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Alchemicals and 3E

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  • Lioness
    replied
    I'm kind of with Fitter with regard views on Autochthonian technology.
    That's where I was going with the Industrial Elementals, make them a fact of day to day life rather than a bestiary of summonable creatures unique to the Alchemical Exalted that's never going to be adequately fleshed out. For example, what if a unit of elite mortals instead of having special artifact armour were more likely to be partnered with elementals that bonded with human host and offered defensive benefits like Perronele or Sesselja? You have the aesthetic of advanced technology but the reality is more of a symbiosis.

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  • Fitter Happier
    replied
    Originally posted by Simon Darkstep View Post
    I think an Autobot zone where the residents mine away junk to expose the naturally occurring factory formations would be a fascinating location for a Chronicle to visit.
    I love this! Populat workers with power drills, tearing up twisted sheets of metal decking to access the buried manufactory. A Jade Caste Alchemical sockets herself into the facility's power core and it clanks to life, furnaces glowing dull red, then bright orange, then white. The Populat begin to feed the torn-up decking into wide-mouthed hoppers, while others rush to the assembly lines as molten metal bubbles over and flows to fill the waiting casts. The chant of work-prayers and the thunder of industry combine in a song pleasing to the Machine-God.

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  • Simon Darkstep
    replied
    I think an Autobot zone where the residents mine away junk to expose the naturally occurring factory formations would be a fascinating location for a Chronicle to visit.

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  • Isator Levi
    replied
    Originally posted by Fitter Happier View Post
    Another example: Autochthonians have sophisticated electronics such as fiber optic cable... that they harvest from wild animals like wool (well, wild elementals, but still).
    I think you might be conflating some things; the only reference that I can recall to something being harvested from elementals like wool was the Autochthonians' wool.

    Actually, I think it might have been cotton. Some textile for the sake of making clothes and handkerchiefs.

    Originally posted by Fitter Happier
    They use refined hydrocarbons... that are harvested from whales (well, whale-refineries).
    Is this distinct from real life in the sense that the hydrocarbons they get are supposed to come already refined, or is there somewhere in the world widely using synthetic hydrocarbons?

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  • Elfive
    replied
    I hear "natural foundry" and picture "lava waterfall" tbh.

    There's like pipes with oil and a big piston that goes up and down that you could stick a hammer on or something.

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  • Kelly Pedersen
    replied
    Originally posted by Fitter Happier View Post
    The Compass is explicit that foundries are just, natural things you can find in the Reaches!
    I don't think that's as explicit as you think, actually. A quick skim through Compass: Autochthonia doesn't turn up any references to factories being naturally formed in the Reaches, and definitely does turn up references to factories being built by Autochthonians (e.g., in the description of Arad, "Its modern, neon-drenched streets and factories and dormitories are constructed over the rusting, sinking remnants of older districts and abandoned, obsolete Municipal Charms.", emphasis mine, Compass of Celestial Directions 6: Autocthonia, p. 26, or in the description of Perfected Hydraulic Grace, the Alchemical who became the capital of Nurad, "...knowledge she used to construct sophisticated factories and cities for her people.", p. 48). Conversely, the only reference I can find to the Reaches actually having factories is on p. 104, where it says "The appearance of the Reaches combines qualities of caves and factories...", which just describes their appearance, not their function. There is a reference, in "The Shadow Nation", the place where Autochthonian ghosts stack up, p. 112, to factories, but these seem to be built deliberately by Autochthon as a repair function, and not as something that are commonly produced elsewhere.

    Certain other industrial processes do seem to form naturally in Autochthonia, it's true - I can find references to "natural" foundries, for example. However, there's really no suggestion I can find that Autochthonians aren't also capable of building such constructions, and I don't see why we would assume that.


