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Reverse Engineering the Prometheus chambers

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  • Reverse Engineering the Prometheus chambers

    So as a thought, especially once the Doyen are revealed as not so nice, it's likely that the Prometheus chambers are going to become a big issue, if for no other reason than nobody knows whether or not there's a self-destruct somewhere in there.

    So, as an objective for a campaign, how hard would it e to reverse engineer a Prometheus chamber? Let's assume three cases:

    1. You're using psions, talents and superiors only as your researchers.

    2. You've managed to convince/find some megaintelligent novas who are willing to add their smarts (keep in mind that they can't directly percieve noetic energies, which is going to make them less helpful than they might otherwise be.


    Now, presuming you could reverse engineer them, what would a prometheus chamber with no limitations look like? My general assumption is that such a design would get you a psiad, since the psions aren't simply limited--they're rather boosted.

    Any thoughts?

  • #2
    As I understand it, Novas can't develop noetic biotech. Talents are limited at best because they can't use/develop "powered" items. So, you're pretty much stuck with psions and psiads.

    For my part it'd be something that would take years if not decades to do.

    The main thing to consider is that the chambers aren't really adding anything to the humans in them as such, they're maximizing and reworking what's already there.

    Say you have a man who is 6 feet tall and weighs 200 pounds. If you somehow reshaped him into somebody who was 12 feet tall, he'd still be 200 pounds but he'd be really thin and spindly because his overall mass hasn't changed.

    The Prometheus chambers don't change people's psionic "mass." They shape and focus it in a particular direction. A psion can reach 5 dots in his Aptitude and 1 dot in any other Aptitude mode. One who transcends to Psi 6 or 7 can reach 6 or 7 in his Aptitude and up to 2 dots in other modes.

    By contrast a Psiad can only get to 3 dots in any mode unless they transcend (or take the Strong Mode edge which lets them reach 4 dots in a single mode). One who transcends up to 6 Psi can reach 4 dots in his primary modes (Quantakinesis and two others) but is still limited to 3 dots in Secondary Aptitudes. Again, Strong Mode will let them raise one of their Primary Modes to 5 dots or one secondary Mode to 4 dots.

    Is it possible that a decade or so of work by Psi-empowered supergeniuses could create Chambers that endow Super-Psiad that have the flexibility of Psiads with the power level of Psions? Sure. But it's beyond the scope of this game.

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    • #3
      Nova geniuses did cure a huge number of genetically based illnesses and used bioengineered substances to fight global pollution, so a suitably focused Nova should be able to analyze the genetic component of the device. An understanding of the brain may even let them uncover any booby traps that were probably installed to make Psions easier to manipulate via Telepathy. Anything beyond straightforward copy/paste alterations would likely be much, much harder to accomplish.

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      • #4
        As I recall the original plan for the 1e Africa book Bright Continent was to have a new "order" show up that had built new promenthius chambers (I forget which ones) after studying parts of the QK chamber. I seem to recall that this was also intended to lead to a 2e where the order divisions were much blurrier (I suspect in much the way they are in the actual 2e).

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        • #5
          This seems like a project for the Chitra banu.
          They have the chamber, the motivation and a proxy able to do it.

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          • #6
            I honestly would have much preferred one generic Prometheus Chamber tech which in-setting picks a random Aptitude to empower when someone goes through it. (Out of game there is no randomness to it, the player gets to choose, even though the character didn't.)

            Actually, honestly, nothing says this still can't happen. The Orders discover what the Doyn are doing and so they and Aeon get together to break down the whole "each chamber unlocks only one type) when they build the Doyn-free second edition of the Prometheus Chamber.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by johntfs View Post
              Is it possible that a decade or so of work by Psi-empowered supergeniuses could create Chambers that endow Super-Psiad that have the flexibility of Psiads with the power level of Psions? Sure. But it's beyond the scope of this game.
              If my memory is right, one of the side effects of the Venezuela Phenomena was the random increase in Psi user’s power levels.

              I don’t believe they ever released rules for it, but it does show that there are ways for devices that can be made in the Trinity setting (Hammersmith devices in this instance) to boost Psi users to new levels of potential.

              Originally posted by Slagheap View Post
              As I recall the original plan for the 1e Africa book Bright Continent was to have a new "order" show up that had built new promenthius chambers (I forget which ones) after studying parts of the QK chamber. I seem to recall that this was also intended to lead to a 2e where the order divisions were much blurrier (I suspect in much the way they are in the actual 2e).
              Really? I vaguely recall something about this. Was this shared by Bruce Baugh?

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              • #8
                I think it’s impossible for a Nova to reverse engineering Prometheus chamber, but for sure a team of EKs and VKs can try.


