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Yeah, I was considering making things like "One syllable from list A and two from list B and an ending from list Q" but I just knew I'd end up botching it. I like this better, even if it took a surprisingly long time to come up with the last few. I just ran out of steam for two days around the Sovereigns, and even then I was very glad to find someone online who was already compiling a list of gender-neutral honorifics and titles.

More Schema of Althienne speculation/questions on what that means for peoples concepts of Justice in the Basin.

1. Weregilds/Blood Money/Blood Mana is totally a thing and people recognize that as a form of restitution.
2. Vendettas being prohibited I'm assuming means family vs family blood feuds are illegal.
3. Is legal dueling closer to judicial combat like here?
Is it closer to matters of honor/demanding satisfaction? Both? Something else? Or is it just something to interpret in whichever way lets you have the fight scene you want?

Basically, justice in the Great Basin has very pre-Christian sensibilities, assuming I understand the schemas implications correctly.

I like it. Looks better than what I would have done, being erratic and random with my names to avoid and minimize real world cultural connotations. Full on Aeris and Bob, everywhere. With a lot of names from India floating around due to the Mahabharata inspiration.

I started writing sample characters and realized I still didn't have good ways to name them. I've been putting this off, but it was time to put on my hip-waders and deal with them.

Civilizations in SA used (for the most part) real-world naming conventions. This was because those civs were inspired by bits and pieces of real-world cultures. SsA doesn't have that.

Naming conventions are not neutral things. If the citizens of the Geometer's Guild have names that sound like traditional English names, that has meaning. It ties the Guild's behavior to British manners and British imperialism. It makes Guild members look white in people's minds even if the text might say otherwise. (Right now the text is intentionally silent on this matter.) If Guild names sound Chinese, or Igbo, that says something too. Names that are similar to names in our own world help people envision people and cultures, but they also unavoidably tie civilizations to real-world nations and races in ways that might or might not be desirable.

I could dodge this by writing naming conventions that create new words, but that don't sound like any names in our world. That's difficult too. Writing a the guidelines is easy, but one language's "semi-random collection of syllables" can sound very close to real words or names in a different language, either in actuality or in the common imagination. With a dozen civilizations, it's fairly likely that this would happen just by coincidence, even without factoring in my own unconscious bias.

So I'm going with descriptive names - names that have meaning directly in the civilization's own language, rather than in some older language. Communion might translate the rest of a sentence with the name "Matthew" intact, but Mystery won't let you forget that it means "Gift of God", so I'm going to present all the names in SsA as if they were literal descriptives.

Note: there are some cultures in our world who traditionally use descriptive names. These peoples have been intentionally and extensively oppressed for centuries, and it's still happening today. Their culture has been stolen from them and used by people who have no understanding of it, even when they've specifically asked for people not to do that. So let's not create names that mimic names from those cultures. Instead, let's build names for each SsA civilization out of what that civilization cares about.

