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Luke Green
12-22-2013, 03:26 PM
Okay, going to paste the stuff we've already said here:




Okay, since people seem okay with the basic premise going to open for vote discussion some world elements:

Should this be an Alternate History Earth or a setting entirely of our own?

Either way, I prefer a sort of modern cultural development...possibly with standard tech alongside sorcery....mass media, voting, pop culture, etc...

Which would sort of make this magi-tek, magi-punk, magi-noir or such.
Like Stop Notifications December 17 at 10:58pm

Seen by 13
ML John, Sue Sherman and 2 others like this.
Xao Thao I'd go for an alternate earth-history, one where instead of this and this, that happened and that's how everything changed. I like the idea of anyone with magic being techie...especially because it requires brains to do both.
December 17 at 11:17pm Like
Luke Green Oh, I wouldn't say everybody magic is also techie...would say there might be some cross over
December 17 at 11:18pm Like
Xao Thao okay...some. I prefer not to think that the magical are fools.
December 17 at 11:18pm Unlike 2
Fiona Skye Shadowrun-esque universe, anyone?
December 17 at 11:37pm Like 3
Xao Thao I like dark and creepy. *lol*
December 17 at 11:47pm Like
Sue Sherman Fiona - My thoughts exactly!
December 17 at 11:52pm Like 1
Sue Sherman And yes, I like the mix of magic and tech. Say maybe tech devloped by those who don't have magic?
December 17 at 11:53pm Like 3
Xao Thao I like that. It could be like...their way of contributing or feeling like they belong in that place. I never thought about it like that before. Great job thinking, Sue Sherman!
December 18 at 12:00am Like 1
Sue Sherman Humans are adaptable, if they can't do something, they're going to find ways of doing it. It'll take awhile, but they eventually get there.
December 18 at 2:03am Like 2
Luke Green Indeed. And Shadowrun is good. It has that "veneer of civilization" while being really a dark-ages setting dominated by warlords and robber-barons.
December 18 at 10:32pm Like 1
Luke Green But still having some places where a pleasant life is possible
December 18 at 10:32pm Like
Luke Green should we use the Earth map and ancient world stuff as our setting, or work on our own world entirely and are own cultures?
December 18 at 10:35pm Like
Em Ray I'd like to do something of our own, but that might be too much work.
December 18 at 11:00pm Like
Luke Green Earth gives us the various real-world pantheons to play with, indeed
December 18 at 11:13pm Like
Em Ray I think if we do, we should make an effort to include some stuff that isn't usually seen.
December 18 at 11:14pm Like
Luke Green indeed...there's lots of rarely used stuff from history...
December 18 at 11:36pm Edited Like
Xao Thao Earth should be like a blueprint...the world we create can had a hot pink sky and purple grass and yellow oceans...but at least we'd have something for reference. Earth gives us a reference as to what is possible and what can be possible.
December 18 at 11:36pm Edited Like
Luke Green Are we fine with a Shadowrun-esque mix of science and magic then?
December 18 at 11:38pm Like 2
Xao Thao I vote GO.
December 18 at 11:39pm Like 1
Sue Sherman Yes, I love the mix of magic and tech.
December 18 at 11:47pm Like 1
Pamela Lexy Wolfe Hineman If I can pry my head out of my own worlds... I've only so much cranial capacity these days.
December 18 at 11:59pm Like 2
Ian Sell I'm always down with magic and tech. What we need is something original as a hook to separate it from Cyberpunk and Shadorun though. What...I don't know, but then that's the fun of having a hub of creative minds tossing ideas around. Bound spirit netork instead of the internet in a deus ex machina style or something.
December 19 at 12:15am Like 3
Ian Sell Actually, that's fairly nasty. No one dies per se. Heaven is a storage bank of collected souls which are distributed through inovcation in order to suck out their knowledge. You could have soul catchers whose role is to turn up at scenes where someone has died just to capture the departed's spirits and dump them in the resource bank either willingly or unillingly. Would create all manner of invocations as the spirits were forcefully tapped into. No knowledge or experience would be permitted to be lost from history, reducing life to a resource. People would be conflicted: Learn a lot, become gifted and you live on as a reusable ghost. Equally, if you wanted to just die, you'd be terrified of your own success.
December 19 at 12:28am Edited Like 4
Fiona Skye Holy sh...er, cow! I LOVE that idea!
December 19 at 12:25am Like 1
Ian Sell I have some strange concepts when I have the shakes and a stinking headache *grin*
December 19 at 12:29am Like 1
Xao Thao Strange concepts are what makes things interesting! *lol* Hope you have no more shakes and headaches, but plenty more cool concepts!
December 19 at 12:36am Like 2
Sue Sherman I agree, hopefully no more headaches, but that is a fabulous idea about the spirits.
December 19 at 2:08am Like 2
Sue Sherman If we go with Ian's idea, what if tech arose because people wanted to avoid that kind of fate?
December 19 at 2:41am Like 1
Luke Green Could lead to the rise of new cultures vis a vi democracy v monarchy. Or rationalism v religion.
December 19 at 6:27am via mobile Like 1
Ian Sell The scope for it is fairly large, leading to a number of different paths a story writer could take, including theological belief systems vs the use of souls, soul catchers questioning the morality of what they're doing, geniuses trying to hide intellect because they believe in reincarnation or God, kooky style partnerships between the living and invocated dead, the shunning of spirituality entirely through tech use etc etc. There's a heap of perspectives up for grabs within it.
December 19 at 6:36am Like 1
Luke Green The odd thing here is its starting to paint the tech types as more religious and sorcery types more atheistic.
December 19 at 6:44am via mobile Like
Ian Sell Yup. Spins the whole thing on its head. I like spinning things on their heads. Makes me feel like a breakdance puppet master.
December 19 at 6:46am Like
Luke Green Speaking in broad swaths.
December 19 at 6:47am via mobile Like
Sue Sherman I actually could see certain religious types not wanting their souls sucked off into something.

