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[Aberrant] More Teragen factions

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  • Dataweaver
    replied
    I think one interesting thing to explore is that while a case could be made that someone with a lot of dots in Mental and Social Mega-Attributes (particularly Mega-Intelligence) is arguably in a different class than regular humans, the whole thing is arguably a spectrum rather than a clear-cut “humans are one thing, Novas are another”. On the one hand, you have the Stealth Novas, who are similar enough to baselines that it can be hard to tell them apart; but on the other hand, even a high-Quantum Nova who has developed powerful Quantum Powers like, say, Elemental Mastery is arguably still human in the sense of whether “your human notions of morality don't apply to to me” makes any sense.

    A Teragen faction that acknowledges that there isn't a clear-cut divide between baseline and Nova in the sense that “all Novas are sovereign and not subject to human laws” implies, but still insists that Novas can and often do develop to the point that they are to baselines as humans are to dogs, and which is pushing for cultural and legal changes to accommodate that continuum of states of being, would be something to look into. I could see that pairing up nicely with the “let's figure out how to turn everyone into Novas!” idea that was floated earlier, with terms like “human”, “transhuman”, and “posthuman” being thrown around to describe the gradual shift from baseline to unique godlike entity.

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  • Deadmanwalking
    replied
    Originally posted by Firanai View Post
    I agree with you. A transhumanist Teragen faction who saw the eruption of all of humanity as their duty would be interesting, especially when you think about how they would do it. Since they see themselves "above" human morality, their methods could get very dark...


    If it's a whole faction, definitely. Much like the Teragen being more interesting due to Mal being not precisely a villain, I think having the founder and the person furthest down the path of succeeding at their goal be fairly ethically sound makes the transhumanist faction more interesting, but if it's more than a few people in size someone's gonna be an extremist.

    Originally posted by Firanai View Post
    I get the impression that the Teragen as a whole and the factions in the book all start from the same idea: I'm a Nova, and the inferior baselines have no right to tell me what to do. They're basically a bunch of selfish, bratty teenagers with too much power. That can't be what Divis Mal had in mind when he proclaimed his philosophy.

    When I created the disciples, I wanted to portray a faction of Teras more in line with what I picture Divis wanted: Novas focused on enlightenment and transcendence.

    In any case, I hope we get to see a more in depth exploration of the Teragen in future books.


    That's fair. The biggest issue with truly philosophical Teragen who sit in a nice room and meditate is getting them involved in a plot and making players care about them. It's doable, but potentially tricky. They're also, as you say, gonna be rare birds given the appeal of doing things, though, of the official Pantheon, the Apothecary, and Bounty are both fairly close to this philosophy in some ways. Both are set up in isolated areas just...improving.

    Originally posted by Astromancer View Post
    This is clearly a needed faction. It would have to make sense to some people that Nova powers ought to be the right of any who desire them. Five for Fighting got several things wrong about Superman in the song, but the biggest mistake was having Clark say "men weren't meant to ride with the clouds between their knees." No! "All are meant to ride with the clouds between their knees!"
    Yeah. It particularly seems like a really logical position for a Mega-Intellect Nova who actually had baseline peers they really care about. I mean, if your spouse is suddenly no longer capable of carrying on a conversation at your intellectual level sure some people would give up on the relationship, or just suffer in silence...but somebody would also try and fix them so they could.

    More than most supers in other settings, Novas really are objectively superior to ordinary humans in ways that make interacting with them as peers really tricky. That's why the Teragen is such an interesting 'villain' group, they're largely terrible in many ways, but they're also objectively correct that Novas are better, smarter, more worthy on some level.

    Taking that attitude and spinning it away from the selfish ('We're better, let's explore that and ignore those lesser beings.') and toward the selfless ('We're better, let's make everyone else better, too.') creates a faction that's less villainous and philosophically objectionable than the Teragen, while hitting some of the same 'no longer human' thematic notes and being perhaps even more dangerous for the world in the long run. The conflict between such a faction and parts of the Teragen (the Pandaimoinium and Cult of Mal most notably, the latter who will almost certainly view this faction as traitors), is also a pretty ripe ground for plots the PCs can get drawn into, as is Novas (possibly including the PCs themselves) trying to get their own baseline friends and family transformed, how that works logistically (do you need to do favors for the faction, pay ludicrous sums of money, just ask nicely, what are the requirements?) and the potential consequences whether that succeeds or fails.

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  • TheWanderingJewels
    replied
    I'm liking this idea and want to see if developed more.

    've also started playing with a the idea of sub faction that is not hostile to Humanity, but simply more indifferent to humanity and it's nonsense. Not actively malevolent, but more of "I have better things to do that listen to you whinging on about whatever political or philosophical rubbish you are espousing. Such as self evolution." While not hostile towards baselines or other Novas, they are not friendly either. More of a logical outcome of those who have for one reason or another have grown weary of what they perceive to be needy overly-emotional 'children' who cannot stand up for themselves and are done with interacting with them.

    They do remain aware of potential impediments and user their various abilities to throw up roadblocks, annoyances, and other actions which signal 'back off' to others who intrude on their musings. They do have a fair amount of Novas and followers that exist to target various centers of power (financial, military, political) in ways that cannot be just ignored if the people on the other end are foolish.

    The bulk of the Teragen think they do not go far enough to cause damage, but the more intellectually disposed realize they are following the Teras philosophy just in a different manner.

