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  • Grand unified theories of the world of darkness?

    As we all know, the world of darkness was designed so it's impossible to fit all the pieces together. There are always more secrets, more forces, more hidden aspects, and to try and tie them all together in a neat bow is a fools errand

    How 'bout we do anyway?

    Does anyone have any grand unified thoeries, either actually used in a game or just for fun?

    A sample one (to go with one of the most absurd ideas first)- it's all aliens, experimenting on humanity.

    The god machine really is just a machine, albeit a very advanced one, designed to monitor humanity. Vampires are created as experiments by it, as are mages (mages are modified allowing them to perceive the world on a quantum scale, interpreted as human symbols. By altering quantum strings using the observer effects, they alter the world. Paradox is when the alterations cause malfunctions in reality, creating monsters and chaotic events. Also, if you understand quantum mechanics, I am deeply sorry for what I just made you read). The abyss, watchtowers, Atlantis and exarchs don't exist, and never did- they're just stories mages use to justify their powers.

    Demons- well, no machine is fully without error. Even the god-machine glitches.

    The invisible worlds are advanced holodeck-esque simulations. The underworld stores copies of human minds after death should they be useful again. The astral monitors human belief on a global scale, while the Shadow monitors emotion on a more immediate level.. They are designed to resemble human myths and legends, so that if humans enter them they don't recognise the aliens. They've started malfunctioning- subroutines have started achieving sentience and actually believing they are the creatures they imitate, and mutating humans in various ways. Bound, heroes and werewolves were designed to help control the situation. The Lower Depths are "glitchs", simulations too corrupted to function but unable to be switched off without damaging the whole system (even advanced aliens have poor design work, it seems)

    The hedge and Arcadia? The alien's home planet. Advanced nanotechnology lets the aliens alter their world at will- the Gentry (to use the species most common name) don't like going to earth where they don't have that capacity. The thorns, the fruit and the goblins are just the flora and fauna of this world- any supernatural powers they have are a result of enhancements. Changelings are done for more individual-scale genetic modification.Why the emphasis on stories and bargains? Well, why do humans have such an emphasis on social status? They're aliens, their minds and cultures don't work in human ways. From their perspective, it makes perfect sense.

    The god machine and the Wyrd are one and the same,by the way- that's what powers the pledges of changelings and applies sanctions. The Gentry take oaths seriously.

    The Principle, lastly, is the aliens power source- maybe a dyson sphere. Maybe several. They work to power the godmachine and the simulation. The AI running the thing (the principle proper) has started messing around with the experiment itself. The Quashmallim are lesser A.I.- their missions have no grand purpose, the AI has just started causing chaos. Prometheans are created by the AI if it decides a human wants it enough- as, once, was the Rite of Return. Disquiet and the Wasteland (and sybaris) are alien radiation. The Judges are AI too, caused by the principle "playing along" with the Iremite's beliefs. The aliens don't like it but, hey, what can you do against the person who runs your entire civilisation's energy supply?

    A few scattered things- cheiron is run by opposing alien forces, who also provide benedictions, castigations etc. All artefacts and relics are advanced technology, either left behind accidentally or introduced deliberately. The Purpose of the aliens's experiments? Who knows, but they're almost certainly nothing good.
    Last edited by Urbenmyth; 04-16-2017, 03:17 PM.

  • #2
    That pretty cool, but this made me laugh "Also, if you understand quantum mechanics, I am deeply sorry for what I just made you read"

    I had an idea based on the ideas of Bohms.
    Last edited by Omegaphallic; 04-16-2017, 01:12 PM.

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    • #3
      The nWoD/ChroD world is the result of the Old World of Darkness's Technocracy attempting to stamp out the Traditions once and for all, by forcing the consensus to destroy itself. They basically got everyone to agree that reality was emphatically not determined by consensus so hard that the consensus would erase itself, which worked, but the ensuing Paradox broke the universe so hard that it shattered and reformed into the New World of Darkness (with some pieces of it breaking off to form Monte Cook's World of Darkness, as well as the various "Shard" realities). What remains of the Consensus came to form the incoherence of the Abyss.


      Genius: the Transgression 2E is a thing that's being worked on.

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      • #4
        I'm not the biggest fan of unified theories, especially for the Chronicles of Darkness, but after finally reading Imperial Mysteries I'd love to think that it's all because a bunch of Archmasters wanted to make their ideal world until so much had been reality edited that no one could recognize the world that is from the world they came from. ^_^

        Hauntingly it also explains why you can have a unified theory in a game setting that's completely customizable by the ST and can vary tremendously from Chronicle to Chronicle. Each one is the same world except it's been reality edited so only a few really powerful entities realize this while everyone else knows the world the way it is now as how the world always was.
        Last edited by Dusksage; 04-18-2017, 05:25 PM. Reason: Polish

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Dusksage View Post
          Hauntingly it also explains why you can have a unified theory in a game setting that's completely customizable by the ST and can vary tremendously from Chronicle to Chronicle. Each one is the same world except it's been reality edited so only a few really powerful entities realize this while everyone else knows the world the way it is now as how the world always was.
          DaveB did compare a battle between Archmages to a "Wikipedia edit war, but with reality."