I was going to say I wouldn't want my soul sucked off like that, but who am I kidding? Getting be part of the internet? Especially if you're allowed to do stuff in it? That probably would be close to heaven for me.
December 19 at 7:25am Like
Luke Green Hmm. How long has this reservoir of knowledge existed? Perhaps such things have been around for ages only now they're pushing to link up these different reserves. And perhaps some corps or similar big organizations pressuring groups to start a mandatory preservation program.

An alternative where the ghost records their knowledge and then passes on could have been developed and seen as less secure against loss. Real life methods of books and computer data and recordings even more so.

If a country is relatively small with a reputation for having brilliant citizens I could see a case for threatening war or coming in to preserve knowledge regardless of the smaller country's laws.

I could see it as a Cold War source save that making the reservoir a pervasive presence would mean most nations would have it to some degree.

Also this answers part of a future question I was set to ask: the nature of spirits and ghosts. But I'll open another discussion thread for that.
December 19 at 7:57am via mobile Like 2
Luke Green I just imagined a ghost's rights protest group.
December 19 at 8:12am via mobile Like 2
Luke Green Hmmm. Should use Earth map and name things off rather mythical names like Atlantis, Hyperborea, Muat and so on?
December 19 at 10:59am via mobile Like
Sue Sherman Might not be a bad idea.
December 19 at 11:13am Like
Luke Green Though Muat would be one of the heavens, actually. Shouldn't take too long to find the old names for different places.
December 19 at 11:13am via mobile Like
Luke Green how about this:

China and the Vikings both attempted to colonize Northern America, but those colonizes ended up being abandoned by their cultures due to cost and getting assimilated into the North American culture. America (needs a new name) remains a melting pot, dominated by native cultures and influenced by heavy Chinese and Viking minorities. They are a rather modern culture with slightly more freedoms, but a lot of the inter-tribal conflict of old is translated in modern days in the business world.

you know...I'm tempted to pull out my World Building guide and rolling a random history and seeing what y'all think then us tweaking it to fit our desires.

The best part is, if we use alternate names for everywhere, it'll have the character of being an entirely other world.
December 19 at 4:39pm Like 1
Ian Sell I like the idea of basing on our world but not, for sure. Also like the idea of separate condensed cities which share the theme. It means as writers we possess a premise but also have our own little spots to play with. Allows for continuity to exist without stepping on one another's toes. Kinda like the old "Different sectors of Japan" style. You can influence one area without changing the entire country, yet still maintain the ambience as it were. Chinese, Native American, European and Norse influenced cultures sounds rather funky indeed. Lots to be played with there, like we're throwing in 2 more cultures to Bladerunner's Asian and American combo.
December 19 at 10:24pm Like 1
Ian Sell I envisioned a funky scene last night actually, where a city was having a live performance from a girl who had been training her voice in preparation of invoking one of the greatest singers of yesteryear for a show beyond the grave. Ticket sales would be huge, as would the buzz around the city. The waiting list to invoke said soul would be long, especially as her family held the rights to it to protect copyright, but had agreed for a large sum to allow the soul to be used for a one off grand spectacular.
December 19 at 10:31pm Edited Like 1
Luke Green right, interesting
December 19 at 10:46pm Like
Luke Green and modern-ish city-states as opposed to modern states would be interesting...and would go along with the Shadowrun-esque attitude...because a lot of the cities in SR seem nations to themselves
December 19 at 10:48pm Like 2
Sue Sherman Depends on the city in Shadowrun. Seattle is technically part of the UCAS, but tends to do its own thing. The large nation states are largely broken down into much smaller nations. I believe Hong Kong is now independent.

But we can totally do the city-state thing though.
December 19 at 11:51pm Like 1
Luke Green Hmmm

"Once upon a time, there were empires that stretched over much of the world. Then came colonies and the old empires were replaced by city states. Or so the books say. Really there are still empires. They're just defined on merchant companies rather than by nation or even race. Minzu, People, Teuta. Doesn't matter what you are so much as who signs your check book."

