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What they need to clear up when they do a world atlas (Problems with Aeon's Earth.

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Zeea View Post

    Fascists are extreme authoritarian right-wing. China's government is extreme authoritarian left-wing. National Socialist is a reference to the violently anti-communist NSDAP (Nazi Party), which is generally considered a subset of fascism. They're all bad guys, but they're not the same and they don't work the same way. You can't really have cyberpunk in a Communist setting because cyberpunk is about extreme capitalism where corporations control the ruling party and China is all about the ruling party controlling corporations.
    Pretty much since Deng and cemented when Xi came into power, Chinese Communist Party has given up on international communism and used nationalism to justify its power, specifically the history of the Han ethnic majority. If nationalism is your criterion for right-wing, then China is right-wing. What does cyberpunk have to do with anything? The question is about fascism. If there are private companies that are subordinate to the state as represented by the party, that's functionally fascism. The CCP is even putting a minority into concentration camps. I wonder if Tibet or Hong Kong will be mentioned in the book.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by muon View Post

      Pretty much since Deng and cemented when Xi came into power, Chinese Communist Party has given up on international communism and used nationalism to justify its power, specifically the history of the Han ethnic majority. If nationalism is your criterion for right-wing, then China is right-wing. What does cyberpunk have to do with anything? The question is about fascism. If there are private companies that are subordinate to the state as represented by the party, that's functionally fascism. The CCP is even putting a minority into concentration camps. I wonder if Tibet or Hong Kong will be mentioned in the book.
      Nationalism isn't my criteria for right-wing. I mean, Stalin was a nationalist and while I wouldn't say he was quite as left-wing as Trotsky or someone, he still counted as left authoritarian.

      The cyberpunk mention is there because the entire point of the FSA was to create a Shadowrun/Cyberpunk/Gibson-esque location to game in, just like the other areas are designed for other sci-fi subgenres.

      I don't actually like Trinity's version of China, by the way, either the Aberrant or Aeon versions. But if the entire point was "let's have a place where they can play Shadowrun," I wouldn't use a Communist state.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by Zeea View Post

        Nationalism isn't my criteria for right-wing. I mean, Stalin was a nationalist and while I wouldn't say he was quite as left-wing as Trotsky or someone, he still counted as left authoritarian.

        The cyberpunk mention is there because the entire point of the FSA was to create a Shadowrun/Cyberpunk/Gibson-esque location to game in, just like the other areas are designed for other sci-fi subgenres.

        I don't actually like Trinity's version of China, by the way, either the Aberrant or Aeon versions. But if the entire point was "let's have a place where they can play Shadowrun," I wouldn't use a Communist state.
        Nationalism is usually part of the definition for right-wing, except for Soviet propaganda that tried to lump all opposition to communism with Nazis as "right-wing".

        Cyberpunk wasn't really a part of the FSA even in 1st ed. With the virtual disappearance of the genre, 2nd ed FSA is pretty much all fascist as opposed to Shadowrun.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by muon View Post

          Nationalism is usually part of the definition for right-wing, except for Soviet propaganda that tried to lump all opposition to communism with Nazis as "right-wing".

          Cyberpunk wasn't really a part of the FSA even in 1st ed. With the virtual disappearance of the genre, 2nd ed FSA is pretty much all fascist as opposed to Shadowrun.
          Well, I was going by the part of the book that mentions that the FSA is good for cyberpunk genres, and also the whole thing where it basically has shadowrunner teams as an adventure hook. I don't really think cyberpunk has disappeared, it's just morphed a bit in what it focuses on. Like, Shadowrun is still going, there's a new high-profile video game based on the Cyberpunk RPG, Fantasy Flight Games has a series of recent cyberpunk board games and an RPG setting based on them, etc. But I think we're talking in circles so we should probably just drop it so we don't take over the thread.

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          • #35
            I would change a bit the FSA with the removal of the second class citizen, and just point that by the end of Aberrant war, USA were broken and the companies took over the services on their responsibilities, becoming part of the government in a certain way. Canada and Mexico can be added as the 3 countries were facing problems and joined powers to face it.

            If you put that way, FSA is more about Cyberpunk 2020 and less facist.

            The only issue on the Cyberpunk is the lack of cybernetics on the setting as is, maybe Japan is not the only country using cybernetics, and that’s the thing that makes Orgotech hated by the other companies, they are selling products that are superior to theirs and that they can’t compete or interact directly.

            Other option is thinking Cybernetics must be biotech, more like the Replicants from Blade runner and less about Psionic Powers. Maybe Orgotech and the biotech come before the Psions and the Psitech... but than we are kicking a bit too far...