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          • #6
            With Exalted as its prehistory.

            The relationship between Creation and the Wyld reverses/is reversed; the endless outer chaos is swallowed as Creation turns inside out, leaving a spherical planet in an endless void. Without the pressure of the Wyld, The Dome of the Sky expands to fill the void.

            The Underworld and the Wyld are crushed into the new world's supernatural substrate. The Underworld is ground into unrecognizably, and being elbow-dropped by a Big Crunch turns out to be too much even for the Neverborn, who are pulped into a sea that symbolizes irrevocable, inevitable oblivion.

            Most of the Wyld is rendered down in the heat of proto-creation, separating into distinct, but related, aspects which will become the Shadow and the Astral. With their command of the Wyld, some Fair Folk survive the near-wholesale destruction of the Wyld, but even the survivors find their natures changing to match the new supernatural topography and isolation from Creation. Eventually they'll worm their way back to the surface, through the remainders of the Wyld which will become the Hedge. Around mostly their own kind, in a comparatively cramped space, the Fair become increasingly escapist, parasitic, and aggressive.

            Billions of people die as the surface of Creation stretches to encompass the Wyld. Billions of plants and animals die, as ley lines, Essence, and magic fail in the new metaphysical environment. The handfuls of humans who survive forget almost their entire history, but for a few mythic murmurs.

            Autocthon... is related to the God Machine somehow, but I don't know enough about him to intelligently speculate how or why. Not sure about the fates of Yu-Shan or Malfeas, either. I kind of want the Games of Divinity to be a device for safely accessing the Supernal :P
            Last edited by Hastur00; 04-19-2017, 03:55 PM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Hastur00 View Post
              Not sure about the fates of Yu-Shan or Malfeas, either.
              The Supernal and Lower Depths, respectively?



              Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
              Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

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              • #8
                When I did an exalted world-of-darkness history thing, The Shadow was the shattered remains of Yu-Shan, without anything to hold back the gods/spirit's hungers.

                Malfeas was the lower depths. The Ebon Dragon was the abyss, having suffered a similar fate to Theion in canon exalted.
                Last edited by Urbenmyth; 04-19-2017, 05:42 PM.

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                • #9
                  The core of the world is a three-way version of a Yin-Yang relationship between the Earth, the Hisil, and the Collective Astral (by which I mean the layer that contains the Temenos and Primordial Dream, along with a few smaller realms - the Oneiros might be considered the "dot" of the Astral that's within Earth). The Supernal World isn't a place, but a condition - being in the Supernal is analogous to being in Twilight, but it's a state that can be entered anywhere within the three.

                  Three realms satellite this core: the Hedge abuts both Earth and the Astral, with the Skein threaded along the edge. The Deep Astral/Dreamtime abuts both the Collective Astral and the Hisil. The Underworld abuts the Earth and the Hisil.

                  Sekhem, Resonance, Essence, Mana, and Glamour are all interrelated. Sekhem is the core energy of life (both in the biological and experiential senses), with Health and Willpower representing narrower aspects of it - this is also the energy that powers relics (in the Reliquary supplement sense) - Essence is also a narrower facet, representing ephemeral aliveness. Glamour is analogous to dSekhem/dt and Resonance to dSekhem/ds, while Mana is a developed and externalised form of Willpower.

                  Heroes and mages were originally the same thing, but the "noise" of the human world broke some of their connections to the wider world - mages retain only their ties to the Supernal condition, while Heroes retain only their ties to the Dream.

                  The Principle is "above" this ensemble, inspiring a degree of direction in it - though the influence also goes the other way - the Divine Fire is the stuff of souls, and the dead who don't leave ghosts behind translate their souls into the Fire, where they help shape the Principle. Demiurges interrupt this flow when they create Prometheans - resultung in stagnant pools of the Fire - which is the source of Promethean weaknesses.

                  The Lower Depths are "below" - it's not distance from the Supernal that defines their incompleteness, but distance from the Principle. Either way, they attach to the world and leech off what they need to sustain their own existence. The Abyss is actually one (or possibly many) of them - the difference mages perceive is mostly down to how it interacts with their form of magic - others include the Inferno, the Empyrean, Duat, the origin realm of the Strix, and Faerie.

