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Currently, Stringtech requires: "You need electricity, plain and simple. Plug into a wall jack in an enhanced civilization for about an hour. In lower-tech surroundings you may need to plug directly into an electrical substation", and I think that's kind of weird, at least at Stringtech 4 and 5 when you get inversion.

Inverting just one gram of matter produces 1.8 * 10^14 J . That's about ten times more energy than a modern nuclear plant produces in an hour[1].

On the other hand, if you're only 99% efficient at using the energy, then you have to dissipate 1.8 * 10^12 J of energy, which, if released all at once, would be an explosion of about half a kiloton TNT-equivalent.

Given these numbers, it seems much easier to imagine a world like Mass Effect 2, where you have to replace your heat-sinks[2] to keep shooting, than one where you have to plug into a wall and put several kilograms (mass) of electricity into your batteries.

Or am I missing something?

— David

[1]: "The Palo Verde nuclear power plant in Arizona has three reactors and has the largest combined electricity generating capacity1 of about 3,937 MW." — tools/faqs/faq.php?id=104&t=21

4 GW * 3600 s = 1.44 * 10^13 J

[2]: I feel like you probably get these from a municipal power plant, and then send them back nice and hot for use in a Rankine cycle or something.

Stringtech Needs by David McK-BDavid McK-B, 26 Nov 2017 18:51

It has been three months since my concussion.

A month ago, I thought it might just be another week or two until I was back to normal. This wasn't the case. Despite multiple doctors' opinions to the contrary, the recovery has taken another two months, and it seems likely to be another month before I'm able to handle everything I once could. All in all, I was out of work completely for 2 entire weeks, and on half-time for another 11. HarvardX has treated me very well during this time.

I've seen two different nurses and two different doctors at HUHS, including my PCP. I have not seen a specialist because everyone I saw uniformly recommended against seeing a specialist. One of them, Dr. Kenneth Gold, was also an incompetent moron and I recommend that anyone with a concussion avoid him. If you have an appointment and it turns out to be with him, walk out of the room and ask for your co-pay back.

I've been struggling with depression since week 3. Thankfully I started looking for a therapist right away, and there was an opening earlier than they expected, so I have had mental health support from about week 6. Without that I would have had a much harder time.

The most painful part of this was not the headaches, it was feeling like I wasn't myself. In the worst days, I couldn't do anything but sit in the dark. Ten minutes in bad lighting could turn even my best day into a bad day. That meant walking into and then right back out of restaurants, sometimes five restaurants in a row, trying to find a place where my partner and I could eat dinner, all the while slowly becoming more hungry and less able to function. It meant saying "Let's go for a walk" and then needing to go back inside and sit in the dark instead. It was incredibly frustrating, and I'm sure it was frustrating to others as well.

(You know how Edison bulbs have become popular again in the past 2-3 years? Those aren't actually Edison bulbs. They're shaped LEDs rather than incandescents, so they use a lot less power and every cafe loves them. Remembering this helped me avoid a lot of bad lighting.)

While the past two weeks have been mostly good, I'm still gun-shy, waiting for a bad day to come by again. A day when I'm unable to handle any sort of light, or when I'm light-headed for hours, unable to find a comfortable place even in my own house.

I remember the day I was able to read again. I never wanted to stop. I ended up overextending myself more than once because I couldn't bring myself to walk away from the text. There were days when I used the computer until it started to hurt, then stopped… then read until that started to hurt, then wrote a little and that didn't work, then listened to a podcast and that started to hurt too, and then I lay down in bed and that wasn't enough either, so I just lay there with a cloth over my eyes. My yearning to be me again was painful and damaging, and that in and of itself was also hard to deal with.

My symptoms continue to change every 5-6 days. You might remember me saying that I had become hyper-sensitive to chemical effect on my brain (like salt, sugar, caffeine, etc.), and learned to distinguish the different headaches that came from a deficit of each one. That ability disappeared in another two weeks. The sensitivity was still there - I still got headaches - I just couldn't tell why any more.

