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Lunar-Exclusive Infrastructure

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  • Sunder the Gold
    replied
    Again, posting part of the original post outside of quotes to satisfy ten-count and allow ease of further quoting:

    Originally posted by Golden Demon
    Beastmen. Beastmen are a big thing. The Realm has religious objections to working with and using beastmen.

    Heck, the Realm has religious objections to beastmen existing.
    From that, we can extrapolate "anything that's only or much more useful to beastmen or mutants," which gives us things like "roads" through the jungle composed of lines of completely ordinary-looking trees that just happen to have lots of long, free-hanging vines (perfect for swinging on by man or monkey-man), underground desert manses only accessible to sand-swimmer-men, fortified deep-sea trenches full of geothermally powered factories cranking out artifacts for the Lunar's armies at depths that none but the strange, delicate mutants that live there could survive, networks of flooded caves through which the eelmen children of the Lunar can carry his messages at speed and without detection, civilizations build on solidified clouds from which hawkmen, winged mutants, or ordinary humans riding giant birds launch hit-and-run aerial raids, and so on and so forth.

    We can even broaden that somewhat to include all mutation-based advantages. A Lunar could create gigantic two-headed war rhinoceri to lead his charges, which do not breed true (or even at all) because their mutations were applied by his Charms, and so are useless to the Realm if captured. A tribe of desert nomads would surely find their lives much easier if their camels were adapted to eat sand. The possibilities are endless.

    Of course, with sufficient creativity the Realm can find a way to make almost anything work (unless the Lunar does something clever like gene-lock the magitech weapons they produce, a la District 9) - Water Aspects or power-armored commandos would probably find navigating flooded caves or oceanfloor trenches a cinch, and if the Lunar's doing something clever with plant-based technology then by Sextes Jylis a Wood Aspect should catch on eventually!

    Still, "theoretically useful to the Terrestrials" is not the same thing as "remotely convenient," or "useful to the garden-variety-mortal armies we like to carry around with us."

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  • Sunder the Gold
    replied
    Originally posted by Dean Shomshack
    I'll note that the 1e Lunar book laid out pretty much the entire outer Threshold as Lunar turf.

    The canonical examples, however, have been, well, sparse and uneven in quality. So far, developers either haven't been interested in developing "Lunarstan", or haven't been permitted the opportunity. I hope that may change.

    This thread has scads of good examples of things Lunars could be doing, that make Halta's "Herp derp, they live in trees!" look pathetically unimaginative.

    (Not that "They live in trees" was a bad idea. Or the semi-sentient pets and fully sentinet animals, either. But it was all implemented in such an unimaginative way.)
    Yeah, fuck Halta.

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  • Sunder the Gold
    replied
    Originally posted by Brasstreader
    Beast-Totem Cults in the Underworld from generations of Threshold tribes during the Shogunate and Realm worshiping them.

    For instance, if you're a horse-lunar and you tied your worship intricately with that of the horse-god of Marukan, then exploited the ghosts and their related ancestor cults to keep tabs on Creation over thousands of miles.
    Brasstreader was particularly interested in projects that Lunar Exalted could use to aggressively screw with the Dragon-Blooded.

    Originally posted by Brasstreader
    A breed of simhatas that, upon bonding with a Terrestrial, explode.
    Originally posted by Octopoid
    ...can't...breathe...laughing...too...hard...
    Originally posted by Kukla
    "I HAVE AT LAST TAMED THIS MIGHTY STE-"*fuckblammo*
    Originally posted by Brasstreader
    Dragonblood-Beastman breeding programs such that their offsprings' induction into the Realm would be a PR nightmare.
    Originally posted by Dean Shomshack
    Originally posted by Brasstreader
    A box of maiden tea that sterilizes on the first cup, while tasting of jasmine tea, shipped to brothels along the supply-lines of a Realm occupation force in the Threshold. 100 Dragonbloods were rendered inert during the Tepet Campaign, leading to a small fate-strand cascade failure as half a future lineage temporarily evaporates before Serenity Chosen can fix the problem. This cascade masks a single bribe sent to a sleeper cell in Cherak.