                House Rules - The Basics - House Rules for Trinity Continuum
                Fists of Flux - Inspired and Powered Martial Arts for Talents
                Tomes of Inspiration - Rituals and Dark Magic in Fists of Flux

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Vjornin View Post
                  This seems like a project for the Chitra banu.
                  They have the chamber, the motivation and a proxy able to do it.
                  They also have an advantage in that their proxy had experience making advanced noetic tech well before the creation of the Psi Orders, since she was the one responsible for the device which caused the global noetic surge that lead to the Doyen creating the Prometheus Chambers. I believe she also lead the project to repair their chamber after the destruction of their headquarters.

                  Originally posted by Mateus Luz View Post
                  I think it’s impossible for a Nova to reverse engineering Prometheus chamber, but for sure a team of EKs and VKs can try.
                  While they can certainly try, I figure the Doyen (being completely paranoid) specifically designed the chambers to be as close to impossible for psions to reverse engineer as possible. Even with Novas being incapable of making proper noetic biotech, their alternate approach to advanced devices could let them make more progress than psions. This is helped by the way that high Mega-Intellect Novas with the proper edges are flat out smarter than an Intellect 7 (through Vitakinesis) psion inventor can even imagine. Of course I think the Psi Orders would then want to reverse engineer the Nova version in order to make a proper device that operates on purely noetic technology.

                  On the other hand, no one is likely to willingly let a Nova near a Prometheus Chamber, and the Doyen could have designed the Prometheus Chambers to self destruct if a Nova ever gets too close (although that'd have to be pretty close, since the quantakinetics were apparently studying Novas and sub-aberrants at their headquarters facility), so that'd make it virtually impossible for them to make progress in any way that doesn't involve remote inspection via advanced sensors.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Daredevil View Post

                    If my memory is right, one of the side effects of the Venezuela Phenomena was the random increase in Psi user’s power levels.

                    I don’t believe they ever released rules for it, but it does show that there are ways for devices that can be made in the Trinity setting (Hammersmith devices in this instance) to boost Psi users to new levels of potential.
                    That's certainly true, but this is still a game and the Psions=deep; Psiads=Broad is a way to maintain game balance and also to make sure that players of Psions don't think they screwed up by not playing Psiads. Still, your game, your rules. If you decide you want Talented Psi-Novas, have a nut.

                    Originally posted by Daredevil View Post

                    Really? I vaguely recall something about this. Was this shared by Bruce Baugh?
                    I've never heard anything about that. Any details/sources?

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                    • #11
                      To be honest I don't remember exactly where I heard that. I think it was something Baugh posted, in the same post where he talked about wanting Mercer to roll up in front of Aeon era Trinity in 20's roadster with a Daredevil Qin. But, it was a long time ago now so I could be misremebering some details.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Daredevil View Post
                        Really? I vaguely recall something about this. Was this shared by Bruce Baugh?
                        Dunno if Bruce ever shared it, but Ian Watson did. Bruce planned the new order for Bright Continent, Ian decided they needed a Chamber to make them a full order. Have a look through Ian's posts in this RPGnet thread.
                        Last edited by marin; 12-09-2019, 04:04 PM.


                        Scion 2E: What We Know - A wiki compiling info on second edition Scion.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by marin View Post

                          Dunno if Bruce ever shared it, but Ian Watson did. Bruce planned the new order for Bright Continent, Ian decided they needed a Chamber to make them a full order. Have a look through Ian's posts in this RPGnet thread.

                          Wow, that takes me back. It was about a month before Rich approached me to see if I'd be interested in the project that eventually became the Trinity Continuum.


                          Ian A. A. Watson
                          Onyx Path Community Manager
                          Trinity Continuum Content Lead

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                          • #14
                            Noetic tech, the same way as quantum tech, is more than just what we see. There is a noetic pattern/lattice (what ever they call) that goes beyond the material and make it work as it works (in the case o quantum tech a quantum lattice). The other template can’t reach that pattern and so can’t make it work or even reverse engineering it.

                            The only thing a nova can do is boost a psion/psiad to make them more capable...


                            House Rules - The Basics - House Rules for Trinity Continuum
                            Fists of Flux - Inspired and Powered Martial Arts for Talents
                            Tomes of Inspiration - Rituals and Dark Magic in Fists of Flux

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                            • #15
                              With the official exception of QK, of course. I'm guessing that a sufficiently skilled quantakinetic engineer could probably grok Novatech. Not as well as a comparable Nova engineer could, mind you; but my take on it is that the difference is more a matter of how much experience is needed and hope reliable the effort is than a blanket “A can do it, but B can't”.

                              If there's a Quantum counterpart to QK (e.g., a Quantum Power that specializes in manipulation of psychic energies), I'd expect that to work the other way: such a Nova could puzzle out noetic technology, just not as easily as a psion can.


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