llamaenterhear
Username: Password:

Author Topic: World Name: NeverSummer  (Read 4785 times)

0 Members and 1 Lonely Barbarian are spying on this topic.

Offline MoonHunter

  • Waunderer
  • Emperor
  • ****
  • Posts: 3510
  • Awards Article Guild Systems Guild Society Guild Locations Guild Questor Item Guild
    • Awards
World Name: NeverSummer
« on: December 16, 2003, 05:28:16 AM »
World name: Earth... codename NeverSummer
Analogies: Mid 1800s Europe
Feel: Steampunk with magic... touches of Gothic Horror if you want them.

In this world, by the time dawn arises snow dusts the land with overnight flurries most every night of the year. And even in the warmest season, nothing ever grows save the firs, the birches, and the evergreens that shroud the valleys, snug, like a dull-green carpet.  The depth of the flurries are determined by altitude.  The world is rugged, filled with mountains and valley and lakes.  There are a few seas, but no real oceans (by our standards... the largest sea is smaller than the Indian Ocean).  

Given the rugged terrain, it is no suprise that the world is highly Balkanized.  Various Kingdoms, Dukedoms, Earldoms, have come down to the present from the various Empires that have come and gone.  

The world is connected by steam trains.  There is some limited air travel, but weather keeps it to a minimum.  The trains, laden with the coal that fuels the furnaces of lands afar. The tracks groan in their early morning passing...beset with the same biting chill that makes them a nightly necessity

Most people live in cities. Nestled snugly on the lowest slopes of the rolling mountain ranges, with quaint street-corner lanterns alight as the moon looms high in the evening sky. Large half-timbered buildings line the cobblestone avenues as snow dances delicately in the firelight. Few people mull about the streets at this hour, instead tucked snugly in their homes and apartments, with the quiet thrum of their furnaces warming each domicile, so much so their single-pane windows frost about the edges with the cool, midnight air outside...

In a world where cold is eternal, coal is essential. And in the mines that stretch deep beneath the rolling mountain ranges, slick with sooty grit, thousands upon thousands of hammers and picks strike down and chip away through all hours of the day and night. In these lightless depths, miners gather the black gold that fuels the city sprawl above...and powers the great steam engines that pull their loads through the night, across their cold, groaning rails.  

And in a world where coal is a commodity, those who provide it are the Kings and the Queens. Thus while we have nobles, the real power is held by the various Barons of Business. Every region has its own "big man", but there are a few dozen who own monopolies over key industries.  In a world used to the absolute power of monarchs and nobles, no one thinks to break the power of a Baron's Monopoly.

The Religion here is that of The Prophet.  The Prophet claimed to be the (spiritual) Son of the Primal Diety.  This primal diety created the universe and all the other lesser Gods.  Upon his return to the world, he took the reigns from those lesser gods and forbade their worship. He sent his son to inform people of this change and his Avatars (Angels) to inform the lesser gods.  Those lesser Gods that did not become Avatars were destroyed.  People know that the lesser Gods were defeated as their clerics could no longer draw upon their power (i.e. no clerical spells).  The Prophet's Church was built upon the ruins of the lesser churches.  (The religion has a JudeoChristian feel, except that the Avatars are given special worship, much like Catholic Saints).  The Prophet's church is the only source of healing (magical or otherwise), spiritual protection (spells vs demons, magic, and evil), and wisdom.  The Paladins of the church, tend to be witch hunters- those that hunt witches those that use magic beyond mortal control.

Magic is very possible here.  Once you create a mystic channel to create a spell effect, controlling it is the difficult part.  Results can easily flux between more and less than you expected with the spell (every spell requires some kind of control roll to moderate results).  Despite all the iron lines that disrupt the ley lines of the world, the magic level is still quite high. Spells that are miscast tend to do so spectacularly, those that are not perfectly controled tend to have side effects.  This is not a high fantasy world with epic spells, but a world of moderate powers.

Note: Most practitioners are low-skilled dabblers...and since the mana level is very high, a failed spell is always interesting in its results; which makes magic fickle and dangerous to use, yet painfully easy to learn.

Every spell requires a verbal component (usually chanting or a ritual script), a symbolic component (mystic circles, pentagrams, etc), and magical tools to impliment.  This ensures that control is maintained.  All magic users need to have a license from the local government. It is said that no mortal magic users can cast without the three tools of control. To do so requires a witch.  

