What's so occult about Occultech?

Scaramouche
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Re: What's so occult about Occultech?

Postby Scaramouche » Mon May 14, 2018 10:51 pm

Here's a totally gonzo, bonkers reframe of Tharkhold.

We like to think that a massively high Social axiom is all good. Justice for all, an understanding of collaborative progress, a deep acceptance of the human condition. And I do mean human. Imagine that, originally, there were no demons in Tharkhold.

Not until the humans of Tharkhold started sharing their thoughts, dreams, and desires across a psychic web - an internet of the mind. What they never expected is that their darkest vices, their nightmares, their flaws would gain power from shared psychic contact.

That they would, in fact, manifest as actual demons.

So, the Race inadvertently CREATED the demons of Tharkhold through psychic accident. The demons took over. They keep the Race around because a background count of psychic activity, along with magic, is what keeps them alive. The demons are literally the worst of the Race's fears and ambitions made flesh.

Makes Tharkhold a battleground of hearts and minds, as much as it is a battleground of, you know, battle.

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PrinceEarwig
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Re: What's so occult about Occultech?

Postby PrinceEarwig » Tue May 15, 2018 5:24 am

Scaramouche wrote:So, the Race inadvertently CREATED the demons of Tharkhold through psychic accident. The demons took over. They keep the Race around because a background count of psychic activity, along with magic, is what keeps them alive. The demons are literally the worst of the Race's fears and ambitions made flesh.

Makes Tharkhold a battleground of hearts and minds, as much as it is a battleground of, you know, battle.


Not such a gonzo idea.
The movie Forbidden Planet and its Creature of the ID.
A significantly advanced society with its own ideals of utopia etc. fell to its own hubris at the hands of nigh on impervious creatures generated by their own minds.

That movie is essentially a "post apocalypse" tale, just not the apocalypse of the protagonists of the movie.

I like the idea Scaramouche.

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Gargoyle
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Re: What's so occult about Occultech?

Postby Gargoyle » Tue May 15, 2018 5:55 am

To riff on that a little, the demons are dependent on magic. As so often is the case when Tech and Social axioms rise, the Magic axiom dropped (my headcanon, not what we've read officially necessarily). The Tharkoldu dependence on magic might be some sort of psychic attachment to the arcane. Magic isn't just about fireballs and lightning bolts, it's about imagination and whimsy. Also Tharkold is basically faithless. Without the necessary Spirit axiom to make spirits and the comfort they provide to the mind possible, the collective psionic energy of the Race may have some deep psychological attachment to the wonder of old fairy tales and connections to arcane sources of power, also contributing to the manifestation of a physical oppressor dependent on magic.
"That old chestnut?"

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Sword of Spirit
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Re: What's so occult about Occultech?

Postby Sword of Spirit » Tue May 15, 2018 1:48 pm

Gargoyle wrote:My intention in future adventures is to go with some intrigue between the Dukes, and some Hunger Games/DeathRace 2000/ Running Man style game shows. I think I may have competing TV networks as a big influence on the setting. A good bit of it may be a wasteland, but let's not forget it's a Tech 25 wasteland.


I like that! I still have a problem "getting" the cosm. I like the Road Warrior post-apocalyptic angle, and I like throwing psionics in with that, but then the demons just seem weird. But then again, I had no idea why demons had cyberware until it was mentioned on this thread, which cleared that up a lot. I'm assuming the cosm book will explain a lot more of this stuff.

The tough part of the Tharkold cosm is that it might be the biggest example of the mixed genre's cosm, and combining genres within the same cosm in a way that allows you to feel like you can play just the part you want at some times, and also play the mix at others, seems like it's going to require a lot of design finesse. Fortunately original Torg did a lot of that already, but I haven't read through the original Torg supplements, so I don't know most of it yet.

I think as long as the focus is clearly on "post-apocalyptic" it would be cool if we get to see several types of post-apocalyptic, and the Hunger Games and especially Running Man styles really interest me. Just thinking of the Running Man as a possibility made more sense of certain elements.

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Gargoyle
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Re: What's so occult about Occultech?

Postby Gargoyle » Tue May 15, 2018 5:52 pm

Sword of Spirit wrote:
Gargoyle wrote:My intention in future adventures is to go with some intrigue between the Dukes, and some Hunger Games/DeathRace 2000/ Running Man style game shows. I think I may have competing TV networks as a big influence on the setting. A good bit of it may be a wasteland, but let's not forget it's a Tech 25 wasteland.