    For three days, the poppy fields burn uncontrollably. The damage is irreversible. A Guild interest purchases the land from an impoverished Dynast for cheap, along with the slaves, one of which is the Lunar's father. The Lunar's first debt to the Guild is paid; the second debt, to see his father well-cared for as he toils in the fields, has yet to be collected on.

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  • Sunder the Gold
    replied
    Originally posted by Octopoid
    Gates of Wyld energy that inflict hideous physical mutations (as a protective measure)

    Networks of animal (or plant!!!) informants
    Originally posted by LOOK
    A Labyrinthine network of elsewhere dens used for trade and transport, but accessible only though Lunar magics.

    A Literal river of desire, that bends the hopes and motivation of those that drink from it (and is thus used to manipulate all the villages along its banks).

    Ancient treasure troves of burried power, waiting only for the Realm to weaken sufficiently that they can no longer resist (i.e. reclaim) the arsenal.
    Originally posted by Segev
    Semi-sentient swarms with inherited memory into which a Lunar may imprint information via his teaching Charms, and which other Lunars may Sacred Hunt individual swarm members from to use Lessons in the Blood to learn the information imprinted therein.

    Cults that worship "sacred objects" of which the Lunar has Sacred Hunted the least gods, enabling the Lunar to benefit from a Cult that is much larger than it seems and possibly even to assume the stolen gods' forms to hear the prayers of the cultists. This can serve as a "street level" information source (what are people praying about?) and as a communication network if fellow Lunars know which objects to which to pray.

    Craft:Genesis laboratories that are actually entire ecosystems which anybody trained properly can manage and maintain and utilize, but which have more shamanistic practices for fertility rites and to perform husbandry to produce the exact desired species. It's ultimately slower than many other Craft suites, but the goods wind up being self-replicating and -replenishing.
    Originally posted by light-hero
    Pandora (as in, the biologically-interconnected planet of the James Cameron Avatar movie.)
    Originally posted by Nemal
    One thing I'm writing for my game, that Lunars made, was a sapient fungus-network with Avatar-the-movie-style nerve ending connections that specially engineered creatures could connect to.

    It's essentially the internet, but built on fungii.

    Damned Contagion nearly wiped it out, sadly.
    Originally posted by DSism
    Using Gaia's bounty to grow exotic materials: The Heart Tree falls in love once a season. It's love then causes the leaves to turn red and fall. The Love Leaves are raked up and can be used as a substitute for true love in an Artifact or burnt to cause people to inhale the smoke to fall in love with the person the tree swooned after.

    Lunar infrastructure should make other Exalts say "WTF."
    "Roadie" posted a picture of one of those famous perspective-twisting paintings where stairs are going all over the place and people are walking around without any shared concept of "up" or "down". To which Segev replied that Lunars are responsible for illogical video-game platforming environments in the physical world of Creation. To which Roadie posted a picture of a Psychonauts level where Raz is rail-grinding through what appears to be the world experiencing an acid-trip.


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  • Sunder the Gold
    replied
    This is a Charm with no regard for infrastructure, but was nevertheless an inspired response to one of Kukla's ideas

    Originally posted by Aranis
    Here, try this as a foundation for how the dream-thing might work.
    Travels of the Argent Muse
    Cost:
    10m, 1wp; Mins: Intelligence 3, Essence 2; Type: Simple
    Keywords: Merged (Charisma)
    Duration: Until the next nightfall
    Prerequisite Charms: None
    The Chosen of Luna are no strangers to altered frames of mind and altered states of being, and this Charm is the least expression of that penchant.

    Using this Charm, the Lunar becomes Inactive in the physical world. If the Luna suffers any amount of damage, then the Charm is ended. Otherwise, he may end this Charm at any time of his choosing. While this Charm is active, the Lunar's mind shifts into the realm of dreams. This functions by the Lunar's own mind being a sort of sanctum where he appears when he first uses this Charm. From there, he may travel into the mind of any dreamer within (Lunar's permanent Essence X 10) miles as a diceless, miscellaneous action. This could give the Lunar insight into the character's thouhts and plans, and few individuals have defenses against this kind of intrusion. The foremost danger of traveling this way is the encountering of Raksha inhabiting mortal minds, who treat dreams as the Middlemarches. Should a Lunar engage in combat, his Traits, Charms, and any other powers function as normal.

