Setting and Themes

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Setting and Themes

Post  Database on Thu May 27, 2010 12:15 am

Magnum Opus means "Great Work" - and that is ultimately what this is about. Through technology, adventures, and personal growth, every character and faction in the game is trying to produce their Great Work, to achieve their wildest dream. That may mean a unified world, a perfect Artificial Intelligence, an unmatched and perfectly integrated battle suit, or any other thing.

"Open-World" Gaming:The game is designed to largely be an "open world." To a great extent, players may wander wherever their resources can take them. Being in certain locations at certain times will make certain story lines available, and the players may choose to participate in these, or not, never quite knowing how their current mission fits into the macro-story playing out across all 3 worlds. They can choose whether to toil in obscurity, or take part in world-changing events.

Resource Management: This game honors the "punk" is cyber-punk: that is, the players are "punks" - low-status, low-resource scroungers on the margins of society. So it will take careful management of meager resources to achieve their goals, and a good bit of luck as well. New tech is almost always too costly to be purchased legally; it must be earned through quests, bought on the black market, made by DIY, or, perhaps, stolen. Because of the breakneck pace of technology, it's also very hard to be sure that any given piece of tech will work the way it's supposed to. DIY and black market devices are especially unreliable, as many an unfortunate adventurer has discovered in the last few seconds of his life...

Setting: The 3 Planets The game takes place across 3 worlds: Klaros, Polymetis, and Agrios.
--Klaros is the wealthiest and most influential of the 3 worlds. It exerts its power on the other 2 by force of its united world-wide government, and the size of its economy. It takes raw materials from colonies on Agrios, and has them transformed into various components on Polymetis, before they are assembled into fine and powerful tech in the government labs and black-market stalls on Klaros. Power and advancement on Klaros is almost entirely dependent on the good graces of the world government, but here and there some cracks appear, and even within the ruling class there may be factions... Players begin here, but may travel off-world if they have sufficient money or bargaining power.

-- Polymetis is a rapidly rising power in its own right. The planet is positioned literally and figuratively as a middle-man between the raw materials of the Agrios colonies and the elite consumers of Klaros. The guilds and houses of Polymetis are working towards a unity of their own, and they may be on a collision course with the old established interests of Klaros...

-- Agrios is a wild and untamed planet, rich in resources but weak and worn down. Generations of exploitation by Klaros and Polymetis have left its people weak, and prone to fighting against each other, all of which serves the purposes of the colonial masters. The indigenous people are strong and proud, but far behind the technology curve. Meanwhile, people come from the other planets to rule over them, or to hide from crimes committed on a more civilized planet. However, tribal warlords are rising from the dust of an oppressed planet, and the balance of power among all three planets may hang on some desperate and unstable people...

Fantasy Influences: This game believes strongly in the adage that any technology, sufficiently advanced, is indistinguishable from magic. Techs designed by NPCs will often resemble magical creatures or items- for instance, a war-machine that looks like a dragon, or a robotic helper that looks like a goblin or homonculus. These things will be more of a reference to the fantasy feel - it is not necessary for a player to carry a magic staff. However, he might wield a vibro-blade with a suitably epic feel, or a difficult DIY session may start to resemble a bout of alchemy. ("Okay... here goes nothing..." [fizzing/popping sound, puff of smoke rises from the chipboard...] "Oh hell, I need another pico-processor... those things are impossible to find!)
Players are encouraged to make up techno-babble as necessary, though GMs may provide guides for consistency's sake.

From an in-game perspective, the characters and NPCs may tend to refer to these fantasy themes, if only because the frontier of science is so nebulous. While not literally dabbling in "deep sorcery," it is a handy set of common references that the pioneers of technology may use - and their creations will reflect that sensibility.

Database
Admin

Posts : 15
Join date : 2010-01-21

Character sheet
Character Name: Senor Spielbergo
Gender: Male
Short Description: Narrator

View user profile http://thegreatwork.forumotion.com

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Talking the Talk: Terms/Slang

Post  Database on Tue Jun 15, 2010 3:02 pm

Punk Terms:

Punk/Runner: Those who embrace the street and turn away from "life on a rail" - hackers, mercenaries, starving artists, independent spirits who reject the Vision.

"The Great Work": Every punk's dream - to create their masterpiece. Some equipment, some code, some piece of art or culture that will make them immortal, shake up the whole system... More broadly, the lifestyle that encourages every individual to pursue their dream, aided and abetted by bleeding-edge technologies.

MiniBrat: A young, well-to-do Visionary, someone who is educated and trained by the Ministries and then given a comfortable job for the rest of their lives.

No-Face/Blanks: Higher-level bureaucrats in the Ministries who are obscured from the masses of the Constituents, and almost always unseen by Punks unless their smiling face appears on a poster encouraging civic values among the punks.

Hydra: The unified Government, with the Ministries being its many heads.

Magic: Technical craft - programming & design skill, hacking, the tips and tricks and secrets the punks use in service of their work.

"Alchemy": the special art of the punks, turning diverse pieces of discarded junk into cutting-edge tech - lead into gold.

Black Magic/Voodoo: Catchall term, can range from a descriptor for things that shouldn't work but don't (the equivalent of a battle suit held together by tape and powered by luck), to strange and squicky wetware designed to do something really unpleasant (e.g., a cortex bomb).

Running: The means by which many punks pay the bills. Taking odd jobs, making deliveries, doing courier service. Can also refer to online work - hacking, research, spying. Any number of things that put food in the belly and a little cash in hand.

Sellout: A former punk who's taken a job with a Ministry and bought into the Vision.

"Sacks" - refers to the low-class people who inhabit the crowded urban areas, the ones who were left out of the Vision rather than choosing not to take part. The Punks live among these, and the Ministries nominally oversee and care for them, but really no one thinks about them. They do menial jobs, they live their lives, and that's it. There's a small debate about the origin of the term - either "sad sacks," or "sacks of meat."

Visionary Terms

The Vision: A philosophy promoting global (and inter-planetary) unity, a monolith government (the Ministries), the value of group endeavor, and the necessity of Klarian expansion and guidance of the more "vulnerable" planets. "By our work will Klaros prosper!"

Visionary: Someone who believes in the great Vision, who devotes themselves to it and trusts that their reward will come in the fulfillment of that vision. These are the people who populate the ministries; who own the nice housing; who make the money; who have the luxuries. They believe (at least nominally) in the virtues of teamwork and sacrifice.

Constituents: anyone who ranks below you in status - nominally it is your job to make sure that you represent their interests to your Leaders, and you in turn are supposed to Lead your constituents. (Provided you have any contact with them at all; you may be closed off in a lab somewhere, making this all an academic discussion).

Parasites: Vitriolic term for the Punks, who live off the fat of the government and sometimes outright steal from it.

Leaders: Anyone who ranks higher than you. They provide direction and help you align your activities with the Vision.

Colleague: Anyone on the same level as you. Also, friends.

Burnout: A Visionary who became a punk. Clearly, they were unsuited to serve the cause.

Liaison: Visionary agents who work directly with the most-needy Constituents (that is, the Punks). Some of these are very effective in communicating with the folks on the street, and some of them don't really fit in. Some of them fit in too well; the burnout rate among liaisons is quite high.

Database
Admin

Posts : 15
Join date : 2010-01-21

Character sheet
Character Name: Senor Spielbergo
Gender: Male
Short Description: Narrator

View user profile http://thegreatwork.forumotion.com

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