I like that! I still have a problem "getting" the cosm. I like the Road Warrior post-apocalyptic angle, and I like throwing psionics in with that, but then the demons just seem weird. But then again, I had no idea why demons had cyberware until it was mentioned on this thread, which cleared that up a lot. I'm assuming the cosm book will explain a lot more of this stuff.

The tough part of the Tharkold cosm is that it might be the biggest example of the mixed genre's cosm, and combining genres within the same cosm in a way that allows you to feel like you can play just the part you want at some times, and also play the mix at others, seems like it's going to require a lot of design finesse. Fortunately original Torg did a lot of that already, but I haven't read through the original Torg supplements, so I don't know most of it yet.

I think as long as the focus is clearly on "post-apocalyptic" it would be cool if we get to see several types of post-apocalyptic, and the Hunger Games and especially Running Man styles really interest me. Just thinking of the Running Man as a possibility made more sense of certain elements.


Yeah, I sort of channel Road Warrior and Fallout video games for the rural Blasted Lands, and the Running Man/Hunger Games for the Tharkold pure and dominant zones "urban" areas. I'm also looking at the metaphor of the realm as a prison and thinking of using prison movies as inspiration.

Dystopian might be a better description than apocalyptic, but in a far more honest, brutal way than the Cyberpapacy, with a serious lack of value for life.
"That old chestnut?"

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utsukushi
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Re: What's so occult about Occultech?

Postby utsukushi » Tue May 15, 2018 8:24 pm

I think you're confused. The CyberPapacy is a utopia. Haven't you seen GodNet? It's shiny! The hallmark of the utopia.

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MadSci
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Re: What's so occult about Occultech?

Postby MadSci » Tue May 15, 2018 8:41 pm

utsukushi wrote:I think you're confused. The CyberPapacy is a utopia. Haven't you seen GodNet? It's shiny! The hallmark of the utopia.

The word you're looking for is dystopia. Suppose Technodemons are post-apocalyptic chaos, the Cyberpapacy is panoptic police state order.

Gargoyle, good point on Tharkold being more honest.

Scaramouche
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Re: What's so occult about Occultech?

Postby Scaramouche » Tue May 15, 2018 10:33 pm

Another alternate take: Tharkhold and Cyberpapacy are actually flip sides of the same Cosm!

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Kuildeous
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Re: What's so occult about Occultech?

Postby Kuildeous » Wed May 16, 2018 9:18 am

MadSci wrote:
utsukushi wrote:I think you're confused. The CyberPapacy is a utopia. Haven't you seen GodNet? It's shiny! The hallmark of the utopia.

The word you're looking for is dystopia. Suppose Technodemons are post-apocalyptic chaos, the Cyberpapacy is panoptic police state order.


Well, that's just heresy talk. I'm tagging you as a potential heretic. Oh yeah, that jet ski will soon be mine.

I do like the concept of Tharkold being a more honest dystopia than Cyberpapacy. Cyberpapacy has a lot of the 1984 vibe where the public is kept in ignorance. It's the ultimate in doublespeak and fake news. Tharkold has a very transparent dystopia, more like Snowpiercer. Life is pretty good for those up top. This may run counter to the high Social axiom, but the Law of Domination will not be thwarted by something as silly as an axiom.
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MadSci
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Re: What's so occult about Occultech?

Postby MadSci » Wed May 16, 2018 9:46 pm

Kuildeous wrote:
MadSci wrote:
utsukushi wrote:I think you're confused. The CyberPapacy is a utopia. Haven't you seen GodNet? It's shiny! The hallmark of the utopia.

The word you're looking for is dystopia. Suppose Technodemons are post-apocalyptic chaos, the Cyberpapacy is panoptic police state order.


Well, that's just heresy talk. I'm tagging you as a potential heretic. Oh yeah, that jet ski will soon be mine.

I do like the concept of Tharkold being a more honest dystopia than Cyberpapacy. Cyberpapacy has a lot of the 1984 vibe where the public is kept in ignorance. It's the ultimate in doublespeak and fake news. Tharkold has a very transparent dystopia, more like Snowpiercer. Life is pretty good for those up top. This may run counter to the high Social axiom, but the Law of Domination will not be thwarted by something as silly as an axiom.

Ain't no "potential" about it. :twisted: :ugeek:


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