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  • Sunder the Gold
    replied
    Originally posted by wastevens
    The iceberg thing is awesome
    So, stepping back a moment: A great deal of infrastructure is about increasing surplus value from each available worker- generally either via trade (which allows workers to focus on maximizing relative advantage) or by reducing the complexity of labor (the progression from master-apprentice to guilds to industry to assembly line to total automation illustrates this progression).

    The former is something that I suspect many Lunars are dead-set against; when workers begin specializing in maximizing relative advantage, they become interdependent, which can lead to cascade failures in the system. Likewise, by reducing the complexity of labor, when that reduction in complexity is accomplished by tools, you can run into cascade failures where individuals have no idea how to survive when their way of life suddenly and radically changes.

    Additionally, on the second, when the complexity of labor is higher, it tends to be harder to subvert.

    However, Lunars would still want to maximize surplus value! Greater surplus value pretty directly translates to a better life for more people. Lunars would, I think, argue for the greatest amount of surplus value possible, while introducing the fewest points of cascade failure and potential subversion as possible.

    The goal, I think, shouldn't just be tools that Lunars can use, and no one else, because that supports the idea of 'Lunars hate running water and toiler paper'; the idea should be tools that are effective at accomplishing a different set of priorities than are classically considered. Tools that only require people, but may require long periods of training to make proper use of. Tools that require the fewest number of relationships to maintain. Tools that do not limit mobility; ideally, they enhance it.

    Lunars don't hate running water and toilet paper- they just consider the pre-requisites of running water and toiler paper to pose unacceptable risks of cascade failure.

    So:

    * Creating a vast network of oral traditions, which secretly encode whole libraries worth of maths, philosophies and occult sciences and secrets. Telling a story that is inserted into the tradition is like adding a new book to the library; killing a storyteller is like burning one down. And of course, once such a tradition is established, stories outside of Lunar controll will be inevitably added.

    * Growing plants that allow imbimbers (when accompanied by certain thaumaturgical rituals) to enter a shared dream-space, where complex skills can be trained and transferred far more quickly.

    * Training to cultivate certain Wyld prodigies to substitute in useful good gaps, rather than relying on trade- things like Ironwood, Firepearls, Bloodberries and the like. The cultivation of such goods in Creation should be too difficult and long term to industrialize, but can be managed by a relatively small number of people that know what they're doing. While they won't be as plentiful as the more mundane items, they also will be entirely under the control of the individuals harvesting them.

    * Tribal Manses- instead of a fixed, physical, magical palace, an entire tribe's rituals and routines serve to stablize, focus and direct a Demeneses' energy into either a Hearthstone, or to imbue the Hearthstone's power into a member of the tribe; even one without Awakened Essence or the ability to attune to the Demense normally.

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  • Sunder the Gold
    replied
    To satisfy word-count and make these easier to quote, I will be presenting partial quotes with the posters' ideas included outside of quotes:

    Originally posted by Wise Old Guru
    I think the most important thing is manses with tremendous powers bought with the Habitability and Maintenance Flaws which are inhospitable or hard to get to, which Lunars can use to fuel infrastructure but which aren't usable by their enemies.
    1. A manse consisting of grooves carved into a cliff face, which trains those who climb it in an array of arts, and which kills those who aren't worthy to lead the people the Lunar carved the designs for.

    2. A powerful factory-manse hidden inside a volcano and operated by the lunar's obsidian-skinned children, who are impervious to its heat.

    3. Underground desert manses which collect water and provide food...but require you to be able to burrow like the Lunar's mole-hound children to reach their entrances.

    4. A subtle manse composed of a maze of nearly-invisible spiderwebs in an isolated and unsettled section of jungle which grants a powerful hearthstone and phenomenal advantages to sorcery and artifact-crafting, guarded by giant spiders...and easy to brush aside and walk through without ever noticing it.

    5. Icebergs whose innards are bitterly cold and only reachable by tunnels deep underwater...which carry tremendous tonnages of cargo and heavily-furred seal-beastman troops through the northern seas, smashing ships so the beastmen can gather their treasure from the sea-floor. They are piloted by ritual dances that take years to master, to prevent outsiders from seizing them.

    I'm liking this "wild civilization" aesthetic.

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