Note: a spell caster of some skill can easily cast without the three components. If caught, the person is branded a witch and is normally killed soon after.  (Note real witches are very powerful, having given parts of their soul avatars over to the dark spirits.. they can cast without any restraints and get better results).  

As for races in the world... I see this as mostly a human world. There may be several types of Human variations, including theiothropes.  There may be Dwarves/Gnomes here. The Elves have long left for the West.
MoonHunter
Sage, Gamer, Mystic, Wit
"The road less traveled is less traveled for a reason."
"The world needs dreamers to give it a soul."
"And it needs realists to keep it alive."
Authentic Strolenite ®©

Offline CaptainPenguin

  • Bastardo!
  • Squirrel Strolenati
  • Emperor
  • *
  • Posts: 5869
  • Awards Questor Hall of Heroes 10
    • Awards
I found buried treasure!
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2004, 05:41:00 PM »
This seems to imply a sort of Industrial technology level. Very interesting. You don't see many Industrial settings.
What does Balkanized mean?

Why is the world always cold? Is it God's curse on his sinful children? The last revenge of the lesser Gods? Some sort of magical disaster?

Outline some of the kingdoms and places for us. (On that note, may I make a few kingdoms or ethnicities? I do so love contributing.)
Currently Reading: "Kafka On The Shore" by Haruki Murakami

Currently Listening To: "Piece Of Time" by Atheist

Offline MoonHunter

  • Waunderer
  • Emperor
  • ****
  • Posts: 3510
  • Awards Article Guild Systems Guild Society Guild Locations Guild Questor Item Guild
    • Awards
World Name: NeverSummer
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2004, 04:11:38 AM »
I too really liked this world.  It is poetic and practical, useful and fun kind of world. The image of this barvarian snow globe village is still embedded in my mind.  I just did not have the drive to take on another projects.

First:
Bal-kin-ize or bal-kan-·ize    ( P )  Pronunciation Key  
v. Bakanized, Balkanizing, Balkanizes
To divide (a region or territory) into small, often hostile units.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
[From the political division of the Balkans in the early 20th century.]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Balkanization n.

It is industrialized because it is SteamPunk, Victorian era with hyper and odd technology. A term coined after the publishing of the Differential Engine by Gibbson. (An imagined 1885: the Industrial Revolution is in full and inexorable swing, powered by steam-driven, cybernetic engines. Charles Babbage perfects his Analytical Engine, and the computer age arrives a century ahead of its time. ). Many of the SteamPunk books and anime add magic to the mix. Castle Falkenstein is the first and the best in the genre. (I recomend it for every gamer to have, as it is both a novellete and a game).   Victoriana, a recent game release, is SteamPunk.

Now, the history here is a bit different. The exact historial path is different, but it is similar in function to our world. It has that anime, "it seems familiar, but it totally fictitious" feel. The technology really isn't beyond the Victorian norm. (Actually the normally accessible technology isn't, but secret technology horded by Bosses for their own purposes is.) The magic here, is simply magic of the Golden Dawn/ Illuminati/ Victorian mystic orders flavor.  

Again, this world is all about the hidden darknesses.  

The Cold has two reasons.  The first is actually metaphorical. The coldness of the soul caused by greed fueled by industrialization and mechanization.  That manifests itself as the increasing coldness in the world.  The mechanism of this is a combination of a mini-ice age (as was seen in Europe 1200s) and sun blocking smoke.  Either way, this has become a death spiral. The more coal burned, the colder it becomes, the richer the big people get, the more greed inspires them for more.  

If I took to expanding this world, it would be analogous to Earth, except it is more mountanous.  The countries would be analogs of their victorian counterparts.  I would break the US and most of the new world up into more balkanized states (imagine if the colonies were still under the original articles of confederation) and leave most of the territories unincorporated and without civilization's presence.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2006, 01:19:42 PM by MoonHunter »
MoonHunter
Sage, Gamer, Mystic, Wit
"The road less traveled is less traveled for a reason."
"The world needs dreamers to give it a soul."
"And it needs realists to keep it alive."
Authentic Strolenite ®©

Offline MoonHunter

  • Waunderer
  • Emperor
  • ****
  • Posts: 3510
  • Awards Article Guild Systems Guild Society Guild Locations Guild Questor Item Guild
    • Awards
Something is eating me.
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2004, 06:57:16 AM »
"Where does the food come from?" someone asked.