  • Cult of the Empty Grave - Two words, separated by a space. Close friends might shorten them to one of the two words.
    • History and time. Spun Hours, Proud Litany, Wise Tradition
    • Compassion and charity. Kind Word, Surgeon's Heart, Warm Hand
    • Beauty, often with light or darkness. Glorious Brightness, Shadow's Smile, Onyx Grace.
    • Names are sometimes chosen later in life as people discover facets of themselves. Someone born as Bright Eye might later take the name Flowering Compassion.
  • Diadem - Diadem names can be made using any of the other conventions listed here, or any other convention. Name changes are regular but infrequent, perhaps every twenty to thirty years. Gentlemen residents typically take names involving money, allies, or worldly power. Ladies more often take names about strength, intelligence, and concrete innate attributes. Non-binary peers most often take on names about ephemeral attributes, like grace, luck, or fate.
  • Geometer's Guild - Names are habit-nouns of a word or two, but are given "of" a location. When they introduce themselves to those from more distant locales, the "of" becomes more specific. (e.g. "… of Seventh Street of the City of Flowers of the Fifth Guild.")
    • Men typically have names of obedience, propriety, wisdom, or hierarchy. Prudence of High Canal. Ascendency of the First City. Duty of Eighteenth Boulevard. Justice of Blue Hamlet Eight.
    • Women typically have names involving becoming, movement, building, or change. Revision of the Yellow House. Arrival of Mirth Cavern. Ascension of Broken Circle. Commencement of Club Avenue.
    • Names in the Guild rarely change unless someone lives in a new place for over a decade. If someone does decide that they'd rather be called by another name, it rarely sticks. Most people would rather appreciate an ironic name than have to learn a new one.
  • Glimmermere - Flowery descriptions, shortened in conversational use.
    • Colors and shapes with emotions. Bold Burgundy Arc of Completion (Arc). Excitement's Bright Green Spire (Spire). Building the Nonsense Notion of Blue (Blue).
    • References to their present form. Unreasonable Beauty of the Umber Eyes (Beauty). Last Gleam of the Cerulean Skin (Gleam). Long-legs the Stilt Walker (Legs).
    • Names change with forms in Glimmermere. Someone who makes a long-term shift from a human shape to a draconic shape would likely take on a new name, regardless of whether it's a reference to their form or not.
  • Golden Ægis - Most Shieldbearer names begin with a positive adjective, and then a fairly specific anatomical pose or reference. The pose is the short version. Some are different; see below.
    • Terms of humility, respect, and duty. Radiant Bowed Head. Irrefutable Open Heart. Dedicated Hand-On-Brow.
    • Terms of righteous action. Cheerful Giving Hand. Honorable Foot Forward. Meritorious Stretched Wing.
    • Descriptions of their unusual forms or abilities. This is especially common amongst the gods of the Ægis, and these names are generally not shortened even in casual conversation. The All-Blue Eye. Seventeen Wings of Destiny. Burns-With-Truth. The Inversion of Despair.
    • For those Shieldbearers who are not sprung full-grown, childhood names start with just the body part (Wing, Hand, Heart, etc.) and are expanded at a coming-of-age. A Sheildbearer who changes their name should expect to have many kind and curious kin asking about their new outlook on life. It's friendly and well-intentioned but can be a little exhausting after the tenth or eleventh time.
  • Hearth-kin - A family name followed by a personal name.
    • Family names refer to places of origin in the Worlds Beyond, or to hometrees. Most of these refer to physical properties. Deepchasm. Foldsea. Skyrealm. Goldenleaf. Squirrelhome.
    • Some personal names are an emotion or a habit. Stubbornness. Serenity. Affection. Elation.
    • Other personal names come from an events when one was born. Thunderstorm. Sun-day. Eclipse. Arrival.
    • Because most Hearth-kin change sex frequently, there are no general differences between niha, bachav, and ranan names. Personal names are often passed down from grandparents or great-great-grandparents, so name changes are rare unless one's ancestor has somehow disgraced themselves.
  • Nova - "Verb(er) of Noun(s)", or occasionally Noun-Verb(er). Different sects can sometimes be distinguished by a particular pattern, such as an added adjective or all of their nouns being from a particular class (like emotions or reagents).
    • Action verbs. Traveler of Horizons. Collector of Truths. Seeker of Novelty. Breaker of Traditions. Oath-taker.
    • Thought verbs. Watcher of Clouds. Solver of Puzzles. Judger of Wishes. Song-writer.
    • Most Commonwealth citizens change their name when it becomes clear that the old one is inappropriate. Sometimes it's hard for individuals to see when they've changed, and their friends have to throw them a new-name party.
  • Sovereigns - Nouns with farcical noble titles appended. Remember that most Sovereigns take great care to hide their genders, so titles should be kept as gender-neutral as possible.
    • Gruesome or dangerous things. Marrow, the Seven Stars Autocrat. Broken Bone, First Among Firsts of the Blood Moon. Consumption, Tsar of the Thousand Topaz Demons. Razor, Consul to the Ice Fiend.
    • Harmless things. Marigold, Khan of Shudder Chasm. Butterfly, Pharaoh of the Unwanted Dead. Fern, Minister of the Underlands. Puppy, Monarch of the Dozen Dooms.
    • It's not uncommon for someone to take a new title. It's also not uncommon for two people to have similar or identical titles (there's no central registry of them), and Sovereigns will laughingly engage in mock battle to determine who gets to be "the real Obsidian Judge of Stardock". Sometimes names change afterwards, sometimes not.
  • Those Above - Two to four nouns in succession, hyphenated.
    • Nouns of prosperity. Coin. Wealth. Home. Owner.
    • Nouns of the sky or space. Sky. Star. Void.
    • Nouns of power or magic. Mana. Leyline. Spell. Caster.
    • Nouns of authority, ambition, or power. King. Queen. Coup. Need. Seeker.
    • Combined, these produce names like Star-Coin, Void-Mana-Prince or Cloud-Need.
    • Children have no names. When adults speak to children, they say "come here, child" or "eldest, take this downstairs" or "sleep well, little one." Children are so rare amongst Those Above that few households have more than two children at a time, and most couples go decades between births. Children choose a name with their parents' help around age fifteen, but are not completely considered adults until age twenty-five.
  • Unroyal - (Word), who (deed)
    • Words of freedom. Release. Liberty. Deliverance. Independence.
    • Words of happiness. Joy. Delight. Thrill. Bliss.
    • Words of discovery. Truth. Invention. Seeker. Verity.
    • Deeds are typically short and to the point. …who pierced the mists. …who found the Iron Flame. …who built the Grand Tower. …who journeyed ever starward.
    • Names typically change only when a deed is great enough, or when an old deed becomes irrelevant. Unroyals rarely change their own names; instead, others start referring to them in a new way.
  • Worldbuilders - The (word) that (description of action). Often shortened to just the initial word, or even just its first syllable.
    • The words for men typically revolve around building, artistry, death, or the past.
    • The words for women typically revolve around scribing, discovery, nature, or the future.
    • Actions are typically related to people's jobs, but many are poetic and evocative. There's often a bit of a riddle or joke as to how exactly it describes their work.
    • A few examples: The Hunter who Finds the Truth (Hunt). The Circle that Draws Itself (Circ). The Ghost that Wakes the Land (Ghost). The Tower that Rises Again (Tow).
    • People who change jobs often change their entire name rather than just part of it. One's employment is a part of one's identity amongst the Worldbuilders.