Thankfully this has currently been replaced by an over-sensitivity to sugar in particular. It's easier to handle. My hope is that this will change too, but until it does, I have to take my coffee without sugar and save ice cream for rare occasions in small amounts. Being hungry also puts me immediately at risk. I need to eat small meals or snacks every three hours. Executive functioning is the first thing to go when my brain crashes. Strangely, cane sugar and fruit sugar seem to act differently, with cane sugar hitting me much worse.

I have no explanation for my symptoms, and no ability to predict what changes are coming. I can only watch and try to adapt.

My sensitivity to screens has diminished substantially (I was able to write this all in one sitting). Overhead LED light can still be a problem. Fluorescents can be ok, but if they're flickering, it's a nightmare. (I'm looking at you, Defenders.) All of this is dependent on my blood sugar level. Light that I can handle on a full stomach becomes intolerable if I haven't eaten.

This might all sound like it's pretty bad, but I've genuinely seen a huge improvement. Right now I'm able to handle 4 hours of work almost every day, and to do other things afterward. I still can't drive, but I can read normal books and play some video games. Comic books are still difficult, but I can read them too some days. (Current theory: they require a lot of mental interpolation for scene changes.)

I have a doctor's appointment at the end of this week that will hopefully let me go back up to 8 hours of work on the days when I can handle it. We'll see how it goes.

This is truly excellent info, very useful for giving economic background to a post-scarcity civilization, commendations for devising and releasing it. Individual sovereignty looks especially interesting as a remarkable emergent social phenomenon that has been dreamed about since the beginning of civilization, but only becomes realistic with the kind of godlike control of one's environment that SA's advanced society can provide. No doubt a certain amount of extreme individualists is going to pursue it as a form of ultimate liberation from social restraints. It effectively means cutting off most or all economic and socio-economic bonds with one's original civilization. On the other hand, in the SA setting membership in a civilization, and what makes it relevant in game terms, is subscribing to a Civ's values, more than anything else. So I would expect among the people that choose anomy, there are a few that still embrace a Civ's CV, and so belong to it in a psychological (and game) sense, even if they are socially estranged from it. And there are others that only adopt a personal set of CV and so are truly w/o a Civ in a game sense. Although at least part of the latter may choose to join a society or three, and let most of their social bonds that trascend their personal worldview to be expressed through societies instead of civilizations. Then again, in all likelihood there are also the ultimate individualists that only come to sport personal CVs.

Re: Economic Models by IriothIrioth, 24 Sep 2017 03:57

I had some inspiration on how to better explain a Data Market after reading this article:

I decided I wanted to better explain the concepts further from that. This set of examples use the Stored since they're the main example in the corebook.

Data Markets: An Analysis

So imagine you're eating at an Italian restaurant. It's very nicely simulated and yet separate from the owner/designer's home environment. It uses up quite a bit of computational resources to simulate all that good food and the sensory inputs it provides with such high fidelity (delicious). The owner's publicly available amount of processor time isn't enough to keep that going without lowering the speed he runs at, or the resolution on his home environment, body, or mind.

So the owner requests that customers provide some of their own intellectual bandwidth to support the experience and keep the business going. The owner is borrowing the computational resources of the customers who want to see them continue making good food like this! It's not even very costly since as long as the clientele remains a good size the expense can be spread over multiple minds. This way the business owner can maintain their body and home environment in the quality they desire while still keeping the service available. If you get popular enough with this service you might be able to increase your prices a bit and have some extra bandwidth to invest into other business opportunities, or to spend on a better simulated or larger home environment for yourself.

Or say you're a group of psychohistorians who do cultural analysis and predict trends and troubles for your civilization or some subset therein. Sure most people who cared to do so could just use a competency lens to get professional skill at it and gather together into a psychohistorical task group to do this, but! Your group already exists, has experience working together, and has expertise greater than a competency lens can provide. So the bunch of you can charge prices in intellectual bandwidth to run the calculations with rather than using your own, and people will pay because they want experts to do the work for them and save them all some time. Division of labor at its finest!

Certain organizations can provide things other than discrete commodities and receive payment for them, of course. Cult leaders still exist among some digital intellects, minds with superior metatechnical training who can get people to buy into their memes and tribute their bandwidth to further "The Cause." This sort of affluence is unstable and potentially illegal depending on local ordinances. More on crime later.

