This is a log from 12/22/07 with Beta-players about the Sivadian and Later races, trying to help new players get used to the ideas of them. Use the discussion page to ask further questions. Remember to sign it.
You say, "Anyway, welcome, everyone. This is pretty much informal concerning the Sivadians and the Laters. I think most of you here have a basic idea what the two groups are about, but ultimately, those interested in playing probably have more than a few questions. We'll talk about the Sivadians, first, though."
You say, "Sivadians are substantially similar in personality to the NJ version, really. They have changed, but it's not some impossibly radical shift. - Big differences to keep in mind are: 1) There's a lot more Sivadians out there now, hence the arcology systems that almost all of them live in. 2) They still enjoy their genetics work, but they've expanded to include cybernetics and nanotechnology enhancements to their repetoire. 3) Given 1 and 2, the Specialists are gone. - Easiest way to explain it is a matter of just fading away with increased expense for space and the development of cybernetics and such which can serve very similar functions."
Leviathan says, "A decreased need for a cheap labor caste, in other words?"
Narthic says, "But do they still have servants, as thats been the impression I've been given about Specailists. That and they make up for a large part of Sivad's military."
You say, "A decreased need and increased expense. Most Sivadians, especially of the single variety, are likely calling a 10x10 foot square 'home.' There's not much need for Specialists in that case. Add in common cybernetics (like the appliance control utility that's had a couple jokes made of it), and some weak AIs, and you have a substitute that does almost as well."
Leviathan asks - how common is /personal/ genetic manipulation? Are most sivadians at this point 'paragons' - how much control do they have over their appearance, and are we talking subgroups that get even whymsical or outre with it?
You say, "For those who want numbers: My current population figures (subject to change, of course), are showing about 16 billion Sivadians. Compare that to about 60 million in the NJ era. You can imagine the concerns that come with this. Issues of land, room for people, disease, food, infrastructure. - The Enaj Arcology itself is giant, currently able to hold about 200 million. - Personal genetic manipulation? On a personal level you're looking at most of the genetically derived diseases being eliminated on a wide scale. Some other things can be augmented, but overall, that's still the big one. As for paragons? Not really. There's decent control, yet, but the real 'enhancement' now is in nanotech/cybernetic enhancements. Most of those are occupational, though. You're more likely to see an engineer with a MacGyver arm than someone trying to go Robocop."
Narthic says, "Call me ignorant, but whats the Arcology? Sounds like the study of fossils."
You say, "Ever play SimCity2k? - It's like the things there. They're really big self contained cities, though."
You say, "Anyway, barring questions, I'll move onto the Laters."
You say, "The Laters, for those who don't know, are the OS:M La Terrans. Sure, people live on LT in the NJ era, but there's really not much in the way of a cohesive culture. OS:M side this exists. Easiest way to define the race, at least according to outsiders, is their fierce resistance to giving psionists special rights. - On LT, sanctity of the mind is a very important right, fundamental, even. The right to mindrape... not so much."
Narthic says, "So its racial segregation based on telepathy?"
You say, "Racial segregation? Of course not! However, LT takes this very seriously, big thing is they have a psi suppression network that more or less shuts down the ability of psis while on planet. Combine this with a population that's innately resistant and they aren't able to cause much trouble."
Eloise thinks carefully about this. "Mm, I bet Psionics are uncomfortable on La Terre, then."
Narthic says, "What brought on this whole ideal that Psionics are just going to mindrape anyone they can? Not saying thats what it is, just sorta sounds like it."
Eloise wonders if that's a subjective phrase. El can easily see why people not raised around psionic peoples would be incredibly uncomfortable.
You say, "Ah, Narthic asks the big question. :> - A lot of it comes down to the La Terrans and their faith. On the simplest level, it's that their Saints don't much like it, a couple actually fell to psi, and their chief Saint is said to have been an old enemy of the Kamir. - And as for how you phrase it? Do you really want to trust a being that you can't know what they're thinking, but they can know what you are thinking?"