Something like that?
December 20 at 8:19am via mobile Like 3
Sue Sherman Yes, that would be perfect.
December 20 at 8:51am Like
Luke Green Incidentally. Zhonghua Minzu basically means the nation or race of the Middle Kingdom. And Teuta is apparently a early Germanic word meaning People. I got lazy with the Native American equivalent. I'm sure there's something better and more obscure we can use.
December 20 at 11:08am via mobile Like 2
Sue Sherman Either way, it sounds cool.





Keeping it easy to track different topics.

On the discussion of the nature of spirits.

I figure people have two main categories of thought with a lot of people split between them. ...See More
Like Stop Notifications December 19 at 8:12am via mobile

Seen by 10
Sue Sherman I'm still mulling it all over, but I think keeping it vague would be best.
December 19 at 9:47am Like 1
Luke Green Vague would allow the most variety of issues and ideas
December 19 at 10:14am via mobile Like
Sue Sherman That's the thought. I'm still thinking over the rest.
December 19 at 10:16am Like
Sue Sherman So far I can see a few different things. Not just the aesthestic sorcerers, but there can also be religious ones. After all, being able to guarantee an afterlife could be attractive to many people. Maybe have some of the greatest religious icons be sor...See More
December 19 at 11:56pm Like
Luke Green Awesome. I'd expect demons, angels and Fae could be present as well.

Should make a good list for deciding on spell effects and/or the sorts of supernatural born humans and creatures around.

Let's keep up with the discussions.

Does anybody have more to add to the concepts of spirits and world history?

Sue Sherman
12-22-2013, 04:42 PM
I know we discussed there was once major empires that had gotten broken apart into smaller states, either nation-states comparable to what you see in Europe, or city-states. My thought is that there had been some sort of event (either a ritual or even a natural disaster) that caused the spirits to rampage. That resulted in the empires being broken apart due to everyone out for themselves and the assorted binding of spirits so that can never happen again.

Then later someone discovered that similar bindings can be placed on those who have one foot in the normal world and one foot in the spirit/magical world due to the magical portion of their nature. Because of the mortal portion of their nature, the bindings can be made permanent.

Lexy Wolfe
12-22-2013, 04:51 PM
I will definitely need a map to visualize this and keep track of landmark names. Will there be any No Man's Lands between the remaining states/nation-states/major cities/etc?

Sue Sherman
12-22-2013, 07:35 PM
I knew I was forgetting something. :)

There should be wastelands of some sort, which would be another part of the reason why the empires never reformed. That would also be another reason why tech came about. With the right tech people can cross the wastelands since magical protection isn't worth squat.

Luke Green
12-23-2013, 12:10 PM
I knew I was forgetting something. :)

There should be wastelands of some sort, which would be another part of the reason why the empires never reformed. That would also be another reason why tech came about. With the right tech people can cross the wastelands since magical protection isn't worth squat.

Hmm, because summoning and binding spirits draws trouble like flies to rotten meat.

Sue Sherman
12-24-2013, 04:13 AM
Hmm, because summoning and binding spirits draws trouble like flies to rotten meat.

Exactly!

Hm, for some reason I have a mental image of a busy street market at night. Not only is there the glow of neon lights, street lights and store front lights. But there's also the glow of spirits swirling about their summoners in assorted fantastic shapes: dragons, phoenixes, mermaids, etc. Balls containing amorphous spirits (usually ones too contrary to be forced into any one shape). The people are dressed in intricate robes of priests or sorcerers, toughs in motorcycle leathers and chains, twentysomethings in their clubbing gear.

Luke Green
12-24-2013, 03:59 PM
Exactly!

Hm, for some reason I have a mental image of a busy street market at night. Not only is there the glow of neon lights, street lights and store front lights. But there's also the glow of spirits swirling about their summoners in assorted fantastic shapes: dragons, phoenixes, mermaids, etc. Balls containing amorphous spirits (usually ones too contrary to be forced into any one shape). The people are dressed in intricate robes of priests or sorcerers, toughs in motorcycle leathers and chains, twentysomethings in their clubbing gear.

Which I guess brings up the question of summoning classifications.


I'm thinking there's several sorts of summonings:

Tasks: where the spirit is summoned to perform a specific task ranging from "strike X target", "heal this person" or "deliver this message" or "make that person/animal pregnant". These are short lived and often similar to the sort of things that we see performed by "spells" in other settings.

Service: where the spirit is bound for long term service and takes on the perceptible terms above. Perhaps acquiring freedom after a certain number of services or a passage of time (year and a day likely for Fairy Tale fans)


Should they be able to do caster type stuff (quick summonings/spells a la other fantasies) or should they have to pre-summon things that are bound for a single task and just use it as needed?

IE, vancian "Spell per day" style prepartory rituals where the spells per day are the limit of the spirits you're able to keep on hand, or else summon on demand?

Sue Sherman
12-25-2013, 01:09 AM
I've always favored the ritual based summoning. That just fits in my brain.

Also, don't forget familiars, in a society like this, I'm sure familiar spirits would be pretty popular.