Not everyone has the intellectual bandwidth to spare for everything they want to do at any given time. That's okay! You can loan out more than you have by entering into a contract with the provider of the service and agreeing to pay the agreed upon price plus interest at a later date for a set period of time, which the provider can then use however they like. Wealthy people in this system would be those who are owed a disproportionate amount of computational resources due to having a very desirable product or service, desirable enough that people will spend more than they can really spare at the time in order to get it.

What do poor people look like in this system? Well, you are certain to start with enough computational resources to operate yourself at whatever level of Cognitch your civilization considers to be an acceptable minimum. This is true even outside of a data market. In most civilizations this would be Cognitech 3. For the Stored it would be Cognitech 5, the cutting edge, just because they have an abundance relative to their low population numbers. But this can change!

You can over-loan your intellectual bandwidth for non-essential services and be contractually obligated to provide it for a set period of time. But you don't have much to spare, do you? The consequence of this is having to lower the speed you run at, or lowering the resolution of your simulation - or even your mind! In a worst case scenario a mind can be running slower-than-baseline with lower Cognitech until they've paid off the agreed upon amount. At this point you're less intellectually capable and prone to worse economic decisions, so you'll often compound your problems. Some minds instead shut off for the duration of the contracted period if they get this deep in debt; it pays off faster.

Most crime in a data market is centered around the illicit acquisition of intellectual bandwidth. This can be done mostly directly through botnets, malware, and other illicit cyber security violations that can steal resources directly, but they are short term solutions at best. Any civilization complex enough to have a mature data market economy will have a robust security apparatus for this, and a trick that works one time will rarely keep working. More enterprising criminals invest in memetic viruses which can redirect peoples' interests so they'll loan out their bandwidth "willingly."

What is the difference between a memetic virus and an advertising campaign? Consent. In most data markets a memetic advertising campaign has to request permission to take up your computational resources. You can refuse, and anyone hosting the campaign will have to back off for a set period of time before trying again. A memetic virus will assault you and alter your views without prompting, and by the time you've figured out what happened you probably won't mind it much. Worse, you might become a carrier for the meme and spread it to your peers. The end result is that you invest your mind's bounty into the criminal enterprise the virus serves.

Some classical forms of crime still persist in the form of the provision of illicit services. Say you live in a culture where copying yourself is illegal. There exist cartels, the worst of the worst, who will provide encrypted locations for people to copy themselves in without being detected by the public or law enforcement agents. This is an investment that pays off for the cartels because they now have leverage over the immature copy-group and can use their expertise in the digital equivalent of sweatshop conditions to lower the overhead of their other services. They might also make illicit copies of famous people or cutting edge researchers for nefarious purposes.

And of course, there's always a profit to be made at a remove by simply producing illegal programs and tools for other criminals to use.

Re: Economic Models by AidenWIPAidenWIP, 20 Aug 2017 16:24

Impact of Chronotech
The Idealists would use Chronotech as individuals to warn themselves away from self-destructive transformations they can't reverse once they've gone through them, and to avoid interpersonal interactions that end up violating their autonomy in the end. There is a non-zero probability that this could make the first-adopters more prone to only interacting with people who agree with them, which means they'll be gathering into group-minds and merging into new individuals more frequently. More mind-creation and immigration would be necessary to offset the population loss from their countermeasure to the echo chamber effect.

As a civilization they would use Chronotech to improve their long-term predictions and secure their safety. It will help with predicting disasters, evaluating the outcomes of futures where they create a new mind or allow someone to immigrate into their servers, and analyzing if a given consensus would impinge on their personal freedom in some undesirable way. This makes the Assembly's democratic process more efficient and less time-consuming overall.

Chronotech would become widely spread among the Assembly. Nobody would tolerate having someone else know more about them and their actions than they do. True sovereignty would require everyone to be on the same level, so everyone would be on the same level.

Likely Chronotech Score: 5, citizens 5.

Re: The Ideal Assembly by AidenWIPAidenWIP, 19 Aug 2017 15:23

Oh wow, I'd been wondering what happened to you for a while now! I'd just assumed you got invested in some other project for a while and took a break to let yourself recharge for Stardwellers. This is much worse than I'd expected. :(

I hope you're on the path to a full recovery. Not just because I adore your work and want more of it, or because I posted a ton of stuff on the forum this summer, though those are parts of it. It's because I can just begin to imagine the misery that an intellectually and creatively inclined person might experience being stuck like that.

