This could be dangerous in a way. For example, a well connected person (node) could have a disproportionate effect on the politics. You can already see this with blogs today, where a widely read blog will be read by many, even an article wich spews utter rubbish, and will affect the opinions of many.
A well connected individual will easily throw the 'democratice process' off balance by expressing his opinion, which will cause a veritable cascade of change. The sheep mentality of many people only precipitates this effect. I suppose this is only a finger's width off collapse, where the most popular, rather than the best suited, are the leaders, with disastrous consequences. (then again, that might be a pretty accurate description of today) The ubiquity of the communication simply amplifies the existing effect.
Besides if a blog will influence you on foreign policy lets say, which one might effect you more.. the one from Henry Kissenger or the one from that political science student that is working at Starbucks?
You'd be surprised. Stupid people give their opinion all the time, and which is worse, are listened to. For example one of the US state TV channels gave the advice to 'unplug' your computer to prevent viruses(Time/state escape me) and it was probably no less than a poorly worded sentence, yet how many people do you think did it? This is why blogs are so volatile, the wax and wane with the throws and fashions of the day. As has been mentioned several times before, strolen's has been online for a decent number of years and it is already an exception to the rule. If suddenly the starbucks kid got a small audience (and was in fashion), it could very easily snowball into something huge. I suppose the entertainment industry works like this today (I wouldn't know), But would you like paris hilton to make decisions relating to your society? I can tell you that more people recognise her name than Kissenger's. Go to Comment
For a while I was mulling over some thoughts on a couple of planets I wanted to post, but when I came back, the nuimber of posts had easily quadrupled!!! Some of these are absolute gems, and will give rise to tons of in-game ideas, etc... Well worth an HoH. Thumbs up to everybody! Go to Comment
Thera's beautiful beaches and turquoise oceans have made this out-of-the-way world an idyllic destination for those in the known. Earth-like in term of weather and climate, it was first discovered by the Grey Corporation's exploration division.
The many archipelagos that dot the surface of the water world (indeed, there are no continental masses, simply island formed by tectonic activity) were originally bare, with no traces of organic life whatsoever. the weather being so mild, and so surprisingly accommodating for humans, The Grey Corporation immediately called upon the service of the Sun-MacGlasgi Terraformer clan to transform this planet into a tropical paradise. Soon enough, the island were teeming with a vibrant variety of life, and resorts were developed to accommodate the space elite.
Prized for its privacy by its customers (There is only one spaceport and the Grey company keeps transits under tight control). This planet has been making a neat profit for the Grey Corporation's coffers since tourism began.
Thera is in fact far more than would appear on the surface. Beneath the waves lie an incredible biodiversity. Roaming monster from the depth of humanity's nightmares glide alongside peaceful plankton feeders. Only a small proportion of life has ever been recorded, and every day, something new is found about Thera's oceans. Indeed, it seems that the planet's life never evolved out of the seas, having little land to evolve on.
In fact, the immensity and abyssal depth of Thera's oceans also hides more human secrets, for it is there that the Grey Corporation has its protected outpost. Leagues under the waves, no planetary bombardment would ever reach it, and the defense systems put in place against invasion are formidable, if completely unseen by any of the tourists. Go to Comment
When the Colonists of the system which later came to be known as 'Liberty' dropped out of hyperspace and arrived in-system, they were surprised by the orbit of two planets around the main star. Indeed, It soon became apparent that the two planets had exactly the same orbit (which happened to be surprisingly circular), and traveled through space on the same path, but on opposite sides of the star (Which later was dubbed Helios).
To this day scientists are still baffled as to how the two world came to be like this. The suspect that either an advanced civilization created them so, or that an ancient cosmic cataclysm forced one of them into this orbit. Either way, the colonists were faced with a strange choice, since both planets were practically identical, except that one had smaller oceans and a greater mineral concentration, while the other had more water, but was rather poor in minerals. So they decided to colonize both.
The water world, they named Sif, after the ancient goddess of the fields and of prosperity. The mineral world, the named Hephaestus, after the ancient god of the forge.
The system is divide so, with all manufacturing and heavy industry occurring on Hephaestus, while the people of the system (Helios's children) live on Sif.
Having used technology to automatically manage the robotic plants on Hephaestus, they were free to develop it as fully as they wanted, taking no precautions regarding human welfare and the environment. This has today led to Hephaestus being completely covered by automated industrial plants, the seas having soon been drained and the water diverted to cooling the many powerplants that provide the energy for this planet sized factory. The entire thing is controlled by orbit, from the large space stations that regulate the metallic arms of the robots below. Once a product is finished, it is led to one of the large spaceports on the planets, automatically sent into space to be recovered by the controllers. Biological life on this planet is rare, and the few lifeforms that exist and make a living amongst the machines are deformed ghosts of their former selves, mutated beyond recognitions into desperate and brutal monsters.
The materials are then sent through one of the two jumpgates, leading it either to Hephaestus's moon, where it is exported to the rest of the galaxy, or to sif, where it is used to build sif's society.
