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  • Space Colonisation

    I love mixing Sci fi and Magic (is it any wonder I'm a big Doctor Who fan?) Assuming that it becomes necessary in a future world to leave the Earth (the World of Darkness Earth) and Mages lead Humanity to the stars. What kind of colonies and societies do you see the various Trads, Conventions, and Disparate Groups, building out in the Stars. Which other supernaturals will go along as foes. as friends, as parasites, and how would you see humanity lead by the Mage groups defending against them? Note: in this setting they won't discorperate because they settle far from the Earth. But threat Null might still be out there.

    I could see the Technocratic Union busting up over space colonization. The New World Order and the Syndicate, would want restrictions that would make survival impossible. The other Conventions would have to either ditch them or put them in their place.

    I could see the Trads having some nasty infighting over such project too. But being more flexible, it would be more likely to stay infighting rather than civil war.

    The Disparates might need to make peace with others in order to bring their groups out to the stars. this would lead to oceans of bitterness.

    But tell me how you'd do it.

  • #2
    My scenario: in 1999, Void Engineer monitors detected a monster in India unlike any they had encountered before; its sheer power was astonishing, and it threatened to lay waste to large swaths of the Earth. The Engineers reacted swiftly and were just barely able to destroy it. In the wake of this incident, they got decimated by the rise of the Dimensional Anomaly and the Red Star appeared in the skies. Prognosticators from all factions realized that Earth's doom lay a mere five years away, and efforts began to find ways to save as much of humanity as possible — starting with a suspension of the Ascension War.

    Thus it was that when the Red Star arrived in 2004 and long-forgotten monstrosities started to ravage the Earth, the mages were ready to lead an exodus from the planet.

    More tomorrow …


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    • #3
      Originally posted by Astromancer View Post
      Assuming that it becomes necessary in a future world to leave the Earth (the World of Darkness Earth) and Mages lead Humanity to the stars. What kind of colonies and societies do you see the various Trads, Conventions, and Disparate Groups, building out in the Stars.
      I'm still working on my readthrough of old classic Mage stuff in preparation of my upcoming campaign, and I haven't gotten to Book of Worlds yet, but there have been references in some of the books I have read that make me think this is actually a pretty major part of the setting already. (Or it was until Revised, and could still be if you ignore the Avatar Storm and/or assume they are rebuilding now.)

      Some of the references I have seen lead me to believe the Technocracy colonies are pretty much "Brave New World" style utopia/dystopia-depending-who-you-ask sorts of places. Any character native to an offworld colony starts with a Social Conditioning score of 7, which is pretty unsettling.

      I do know that the scale of it is pretty insane, too - there's a reference made that the Void Engineers have built a freaking Dyson Sphere.

      The Traditions, meanwhile, seem to also be colonizing space, but various archaic versions of space. I really like the idea that the Traditions are colonizing the Mars of Wells and Burroughs, or exploring crystal spheres out of Aristotle's cosmology. (Not sure how far off I am from canon there, but that's the impression I've gotten from reading so far.)

      Of course, for the most mystical of mages "outer space" doesn't even seem to exist, so you also get stuff like Dreamspeakers walking to other worlds on foot, which is an interesting idea but one I need to think about more.

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      • #4
        Now, don't get me wrong: the move to abandon the Earth was hardly universal. There were many who sought to stop the oncoming cataclysm. Even to this day, there are among the survivors those who claim that if everyone had been behind that movement, they would have succeeded and the Earth would have been saved. The leaders of the Exodus counter that if more mages hadn't wasted their effort on a lost cause, more would have been saved. And so the conflict continues.

        The first thing that needed to be resolved by the exodus forces was the problem of discorporation. This was a long-established phenomenon that had largely gone ignored, but was drawn into sharp relief by the Avatar Storm and its effects on the senior ranks of the Technocracy and Traditions alike who got stranded in the Umbra. The solution proved surprisingly simple: an outpost in the Umbra that was populated by tens of thousands of human refugees took on enough of the qualities of Conventional Space to protect the residents from turning into spirits; it was only when a small group of individuals were isolated in the Umbra that discorporation was a danger. Which is not to say that the Umbra was without its dangers to these involuntary pioneers; while the Gauntlet had long protected humans from the depredations of spirits, these refugees lacked that line of defense and had to rely on their protectors. By and large, this was the route that the Traditions chose: to settle the various Umbral Realms and other Otherworldly strongholds with human survivors.

