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  • Aeon Setting Question

    In Aeon, God like mutants have changed the world. Centuries after a devastating war, a new star faring civilization has emerged. Most governments and NGOs have emphasized the destruction, but there was permanent good that the Novas have done. They have found cures to many diseases, and discovered cheaper than coal sustainable energy. Did the Novas fix climate change, reducing green house gases to pre Industrial Age levels, before the big war and their exile?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Doctor Zero View Post
    In Aeon, God like mutants have changed the world. Centuries after a devastating war, a new star faring civilization has emerged. Most governments and NGOs have emphasized the destruction, but there was permanent good that the Novas have done. They have found cures to many diseases, and discovered cheaper than coal sustainable energy. Did the Novas fix climate change, reducing green house gases to pre Industrial Age levels, before the big war and their exile?
    They did manage to deal with some of the enviromental problems, but also caused others in misguided attempts to "better the world", if memory tricks me not about some of the stuff in the "Aberrant Worldwide" books, not to mention all too many messes made possible by the super-powered goons for hire known as Elites, among other little bits before the Aberrant War and all its devastation per se.

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    • #3
      Yes, however most of the good was off set by the damage of the war and the use of nuclear weapons. The war changed the face of the earth and not always in beneficial ways. Yes Ethiopia is now green, but the North American continent is devastated. The "Blight Zone" destroyed a large chunk of very rich agricultural land. Florida was submerged under the Atlantic and devastated. Mexico City was destroyed by either an earthquake or Nova vs Nova battle. New diseases have emerged some directly related to Nova's or rather the byproducts of Nova combat and cures.

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      • #4
        Some improvements have been made: The hole in the ozone layer was fixed, Ethiopia was terraformed. But, as Baaldam mentioned, just as many "well intentioned" mishaps -- like the flooding of Florida -- and even more wanton destruction during the course of the Aberrant War itself. People are less likely to remember the good when the bad was so much more visible and so much more fresh in everyones' minds.


        Ian A. A. Watson
        Onyx Path Community Manager

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        • #5
          Welcome to the forum, Doctor Zero.

          I think i've been saving up a rant for this...
          Dectivating the Zushima Macrobe has always been a historical concern for me playing out of 2120 - Microbial atmousphere filters making polluting okay and reducing our responsibility to nature are a really bad precedent for Aeon 2120 humanity to be taking for granted. On a lesser extent, so is hyperfusion. Aeon has been a really smart game through the years, but this detail has begun to spread it's handwaving to overshadow other decent science in the setting.
          I spoke about this to my brother the other day and he mentioned the greening of North Africa - but, did Spencer Balmer's early efforts lead to Ethiopia (at least) replacing it's topsoil with tainted matter? Did Zushima taint the atmousphere? Not as far as we can tell. With no counterweight, the whole thing seems so silver-age - which fits for the early years after N-Day, but makes for some Orwellian history (at best) in the anti-Nova Aeon days.

          I guess it's just more magical thinking than i personally want to have to roll with in a sci-fi setting. Not to mention at the rate we're emitting now, we would get our ozone hole back in a matter of decades, if not years. Science isn't messing around when they claim that we can't go back beyond this point - everytime it's happened in the past we've ended up with a very different earth by the time the process is over - thre process won't settle for thousands or tens of thousands of years.
          Handwaving this with Zushima is a cop-out, maybe during the Aberrant era, but explaining why a corporate run america still has running rivers in 2120 with no break in industrialization for a century - that requires some imagination. Plus, China and India are a long way off being anywhere near as industrialized - but by 2120 we're assured they have made that jump (with Africa btw) - hyperfusion gets us so far and will buy a few decades (at best) to convert everything. But eventually, even raw industrialization by itself can outstrip the emmissions of fossil fuels - Mars isn't our first time Terraforming a world. It's just that we actually planned Mars out.