It's awful.

My thoughts are with you.

Re: What Happened to Colin? by AidenWIPAidenWIP, 19 Aug 2017 04:27

I know there's been a bit of activity on the boards recently and I haven't been here for it. I wish I could have been, because it's always great to see people who love the game having fun with it.

Instead, I was recovering from a concussion. I fell off a stage and hit my chin on Thursday July 27th. Luckily there's no lasting physical damage, and my mental recovery is finally looking up this week. I want to give you an idea of what it was like.

The night of the injury I had a headache. I didn't realize all of the different places I had been injured - I knew I nailed my chin, my elbow, and my toe, but didn't notice my hip and collarbone until the next day. I iced my jaw, took some Advil PM (which might have contributed to the problem), and went to bed.

The next day I had symptoms that I recognized as being a concussion. I didn't know how bad it would become. I took notes at the last day of the conference, which probably exacerbated things. I flew home and tried to get some rest, deciding to see a doctor if things weren't better on Monday. They weren't. I saw a doctor.

For those who don't know, the symptoms of a concussion vary, but typically you have trouble with:

  • Looking at screens
  • Coming up with words
  • Remembering things
  • Thinking hard
  • Thinking quickly
  • Mental fatigue

Imagine that every time you think about something too hard, it feels like you just filled out tax forms for eight hours. Every time you have to try to remember something, you get a headache.

Severe concussions (which often result in loss of consciousness) lead to cranial nerve damage and all sorts of motor-neurological things, which is why they do that test when they move a finger in front of your eyes. Mine wasn't severe, but it was bad enough.

I tried to go into work half-time that week. I was useless after half an hour. I had to rest for at least another hour before I was useful again. It quickly got to the point where that rest time needed to be overnight.

At home, I tried to take "brain rest", which is all they can prescribe for you when you're recovering from a concussion. Here's what brain rest looks like:

  • Limited screen use, including computing or watching TV or movies.
  • Limited reading.
  • Limited hard thinking.
  • Limited exercise. Don't even walk too much or too far, as it can jar the brain.
  • No drinking - it kills brain cells and you just lost a bunch of those. Also, if you drink enough that you fall down and get another concussion, just go ahead and mark all of your symptoms as "permanent."
  • No driving. You cannot make decisions quickly. You also can't multitask or filter out distractions, like someone talking or music playing in the background. Do not kill someone by driving with a concussion.

I could write sometimes, but not for long, and I couldn't read what I had written afterward. I could cook, if I didn't need to look at a recipe. I could clean. My stove has never been cleaner. I could do martial arts forms slowly, but only the ones I remembered well. No trying to re-learn old forms.

This was the weirdest sick time I've ever taken in my life. Everything I would normally do while sick is on that list above. For much of the time I sat there in bed listening to podcasts until I realized that they, too, were giving me a headache. Then I just sat there in bed. Doing nothing. For hours.

The next week I took off from work entirely. (Hooray for unions and for sick time!) I went to my partner's parents' house in the Massachusetts countryside. I didn't even bring my computer. Things continued to get worse for a day or two. On the worst day, I could no longer listen to music. All I could do was to sit there in a chair in the shade, with sunglasses on, watching the clouds from when they entered my field of view until they it.

They say that depression can set in about a month after a concussion. I am not surprised.

After two weeks, things finally started looking up. I was able to read a few entries in Marvel's Guide to the Avengers without getting a headache. The next day I was able to read a few recipes. Reading from a screen was not an option, and screens are still difficult now.

I found that my symptoms varied widely while I was recovering. The feeling of pressure in my head and the fuzzy brain were common throughout. I also have trouble with fluorescent and LED lights, which are basically the only types we have in my house.

Early on I felt incredibly mentally fatigued. I slept so much that my body was probably the best-rested it has ever been. However, this was also when the sleep apnia started kicking in. If you're not familiar with sleep apnia, it's where your body stops breathing until your brain wakes up to kick it back into action. It can be terrifying. I found that doing 10 minutes of exercise before bed cleared this right up for me.

