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Re: Help: Energy Sources?

PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:49 pm
by LowestFormOfWit
Joshua A.C. Newman wrote:Ok, that's cool, then.

Lemme explain why this is important to me. There are a couple of parts to it.

[Abridged]


Well, I may not even get around to a concrete lore for The Dissident out of sheer fear of running into a conflict accidentally here, but my basic principal thinking behind The Dissident (and what I keep in mind when designing/building them) is that someone or someones within their initial defecting Ijad group (the top hierarchy of what is now The High Fane), discovered an energy source (or developed a way to convert an existing one into something much more efficiently used) that disconnected them so profoundly from the teachings/religion/etc of their Ijad brethren that they defected.

I toyed with an idea that their energy source was laced with some infectious agent that overtook their minds, but that now seems nonviable in this universe. They aren't immoral. They don't have an actual god they make offerings to.

If there's a acceptable way to spin that into lore or background I'll try, else I'll leave it as a conceptual design helper when building and leave it a tale unwritten. Leaving them with no back story, unknown technology and unexplained frame function accomplishes just about the same goal as trying to bang out science fiction I'm not really qualified to write.

Re: Help: Energy Sources?

PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:10 am
by Joshua A.C. Newman
LowestFormOfWit wrote:
Joshua A.C. Newman wrote:Ok, that's cool, then.

Lemme explain why this is important to me. There are a couple of parts to it.

[Abridged]


Well, I may not even get around to a concrete lore for The Dissident out of sheer fear of running into a conflict accidentally here, but my basic principal thinking behind The Dissident (and what I keep in mind when designing/building them) is that someone or someones within their initial defecting Ijad group (the top hierarchy of what is now The High Fane), discovered an energy source (or developed a way to convert an existing one into something much more efficiently used) that disconnected them so profoundly from the teachings/religion/etc of their Ijad brethren that they defected.


NOW we're talkin'! This is a resource, the appreciation of which has a moral component that defies some central matter of Ijad doctrine. This is a social matter now!

There's no shortage of examples of visions separating religious groups. And those schisms can usually be traced to material inequalities.

Some suggestions:

This group found itself on an expedition interacting with a different gas giant than Ahu. The gas giant's makeup has two weird byproducts: It has a rapidly fluctuating magnetic field that induces current in Ijad nervous systems, giving visions; and has, orbiting it, a ring of constantly regenerating material, held in stasis right at the moment of fusion. As they came to understand this treasure, the explorers were simultaneously experiencing religious epiphany from a new god. But its instructions we're quite unlike those of Ahih: "This is my gift to you. Take it and spread your kind across the galaxy. Command them to do my bidding and I will reward them with my wealth!"

Of course, what they don't realize is that this is a side effect of the nature of this planet; their visions are just taking the form of instructions to take lots of stuff. Visions show you what's already inside you; in this case, greedy, religious prospectors were told to mine stuff, get rich, and then go take more stuff. And they feel like they're justified because god said so.

The remaining question is why they need this in the first place. Are they refugees? Were they already on the outs with their village/tribe/city-farm? Did they get taken over by Free Colonials? Get given a hard choice by other religious fanatics?

I toyed with an idea that their energy source was laced with some infectious agent that overtook their minds, but that now seems nonviable in this universe. They aren't immoral. They don't have an actual god they make offerings to.


There's nothing immoral about giving offerings to a god. Nothing moral about it, either. It's a cultural form, like dance or jokes. It's what you do with it that has a moral component. In this case, they're building an empire in opposition to their own people and the well-being of everyone else. So, while that's pretty immoral, they presumably need what they're taking. I look forward to hearing from you what their need is!

If there's a acceptable way to spin that into lore or background I'll try, else I'll leave it as a conceptual design helper when building and leave it a tale unwritten. Leaving them with no back story, unknown technology and unexplained frame function accomplishes just about the same goal as trying to bang out science fiction I'm not really qualified to write.


Well, geez, the answer is always MAKE MORE ART. You're describing a religion, which is a frame of reference for its adherents. You don't have to make their god-thing real to make their religion non-crazy. You just have to make it satisfy their basic needs.

Remember, Ijad society has injunctions against things it considers immoral. No society makes injunctions against things no one wants to do.

(As a religious person, I've given a lot of thought as to what makes a religion. It's not God; I'm pretty confident that I see humans doing religious things, not God. I also come from a religion that considers belief in the existence of God a question of vanishingly little interest. I'd be happy to take this discussion, if you're interested, over to Off Topic.)

Re: Help: Energy Sources?

PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:33 am
by LowestFormOfWit
Thanks for that. It's a lot of material to brainstorm on! I'll definitely be able to sit down and chew on what the actual reason for The Dissident splitting off. I like the trippy self-reflective visions idea. Could run any number of directions with that. Probably won't go with a straight forward greed/mining example but you illustrate a possibility well. This is good stuff, thanks!

Also, I'd love a talk about religion. I was raised Catholic but consider myself non-religious at this point. Religion is a topic I can't really discuss with most people.

Re: Help: Energy Sources?

PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:42 pm
by Joshua A.C. Newman
I look forward to seeing what you come up with!

I'll start a thread about religion over in Off-Topic. Here's hoping it goes OK.

Re: Help: Energy Sources?

PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:51 pm
by gusindor
Joshua A.C. Newman wrote:But they sure as hutch didn't have an actual god on their side.
But are their leaders really going to tell them that? "Hey guys, we don't actually know that God exists, we've pretty much been lying/guessing the whole time." Nah, "divine" aid is good for morale, and probably makes them easier to control too. I mean just look at the Crusades, the aforementioned Inquisition, and Al Qaeda.

Re: Help: Energy Sources?

PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:58 pm
by gusindor
LowestFormOfWit wrote:
science fiction I'm not really qualified to write.

NONSENSE. Sorry if I'm intruding, but the fact that you came up with all this proves you're plenty qualified. Personally, I'd love to hear more, I think it's fascinating stuff. :)

Re: Help: Energy Sources?

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:34 pm
by Foxfire
gusindor wrote:
Joshua A.C. Newman wrote:But they sure as hutch didn't have an actual god on their side.
But are their leaders really going to tell them that? "Hey guys, we don't actually know that God exists, we've pretty much been lying/guessing the whole time." Nah, "divine" aid is good for morale, and probably makes them easier to control too. I mean just look at the Crusades, the aforementioned Inquisition, and Al Qaeda.


Religion as a method for control is a double edged sword. It cuts both ways.

Religious leaders like to use divine mandate to establish rules, and it work great until a leader gets caught breaking those rules. Since the rules are considered divine mandates, there isn't a lot of wiggle room. Think about how it usually goes down for a Christian leader who gets caught in adultry.

Re: Help: Energy Sources?

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:12 pm
by gusindor
And once you establish something as "divine law" you can't exactly take it back. It's absolutely a double-edged sword, but people still try to use it, which is what makes it so interesting.

Re: Help: Energy Sources?

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 5:00 pm
by Joshua A.C. Newman
gusindor wrote:
LowestFormOfWit wrote:
science fiction I'm not really qualified to write.

NONSENSE. Sorry if I'm intruding, but the fact that you came up with all this proves you're plenty qualified. Personally, I'd love to hear more, I think it's fascinating stuff. :)



Srsly. MAKE MORE ART

Re: Help: Energy Sources?

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:29 pm
by jadefalcon777
Not to bring the thread's original purpose back from the dead, but Joshua/Soren - are fossil fuel/combustion engines still widely used? I wrote a bit of mecha fiction back in the day and generally went with helicopter/tank-style gas turbines as the powerplant. I get that the tech level of the setting is pretty flexible - but I wasn't sure if the newer energy sources had totally replaced putting stuff in an engine to make it go bang.

I'm making my own frames now and writing up the fluff for a world setting, so I was curious to see what your view was.

Re: Help: Energy Sources?

PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:56 am
by Joshua A.C. Newman
Gas turbines are awesome. Not only are they practical due to their high power:weight ratio, but they also make an amazing noise that would make your frames sound like freight trains.

Frames are built to work in their environment. If an environment makes gas turbines more practical than polymeric deuterium fusion plates, match-paired hypercapacitors, or solar thermocouples, then by all means!

Re: Help: Energy Sources?

PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:14 pm
by jadefalcon777
Joshua A.C. Newman wrote:Gas turbines are awesome. Not only are they practical due to their high power:weight ratio, but they also make an amazing noise that would make your frames sound like freight trains.

Frames are built to work in their environment. If an environment makes gas turbines more practical than polymeric deuterium fusion plates, match-paired hypercapacitors, or solar thermocouples, then by all means!


That's why I went with them. And I'm pleased to say I noted that the Rk-97/98 line have a distinctive whining 'howl' when they run :D

For those of you who haven't heard it before, this is what a gas turbine tank engine starting up sounds like....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXE4tMEYCoI

Re: Help: Energy Sources?

PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:14 pm
by gusindor
That is the best "machine powering up" sound I have ever heard. Ever.

Re: Help: Energy Sources?

PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:47 pm
by Dukayn
gusindor wrote:That is the best "machine powering up" sound I have ever heard. Ever.

Quoted for truth.