Like the cold, Hunger is an important part of the ethos of this world.  There is an "emptiness" here, that has echoes in physical hunger.  For the rich, the emptiness is in their souls and their hearts. For the poor it is mostly in their bellies.

There is a summer here, where winter wheat and similar plants will grow in open fields.

Other food stuffs are made in caves (mushrooms, fungi, cheese, winter wine, etc).  Some of the poor will be growing things under their homes, where their waste heat will warm the soil some.  

Yet other things will be grown in greenhouses, or solariums on the tops of houses, other such heated places. This will require coal of course. The more that is grown, the more coal will be needed.

There might be geothermal areas which will be used for farming.  The warm underground water heats the ground enough that the snow seldom sticks.  The plants could grow somewhat normally.
MoonHunter
Sage, Gamer, Mystic, Wit
"The road less traveled is less traveled for a reason."
"The world needs dreamers to give it a soul."
"And it needs realists to keep it alive."
Authentic Strolenite ®©

Offline Cheka Man

  • Strolenati
  • Grand Master
  • *
  • Posts: 689
  • Awards Society Guild Locations Guild Lifeforms Guild Item Guild Master Questor Hall of Heroes 10
    • Awards
World Name: NeverSummer
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2004, 06:32:44 PM »
Is the world getting colder and colder as the Barons get greedier and greedier? If so, it could end up becoming too cold for life.

Offline MoonHunter

  • Waunderer
  • Emperor
  • ****
  • Posts: 3510
  • Awards Article Guild Systems Guild Society Guild Locations Guild Questor Item Guild
    • Awards
World Name: NeverSummer
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2004, 12:27:28 PM »
Yes. That is what is going on. If you want, you can bring the game to an apocolyptic end or just have things muddle on in the cold.

Like the cold, Hunger is an important part of the ethos of this world.  There is an "emptiness" here, that has echoes in physical hunger.  For the rich, the emptiness is in their souls and their hearts. They try to fill these void with things and money.  In short, greed fuels our metaphorical cold.

You can also reward players who "foil" the worst of the Greedy Barron plans with a day of no snow or warmth.  Players who have a clue will receive insight by checking the weather.  If the weather is really bad, there is some evil plot brewing. If the weather gets better, what ever they are doing is working.
 
Nobody here thinks the world is cursed. It may not be a curse... it may just be the way this world is. The psychosphere impacts the physiosphere in terms of weather. It has been this way for a LOOOONNG time. So there is no "easy fix" here.
MoonHunter
Sage, Gamer, Mystic, Wit
"The road less traveled is less traveled for a reason."
"The world needs dreamers to give it a soul."
"And it needs realists to keep it alive."
Authentic Strolenite ®©

Offline Kinslayer

  • The Glorious One
  • Master
  • ***
  • Posts: 527
  • Doom
    • http://Lost-Souls.co.nr
    • Awards
World Name: NeverSummer
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2004, 10:22:14 PM »
To add extra spice to the world...

The more coal is burned, the colder it gets--locally & globally--as more of the sun is blanketed.  This not only makes the problem escalate--the more they try to stop the cold/grow plants, the colder/darker it gets--but makes more developed lands harsher.  The better off an area is in technology & industrial capacity, the harder it is to eat, & the more difficult living there is.
Midian Dark Fantasy Roleplaying Game
The Official Game of the Internet
http://Lost-Souls.co.nr
http://Lost-Souls.hk.st


Authentic Strolenite®©

Offline MoonHunter

  • Waunderer
  • Emperor
  • ****
  • Posts: 3510
  • Awards Article Guild Systems Guild Society Guild Locations Guild Questor Item Guild
    • Awards
World Name: NeverSummer
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2005, 05:17:25 PM »
Quote from: "MoonHunter"
The Cold has two reasons.  The first is actually metaphorical. The coldness of the soul caused by greed fueled by industrialization and mechanization.  That manifests itself as the increasing coldness in the world.  The mechanism of this is a combination of a mini-ice age (as was seen in Europe 1200s) and sun blocking smoke.  Either way, this has become a death spiral. The more coal burned, the colder it becomes, the richer the big people get, the more greed inspires them for more.  


Demons and Witches... there are part of this mix. Witches are magic users who have gained both power AND control by giving part of their essence to Demons. (I am calling them demons for lack of better name).  The Prophet's church is against these powerful mages, mostly because their power harkens back to forces that existed BEFORE the church... and shows the church is not as "all powerful" as one might expect.