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  • Fitter Happier
    replied
    I think I'm maybe being a bit unclear-- I'm not trying to say that Autochthonians aren't inventive, aren't scientific, aren't experimental, or don't build things. I'm saying that despite the industrial trappings and aesthetic of the Realm of Brass and Shadow, Autochthonians aren't really industrialists in the way actual human beings from the real-world 19th century were. The Compass is explicit that foundries are just, natural things you can find in the Reaches! And all the places that are currently settled were once, themselves, part of the Reaches. Another example: Autochthonians have sophisticated electronics such as fiber optic cable... that they harvest from wild animals like wool (well, wild elementals, but still). They use refined hydrocarbons... that are harvested from whales (well, whale-refineries).

    Some other things that the Compass explicitly mentions as naturally-occurring features of the Pole of Metal (and thereby not built by human hands): foundries, access corridors, refineries, and the pneumatic tram system (although possibly not the trams themselves, at least not the ones that are capable of carrying living passengers). That's a lot of stuff!

    You can, of course, emphasize or de-emphasize this aspect of the setting to suit your taste, but the bizarre fusion of Creation's Bronze Age fantasy with Autochthonia's industrial aesthetic is what makes the Realm of Brass and Shadow one of my absolute favorite fantasy settings ever published (tbh I almost like it more than Creation itself).
    Last edited by Fitter Happier; 08-09-2018, 06:01 PM.

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  • The Nilbog
    replied
    Honestly, I think it would do some good to remember that, yes, they are custodians and supplicants to their god, first and foremost. But that god isn't some being that just happens to be comprised of machinery. They worship the physical manifestation of invention and technology itself. Their zealotry and dedication is directed toward a being that puts invention and experimentation before everything, including self preservation. I feel like Autobot would be downright offended if they spent all that time using existing tools to maintain him instead of inventing new ones.

    In addition, some of the tech mentioned in the various Alchemical books is very clearly the result of human or Exalted ingenuity, rather than being "natural" to Autochthon's body. The various non-rail based vehicles come to mind, as do the bioaugmentations that the population is routinely given. And the Nuradi apparently have cloning tech, or at least they used to.

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  • Aliasi
    replied
    The real point to me is: Alchemicals are Exalted. They shouldn't be able to trivially cure Autocthon, but that lies less in 'ability' and more in attitude. They fight against the Void, and gremlins, and apostates. They might be generally aware of their god's illness, but curing it is saying "I should change a fundamental aspect of my god's makeup when I do not have the ability to foretell what will happen".

    Similarly, I don't see the 3E de-emphasis on magitech as a barrier to Alchemicals. Alchemicals are an ancient part of the game line, present since Time of Tumult. The 2E problem was not amazing magical technology, it was treating it as something even normal humans could do a little bit of with a little work instead of the salvaged ruins of a long-forgotten, long-ago time. Final Fantasy is something else that's part of Exalted's DNA from the beginning; the fact some people see some kind of fundamental difference between Cloud Strife and his buster sword and Monkey and his sky-spanning staff is really more on those people than Exalted.


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  • Fitter Happier
    replied
    Many of the original humans who found themselves in Autochthonia were, in fact, refugees, stolen by the Great Maker as his last act before leaving Creation, and there's one Sodality that does basically nothing BUT "grab what they can from the environment" (the Conductors of the Consecrated Veins).

    My only point was to bring up an aspect of the setting I felt was being overlooked-- I don't think that the Autochthonians find everything and build nothing (for example, dormitories are probably constructed by people). Even Municipal Charms are constructed (in part) by people!

    But first and foremost, the people of the Octet are custodians of their god, yes? And a custodian cares for what is already there.

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  • Isator Levi
    replied
    Ah come on, let's not be like that.

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  • armyofwhispers
    replied
    Originally posted by Fitter Happier View Post

    I'm not sure how much more ridiculous it is than naturally-occurring access corridors and catwalks (which explicitly exist as part of the Reaches), but to each her own!