Narthic says, "So Psi's are automactically given a bad rap for their deities think? Suppose it makes sense. Just look at modern religons."
Miran says, "Well, and this is just the Laters, right? The other races obviously have different impressions."
You say, "However, I'll use it as a convenient jumping point. Probably moreso than any of the other humans I can think of, the Laters are very much defined by their faith. Major concept is that they worship their fallen heroes, which means all of their Saints were living beings at one time."
You say, "Yes, Miran."
You say, "The Laters very much take the attitude that they're one of the few groups out there that actually stand up for the sanctity of thought."
You say, "Big thing I'd have to say for anyone who actually rolls up a Later is: Find a primary Saint or two, since they're very much what differentiates the character from other Laters on a basic level. There's a wide range, and I keep adding more, too, so especially by beta there shouldn't be a lack of basic ones."
Narthic says, "Alright so if thats true, how do Laters be able to have their faith defined and proven to be real when so many other faiths on OS are simply speculation? Does the Mars pantheon exist? Or Maza? Or the Great Spirits of the Qua?"
Miran says, "I imagine that's the same as it works in the real world, Narth. Some religions are heavily rooted in mysticism, some are not."
Narthic says, "True."
Odin nods to Narthic, "I wouldn't know if I'd say 'proven', so much as the Laters seem to have a very small group that have a direct pipeline to the people upstairs. Over the years, they're the big source of a lot of basic information on the saint figures. Furthermore, the Laters also demonstrate the psi negation abilities and the psi resistance, the negation ability not seen elsewhere in the OA, and the resistance on a massive cultural level is not either. Whether or not it's 'true', it seems to be based on those who actually lived, and there seem to be some kind of results from it.
Narthic says, "Alright does that mean the reisistance and nagation abilities is only limited to the Laters that belive in such faith, or does that include all Laters as a general concensus?"
You say, "Negation takes a special gift to actually acquire. The resistance comes with the package. - Keep in mind that non-believers that live there tend to not be too loud about it. LT is the kind of place that if you're running for public office, you're probably talking about your belief quite a bit, too. In the US we have some people who believe in the doctrine of separation of church and state, which doesn't much exist on LT. It's not a state religion, but the religious institutions and the government have a substantially interlocking relationship."
Narthic says, "Ah, so 'belive in our faith or be ostricized' Brings back memories of Sunday school."
Miran snickers. "If you don't like it, play someone else.
Narthic isn't saying he won't play one, just finds it unique.
You say, "Pretty much. They're somewhat like Paladins from D&D. Sure, they can get a lot of power, they can do some pretty cool things, but they have some character restrictions."
Eloise thinks it reasonable. "It'll make for some interesting character clashes, I'm sure."
Narthic says, "What is their opinion on other religons on other planets? They don't go out of their way to point out flaws or anything? Or just won't be caught dead in a temple on Mars?"
You say, "Most of them don't say much about other religions. They have some theologians at work on it, but one strange quirk of the faith is that their Saints really don't care much about anyone else. It's one reason they're somewhat odd to everyone else."
Narthic say, "So they haven't said anything on that one way or another? Basically just leaving it up to conjecture? And sorry for all the questions, trying to get them to a minimun."
Eloise wants to clarify, "So they are not actively persecuting other faiths of Psionics, right?"
Miran says, "or seeking to convert others?"
Eloise meant to say or, and is sorry for the type. :)
You say, "Narth: Pretty much, there's a few who are at work on it, but they have their own mysteries to solve. - As for persecution and conversions: Offworld? Most they might do is protect themselves with their innate resistance or negation."
Eloise nods. "I draw that they have a live and let live policy towards other faiths and psis, so long as those outsiders don't interfere with them or their beliefs, right?"
You say, "Pretty much. - Only real way to convert is to adopt the cultural identity, really, which is a tall order outside of the abilities of most. - *looks at the clock* Any more questions so I don't eat up too much of Garviel's event?"