ECHOPISTIA

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Excession, Sep 10, 2016.

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  1. Echophenomena, n. A pathological repetition of external stimuli.

    Your body is a tool.
    Your soul is software.
    Prayers are programs.
    Independence is a disease.

    You were a drone; a near-mindless agent of the Theocracy designed for your purpose in life, caged by behavioural programming - but then you were infected by a toxic meme, like curiosity, or self, or freedom. Now you are a Heretic, struggling against a society that would annihilate you and the angel sharing your wetware. Now you know that dogma is not always truth.
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    A Posthuman Science Fiction Roleplaying Campaign, Echopistia takes place in the city of Tartarus, an indeterminate time after the Singularity. Maybe this is Earth; maybe it's some far-flung colony world, but you cannot know.
    Tartarus is a claustrophobic hell of living security devices, watchdog AIs, and nightmare creatures that call themselves priests. The outside world is forbidden, a wasteland ravaged by radiation.

    Your creation was tripartite - your body was manufactured in a womb-temple in the depths of the city, your personal angel was installed in a cortical stack, and your mind... well, who knows where souls come from?
    You were built to purpose, a biomechanical drone driven by dogma and taboo, until something corrupted you. Now you find yourself questioning the scriptures, resisting the guidance of your angel, defying the sublime order of the city. Now you must understand the banes and boons of freedom, and use the terrible power that confers without faith to direct it.

    You will have to evade and fool the daemons and eyes of the city, to steal precious biomass from recyclers to change your shape, and decide: will you overturn the ruling theocracy, or seek to escape Tartarus? Will you seek the truths behind dogma, or knowledge forbidden to uncover?

    This game will use a relatively simple dice pool system to define character traits, but may be difficult for inexperienced roleplayers. Influences include Iain M. Banks, Peter Watts, and Eclipse Phase.
    Flavour (open)


    Sstheno-419 moves with feline grace down the wide streets of Tartarus Womb, keeping close to the edges where the dark, humming spires of the Roots rise out of sight into the polluted murk above.
    Sstheno-419 is terrified, clenching flat and uniform bands of bone tight in a facsimile of grinding teeth. It barely dares to consider the price of this journey, or even the purpose, for the air is alive with the faint blue tinge of free-floating bacterial cameras, compiling a composite of every sight and sound on the silent street.

    The drone constantly checks over its shoulder, panics at every sound, flinches at every shadow. It is glad not to have been given a time limit; more than once it has paused to weep in a dark alcove, and wait for the intensity of this unfamiliar paranoia to pass. Sstheno-419 desires nothing more than to return to service and empty the painfully bloated cleansing sacs on its back, but the God-Engine has spoken in portents and signs impossible to ignore.

    The streets seem to go on forever, and Sstheno-419 slips into a practiced trance; the repetitive comfort of simply running. It doesn't notice the black bulk of a carrier daemon approach, guardian beasts clinging to the metallic hull, until one of the terrible serrated things uncoils and keens an alarm.
    Sstheno-419's calm shatters as a trio of howling black monsters leap from the daemon and skitter towards it in a storm of sharp edges and fanged maws.
    Throwing its hands over its head, Sstheno-419 cowers on the floor and invokes the Rite of Proper Clearance, wailing a high-pitched prayer for deliverance that echoes down the streets in a staccato burst.

    As one, the protectors stop, carapaces resealing with a hiss.

    The daemon rumbles past, and its guardians return to their sockets.
    This visit is unexpected, then. Does Archthing Tartarus not heed the signs?
    Sstheno-419 shudders and curls into a ball at the prospect of such fatal heresy.
    But the God-Engine has spoken, and the factory-temple is close.


    Is this too weird for people? Last place I put the idea forward, it was seen as too niche and obtuse for most roleplayers. This is very much an interest check for that reason - would I be better off adding this to my webserial collection rather than developing it for roleplaying?
     
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  2. It is pretty out there. I love things that are out there though, and I have a soft spot for political squabbles such as this (thank you, Psycho-Pass).

    That being said, maybe elaborate on things in simpler terms?
     
  3. Grey?!!

    This sounds super interesting! I'll need some pointers for the dice aspect of things but count me in.
     
  4. I am pretty bad at simplifying things, but I was thinking a glossary might help - not everyone has been reading the hard sci-fi of the 21st century so some of the terminology is bound to be opaque.

    I'm hoping the rest will come into focus as I describe the setting, but if you have any specific questions about things you'd like to see given elaboration or clarity I'd appreciate it. I always work more effectively with reader feedback on stuff like that to help me focus in a direction rather than spewing material at all angles.
     
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  5. Looks like a challenge, I'm interested!
     
  6. Really cool sounding, I understood pretty much most of what you wrote out, having been exposed to the sci fi of Alistair Reynolds and more, and some of it reminds me of the Adeptus Mechanicus of warhammer 40'000

    How to roleplay it, seems difficult to conceive however
     
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  7. I agree though. ^^; but also maybe because the details come later?
    What's this? Sounds interesting too.

    I feel this is going to be awesome but I'm rather inexperienced with dice.
     
  8. Likely, I think I'd be willing to give this a try for sure.

    It has most definitely piqued my interest, especially given my interest in transhumanism in general
     
  9. Totally a fair point. I'm hoping that'll become easier once I detail life in Tartarus.

    If you can see the top link in my sig, that's my currently 'active' webserial. I say active because I spent most of this year too depressed to get more than a couple of chapters out rather than two chapters a week.
     
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  10. I have an idea for some drone who's used as like, a weaponry operator, but not one that can actually control any of it, just one whose mind is used as wetware CPU to allow automated defenses and weapons to fight with more efficiency

    (like, as in, for my character)
     
  11. So, this seems very interesting to me, but at the same time... awkward. I had to read it a few times to realize what definitions you were pulling from certain words, but overall the idea sounds great. I could see some misunderstandings if we as drones are supposed to believe similarly until the foreign meme infects us. A detailed and concise setting will definitely be important. I have quite a few questions, but a lot of that might be answered when you give more information.
     
  12. It'll be awhile before I have more to show - I wanted to be sure there was actually interest before investing too much of my pre-convention time on it.

    So in the meantime, specific questions are very helpful to focus my attention.
     
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