          In summary (TL;DR); while the text of the setting heavily implies that aberrants did something to nullify human environmental damage, this stands in the way of really embracing the future century - taking a few steps into pure fantasy - divorced from sci-fi in a meaningful way. I am hoping to see at least some lip service to ongoing climate change in the 2120 material - just to bring it up to date with modern scientific consensus.
          -shrug-
          Last edited by Nihilist; 09-27-2015, 10:06 AM. Reason: Injurious spelling and formatting

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          • #6
            According to the What We Know document, the Continuum differs thematically in certain ways from our universe, much as the Worlds of Darkness do, among them being that it has more environmentalism in the present day.


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

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            • #7
              Thanks to Ian Watson for responding to my post. It appears that Novas solved the climate change problem but that and the rest of their accomplishments are receiving less attention on space opera Earth than the horrible things they did. Cool. Understanding the setting details is useful before running an Aeon campaign. I look forward to the products that Onyx Path will publish so my game can be more fun.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Doctor Zero View Post
                It appears that Novas solved the climate change problem
                Closing the hole in the ozone layer doesn't necessarily mean that climate change has been solved. They managed to heal one symptom of a very big complex problem.


                Ian A. A. Watson
                Onyx Path Community Manager

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                • #9
                  Okay, I was wrong. So, in this future setting, climate change is still a problem. Thanks again, Ian Watson.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by IanWatson View Post

                    Closing the hole in the ozone layer doesn't necessarily mean that climate change has been solved. They managed to heal one symptom of a very big complex problem.
                    True - closing it is good as long as nothing else our industries throws in the atmosphere starts doing the same magic as CFCs during the 20th century. And none of this on itself deals with the Greenhouse Effect.

                    Or the potential transformation of whole ecosystems that those transgenic microbes used in cleaning the seas could inadvertently bring in the long run - and i'm not even touching on extra complications like potential malicious use/modification during the Aberrant War, loss of most of the essential info on them due to the destruction of instalations and files during the war or any naturally-ocurring mutations that might bring whole new surprises into the whole funbag.

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                    • #11
                      Imagine, if you will, a human body riddled with cancer, and that cancer creates lethal tumors all over the body. Then, a brilliant surgeon comes along, removes the tumors, and repairs the damaged tissue. The flesh is as good as new, but the cancer remains.
                      That's the problem with novas and climate change.
                      In this case the novas are the surgeon, the body is nature, the tumors and environmental issues, and society is the cancer.
                      Environmental problems are symptoms of a much bigger and dangerous thing: Irresponsible consumerism. Society nowadays takes the earth and all its gifts for granted. Like a plague of locusts, they devour everything and leave nothing. If humanity keeps going on the way it does, there will be a point of no return in which the damage it's too great.
                      Novas can fix the environmental issues with relatively ease, but by doing so they are telling people that its ok to be wasteful, and irresponsible because novas will just snap their fingers and solve all the problems in an instant. People will keep behaving selfishly till the day will come when the problem becomes too big, even for novas. If I were an hyper-intelligent nova trying to tackle this problem, my first priority would be to make sure that humanity understands this.
                      Yes I can fix the ozone layer, but it will just come back again if you don't cut down emissions. Wanna me to fix it? then start passing legislation so it doesn't happen again, also please check this proposal that I have elaborated to create hyper efficient clean and renewable energy....
                      Last edited by Firanai; 10-04-2015, 01:25 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Excellently put, Firanai.
                        I agree that Baaldam's suspicions of war-time Zushima parallels are a rich source of shit-hitting-the-fan scenarios. But, without really understanding, i'm not sure how many directly traceable historic events like these are going to fit into the "Quantum-Wibbly" approach to time. Aeon/Trinity and Aberrant will need either default/template histories or whatever OPP intends to substitute for regular causal background - because regardless of the approach, time should be indivisible and linear to most inhabitants of spacetime - even time-travellers grow up with a sense of stable history. I gather the aberrant war will remain smudged and illegible going forward, because that's a helpful era for time oriented play to exploit. Although we miss out so much military/technological/social context without some definite developments in the Aeon history of the aberrant war (Pseudo Gravity came from where exactly?), at least.