Free from industry, Sif has been able to concentrate on building a strong spirit of advancement amongst its people. Science, art and technology are very advanced here, and the crime rates are incredibly low. Pollution is virtually non-existent, and all waste is shipped back to Hephaestus through a ground based jumpgate. Large areas of land are dedicated to farming a wild diversity of food crop, and most of the population is vegetarian, complementing their diet with a great range of edible fishes from Sif's bountyful oceans. Engineers from the Sif technological institute all go and train on the Hephaestus control stations as part of their course, and provide the workforce needed to keep Hephaestus ticking over nicely.
The visual contrast between the two planets is stark, with an emerald and turquoise world sister to a darkened world, where sunlight barely penetrates the world-smog which envelops Hephaestus like the cold embrace of a death goddess. And yet, within these two opposite lies balance, and this system has lead to some of the greatest scientific and engineering achievement of recent years. Go to Comment
for a start. You could also have a look at the page hits on wikipedia between say, "Manchester united" and that for Buddhism, say) I suspect, perhaps wrongly that they would show greater hits for the football team. The google trend on is:
People are people. I suppose even in Victorian england this happened. The Royal's sex life probably made more people talk than the economy.
For a while, now, our technology has advanced far faster than our attitudes. Human reactions and psychology are for the broad strokes, what they were 200 years if not 2000 years ago. Unquestioning social cohesion is great when you're fighting the wolves, but when you're trying to build a global information society, some really big buttons have to be rewired. These people, if they could live in this effective meritocracy without dreadful abuse, would have a very alien frame of mind in comparison to humanity today.
I would love to talk in greater depth about this. Fascinating subject, really. Go to Comment
401 - With bare hands or bladed weapons while both combatants are under the influence of powerful hallucinogens.
402 - Anywhere on, in or above an airship. Bonus points if the ship uses hydrogen instead of helium. ("Up" did this very well.)
403 - Around a fireplace in the dead of the night, middle of the woods. While beset by wolves, of course.
404 - A Wuxia archer duel, where the combatants have a limited number of arrows to kill each other.
405 - Inside the zoo enclosure for chimpanzees
406 - Assassin duel in the middle of London, while avoiding surveillance cameras at all costs. (London has the greatest surveillance camera density of any city in the world)
407 - With both combatants fighting to the death while their hands are tied behind their backs. (In a holding cell, POW camp, etc...) So they'll have to bludgeon or bite each other to death. Go to Comment
In the world of Elbelos, death is intricately liked to the reason for life. (talk about the obvious...) The entity Aeo (the first one, or the universal spirit) created the material plane for one reason only: he wanted to gift his creations with free will. Only the emergent properties of the material planes allowed true freedom of choice. His previous creations, the gods, were bound to their essence. The god of chaos, for example, is bound to chaos.
By creating the material plane, Aeo allowed the spirits born within to choose their essence. The only problem was that the tradeoff for this was eventual death after a long cycle of resurrections culminating into sentience.
Aeo was faced with a dilemma.
The souls (or essence) of the dead could not perpetually reside on the material plane. Most (although not all) lacked a strong enough attachment, and their soul would simply drift between the material and divine plane, unsure of where to go, slowly dissolving into nothingness. Could the precious souls with free will truly be left to disappear into the void?
To solve this, Aeo created the aspect planes. These planes represent the aspects of the souls, and after death, each soul is draw to his dominant plane. A predominantly cruel soul will be drawn to the plane of cruelty, and so on. This pleased Aeo, since it balanced out the different forces in the universe he created.
Soon, many of the gods saw how the planes reflected their own essence, and moved to lord over the created planes.
It has been so since time immemorial
edit: That would make it a long cycle of resurections, every time increasing in complexity, until the soul reaches self awareness, in the form of a human/dwarve/elf etc.... the race itself not an issue, but rather the complexity level. After a self-aware being dies, their "essence" is basically subject to ironic retribution, and goes to the plane which best fits them. punishing or rewarding them accordingly. There is no judgement, it is simply an effect of affinity (think opposite poles of a magnet). Go to Comment
Afterlife Articles (Setting Building)
(Gaming - In General)
Many a snake poison can be ingested with no harm at all. The digestive system will deal with the toxin, which was evolved to be injected into the bloodstream after all.
(Most of the time. Guessing notable exception is the austarilian snake which causes an advanced, extra-intestinal digestion when you get bitten... Probably depends on toxin mode. Some toxins have to be bloodborn to do any harm.)
Just pray that you dont have an ulcer, thats all... Go to Comment
Can't you chew through them? plastic being much softer than enamel, I would give you 15-20min to chew through the big ones. Personally, on normal "household grades" (5-9mm wide) zip ties, I can esily go through them in a coulpe of bites. if you keep two prisoners together, then they could chew each other's, if they were tied behind their back... Go to Comment
Just imagine the mayhem you can cause. "Of course, the holy artifact of Hermatos is in there. Please spare our lives!!!". Perfect to give to a power hungry villain while you quietly make your escape. (he'll be too busy to notice.) Just make sure that it is a box that CANNOT be opened, rather than a box that SHOULD NOT be opened. (look where it landed Pandora) Go to Comment