Once that started wearing off, I became hyper-aware of my brain chemical levels. If I was hungry, I was unable to put off eating for more than 5 minutes without getting a headache. The same was true if my blood sugar was low, if I hadn't had enough salt recently, if I needed water, if I needed caffeine, or if I needed protein. Each of these had its own distinct type of headache that I came to recognize over the course of about a week. This is subsiding right now, but still present.

At this point, after 3 weeks of recovery, I'm back at work part-time, hoping to go up to full sometime next week. I have some special glasses that my partner got me to cut out some blue light, which helps with screens. I can think pretty well again, though my memory isn't perfect. I can read, though I need to hold back, because I can easily read enough to give myself a headache. It'll probably be another week or two before I'm at 100%, assuming that I get there.

90% of people recover from a concussion within a month. Of the remainder, most recover within three months. Some people never recover. I am very grateful to be on the track to recovery.

To be fair, credit where it's due, I cribbed the benefit from the Technomagi in the corebook.

Re: Intelligencers by AidenWIPAidenWIP, 15 Aug 2017 01:49

Good to see more "generic" societies based on the sort of relatively mundane jobs a character might do, rather than a "secret society" or the like. I feel it makes the societies a lot more friendly toward characters who just want to be mechanically up to par without feeling obligated to join the Space Illuminati to do so.

I like that you focused this one around subtle conflicts, too. They're a mechanic I don't see much focus placed on normally.

Re: Intelligencers by The Phantom SqueeThe Phantom Squee, 14 Aug 2017 08:38

Hmm, interesting thoughts on language. I find the Stored there particularly topical, since I've observed something very similar happening already in media with the potential for branching conversation paths (Facebook reply chains, mostly). It doesn't happen very often, since I imagine our un-augmented brains simply don't like having to track two lines of conversation at once, but with that much processing power? It seems obvious in retrospect that that sort of thing would happen.

AidenWIPAidenWIP 14 Aug 2017 04:23
in discussion Setting Discussion / Your Characters » Tempo

Name: Tempo
Concept: A Self-Writing Song
Civilization: The Ideal Assembly
Society: The Artisans
Neuroform: Dataform Dynamic
Core Values: Sovereignty 4, Transcendence 3, Individuality 3, Majesty 4, Self-Preservation 4
Themes: Comprehension (Emotional), Magnetism (Friendship), Wonder (Music)
Capabilities: Bio —, Cog 5, Meta 4, Nano —, String —
Expertise: Adept (Cognitech). Omnicompetent. Professional.
Professions: Artist (Composition, Infosphere) 3, Engineer (Cognitech) 3, Programmer 3, Religious 3, Researcher (Cognitech) 3, Teacher 3, all others at 2.
Tech: 5, Import: 5

Civilization: Idealists have a competitive advantage in Cognitech.
Society: Artisans have competitive advantage in the Artisan and Media Professions. Unfortunately they are easily distracted and confused. If they would normally force a stalemate during a Conflict involving Cognitech or Metatech, they instead end up suffering a minor Complication while their opponent remains unharmed.

Tempo is an uploaded human who turned herself into a living song in the infosphere to prepare herself for a journey that should help her find the beauty in her soul.

Home Environment: The Spheres

Imagine a vast, gloaming void filled with silver outlines of orbs and ovals the size of moons. They're all in elliptical orbits around each other, all driving algorithms approximating waves of gravity created by their motions. You can hear them grinding against each other at a distance in the firmament. Then paint the sound of the waves with a kaleidoscope of colors, flowing through the black as a synesthetic aurora filled with experience and meaning, unfolding at the speed of understanding.

In this ocean of music-that-is-light swims Tempo, a line in the song of existence that shines brilliantly in the dark. With each winding pass she inexorably rises up to lead the chorus. If you've been invited here then she will guide you through it lest you drown in conceptual spaces beyond your understanding.

Tempo by AidenWIPAidenWIP, 14 Aug 2017 04:23

Part of creating the Idealists was my desire to have another civilization besides the Builders and the Stored who were focused primarily on the possibilities of life (or afterlife, in the Builders' case) as a digital intelligence. I wanted to explore other possibilities within that concept space.