        Meanwhile, the Technocracy concentrated on getting colonies set up in Conventional Space. The rise of eldritch horrors on Earth spurred the Union to drastically accelerate its Timetable, and perversely made the Masses more receptive to it; by 2009, the Syndicate was funding the mass production of “space arks”, Voidships designed to transfer as many colonists off of Earth and to Mars as possible, while the Progenitors engaged in a crash course to terraform Mars. Those operations are still ongoing today, though the search and rescue teams (mostly headed up by Iterators) haven't found anyone to rescue for over a year now, and the general opinion is that everyone who could be rescued by has been rescued.

        Mars isn't the only colony that the Technocracy has headed up; there are now colonies throughout the Solar System. That said, the arrival of the Red Star didn't just do a number on the Earth, though humanity's homeworld did appear to take the brunt of its influence. The solar colonies (both Conventional and Traditional) are at best a delaying action — a way to keep humanity going while the Awakened consider their next moves. Nobody expects them to last, and there are plans being drawn up to abandon the whole solar system, just as soon as a potential new homeworld has been found.


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        • #5
          We did a Seeking "passion play" that may or may not have been in 2140. It was a "flash forward" based on a worst case scenario of what the cabal was dealing with in a time travel plot that took them forward to a "dark" future in 2017 (which was roughly a decade out from "game present").

          The situation was somewhat akin to Eclipse Phase in feel (though it predated that setting by a bit). Earth was a goner. Bad things had taken total control of the rotting remains of the dying planet. The Diaspora had happened every which way (through the Umbra, exodus via various space-travel vehicles, in-place colonies) in a very non-planned non-organized fashion ending up with the Traditions and the Technocracy getting mix-mastered into new factions and subgroups as the remnants clung together, managed their survival, etc. There ended up being four factions in control of various parts/aspects of the Inner Solar System:

          The Combine - the most Technocratic faction left, sort of dispersed hive-mind mentality, very practical, cybernetic augmentation - effectively the "Belters" of the system, though pretty much any asteroid, moon, etc. not just the Belt proper.

          The Court of the Ten-Thousand Fixed Stars - not strictly a mage faction, composed of the many of the various groups that fled into the Umbra, brought together and led to establish a sort of idyllic Chinese Empire on the Moon. It was very odd but in a somewhat cool way - the cultural matrix may have been Chinese, but it included some definite Mesoamerican and Celtic influences. There were Fera and Garou and a fair number of Fae in the mix as well.

          The New Covenants - The most Tradition-like, but each of the Covenants has heavy influence from some of the Conventions: Children of Hippocrates, Genesians, Illuminant Guild, Inspired, Odyssian Sodality, Platonic Order. Basically living in the tin can habitats

          The X<alt>8sh0n - aka "The Exaltation", the post/trans-humanists, very much an outgrowth of the VAs but definitely more out there - singularity seekers, crowd-sourced identity, etc. (There was definitely some Culist DNA in their make-up and dash of some avante-garde elements of the Syndicate).

          The groups were networked together in a reciprocal network of trade but all of them had some very weird goals. I don't remember why no one was living on the Inner Planets. Seems like a huge gap, but I can't find the rational in the notes.

          The character's mission was to make a critical decision at a summit where the factions had come together to try to settle on how to allocate scant resources to achieve their various goals.

          It was a lot of fun overall. A whole lot of work for one session, but a LOT of fun.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by MrApophenia View Post

            I'm still working on my readthrough of old classic Mage stuff in preparation of my upcoming campaign, and I haven't gotten to Book of Worlds yet, but there have been references in some of the books I have read that make me think this is actually a pretty major part of the setting already. (Or it was until Revised, and could still be if you ignore the Avatar Storm and/or assume they are rebuilding now.)

