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monarch71

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About monarch71

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  • Birthday 06/25/1971
  1. So, where do the possibilities in a shard come from? It makes sense that a shard's possibility energy tank naturally gets re-filled over time. I also allowed players to have their characters put possibilities into shards; they generally put back as much as they'd drawn out, when they could afford it. How about this: a shard could gain a possibility whenever a possibility-rated person carrying it acts in accordance with the shard's purpose, to a maximum of once per act. Each year that the shard spends in a pure zone of its own reality could also restore a possibility. Maybe I just missed the rules that already exist, I don't know.
  2. I don't feel that Nippon Tech requires much of a re-do. Perhaps an expansion of it. I know that any time an Asian organization comes into play, players assume it's controlled by Kanawa. In one permutation of the campaign world, I plopped the Nile Empire down in Los Angeles as one of it's invasion sites. The idea was turning Hollywood into a pulp-action zone out of the old 1930's movies. They got San Francisco, too, and I was planning a Nile realm in the South Pacific for a "Tales of the Golden Monkey" theme. I moved Tharkold to Detroit, and make the Living Land into more, smaller pockets. Orrorsh dropped a subtle, mixed-zone realm in Louisiana (makes New Orleans Mardi Gras really fun...). Oh, and Aysle opened up a maelstrom bridge in the Florida Keys, with a realm covering most of the Carribean. Pirates, Aaarrrr! Just comparing notes.
  3. Makes me glad I completed my collection when West End was clearing out their warehouse stock.
  4. You can also inject some confusing chaos into the mix in the form of arbitrary strangeness. The higher the Social axiom climbs, the better understood social phenomena are; the lower, the more random social dealings seem. This follows the same pattern as other axioms. So, in the example of a Core Earth character trying to form a guard schedule, the game master could say it just doesn't work (if it causes a disconnection, that is). Minutes no longer seem equal to each other. The sun comes up before timepieces count out an hour of night. Sundials cast shadows that stand at angles that just don't help.
  5. Sounds good to me. Especially when comparing it to real-world religions; while doctrine tries to pin down very hard "truths," faith seems to defy rational or straightforward definitions... much like quantum physics. Certainly the number of deities existing in a pantheon is flexible. In Christianity, by modern doctrine, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all considered to be part of a single godhead. A similar situation exists in (some interpretations of) Hinduism, where all deities are emanations of Brahma.
  6. I can't disagree with that. It's both realistic scientifically (there are no truly instantaneous processes in the known universe), and fits into dramatic tropes. On a slightly (but not wholy) different take on the question, refresh my memory: If a character disconnects due to using an contradictory social tool, how does he re-connect, without returning to his home cosm? He needs to use the same tool that disconnected him. Let's say he tried to set up a night watch rotation in the Living Land. Does he have to try to do that again, even though he can't? Off the top of my head, I can't recall.
  7. Given. Okay, I'll take it from a different angle. What "creates" a true religion, for reality purposes in Torg? By what virtue is a religion able to give its adherents access to miracles and invocations? Possibilities: 1. There is enough pooled faith, possibly not just in the one cosm but in the entire cosmverse as a whole, to exceed some "threshold" and make the religion true. This would factor in not only the number of believers, but the strength with which they believe (their adds in Faith). 2. There is a subdimension that contains literal versions of the entity or entities that provide the power of the religion. Faith allows individuals and communities to contact that subdimension and draw the power to them. Let's not worry about where the subdimensions come from or how people learn about the religion in the first place. 3. Religions which are true are those which resonate in some way with a real, unified force that is endemic to the Infiniverse itself. This is likely to be Eternity/Apeiros, although it could be the whole dualistic entity made up of of Eternity (Apeiros) and Entropy (the Nameless One). Whatever the one force, all true religions encompass some aspect of this single, central Truth, and that allows them to draw on the power of that Truth. This is an extension of the philosophical point that all religions are one religion, seen in different lights. Now that I think of it, I support the last option, mostly because it fits my own personal beliefs, but also because it would seem to allow rationales to allow for the different possibilities that you listed as needed for dramatic roles of the Spirit axiom.