They're the eccentric individualists, both constructed and uploaded, who have moved very far away from humanity already and want to keep going.

The other part was wanting to create some more isolationist sorts like the Disciples of the Void are. It allows for some more social 'spooky action at a distance.'

Re: The Ideal Assembly by AidenWIPAidenWIP, 12 Aug 2017 22:01

The Ideal Assembly

At the edge of known space is a lifeless rock cut through with tunnels of wire and metal. The surface is cut through with heat sinks and hot enough to fry an egg despite its distance from the stars. Maintenance bots and defensive nanoswarms crawl through the depths. It's surrounded by defense satellites and interdiction fields, and anything that gets too close is asked to leave. Anything that refuses to listen is made to by other means. If this world's inhabitants wanted you to interrupt them, they'd come to you.

They're busy, you see, in the servers hidden deep beneath the surface. Every one of them is a digital mind of enormous complexity living in a dimension of their own design. That dimension is as much a part of them as your organs are for you. It is their vessel, their path and journey across the only frontier that ever existed: the self. They strive to transcend into the final state of their selves, their Optimal Persona where all potential is fulfilled. For this purpose they have come together as the Ideal Assembly.

Idealists are each unique in some way. One might have transformed themselves into a living song that communicates through lenses and synthesthia, or come to embody economic exchange as a simulated market whose rapid transactions form the basis of their mind. They might have honed themselves into an avatar of strategy and dwell amid an eternal battlefield that reaches out into the outside world to test itself. Each integrates their digital dimension into their identity in some exotic way, changes their form or mind into something optimized for their way of life, or some combination of both.

The Assembly's economy is an exotic variation on collectivism. They divide their world's preciously abundant processing power equally among themselves and share it only with those they care to. Each Idealist receives enough processing power to maintain themselves at cutting edge Cognitech, and to dwell in a private digital dimension of considerable complexity. When they wish to meet they will request permission to communicate, and invest a fraction of their resources into a temporary space they can share with others.

For all their individualism and strangeness these intellects are more social than outsiders might suppose. Idealists like to brainstorm new ideas in small groups, split away to take their own spin on them, and reconvene after time has passed so they can show off the results. Sometimes a transformation in coding leaves an Idealist unable to communicate with their peers, and so much of their collaborative effort as a society is in bridging the gap between wildly divergent operating standards.

Contact between the Ideal Assembly and outsiders is infrequent. They maintain a trade of software and information between themselves and other civilizations with high Cognitech, and the occasional inventor or philospher is invited to visit and share their ideas. They generally look down on cultures that reject intelligence enhancement technologies and abhor any sort of authoritarian behavior. When an Idealist wishes to visit another culture they make a copy of themselves and transmit it to their destination. Their original self freezes in place and reactivates only to merge with the copy once it returns.

Idealists can't stand the thought of someone taking anything from them or telling them what to do; only they can define how they should be. Their government is a form of direct democracy where only unopposed decisions are enforced. Consensus is only sought in matters concerning the entire Assembly such as approving immigration requests or performing changes to the root permissions of their operating system. The Assembly can spend subjective months going over simulations and fine-tuning their decision until everyone agrees to accept it.

The Assembly would have frozen into memetic stasis long ago if not for a unique aspect of their life cycle. Anyone who becomes too memetically similar to other minds is prompted to connect with them and form a group mind. This is a temporary affair meant to facilitate a more thorough cognitive alignment. The process ends with collective's component selves giving up their share of processing power and merge together into a single smaller mind. It can be refused, but minds that similar often find they have no reason to. This makes room for new Idealists and keeps the Assembly from becoming cluttered by too many virtual clones.