    And I'm not sure where you got this notion of "shining examples." Autochthonia is an industrial setting; Neph was pretty explicit in citing Nine Inch Nails as a musical inspiration. It's a dangerous, mysterious, alien machine world that is also a living god. Yes, there are heroes, and no, it's not grim and dark, but the Realm of Brass and Shadow is not... shining,
    The Realm of Brass and Shadow is not, nor did I ever say it was.

    The Alchemical cities, which the vast majority of it's citizens live? You can be damn sure they're shining. Hell, there's a specific example where one of them is shinning so brightly that it marks the day/night cycle for an entire nation (Wisant in Nurad), but all of them are tended by the luminors.

    The citizens of Autochthonia are not scavengers or refugees lost in the wastes. They are nations of people dedicated to surviving in an unforgiving and hostile place. They have an entire branch of government run by craftsmen, engineers, and medical professionals. To paint the sodalities as people who're just grabbing what they can from the environment and repurposing it is an insult to them. Craft, engineering, and design are hard-coded into who the Autochthonians are as a people.

    Honestly, to ever come forward with the idea that they just found the technology they're using lying around, it seems to me that you haven't even read either Compass: Autochthonia, or MoEP: alchemicals. NOTHING in there suggests the level of ignorance that what you suggest would require.

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  • Fitter Happier
    replied
    Originally posted by armyofwhispers View Post
    Yeah, the furthest I would take this idea would be an Autochthonian craftsmans finding a particularly efficient pump and using it in his design the way a woodcarver would use a natural log burl to turn a particularly beautiful bowl or something.

    Naturally occurring factories that people settle next to is ridiculous.

    In 2E, the Alchemicals were supposed to rival the solars in the feats they could accomplish with craft and artifice. The alchemical cities were bastions of technology and were shining examples of human ingenuity and perseverance in the face of extreme adversity. To say that no. they're basically just magpies with bits of shiny technology that they use to build their nests with no appreciation of what they're using cheapens Autochthonia and Alchemicals immeasurably.
    I'm not sure how much more ridiculous it is than naturally-occurring access corridors and catwalks (which explicitly exist as part of the Reaches), but to each her own!

    And I'm not sure where you got this notion of "shining examples." Autochthonia is an industrial setting; Neph was pretty explicit in citing Nine Inch Nails as a musical inspiration. It's a dangerous, mysterious, alien machine world that is also a living god. Yes, there are heroes, and no, it's not grim and dark, but the Realm of Brass and Shadow is not... shining,

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  • armyofwhispers
    replied
    Originally posted by Elfive View Post
    I think factories mostly take the form of municipal charms. Which, y'know, do have to be built. Sort of.

    Natural features of the autochonian landscape are more like huge bits of machinery with no clear purpose. Gears, pistons, stuff like that.Outside of a city it's possible that people could, say, bolt things onto these features to use them as a sort of water wheel, but actual factories? I don't recall anything in the books suggesting this.
    Yeah, the furthest I would take this idea would be an Autochthonian craftsmans finding a particularly efficient pump and using it in his design the way a woodcarver would use a natural log burl to turn a particularly beautiful bowl or something.

    Naturally occurring factories that people settle next to is ridiculous.

    In 2E, the Alchemicals were supposed to rival the solars in the feats they could accomplish with craft and artifice. The alchemical cities were bastions of technology and were shining examples of human ingenuity and perseverance in the face of extreme adversity. To say that no. they're basically just magpies with bits of shiny technology that they use to build their nests with no appreciation of what they're using cheapens Autochthonia and Alchemicals immeasurably.

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  • Elfive
    replied
    I think factories mostly take the form of municipal charms. Which, y'know, do have to be built. Sort of.

    Natural features of the autochonian landscape are more like huge bits of machinery with no clear purpose. Gears, pistons, stuff like that.Outside of a city it's possible that people could, say, bolt things onto these features to use them as a sort of water wheel, but actual factories? I don't recall anything in the books suggesting this.

    Leave a comment:

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