When making names for Unruly Lands or Returner cults, remember the guidelines: make names based on what the culture values, or what they valued in the past.

P.S.: Yes, this means that the few names that are already in the setting will get changed.

Does disconnecting from self suppress immortality?

If so, I'm thinking it may be the rarest thing to disconnect from, that you only do if you have serious problems due to somebody else having a chunk of your soul.

Wanderlust sounds like a much clearer word. It took a bit for me to get wanderlust as a theory after I asked that question.

I might change the word from "travel" to "wanderlust." Stereotypically, niha like travel and are known as wanderers. If one of them left a job to go all the way across the Basin, there would be people at the old job thinking "Welp, just like a niha." Or if someone wanted to backpack across a mountain range, their friends might joke "Are you sure you wouldn't be happier as a niha?"

You know, gender stereotype stuff, just with a fantasy gender instead of a real-world one.

Cool/Thanks. You could probably get some really funky stuff that way. People trying to be Alex Mercer from Prototype, or an Ozodrin( or something.

Something I came across about Hearth-Kin gender I was wondering about. What does travel mean for Hearth-Kin Niha, which are known for that somehow in addition to their perception?

I mean, dragon breath is a thing, so if you want your flying laser bear, go for it. It won't break anything.

Would a Protean society biologist be able to make energy waves by giving themselves laser eyes or something? Or is that stretching competitive advantage too far?

That's a good one too. Speaking of the Kaleidoscope, presumably the way people find previously unknown universes is via luck and cautiously trying random travel grid exits?

Edit: Or random encounters with strange beings on other bridges you can see from the bridge you're using?

Interesting take on things. I could also see Infrastructure being used to model giant-sized characters from other parts of the Kaleidoscope, like ginormous whale-squids and insectoid hive-minds.

Resurrect? Then what goes to the afterlife? Their consciousness?

Maybe they just go nowhere and somebody needs to retrieve their soul or a shard of it to make resurrection possible?

Edit: Why would Soul Repositories be a thing otherwise if not to prevent resurrections of the dead? (Edit2: Perhaps the repos prevent resurrections by drawing people's souls in at the moment of death)

Edit3: That route might lead to radical soulpacters trying to get everybody to exchange souls so nobody has their own soul anymore so nobody has any chance of ending up in a hell. Of course that also means having somebody you trust to resurrect you in the event of your death.