Common Name: Idealists
Naming Convention: Descriptive or fanciful invented names.
Typical Allies: The Idealists have few strong ties. They can get along with younger Stored through their commonalities as solid state societies with firm individualist streaks. Stardwellers would also be popular for their dedication to ideological and physical freedom. The Nanori are kin to them with their devotion to constant evolutionary improvement.
Typical Enemies: Just as they have few allies, the Idealists have few enemies. The Builders are held in disdain due to their insistence on maintaining hierarchies among themselves. The Cognitive Union is utterly reviled for taking personal freedom from its citizens. Mechanicans are dismissed as backward bigots who can't see past their own grey matter.
Benefit: The Idealists have a competitive advantage with Cognitech. They most often use this advantage for analysis and defense against Metatech conflicts.
Civilization: Bio —, Cog 5, Meta 4, Nano 5, String 4
Citizens: Bio —, Cog 5, Meta 3, Nano 5, String 4
Neuroform: The Ideal Assembly are dataforms. Group-minds form maybe 2% of the population but are drawn to collapse and merge over time.
Core Values: Sovereignty, Transcendence

Idealists hold personal Sovereignty to be an absolute necessity. Nobody can tell you what to do with your own self, and you cannot do anything to infringe on another person or their property without their permission unless it's to defend yourself. Sovereignty drives them to seek consensus about any changes to their world's hardware, processing capacity, or root coding. Their population growth is kept in check because every new Idealist is a little less space available for everyone else - an infringement if not agreed upon.

The Assembly was gathered to seek Transcendence. They seek to achieve their Optimal Personas through intelligence expansion and existence in digital environments they can alter to facilitate their personal journeys. This value also drives them to value philosophy as a means of brainstorming new forms of thought and being.

The Ideal Assembly by AidenWIPAidenWIP, 12 Aug 2017 21:44

Where there's an economy, there's someone seeking to master it. Even civilizations without money find themselves in need of ways to allocate scarce resources such as ideas, land, or processing power, and so almost every civilization develops a caste of people who have attuned themselves to the mysteries of scarcity. Their shared expertise becomes a sharp divide between them and those who go without. It also makes them prosperous beyond the rest.

The Economists Society is a catch-all for economics experts across the universe, each devoted to the complex systems of their own civilizations. Crossover occurs when their people need someone who understands enough to translate between foreign economies - or when they scent opportunities of their own. Advanced technology has made them capable of frightening accuracy about the flow of any market.

Benefit: Members of the Economists Society have many special enhancements built into themselves. They learn business-related tasks faster, have reward systems tied to rational economic actions, and can better simulate the outcomes of their financial decisions. In game terms, Economists have a competitive advantage in the Financial Profession.

Core Value: Profit. Maximizing your gains, minimizing your losses, and coming out ahead in the end when all is said and done.

Economists by AidenWIPAidenWIP, 12 Aug 2017 20:20

Wow, I'm late to the party. Let's fix that.

I'm gonna pass on Chronotech for this just because I've never been a huge fan of it. Not that there's anything wrong with it objectively, it's just a headache to integrate even with the Chronotech supplement out. That being said…

Well at first I'd try to join the Stored just because they're the most intellectually capable faction and I'm gonna pick Dataform as my Neuroform in the end anyway. But I'd probably be convinced by them and their Metatechnical expertise that I shouldn't. I could end up a Replicant, but I don't feel like having a bunch of myself to talk to.

So I'd probably end up a Stardweller in the end. Even the basic standard of living for their poor people is great, and I'm not really put off by morphological freedom. I'd probably still end up a Dataform, and would probably be with a Mainstay Mission rather than an Armada Mission. What can I say? I'm a homebody.

For Societies I'd probably end up either a Hospitaler (I'm a social worker, so it's familiar territory) or a New Worlder (I'd be almost exclusively focused on the Infosphere in my daily life). It depends on if I think people still could use as much help in the future as I do now.

For Capabilities, I'd try to be as augmented as possible in every way, which the Stardwellers are good for, though I'm pretty sure I wouldn't trust myself with any built-in weapons. Cognitech is my priority of course, which is why I tried for the Stored first.

Re: What would you be in SA ? by AidenWIPAidenWIP, 01 Aug 2017 02:03

For my own games I've taken the liberty of making at least a surface pass over the languages common to various Civilizations. So far I only have explanations for the ones that were most interesting to me personally, or most useful for my game in particular. So, here we go!

The Association of Eternal Life: The Replicants speak an eclectic blending of Mediterranean languages that most unenhanced minds would struggle to keep up with. It has a superficial similarity to ancient Latin, but aside from personal names shares only basic grammatical structures with the tongue of the Romans. Recently it has become popular for some Replicant copy-groups to network their minds together and forego conventional language. Instead, they use their meshes and identical brains to know one another's thoughts and feelings via direct neural interface.