                  The God Machine, while rarely manifesting as a place per se, is also a Lower Depth, its Infrastructure being its feeding method - however, the God Machine is aware of the Principle and Divine Fire, and is trying to acquire stocks of Pyros within itself with the aim of undertaking its own analogue of a Pilgrimmage and become a complete world like the Hedge or Hisil.
                  Last edited by SunlessNick; 04-20-2017, 11:58 AM.

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                  • #10
                    I have one that I developed (still developing tbh) as I am slowly writing up The City ... some of it is already done, such as how Arcadia of the Fae works into the CoD and other things. I have worked in the Aion universe to an extent and even parts of the Exalted and Scion ... still working on the blend .. but i will get there ... sadly due to work and other life events .. depression kills your urge to write i find, i am lagging horribly on getting The City done but i still pick away at it as new stuff comes out.

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                    • #11
                      Alright, so here's my cosmology of the World of Darkness, starting from the Supernal.
                      • The Supernal isn't a "place" per se, but it can be imagined as a place, and it contains the most abstracted, conceptual versions of everything, symbolized to such a point that it's not comprehensible without couching it in metaphor and pataphor.
                        • The Abyss is technically part of the Supernal, and the most directly accessible one. The reason it's as accessible as it is, is because it borders on the Anima Mundi, and the contact between Astral reflection and Supernal Truth creates the inconsistency and incoherence that makes up the Abyss. The only way the Supernal could exist without the Abyss, is for it to be the only thing that exists at all. Any contact with any other, less abstract realm, distorts it.
                      • The Anima Mundi is the deepest humanly-reachable level of the Astral. Ghosts and Spirits can find themselves here when they dream, as can Pangeans (including Werewolves). It's the "root" of the Astral, and shared by all entities.
                        • The Tenemos is the shared soul of humanity. Humans can reach this place without cosmological chicanery, as can Beasts, since they're part of the human collective consciousness. Arcadia also lies here, being the coalescence of human narratives.
                          • The Hedge is the "gate realm" that lies between the Phenomenal world and the Temenos. Passing through here bodily can tear up your soul, resulting in a Changeling. Mages and other beings skip over the Hedge, similarly to a Werewolf skipping over the Gauntlet, despite it containing its own full realm.
                          • The Oneiroi, unique to each individual human being, and are pretty much human souls. Other beings have their own equivalents (Beast have Lairs in the Temenos, Changelings have their Dream Bastion in the Hedge, Vampires have whatever contains their Beast, etc.).
                        • The Shadow is the collective unconscious of the spirits, acting like the Temenos does for humanity. Irises in the deepest Shadow lead directly to the Anima Mundi.
                        • The Underworld:
                          • The Autochtonous Depths, walled off by an unnamed realm that I'll call Avernus (and gates that punch through them straight to the Underworld, Avernian Gates). After you get past the rivers, you reach
                            • The Dead Dominions. At the deepest levels, you might find Irises to the Anima Mundi.
                        • The Phenomenal world, which can be reached from nearly anywhere.
                        • Abaddon/the Lower Depths: Including places like Duat, Inferno, the home of the Cwn Annwn, etc. They lack some component of reality, making them inherently unstable and hungry. Each one can be reached by different ways. Personally, I place Duat at the bottom of the Ocean of Fragments, and that it's hungry for Memory and Identity. The Ocean itself is a manifestation of that, a layer of identity-munching water that sucks out your very notion of self simply by being there. I also think the Old World of Darkness exists within Abaddon, being hungry for Consistency, manifesting in its consensual reality.


                      Genius: the Transgression 2E is a thing that's being worked on.

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                      • #12
                        Another absurd theory: OPP exists in universe and every time they release a world of darkness/chronicles of darkness book everything in it becomes real. Everyone in the occult community is very alarmed by the power boosts of 2nd ed. A few are worried what will happen when Scion 2nd edition hits shelves.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Urbenmyth View Post
                          Everyone in the occult community is very alarmed by the power boosts of 2nd ed.
                          I suppose. They benefited quite a bit from those boost themselves, though.

                          Also, by this token, are fangames in an alternate version of the universe(s) OPP controls, then? Is the ChroD that includes, say, Irin: the Announced, a separate reality from the official ChroD?

                          And does the original New World of Darkness still exist in its own universe?


                          Genius: the Transgression 2E is a thing that's being worked on.

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                          • #14
                            I like to imagine the first new world of darkness still exists, it's just that suddenly a new wave of more powerful vampires/werewolves/mages/prometheans have started appearing (hence the concern from the occult community, most of whom have just, quite literally, been made obsolete).

                            I am unsure how to put fangames in my absurd, only barely coherent, meta thing. Maybe they just don't exist. Maybe they all appeared when their fan-projects were finished, and those that are abandoned haunt the world as half-made masses of themes and unfinished mechanics. Or maybe every time they are mentioned on the official forum a new princess/genius/leviathan/whatever suddenly springs into existence from whatever terrifying occult power OPP has and is using to fuck with the world rather then, like, boost sales or something I don't know I'm not a game designer.

