massively enhanced supersenses or other junk of the higher levels.
I would definitely be Omnicompetent and with Temporal Expertise, and I'd pick up Satori for the Engineer/Researcher Biotech Professions.
For Societies I'd join both the Hyperevolutes and the Instinct-Builders.
Ooh, I really like this thread. I find it so interesting to read about how others see themselves in a theoretical future society like this.
Disclaimer, I'm leaving Chronotech out for now because I haven't given it a proper in-depth look yet.
For me, the civilization is a tough call between the Masquerade and the Tao, but in the end I think the Masquerade has to take it. Their Core Values line up reasonably well with my own, they're a high-enough-tech civilization that I would be capable of achieving pretty much any augmentation I could want, and if I'm being totally honest here, I love their entire aesthetic. Masks are my jam.
The Tao gets strong consideration for appealing to me as an actor, history student, and LARPer; being able to not only live in a high-tech reconstruction of a time period I'm interested in, but one that's subtly altered to make everything simultaneously more dramatic and less dangerous sounds like it would be the experience of a lifetime. But in the end I think it loses to the Masquerade by virtue of its potential to become overwhelming after a while. (Side note, examining why I like the Tao just now gave me an idea for a new society.)
The Stardwellers are of course an appealing choice, but beyond being cool in general there's no "hook" that draws me to their culture the way there are for others. I like the Disciples for their spirituality and devotion, but it's not a big enough part of my life for me to devote myself to it exclusively. I would certainly look into getting one of their weightless sleeping chambers for my home, though. And then there's the Daoine and Nanori, who fall into a similar category of "extremely interesting and would love to visit, even for long periods, but probably not live there." In the case of the Daoine I could see myself just as likely to choose a Celtic-themed Tao world.
Societies are a bit of a tougher decision for me. As tempting as it is to say the Technomagi, as a huge B5 fan and one who secretly finds their aesthetic pretty cool, I know I don't have quite the mindset for their group. Something like the Breathstealers or Dancers seems more likely in appealing to my spiritual side; or the Instinct-Builders for my pragmatism; or the Musashi Flex if we approach the society as a hobby rather than something life-defining.
Assuming we do still have a metaphysical Import score incentivizing us not to go ham and jack every enhancement through the roof (maybe in this thought exercise, it just dictates how often circumstances tend to swing in our favor?), I'd like to put my capabilities somewhere around Biotech 3, Cognitech 4, Metatech 5, Nanotech 3, Stringtech 2. Still assuming the existence of Import, I'd probably stick with Professional or Master expertise, divided in some manner between Artist (acting and drawing), Athlete (HEMA), Researcher (Metatech), and Outdoorsman. Maybe some Localities with the Tao/Disciples/Nanori/Daoine substituted in there. Without worrying about Import, I'd probably spring for Omnicompetence.
Finally, my Core Values would probably look something like Anonymity 2, Identity 3, [Society CV varies], Diversity 3 (and Self-Preservation 5, of course).