            Some of the references I have seen lead me to believe the Technocracy colonies are pretty much "Brave New World" style utopia/dystopia-depending-who-you-ask sorts of places. Any character native to an offworld colony starts with a Social Conditioning score of 7, which is pretty unsettling.
            Those are the colonies that weren't run by the Void Engineers. The VE developed counter conditioning systems. The old VE also had a "No War Beyond the Line if the Other Conventions Aren't Looking. Defending Humanity and Exploration are their goals. Mind control makes this far to difficult.

            I do know that the scale of it is pretty insane, too - there's a reference made that the Void Engineers have built a freaking Dyson Sphere.
            They said they did. Others say they "found" it.

            The Traditions, meanwhile, seem to also be colonizing space, but various archaic versions of space. I really like the idea that the Traditions are colonizing the Mars of Wells and Burroughs, or exploring crystal spheres out of Aristotle's cosmology. (Not sure how far off I am from canon there, but that's the impression I've gotten from reading so far.)

            Of course, for the most mystical of mages "outer space" doesn't even seem to exist, so you also get stuff like Dreamspeakers walking to other worlds on foot, which is an interesting idea but one I need to think about more.
            Basically, a forced migration from Earth would mess up many paradigms.

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            • #7
              Is it wrong that I'm now envisioning the evolution of life in space, mage-style. From superstition to hypothetical to spirit-awakened hypothetical to physical in the wastes to physical near the settlements to ecology.


              Mage: The Ice-ension: An Epic Game of Reality on the Rink

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              • #8
                One thing that would make interesting gaming is how the various Mage groups would change in a frontier setting. If the Counsel of Nine brought a group of a few hundred thousand humans to a world to be settled, each group would have to alter who they are to stay true to their values.

                The Hermetic and the Virtual Adepts both support value free speech and democracy. To sustain these values on a frontier, each might need to become less elitist in many ways. Certainly the Dreamspeakers and the Vebene would need to be much more willing to embrace technology. The Euthanatos would need to realize that the Good death is not going to go unnoticed, and that they will have to face people knowing who and what they are. These are only starting issues. Each group would be transformed as it would no longer be merely a fringe group.

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                • #9
                  If all Nine Traditions head off Earth, why in the name of all that is magic, would they head out into the Technocratic Union's Conventional Space? Even the Sons of Ether don't buy into the "dead vaccuum, dead planets" ideas (hence Etherspace). Some of those planets have alternate versions in various Umbral reflections. A Hermetic expedition would probably end up on the same Mars where they'd find the ruins of Doissetep (perhaps even a version of Mars rolling under a Ptolemaic crystal sphere), which might not be the Union's Mars where all those little robots are wandering around bumping into things, which certainly doesn't seem to be something very Barsoom-like for Etherites reached via a migration of ether-dreadnaughts, or the potentially very Garou-esque Mars that a Dreamspeaker-led grouping might find (or something appropriate to the particular cultural slice of Dreamspeaker-dom that is in play). The Mars (or whatever) you end up on is going to have a lot to do with who gets you there and what they think is on the other end of that gate/journey.

                  A mosaic colony where various regions hew to the "view" of each particular Sect might be super weird, wonderful and wacky.... But it seems unlikely that each regions "normative zeitgeist" would would appreciably change from their core Earthly conceptions. Their "where" would be intertwined with their "who". Unless you want to add substantial heaps of time since the relocation before you shake and bake the setting.

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                  • #10
                    Wonder how the Marauders and the Nephandi would go about this?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Ajax View Post
                      If all Nine Traditions head off Earth, why in the name of all that is magic, would they head out into the Technocratic Union's Conventional Space? Even the Sons of Ether don't buy into the "dead vaccuum, dead planets" ideas (hence Etherspace). Some of those planets have alternate versions in various Umbral reflections. A Hermetic expedition would probably end up on the same Mars where they'd find the ruins of Doissetep (perhaps even a version of Mars rolling under a Ptolemaic crystal sphere), which might not be the Union's Mars where all those little robots are wandering around bumping into things, which certainly doesn't seem to be something very Barsoom-like for Etherites reached via a migration of ether-dreadnaughts, or the potentially very Garou-esque Mars that a Dreamspeaker-led grouping might find (or something appropriate to the particular cultural slice of Dreamspeaker-dom that is in play). The Mars (or whatever) you end up on is going to have a lot to do with who gets you there and what they think is on the other end of that gate/journey.