The Association of Stored Humans: The Stored use a family of languages that can best be described as a descendant of various Romance languages that someone grafted hypertext onto. The vast majority of Stored DIs are capable of advanced levels of cognitive multitasking, and their languages have been evolving to take advantage of this through branching parallel discourse. Stored speaking amongst themselves will often hold two or more seperate conversations simultaneously, one branching off a particular reference in another. Younger or more adventuresome Stored are experimenting with adding another layer to their conversations by exchanging snapshots of mindstates and sensation to provide extra context.

The Builders of the Great Beyond: Language is divided along generational lines among the Builders, with a few exceptions. The living and embodied still speak in descendants of various East Asian language families. The dead and digital maintain those languages for the sake of communicating with their descendants, but are in the process of exploring a wide range of constructed languages and computer code alternatives among themselves. In both cases communication exploits the extensive Builder infosphere and its highly contextual content to provide extra clarity and meaning to their conversations.

The Illustrious Stardwelling Armada: Stardwellers are difficult to generalize about to begin with. They are being almost deliberately frustrating to outsiders when it comes to languages, because they keep inventing new ones for the fun of it. They consider it polite, however, to code and provide translation software for your new language so that others can understand you if they don't feel inclined to learn whatever your Tolkien-esque brain came up with last year just to talk about your latest lithium pie recipe or something.

The League of Independent Worlds: The League made an effort to maintain and reconstruct various Old Earth languages for living use where possible. Audio samples, pre-existing translation guides, and neural meshes make this a relatively painless process. Even so, by virtue of everyday use most of these languages have evolved to have about as much in common with their original forms as Information Age English had in common with Medieval English.

The Nanori: The Nanori speak languages which superficially resemble Arabic and Persian, but have blossomed into so many dialects that native speakers of those languages wouldn't be able to make any sense of them. They also use an eclectic variety of machine languages to communicate with the nanophages and other devices that are so integral to their way of life. They teach their children these languages in song form as a handy mnemonic device for accessing the controls to their technology.

The Rationalist League: The Logicians speak and write in "Optimized Exchange," an artificial language. It was intended to avoid ambiguities caused by homonyms and other inefficient linguistic pitfalls. Every word conveys precisely what it intends to, with as little need for interpretation as possible. Members of the augmented Rationalist monarchy are prone to group-minds due to increased communication efficiency - the result of possessing meshes and removing the need for speech through direct neural interface.

Every civilization has people who prefer to achieve their goals through deception and stealth. Every civilization that survives goes out of its way to hire and train this sort of person to protect themselves from the rogue elements, and each other. This intelligence community gets to know each other over the years.

Intelligencers exist in every civilization except for the Old Worlders and some Cargo Cults. Each civilization tends to organize its spies in different ways, but the actual methods of spycraft don't vary all that much. they accumulate a shared body of skills that let them bypass and subvert the mechanisms of modern society without getting caught.

Benefits: Every intelligence community worth its salt teaches its operatives how to cover their tracks, and provides them with the tools to do so without compromising success. Thus, Intelligencers are exceptional at going unnoticed, and can take a penalty to Profession rather than Capability when engaging in a subtle conflict (see page 55). When the target of a subtle contest, Intelligencers can spend a point of Reserve to notice that the contest has begun.

Core Value: Secrecy. Keeping your actions and motives hidden from the public eye. Intelligencers receive bonuses to conceal their work and resist attempts to convince them to reveal the truth. It usually helps with covert ops in general.

Intelligencers by AidenWIPAidenWIP, 29 Jul 2017 02:57

It has been a while. Did you find any time to work on the PoD version of Chronotech? It would be nice to have, please.

Blurb: A year ago, astronaut Scott Kelly returned to Earth after the longest time spent in orbit by an American. On his trip, with Russian cosmonaut Misha Kornienko, he executed experiments designed to examine mysteries of the human body and mind. His discoveries often reached beyond science. In a preview of his forthcoming memoir, Endurance, available October 17, Kelly shares how his time in space informed his first year back on Earth.

Please don't neglect the PoD for Chronotech.

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