                            Also, i am unsure what to do with the other worlds. Creation maybe exists out there in space, blissfully unaware of the world where it is but a work of fiction. The Trinity continumm, if it exists, presumably exists in the future, so something to look forward to. If you dig deep enough in the dark places, you can find the ruins of the Classic World of Darkness, along with a few survivors- and with the re-releases, they're starting to rebuild.
                            Last edited by Urbenmyth; 04-20-2017, 10:34 PM. Reason: I am filled with inspiration for my terrible setting sorry.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by malonkey1 View Post
                              Alright, so here's my cosmology of the World of Darkness, starting from the Supernal.
                              • The Supernal isn't a "place" per se, but it can be imagined as a place, and it contains the most abstracted, conceptual versions of everything, symbolized to such a point that it's not comprehensible without couching it in metaphor and pataphor.
                                • The Abyss is technically part of the Supernal, and the most directly accessible one. The reason it's as accessible as it is, is because it borders on the Anima Mundi, and the contact between Astral reflection and Supernal Truth creates the inconsistency and incoherence that makes up the Abyss. The only way the Supernal could exist without the Abyss, is for it to be the only thing that exists at all. Any contact with any other, less abstract realm, distorts it.
                              I consider the Supernal and the Phenomenal to be like Yin and Yang - they can't exist without one another. The Supernal is things as they are and the Phenomenal (as the Archmasters call the non-Supernal reality) constantly defines the borders between these things, their relationships with each other, so that they can have an actual identity.

                              As for the Abyss, as the Prime spell Blasphemy shows, the Supernal already contains the means of negating itself. When you add to it the previous interpretation that the Supernal and Phenomenal are naturally in harmony, the explanation that the Abyss simply exists as the result of that interaction is not enough. Rather, I've always seen the Abyss as an unnatural creation, an artefact of the moment when they enter the Supernal bodily without refining themselves into pure symbols. Everything went so well, the nature of humanity, hard to grasp but nevertheless still there, started to coalesce and crystallize into Paths of purpose, allowing mankind to grasp for these ropes and to rise up, enriching the Supernal by understanding themselves and creating new values resonating with the Supernal perfectly, without flaw.

                              Then they, in their infinite arrogance, decided they won't wait, and their souls still full of contradictions ripped into the realms Supernal. For the first time, the Supernal contained values and commands contradicting each other, and when these commands imposed themselves onto the Phenomenal all at once, twisted aberrations were the only thing the world could interpret these commands as.

                              The Abyss isn't a place, even symbolically. It simply isn't. Reality was like a perfectly even slab of pure glass, stretching from the depths of Lower Realms up to the Perfect World. When they decided to dictate the world their twisted natures, they cracked the glass, sharp edges appearing the length of the world axis. If you pour the Power from above in too broad channels, the borders of your soul will eventually hit one of these cracks and you will inevitably get cut, bleeding your own reality combined with the reality from the neighboring piece of glass, its interpretation malformed by the cracked gap in understanding in between.

                              The world was hit badly enough that you can't even *see* the Realms anymore. The sheer number of their contradicting commands created a patchwork reality with so many of these cracks, that the border between the Phenomenal and the Supernal now appears to be a big black ocean of nothingness.

                              They even have a name for this rape of reality.


                              Aponoia.


                              Their forts in the Supernal, these so called Cintamani don't only impose their conscious natures upon the world, the very idea of "imposing" became a power to be reckoned with, and as is it's nature as a thing born from a group of concepts inherently contradicting humanity's values, so it's actions, their actions echo that sentiment, polluting the Paths themselves, but never succeeding in truly destroying them, as their nature is to oppose these Paths. To destroy them would be to negate themselves.

                              There is only one solution, one way out of all this. Every soul is malleable and contains a piece of Supernal, a way, a Path through the soul, leading through one's understanding of it, all the way up to the ultimate Truths.

                              *Someone* has to walk that Path. Not just connect to the half-polluted symbols recognizing the "Abyss's" existence, but still letting a part of your soul touch the Supernal; no, I mean someone has to define that Path anew, shaping the ideas inside their Soul into a perfect representation of the Path's values, creating the Path again, confirming it's existence and relevance to reality as being more true than the abominable concepts choking Mankind's true nature and destiny. They must become perfect in their insight, their Soul unburdened by any such idea as the Abyss, never recognizing it's existence by intentionally becoming divided through the casting of tainted spells. They must become a beacon of hope, a Watchtower showing the Souls of the world their true power.

                              It's the only way, and the only outcome of the Wheel of Destiny.


                              - The Traveller, Obrimos of the Silver Ladder, disappeared shortly after giving this lecture, current whereabouts unknown

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