                      A mosaic colony where various regions hew to the "view" of each particular Sect might be super weird, wonderful and wacky.... But it seems unlikely that each regions "normative zeitgeist" would would appreciably change from their core Earthly conceptions. Their "where" would be intertwined with their "who". Unless you want to add substantial heaps of time since the relocation before you shake and bake the setting.
                      First off it happens to be cannon that Outer Space exists. Yes the other places can be reached too, but the goal I had in mind was settling human populations beyond the Earth. I was thinking of Sci Fi campaigns.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Weirdboyz View Post
                        Wonder how the Marauders and the Nephandi would go about this?
                        The Marauders are not predictable. Perhaps a powerful Marauder kidnaps a when hundred people, mutates them into various types from old Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers and mabe even Brick Bradford Comic strips, and sets up his own Planetary Romance world. Assume some time paradox and there could be large populations with no knowledge of Earth.

                        The Nephandi would build slave colonies. They might not be obvious slave colonies.

                        More likely the Nephandi would try to corrupt whatever anyone else built.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Astromancer View Post

                          First off it happens to be cannon that Outer Space exists. Yes the other places can be reached too, but the goal I had in mind was settling human populations beyond the Earth. I was thinking of Sci Fi campaigns.
                          Question stands. Why in the hells (ALL of them) would the Nine Traditions go into enemy territory to "save humanity" or just some sort of extension of manifest destiny (and that's EXACTLY what it is; nice, clean dead-dead-dead space cleansed of all those pesky EDE's... sorta like what happened to the Americas when the Union decided it was time to "open them up for settlement"). Why wouldn't the Traditions go off into extra-Terran space that is much friendlier to their paradigms? Etherspace is just as much cannon as Outer Space (or to be Technocrat about it, Conventional Space) and though it's explicit, it doesn't seem like it makes much sense in the Mage-verse for their not to be completely "other" visions of "out there" that jibe with the conceptions of other magical paths. After all, the Umbrae are infinite and unbounded.

                          Unless you are positing some future disaster that also destroys all other possible versions than the one the Technocrats cotton to. In which case it's probably not so much a "I wonder what the Traditions will do and how they will change with all the possibilities of a new frontier..." to a "How do they survive in a situation where the entire universe is against them MUCH more than they have ever experienced before and for their enemies, who have an unassailably advantaged position?"

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                          • #14
                            My suggestions to get inspiration are the videogames sagas of Doom and Mortal Kombat and the movies "Hellraiser: Bloodline" (Pinhead in the space) and James Cameron's Avatar.

                            In sci-fi setting, the high-tech works like a no-Mage game, but machine malfuctions and informatic errors may be casual magic.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Ajax View Post

                              Question stands. Why in the hells (ALL of them) would the Nine Traditions go into enemy territory to "save humanity" or just some sort of extension of manifest destiny (and that's EXACTLY what it is; nice, clean dead-dead-dead space cleansed of all those pesky EDE's... sorta like what happened to the Americas when the Union decided it was time to "open them up for settlement").
                              First, I wanted a Space colonization thread. If you don't want all the trads in space, that's your game. Besides, in my campaign it's groups from all the traditions.

                              Why wouldn't the Traditions go off into extra-Terran space that is much friendlier to their paradigms? Etherspace is just as much cannon as Outer Space (or to be Technocrat about it, Conventional Space) and though it's explicit, it doesn't seem like it makes much sense in the Mage-verse for their not to be completely "other" visions of "out there" that jibe with the conceptions of other magical paths. After all, the Umbrae are infinite and unbounded.
                              They didn't want to discorperate. Dude, you've got to get over the Magic equals Old Fashioned meme.

                              Unless you are positing some future disaster that also destroys all other possible versions than the one the Technocrats cotton to. In which case it's probably not so much a "I wonder what the Traditions will do and how they will change with all the possibilities of a new frontier..." to a "How do they survive in a situation where the entire universe is against them MUCH more than they have ever experienced before and for their enemies, who have an unassailably advantaged position?"
                              You pick your disaster to drive folks into space, I'll pick mime. I offer you Freedom of Paradigm.
                              Last edited by Astromancer; 02-05-2016, 04:07 PM.

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