  8. I think we may have reached the point where we have to agree to disagree. Game rules are a form of reality mimesis, a simulation of real-world phenomena. No mimesis (simulation) can exactly model a real phenomenon without actually being that phenomenon. And we have reached the point at which the influence of an axiom (a rule to support a fictional trope) can simulate reality. But, to continue drubbing on the deceased equine (hopefully the horse is dead; otherwise it's suffering mightily)... Are atoms the tools of the technological axiom? That is where the physical properties that are utilized by technology originate, or, in the case of physics, are most essentially manifested. But, the way I view it, atoms aren't tools. They are the fabric of the world. Tools include the lever, the wheel, the circuit, the laser, and so on. These are concepts, Socratic ideals that can be understood by living minds and fashioned of the fabric of the universe so as to take advantage of the rules of science (or, in the Nile Empire, SCIENCE!!!). I extend this to the Social axiom. Neurons, neurotransmitters, pathways, and so on are part of the fabric of the world. Specifically, the part that is capable of being the living element of the Everlaws. The tools are, again, Socratic ideals: empathy, politics, leadership, and so on. These are used in specific instances to take advantage of the rules of social science. As usual, we're arguing about pretty small points, considering we seem to agree on all the more important points.
  9. Torg-wise, it kind of already is a type of psychic gestalt. Reality is shaped by consensus; the conceptions of the intelligent inhabitants of a cosm determine the progress of the axioms. The axioms, meanwhile, act as a force of inertia, keeping reality consistent throughout the cosm while slowing the advancement of progress (or devolution). The Spirit axiom is a sticky point, in that religion can be touchy. If the power of religion comes from the faithful, then that offends the sensibilities of those who think that their religion is true simply by merit of being true. But, in each cosm, different "truths" exist. Does each cosm have a pre-determined "one-true faith," a religion that will become dominant as the Spirit axiom rises no matter how many people believe in it, or don't? Of course, the rising dominance of that religion would cause more people to believe in it. But it's a chicken-and-egg argument. Can there be a religion followed by only one person? In our world, yes, there can be. But it's tough to separate out such religions from heresies and psychoses. Could such a belief system be supported in Torg? By the rules, kind of. There's no limit on what you can put in the parenthesis after your Faith skill. But, each cosm has a catalog of supported miracles, and you don't invent custom miracles the way you create magical spells. These points can come up easily in play. Religions are infectious memes (if you don't know the term, look it up; it's a neat concept). Once cosms come into contact with each other, religions will spread between cosms. But will the faiths?
  10. Disco. Shudder. Thanks for the compliments. I've studied the topic of social psychology recently; I just finished a graduate psychology program. So, this topic is a lot of fun for me. But, I would say that social tools couldn't actually be internal to a character. Internal aspects of a character are represented by skills and attributes in the game. These are not changed by any of the axioms, and generally don't change even if a character transforms. Okay, that's an open topic; it's really completely up to the game master. But, a character's intelligence (that is, Mind, Perception and Charisma) are internal. Social tools are something that are used to take advantage of social phenomena. This would be communication. I'll go back to basic communication training from my military days. There are three components to communication: the sender, the receiver, and the message. This is true whether you are talking about a conversation in person, a written correnspondence, a radio broadcast, or a series of smoke signals. Clearly, some of that is only possible at certain levels of technological progress (Tech axiom), but the axioms are, in fact interdependent and interconnected to some degree. Without technology, the list could also include magical sendings, psychic telepathy, or simply body language. My point was just that the Social axiom effectively acts as a limit to the effectiveness by which each of these tools can function. A low Social axiom essentially creates interference to the channels of communication. How does this manifest? In a very, very subtle manner, like an invisible barrier between sensation and perception. The distinction is that the effect is external, extending into the person only as far as perception, not personality. Intelligence is not limited by the Social axiom. Since intelligence, as it is understood in our age, boils down largely to the ability to communicate (that is, understand and manipulate symbols), this makes the whole issue very muddy, I'll grant...