    Project Utopia is not entirely certain just what they are looking at, but there are some who are starting to recognize that it's a sub-faction all of it's own, and some of it's predilections indicate something alien is starting to form. They just are not sure if it's good or bad. That some of the members donate to Project Utopia on occasion only confuses them more.

    Not come up with a name for it yet, but I've borrowed some ideas from the 'X-threats' book from Eclipse Phase as I intend this lot to be not very human any more. Not really hostile, but their moral compass has veered off in some weird directions.

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  • Astromancer
    replied
    Originally posted by Deadmanwalking View Post
    Personally, I'd be interested in seeing a 'spinoff' of the Teragen who are more truly transhumanist. Baselines are inherently inferior to Novas, sure, that's objectively true, and limits the pool of real peers a Mega-Intellect Nova (for example) can have...but should the goal, then, not be to figure out how to turn Baselines into Novas, eventually solving the problem of a limited peer group in the most direct way possible? This should theoretically be possible for a powerful and dedicated enough Nova scientist...

    This individual (almost certainly a really high Mega-Intellect Nova if it's one guy) or group, would probably get on a bit better with random people than the Teragen, but only a bit (they're still fundamentally saying that Novas are better, and no longer human on some levels) and wind up actually pretty opposed to the Teragen in few ways (anyone who believes in 'destiny' or wants baselines around to serve and worship them...that's a lot of the Teragen), and be a real game changer if they start being able to actually make Novas, but not necessarily in a good way for the world at large in the short term (depending on how careful they were). This is especially true if they can only cause Latent Novas to Erupt (which would almost certainly be the first thing they figured out...turning ordinary humans into Latent Novas would be a lot harder), because then you get people going to them and trying to become Novas and it not working, and that breeds serious resentment and unpleasantness.

    Something like this seems to create a more interesting story seed than new factions that are fully Teragen.
    This is clearly a needed faction. It would have to make sense to some people that Nova powers ought to be the right of any who desire them. Five for Fighting got several things wrong about Superman in the song, but the biggest mistake was having Clark say "men weren't meant to ride with the clouds between their knees." No! "All are meant to ride with the clouds between their knees!"

    Leave a comment:


  • Firanai
    replied
    Originally posted by Deadmanwalking View Post
    Personally, I'd be interested in seeing a 'spinoff' of the Teragen who are more truly transhumanist. Baselines are inherently inferior to Novas, sure, that's objectively true, and limits the pool of real peers a Mega-Intellect Nova (for example) can have...but should the goal, then, not be to figure out how to turn Baselines into Novas, eventually solving the problem of a limited peer group in the most direct way possible? This should theoretically be possible for a powerful and dedicated enough Nova scientist...

    This individual (almost certainly a really high Mega-Intellect Nova if it's one guy) or group, would probably get on a bit better with random people than the Teragen, but only a bit (they're still fundamentally saying that Novas are better, and no longer human on some levels) and wind up actually pretty opposed to the Teragen in few ways (anyone who believes in 'destiny' or wants baselines around to serve and worship them...that's a lot of the Teragen), and be a real game changer if they start being able to actually make Novas, but not necessarily in a good way for the world at large in the short term (depending on how careful they were). This is especially true if they can only cause Latent Novas to Erupt (which would almost certainly be the first thing they figured out...turning ordinary humans into Latent Novas would be a lot harder), because then you get people going to them and trying to become Novas and it not working, and that breeds serious resentment and unpleasantness.

    Something like this seems to create a more interesting story seed than new factions that are fully Teragen.
    I agree with you. A transhumanist Teragen faction who saw the eruption of all of humanity as their duty would be interesting, especially when you think about how they would do it. Since they see themselves "above" human morality, their methods could get very dark...

    I get the impression that the Teragen as a whole and the factions in the book all start from the same idea: I'm a Nova, and the inferior baselines have no right to tell me what to do. They're basically a bunch of selfish, bratty teenagers with too much power. That can't be what Divis Mal had in mind when he proclaimed his philosophy.

    When I created the disciples, I wanted to portray a faction of Teras more in line with what I picture Divis wanted: Novas focused on enlightenment and transcendence.

    In any case, I hope we get to see a more in depth exploration of the Teragen in future books.


    Leave a comment:


  • Deadmanwalking
    replied
    Personally, I'd be interested in seeing a 'spinoff' of the Teragen who are more truly transhumanist. Baselines are inherently inferior to Novas, sure, that's objectively true, and limits the pool of real peers a Mega-Intellect Nova (for example) can have...but should the goal, then, not be to figure out how to turn Baselines into Novas, eventually solving the problem of a limited peer group in the most direct way possible? This should theoretically be possible for a powerful and dedicated enough Nova scientist...

    This individual (almost certainly a really high Mega-Intellect Nova if it's one guy) or group, would probably get on a bit better with random people than the Teragen, but only a bit (they're still fundamentally saying that Novas are better, and no longer human on some levels) and wind up actually pretty opposed to the Teragen in few ways (anyone who believes in 'destiny' or wants baselines around to serve and worship them...that's a lot of the Teragen), and be a real game changer if they start being able to actually make Novas, but not necessarily in a good way for the world at large in the short term (depending on how careful they were). This is especially true if they can only cause Latent Novas to Erupt (which would almost certainly be the first thing they figured out...turning ordinary humans into Latent Novas would be a lot harder), because then you get people going to them and trying to become Novas and it not working, and that breeds serious resentment and unpleasantness.

    Something like this seems to create a more interesting story seed than new factions that are fully Teragen.

    Leave a comment:

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