            The proper answer to “Hello There” is, obviously, “General Kenobi”.
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            • #36
              A USA where the corporations stepped in and provide a large number of government services makes sense to me. A USA which took 'advantage' of the chaos of the increasingly hostile world in the lead up to the Aberrant War taking over Mexico and Canada makes sense to me, especially if warmongering corporations influenced matters. The second class citizens thing, the collapse of the US into the FSA and such, makes no sense.

              All that said I still don't think a world where novas were a major economic and political force is one where something like the FSA or even corporations would gain such a prominence. At least not in a country where novas were very popular and common.

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              • #37
                You know, you could probably do some really cool things with the FSA having some extra social artifacts from being such a hotbed of nova activity in the past. Like, in a Aeon/Aberrant-inspired post-apocalyptic game I just started, the FSA had special forces operatives with supers-style codenames and non-uniform colored gear because the idea of superheroes had been so ingrained in the culture. They didn't operate like superheroes or anything, and weren't really powerful, but they were portrayed in propaganda as James Bond-esque super-agents. Even with novas having gone bad, even with the backlash and the attempts to sorta wipe them out of public memory, North America had just gotten too attached to the concept. Especially when the FSA wanted to compete with psions for prestige.

                I really do feel like the FSA, like much of the ideas in Trinity 1e, is based on 1990s stereotypes writ large. Even the specific right-wing coalition feels a bit more to me like, I dunno, Newt Gingrich x 1000 than Donald Trump, but I don't know how to explain it. It also would sorta explain the way China developed or the Russia lunar settlement clumsily named after the Russian mob. I'm really not a huge fan of the Earth setting in Aeon, but like the FSA better than most of the other countries because it lets you go pew pew pew at Star Wars Imperial stormtroopers while fighting to restore the component countries to independent constitutional democracies or play Shadowrun with novas and psions. But I feel like my preferences wouldn't really do the original game justice and would be turning it into a different game.

                Still, if I were writing the setting and didn't have to worry about other people's desires at all? I'd probably go the opposite route and have nations be less important instead of more important. The Orders would have no geographic centers and absolutely no national loyalties. The various sci-fi subgenres would be found scattered all over the place instead of having each location have its own theme. And I'd probably have the bad guy groups and oppressive governments get turned into non-national forces too. Instead of the Federated States Military, maybe have some massive mercenary company that hires itself out to various petty dictators and also seizes control of poorly-controlled areas like the corruption wastes and the like. I mean, there can be some regional stuff, obviously, but the sharp divisions right now feel a little much. And honestly, some of the countries are so cringey and stereotypical that I feel uncomfortable including them in the game, especially Nippon. And I absolutely wouldn't want to run or play a campaign that treats the FSA as just another normal faction instead of a major villain that you're trying to overthrow. So, yeah.

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                • #38
                  On the subject of Russia. Putin is doing massive damage to Russia as it stands. Also, there is no way for the present Russian government to invest in it's people's health, education, and general welfare, without breaking the power of the Oligarchs. Putin is dependent on the Oligarchs to stay in office. Thus, although he knows he's destroying Russia, he can't both stay in office and do anything that might make things better, Thus, what kind of wreck is 22nd century Russia?

                  China already wants to reclaim large areas Russia took from the Manchu Empire in the 17th, 18th, and 19th, centuries. China is already trying to get Russia to give them ports in the Arctic Ocean, much like Britain asked for Hong Kong. If China is as powerful as it is shown to be in this setting, and Russia is a rogue state in economic free fall, why doesn't China reclaim the vast territories Russia took from them in the past?

                  Also, since Russia is pretty much post apocalyptic now, why are they still a state a century later? Are the people even descended from today's Russians?

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by LordHeru View Post
                    A USA where the corporations stepped in and provide a large number of government services makes sense to me. A USA which took 'advantage' of the chaos of the increasingly hostile world in the lead up to the Aberrant War taking over Mexico and Canada makes sense to me, especially if warmongering corporations influenced matters. The second class citizens thing, the collapse of the US into the FSA and such, makes no sense.
                    It doesn't? You're telling me you can't turn on the news and see the shape of the FSA in America right now? I'm an American and my take on the FSA chapter in Aeon was "That's highly unrealistic. Forget 2123, figure that's 50-75 years out at most if things stay as is."

                    The essential American Myth/Story is the American Dream, "America is the land of opportunity. If you have the courage, drive and smarts you can and will make a success of yourself."

                    Of course, the corollary of that is "If you're poor and unsuccessful it's you're fault for being too cowardly, lazy and stupid to succeed."

