I quite imagine the Phantom Wood in the same manner as the Elementals from Chronicles of Riddick. When the air is still the trees are the most visible, but when it blows, they become increasingly hard to see as their visible form is seemingly blown away. I also like that you provide several explanations as to what the trees actually are, but leave enough room that people trying to use it can either pick the one they like, or use all of the answers presented as red herrings for the players to chase.
Finally, I enjoyed the old school vibe of the break down of the quasi-plant and it's uses in terms of wondrous materials and spell components. Go to Comment
I like the idea, and the use of the note cards for tracking PC rep and NPC rep is handy and doesn't look like it would require too much work. I think this is a solid idea, and certainly something to rein in the murder-hobos when they start getting a little too murdery Go to Comment
An informative piece, especially with the lifting stones, and showing how hardy of a people the Icelanders are. That being said, it's a bit on the mundane side, as in somewhat lacking in the fantastic. It is a bleak and treacherous place, inhabited by stoic fishermen, where is the hook to reel a group of PCs to their shore?
Appearance augmentation in the Cosmic era is ubiquitous, which does bring up a certain paradox. There is a drive to be attractive, but only to a certain point, if you are too attractive it can work against you, especially if you are female. Go to Comment
The visual/holographic projection is less useful that directly into the optic nerve or visual cortex, but the implants required for this are common, not universal. There is also the function of security and encryption. The holographic output allows for casual use, not allowing an unfamiliar, or a non-dedicated device (hey, can I borrow your phone?) to access brain access ports.
The Cosmic Era is indeed driven by advertising and marketing, and there is going to be a huge market for licenses cathexes, skins and other mods, and custom made muses with specific appearances. I would say one of the functions of the Muse is an advertising filter, with commerical muses being custom adjustable to block certain types of adverts, but most are not going to have a fully functional adblocking protocol, because that cuts off even so called friendly adverts. This is where the market comes from for unlocked muses, hacked muses, and custom muses. Go to Comment
Generally not, if you're doing CogNet aid either you're lucky enough to have put your own rig together and smart enough to find a way to get signal, or you're patronize a simsense parlour. Its the other side of Demolition Man where people are living in slums and eating rats instead of zipping around in self driving cars and eating at Michelin star awarded Taco Bells Go to Comment
The central idea of the cathex (terrible name) is the personal companion program. These programs are typically only capable of interacting with their owner, and are virtual guides, constant companions, and protectors. This would range from the 'imaginary' friends of children expanding out into entourages of personas swirling around powerful people, to the custom built speciality programs that work for shadow ops and shadowrunners Go to Comment
The observatories have orbits that keep them in the shadow of the large planets in the solar system. This isn't to hide them from Earth, but rather protect them and block out radiation and light from the sun. The hiding aspect just works in their favor, plus most of the high end secret stuff is out past the asteroid belt, far away from Earth. There are ships and people flying around in them but something like a flight out to Saturn or further is similar to a modern trip to Antarctica, something generally only done by the military and scientists. Go to Comment