Hmm. Good question. I feel like you'd need at least a shred of someone's soul to resurrect them.

For anybody who may be interested in writing from the perspective of the Golden Aegis or another groupmind, this could be useful inspiration

Idea for Artistry Augmentation. Magic Tilt Brushes integrated with people's hands.

Brainstorming on infrastructure ratings for player characters:

Group-Minds are a fairly obvious explanation for infrastructure that's already been gone into, but what do things like Starships and Cities translate into in the Sorcerously Advanced setting?

The first route I can see is playing something like Howl's Moving Castle, or Castle Heterodyne from Girl Genius. Maybe they're an ancient awakened artifact, maybe they're a modern superweapon/mobile fortress, something like that.

The second route I can see is to go full anime/somewhat Xianxia-esque with characters that can radically reshape the environment single-handedly. They are powerful enough that they literally need to be outnumbered 100 to 1 by lesser foes for the fight to be balanced(Here's an update from Forge of Destiny where Bai Suizhen and Cai Shenhua, two characters powerful enough to potentially merit infrastructure ratings fight each other briefly(

Here's a late series Naruto fight scene where two characters powerful enough to potentially merit infrastructure ratings fight each other for another example.

Things Infrastructure 1 gets a character(Sourced from Page 86 of Sufficiently Advanced 2e):

1. Teamwork bonuses if they have the largest infrastructure in the conflict(+4 for most conflicts, +6 for highly parallel conflicts)(Could be explained as War infrastructure level magic on the fly perhaps)
2. Complication magnitude reduction based on infrastructure level differences if they have the largest infrastructure in the conflict(Could be explained as utterly ridiculous defenses)
3. Their adversary experiencing advantage magnitude reduction based on infrastructure level differences if the infrastructure level 1 character has the highest infrastructure in the conflict(Seems like something that could still be explained by being that ridiculous, attack or defensewise).
4. +4 teamwork modifier in projects meaning all their project timeframes get divided by four(Could be explained as more on the fly infrastructure level magic?)
5. +2 timestep penalty to others attempting to target them with projects(Explainable as utterly ridiculous defenses still)
6. Resistance to being targeted by Themes. (Narrative protection for a Madara Uchiha tier monstrosity)

All you'd need to do is transpose the twist costs for effecting large scale groups onto the personal scale complication table. Multiplicity doesn't seem particularly essential for anything but the parallel conflicts unless I'm missing something. The character would still probably need to be Power: 10 to make sense though.

A question for soul related business. What happens if a character dies while their soul is completely stolen?

I've been eagerly anticipating this for a while: I'm hoping to move from InDesign as my standard publishing software to Affinity Publisher. Publisher is in beta testing now, and it looks pretty great already. It doesn't have the book support or object styles that InDesign does, but I think it's only a matter of time for those features. This will complete my transition away from Adobe, which is far too expensive for me.

I considered using Scribus, and tested it out pretty extensively with my work at Stranger Creations, but it has a mediocre interface and some bizarrely missing features. I was keeping my fingers crossed for about two years just hoping that Affinity would create something like Publisher.

I'm planning for the beta release of SsA (December? Early 2019?) to be the first thing I release using Affinity Publisher. The alpha version will stay on Google Drive because it's already there, but it's already so long that Google Drive is starting to chug on it.

For those who are curious, Pixelmator is my standard graphics editor, but I do own Affinity's Designer and Photo software. If you're doing more with actual photos or professional vector design, Affinity is the way to go. If you just need a photoshop-esque program with a trimmed feature set (which is my standard need), Pixelmator is slightly cheaper and also great. Also, if you need to convert, I dunno, 1000 images from BMP into PNG with a specific color set as transparent and all of them rotated 90° clockwise, or things like, that I highly recommend GraphicConverter, a program that knows exactly what it's about and does just that. I occasionally use JPDFBookmarks to add bookmarks to PDFs that I didn't make in InDesign.

Publishing software by Colin_FredericksColin_Fredericks, 14 Sep 2018 19:16

Yup! Wandering kung-fu necro-monks.

And your speculation about the Soulpact's actions seems fairly accurate to me. They're a small group, but they could still definitely have factions.

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