                    The military-corporate state? President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us all about the dangers of the military-industrial complex way back in the 1950s. That's nothing new.

                    Fear of outsiders? The FSA annexation of Mexico could be complicated because we decided to Build The Wall to keep out all the "Mexican rapists and criminals and maybe some nice people."

                    You look at the FSA as a horrible but highly unlikely future. Our current American President would look at it as a "To-Do" list.

                    I apologize for perhaps annoying some people by bringing in current politics, but I can't apologize for bringing in said politics as a rebuttal to Lord Heru's above statement. And I cannot help but believe that the developers of Trinity Continuum have drawn a great of inspiration for the FSA by looking at the current state of American politics and discourse.

                    Originally posted by LordHeru View Post
                    All that said I still don't think a world where novas were a major economic and political force is one where something like the FSA or even corporations would gain such a prominence. At least not in a country where novas were very popular and common.
                    As I understand, the FSA came along during/after the Aberrant War as a response to the massive destructive that was inflicted.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by johntfs View Post
                      And I cannot help but believe that the developers of Trinity Continuum have drawn a great of inspiration for the FSA by looking at the current state of American politics and discourse.
                      Sadly, the 2e FSA was written as a fallen dystopian nation during the Obama administration. What’s happened since wasn’t the inspiration.


                      Writer. Developer. World of Darkness | Chronicles of Darkness | The Trinity Continuum

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Bunyip View Post

                        Sadly, the 2e FSA was written as a fallen dystopian nation during the Obama administration. What’s happened since wasn’t the inspiration.
                        I don't know. Are you sure you guys didn't do a bit of Nexus Surfing while working on this?

                        Figure the easiest take on the FSA is "It's The Purge with better tech."

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                        • #42
                          As someone who tends to be on the other side of the political spectrum, I don't see the FSA as being that far-fetched; it's just that they got the wrong culprits: rather than the whole thing being the result of a vast right-wing conspiracy and the military-industrial complex deciding to impose a fascistic regime on the continent, I would find it far more believable that the people who grabbed power after the Aberrant War were people who subverted the military and organized religion for their own ends. (On the other hand, the corporate side of the FSA scenario strikes me as unbelievable for an entirely different reason: our current crop of corporate leaders are far more likely to sell out to China than to support an American military coup. I could see the aforementioned subverted military forcing corporate leaders to do their bidding; but I don't see the business leaders willingly choosing to support them when there are far more profitable markets to turn to.)

                          But I'm not into RPGs for the political messaging; I'm here for entertainment. As such, I much prefer an alternate scenario (brought up the last time this matter was raised) where the fates of Europe and North America are swapped: both are still essentially removed as the dominant powers of the setting; but North America's downfall is a direct result of being the epicenter of the Aberrant War and thus being thoroughly and utterly devastated, to the point that they're still trying to put themselves back together; this leads to more of a “new wild west” scenario for North America. A fascistic European Union, by contrast, strikes me as all too believable: they've been there before.

                          Two other aspects of the Æon setting that I find difficult to believe are:

                          1. China isn't running everything. They've certainly been dealt a really good hand in the aftermath of the Aberrant War, which they won; but they haven't turned that victory into a domination of the globe, despite real-world signs of wanting to do just that. Especially with the power of mind control plopped right in their lap by their resident Psi Order.

                          2. The only way that Æon's Africa makes any sense to me is if a mega-social Aberrant went across the continent sowing the seeds for cooperation among the various African cultures.


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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by johntfs View Post

                            I don't know. Are you sure you guys didn't do a bit of Nexus Surfing while working on this?

                            Figure the easiest take on the FSA is "It's The Purge with better tech."
                            Again, the FSA was conceived during the Obama administration. It predates “The Purge”.


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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
                              Again, the FSA was conceived during the Obama administration. It predates “The Purge”.
                              The first Purge movie came out in 2013 (though the movie, The First Purge came out in 2018, as did the TV series).

                              In any case, I'm not saying the developers got inspiration from The Purge (though perhaps they did). I'm saying that an easy way for GMs to conceptualize the FSA for players might be "The Purge with better tech."

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                              • #45
                                Fair enough; though my earlier statement about my views of the FSA apply to The Purge, too (and also to The Handmaiden's Tale, and other such shows): I just don't find the stated motives of the chosen culprits to be believable.

                                More to the point, I see such media as anti-conservative propaganda that plays up negative stereotypes instead of having any grounding in fact; and as I tend to identify with the groups that these movies and shows villainize, I tend to find them more offensive than entertaining. As a result, I generally don't watch that kind of media. As such, I don't find “the FSA is ‘the Purge with better tech’” to be much of a selling point.


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