                        There is too much climate sci-fi potential to be reduced to "a macrobe/wizard did it" white-washing. I feel the setting (particularly Aeon) could make good use of theoretical (sci-fi) environmental failures and successes - and it's one of the few elements of Aeon setting i would be interested in seeing revised from the ground up (along with IT and networking). Even Hyper-intelligent Novas are going to make mistakes along the path of environmental science - because there are so many possibilities we either haven't tried before or haven't been able to try before and some experimentation will be required. I'm certain Spencer Balmer regrets earlier assumptions as he grows in power and experience, despite the material presenting him as a kind of modest saint. But, if Zushima is still happily scrubbing away pollutants post-2100, then Balmer should be right alongside Birlesme as a historical "benevolent aberrant".

                        To be fair, Aberrant's portrayal of climate science won't need much adjusting to do it justice. But, there could be room for more revision to earth circa 2120 for Aeon - considering some of the science we've been seeing up to 2015.
                        -sigh-
                        It can be challenging to talk about the history of Aeon prior to "quantum wibbly" details becoming public, i just don't really know how to approach it anymore. If Aberrant can be run without an aberrant war looming in the future, can Aeon be run without the same war? What would be left? Is the Aeon era dependant on the Aberrant war or is it possible via other disasters, like solar flare EMP, catastrophic climate change or nuclear war? What would Aeon look like if there was no N-Day, or no Hammersmith?
                        A setting can only ever be surface deep without a concrete lore & context to draw from.
                        -shrug-

                        Anyway, it's nice to see this getting discussed. It really made my day to see Ian pay lip service to the science of it - there are stories to be had here.
                        Last edited by Nihilist; 10-04-2015, 09:23 AM. Reason: Removing signs of partial illiteracy.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Doctor Zero View Post
                          In Aeon, God like mutants have changed the world. Centuries after a devastating war, a new star faring civilization has emerged. Most governments and NGOs have emphasized the destruction, but there was permanent good that the Novas have done. They have found cures to many diseases, and discovered cheaper than coal sustainable energy. Did the Novas fix climate change, reducing green house gases to pre Industrial Age levels, before the big war and their exile?
                          I would approach that from a "needs of the story" angle, rather than a "science doesn't let this work" angle. In Trinity, the coastline, etc, has not really changed, so the design clearly didn't take it into account, which is understandable given when it was published.. Generally, the issues and challenges the game sets up for players are not along the lines of "solve boring 21st century problems." So, I would just say at some point, the issue was resolved, or that the course of it was reduced significantly enough that it's not a factor for most games.

                          If I really wanted to focus on climate change in a Trinity game for some reason, I would say that it was partially addressed by Novas in the early years, but progress was lost by a combination of advanced technology breaking down or being destroyed, and Nova-tech heading in different directions.

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                          • #14
                            I don't think that the issue should resolve in the past. We may have disagree on that point, with the ravages of the Aberrant war - i don't think ongoing catastrophic climate change is out of the question by any measure. Florida is already underwater - that will change the entire gulf system overtime all by itself. Also, i can't see a (very slow, admittedly) major extinction event as boring, personally.
                            -shrug-
                            I'm happy to let the aberrant era live in denial and hyper-consumerism, that's in it's blood. But i think that ongoing climate change would help to stimulate the resigned unity of 2120 earth and introduce a few exotic sci-fi settings onto the earth itself. It's not a horrid fiend to beat back, it's a natural adjustment to acclimatize to - the lack of presentation of it in Trinity/Aeon would be uncharacteristically irresponsible going forward (in my opinion). Terrible adversity faced humanity during the aberrant war, i think it would fit in seamlessly with current scientific understanding of the enormous processes involved for climate change to join in the fun. Especially if polluting continued under the misunderstanding that aberrants had 'fixed' the problem.

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                            • #15
                              Given what novas can do and what novas were doing per the original Aberrant game line, I don't really see people who are in a position to do something about it ignoring climate change.

                              Not dealing with it would likely leave areas completely uninhabitable. Not sure this would make the setting more interesting.

                              http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/resea...berLimits.html
                              Last edited by Resplendent Fire; 10-14-2015, 08:25 AM.

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