Witches should have nothing to do with The Cold, but they are a symptom. Like the Barrons who get greedy and want more, thus generating both physical and psychological cold, Witches suffer from the same problem. They too trade emotion/ love/ and other warm things for their power... and they continue to need power to fufill their needs. The Demons simple facilitate a person's desire for power (of all sorts).

Again, there might be several meta-plots rationals as to why the world is cold. But there can't be a solution EVER, or the world simply falls apart.
MoonHunter
Sage, Gamer, Mystic, Wit
"The road less traveled is less traveled for a reason."
"The world needs dreamers to give it a soul."
"And it needs realists to keep it alive."
Authentic Strolenite ®©

Offline MoonHunter

  • Waunderer
  • Emperor
  • ****
  • Posts: 3510
  • Awards Article Guild Systems Guild Society Guild Locations Guild Questor Item Guild
    • Awards
Re: World Name: NeverSummer
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2006, 02:34:01 PM »
Another shameless bump to avoid it getting lost.
MoonHunter
Sage, Gamer, Mystic, Wit
"The road less traveled is less traveled for a reason."
"The world needs dreamers to give it a soul."
"And it needs realists to keep it alive."
Authentic Strolenite ®©

Offline Pariah

  • The Guildless
  • Strolenati
  • Emperor
  • *
  • Posts: 1399
  • Awards Item Guild Hall of Heroes 10
    • Awards
Re: World Name: NeverSummer
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2006, 08:44:26 PM »
Castle Falkenstein is the first and the best in the genre. (I recomend it for every gamer to have, as it is both a novellete and a game).

OH! I see how it is for you.  SciFi isn't a genre but steampunk is?  :D

Anyway, it's a great idea, and I like it quite a bit.  But while I was reading it I thought of goblins and their excessively crowded warrens, which would need minimal coal to survive in.  Which leads me to question why the people live in idividual houses instead of in more heat effecient arrangements.
They were immediately and absolutely recognizable as adventurers... They were hardy and dangerous, lawless, stripped of allegiance or morality, living off their wits, stealing and killing, hiring themselves out to whoever and whatever came. They were inspired by dubious virtues.  China Mieville - Perdido Street Station

Offline CaptainPenguin

  • Bastardo!
  • Squirrel Strolenati
  • Emperor
  • *
  • Posts: 5869
  • Awards Questor Hall of Heroes 10
    • Awards
Re: World Name: NeverSummer
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2006, 12:10:42 AM »
I imagine this setting with a lot of Kaiser Wilhelm moustaches, crested helmets, and military epaulettes
Currently Reading: "Kafka On The Shore" by Haruki Murakami

Currently Listening To: "Piece Of Time" by Atheist

Offline MoonHunter

  • Waunderer
  • Emperor
  • ****
  • Posts: 3510
  • Awards Article Guild Systems Guild Society Guild Locations Guild Questor Item Guild
    • Awards
Re: World Name: NeverSummer
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2006, 12:34:49 AM »
Ever live in a tenement? Now imagine one made in the early 1700s. If the ones that inspired Dickens and a number of other English Reformers were bad, imagine what these would be.  Sure there are little tenements, but this is a little gingerbread world where they are just a step out of the early modern period (1700s).  These things would add to the despair and Cold. 

But to be honest. This is an anime. So it looks good that way... so it must be that way.. despite reality (lets not go into the why mechas can't do what they do spiel).


And CP, yes.. very possible for the look here. 


Not wanting to digress the thread.. you should hit the Science Fiction is not a genre piece for that.
Science Fiction is a broad category the encompasses about 12 full genres and a number of subgenres. (I think it is 12). What most of you think of as Science Fiction is just the props: rayguns, aliens, spaceships.  You could substitute rayguns for magic wands or crossbows, aliens for other races (elves), and space ships for sailing ships or even magical sky gallons.  The Genre of science fiction is not about the props. Props and settings are interchangable. You can have a western without horses, ever see Outland? Science Fiction is more about the exploration of technology, not science props which could be magic as much as anyone knows.

SteamPunk is a very specific genre with very specific rules.  Anacrotech is one of them.  This has some anacrotech.
MoonHunter
Sage, Gamer, Mystic, Wit
"The road less traveled is less traveled for a reason."
"The world needs dreamers to give it a soul."
"And it needs realists to keep it alive."
Authentic Strolenite ®©