  11. Hmmmm.... Well, this doesn't actually answer the question, but let me throw a couple of thoughts out. 1. Does the power of faith come from the deity/pantheon? It seems, rules-wise and, in a way, theme-wise, that the power comes from the faithful. Each person who believes in a faith, by virtue of having the Faith (whatever) skill, contributes to the pool of power into which characters of that faith who use the Focus skill tap. This comes into play in the game when a character with Focus gains more power by having a congregation of characters with Faith supporting him. Likewise, presumably, this same power is focused naturally by the specific doctrines, beliefs and expectations of the faithful to render the "truths" of the religion literally true. Specifically, the Spirit axiom molds reality to increasingly resemble the "truths" of the faith. The higher the Spirit axiom, the more reality is altered, in addition to miracles becoming more common and powerful. 2. Here's another thought that could be important: does the power of a faith reach between cosms? Is there a limit to how well it can do so? Presumably, when a cleric invokes a miracle, either on his own or with a small local congregation, he forms a connection to the pool of power that is created by the faithful of that faith. If he is in another cosm, where that faith is not significantly represented, is it more difficult to reach across the barrier between cosms to form that connection? Does a high local Spirit axiom make that connection easier or more difficult? Does the formation of a reality bubble make the connection as easy as it would be in the cleric's home cosm? I'm not really asking how things work in the current rules, but how they SHOULD work, based on dramatic need. There may not be a lot of difference between the two; all in all, I absolutely love the Torg rules. But no system is perfect.
  12. I don't know... the physical brain is only the origin of social phenomena in the same way that it is the origin of technological, magical and spiritual phenomena. In all of these cases, existing mental schema must change to encompass any advances or changes in the perceived environment. Social phenomena are not more purely mental than spiritual or magical phenomena. The term "social" refers to interactions between individuals, so as to form a system of individuals. It is based on avenues of communication. Humans are very, very good at communication, and so we are very social. I'd say that the "tool" of social interaction is the means of communication. There isn't a physical manifestation exclusive to it, any more than there needs to be for phenomena related to other axioms. What happens when a social tool breaks down? Communication fails. Empathy becomes limited; language diverges; the lack of common ground causes people to perceive other groups (and finally, everyone else) as foreign and alien. In the end, removed from all social ability, there is only the self. That self can be complex, intelligent, and capable of manipulating the physical, spiritual and occult environment, but does so as an individual. It becomes an collection of sociopaths; each person stalks through a world inhabited by things that look like him but are not people, just objects to be manipulated.
  13. Yeah, I had thought of that (the way that miracles of faiths other than the dominant faith become contradictory at high Spirit axiom levels), but I kind of skipped over it. That rule has always seemed a bit dodgy. After all, not all faiths are exclusivist. Many embrace the validity of other faiths; so, if the dominant faith of a cosm is non-exclusivist, how does this rule apply? Plus, on a dramatic note, it would mean that spiritual conflict (particularly conflict between faiths, or even interaction between faiths) would become rarer and rarer, and finally impossible, as the Spirit axiom rises. How is this similar to other axioms? You don't see one branch of science or one arcane knowledge becoming dominant in high Tech or Magic axiom levels.
  14. Of course, from the viewpoint of visitors to the realm, it really is likely to suck. Characters without adds in faith and focus skills can't get any advantage out of the higher Spiritual axiom, and they're not likely to buy any or to convert to the local religion. Here's a thought. It seems to have been assumed that communities that are transformed to Living Land reality take on the religion of Lanala. Certainly, they will be aware of the literal, pervasive and immanent presence of Lanala. However, what about groups, and even just individuals, who are highly devoted to their own religion (let's say, Christianity, as an example). For a devout individual, a person's faith is very central to his person; a conversion to a new religion shouldn't be something that can happen without a choice being made. What about a Catholic priest who transforms to Living Land reality, but remains a Christian? He can benefit from the higher Spirit axiom, but are there any other rules considerations? Certainly, he will approach his faith in a different manner than before.
  15. No, disconnection serves a distinct game purpose. I don't know, perhaps there could be better ways of managing it, but it's not entirely broken. My point is that, while taking away a character's tools (high-tech weapons, spells, etc.) is par for the course in the game, the demands of the Social axiom dig deeply into a character's behavior and thought. It's realistic within the scope of the game to have the character be unable to think in more advanced ways, but it can be very un-fun. If you pick up a gun and pull the trigger, and it does nothing, you have a dramatic situation. If you try to organize a night watch rotation and the GM tells you that you can't do that because you couldn't think of that, it's not so dramatic as it is authoritarian. If the player doesn't want to play Chaka from Land of the Lost, he shouldn't have to. Now, in cases where everyone is up for falling into primitive modes of thought, that can be very fun. My groups have always been more likely to go that route. But a world law that grants bonuses for doing so would influence the players more effectively than just a rule saying that they can't do otherwise.
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