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  1. - Top - End - #211
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    Kobold

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    Truer words...

    I'm down with having several different ethnicities that are also different waves of immigrants. While I'm thinking about it, I want some of the "Natives" in the far northeast to be white, bearded sailor folk, to reflect the whole Vinland thing.
    Actually not that improbable of an occurance. In the North East, some of the settlers were rather baffled by the presence of a group of natives who had a rather high-degree of lighter skin color, blue eyes, and occasional blonde or red hair. Of course, what they didn't realize was that the colony of Roanoke had dissolved and the people probably ended up looking to the native communities in the area for shelter and such. A generation or two of hot, hot Native on European action resulted in a group which appeared a bit more "European" than other groups.

    And then there are the Mandan, which during early British expeditions were noted to have many people who were fair skinned, blue-eyed, and light haired. Coupling this with the Mandan's very prominent and extensive agricultural systems, the European explorers and thinkers devised a rather... unique story involving a mad Welsh Prince by the name of Madock. Essentially the story goes that Madock set sail west from the British Isles on a whim, found his way to the gulf of Mexico, sailed up the Mississippi, hit the head waters at Lake Itasca, started walking west-ward until running into the middle of nowhere North Dakota, decided this was an AMAZING place to settle(The most ridiculous part of this story, as anyone from the area could tell you it's an awful place), and joined a group of natives. He and his men had children with their new native wives, taught them how to farm, and civilized them.

    Of course the far more simple answer involves the fact that French fur traders had been in the area for a couple centuries by this point. And if you know anything about the French...

    There are a few other stories about the fair-skinned natives, but these are the most prominent. Put more simply, there's a lot to draw from and it makes a good deal of sense.
    Last edited by TheMeMan; 2012-03-09 at 03:39 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #212
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    Well, I figured I'd try another mythic hero until another topic for discussion presents itself. This time, an Abraham Lincoln analogue.

    Isaiah Copperton
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    Isaiah Copperton is widely regarded as the greatest Emperor, and the closest any Imperial has ever come to true worship after death. Born to extreme poverty, Copperton lived in a log cabin and worked a variety of taxing, physical jobs. He worked himself through college, eventually becoming a lawyer.

    Early in his career he was asked to represent an Ironman in court. Scotland Tokarev (taking the name of his owner) was suing the State of Irenia for his freedom. He had been a close confidant of Dr Steam and a representative of his among the Ironmen who worked for the Doctor. When Tokarev wished to free his property (as Scotland was legally defined), he discovered that Irenian State Law did not allow for the actual freeing of Ironmen from slavery. The law was worded in such a way that Scotland Tokarev, being built in Irenia, would not even be allowed to leave the state. Though Tokarev could have quietly, unofficially freed his friend, Scotland was still forbidden to leave the state, and Tokarev wanted to stand up for the principal of the thing, as well as for his friend.

    Copperton was tasked with winning the case. Though he did indeed win, the Imperial Supreme Court ruled against the case, stating that “Property could not sue”. Though Scotland and Tokarev were upset by the ruling, Copperton was hit especially hard. Delving headlong into the Ironman Freedom debate, he began making a name for himself as a proponent of freedom. Eventually, his platform grew in strength until he was elevated to the Emperor's position. However, due to a divisive campaign, the Kinstrife soon began with the disaffected regions of the Empire breaking away.

    Copperton, though it broke his heart, was forced to leave the slavery issue alone for the moment. Immediate abolition would cause more states to break away, and he couldn't afford any more secessions. The war slowly took its toll on the Emperor. Though a giant of a man, he was often described as gangly and sick by those who met him, a bumbling ape by those who hated him. Two of his sons would die while he was in office, one of illness, the other by a terrible fall from the palace balcony. His wife also appeared to enter a spiral of depression and madness before the war's end. It was reported that Copperton rarely, if ever slept. He poured over every aspect of the war, from managing supply line routes to reviewing generals' orders while they were on the march. Even his political opponents (many of whom occupied positions in the Imperial Cabinet and General officers) were forced to admit the Emperor was constantly working himself closer and closer to death.

    After a near-invasion of the capital was again thwarted, Copperton finally took the opportunity of a victory to order the abolishment of Ironmen Slavery. The move was met with derision in the rebellious states, but soon the Loyalist forces found themselves arming a vast army of new recruits, Ironmen recruits, ready to fight for a country that was finally willing to fight for them. Due to these new reinforcements, Firstport survived a Fifth straight siege later that year, and the Battle of Norton later turned into a resounding victory when Ironmen reinforcements drove an invading army back, nearly without aid.

    Exhaustion was getting to Copperton, and it was showing. General Potter, just after the collapse of the Rebel Capital near the end of the war, went to meet with the Emperor. After their meeting, where they discussed matters of post-war-unification and unity, Potter was quoted as saying, “He possessed then more of the qualities of greatness than any man who has ever lived”. Yet despite this, even the General admitted that the Emperor looked “like hell”.

    As the war came to its final end, Copperton met one final twist of fate. Leland Amsterdam, one of the generals of the early war who had been relieved of command for his poor performance, deluded himself into blaming the Emperor for his failings and shot him while he rested on his throne. No one was able to heal him, the bullet that struck him being treated against magical healing. In desperation, the staff contacted Dr Steam. Tokarev brought all of his genius to bear, and ultimately succeeded at preserving Copperton's life. The Emperor however did not awaken. Ever since, he has remained in a healing coma, sitting in his throne. It was determined that he was still aware, still alive, though his mind had taken upon itself another terrible task. While the Emperor sleeps, his mind combats a strange darkness that has never been identified, though its own might is apparent by the strain it places upon the Slumbering Emperor. Copperton is still enshrined in the palace. A new throne was constructed for new Emperors, but with their back to his own. Emperor Copperton has been looking over every Emperor's shoulders since.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
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  3. - Top - End - #213
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    Holy ****, you managed to work the Lincoln Monument into the story.

    And. Ninjadeadbeard. Provides.

    I love every second of it. What if there has only been one Emperor since Copperton, and he's slowly becoming more and more paranoid about the presence behind him?
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  4. - Top - End - #214
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    NecromancerGuy

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    First, great write-up. It does, however, raise a few questions.

    1) Was the emperor's position elected? I'm not sure if we ever discussed that or not. If it's not an elected position, then there goes Copperton's rise to power. However, if it is in fact hereditary, just have the newly dead Emperor entrust Copperton as, say, regent, just in time for the Kinstrife to blow up in his face. This old emperor wouldn't even need much of a character background, only grounds for a) liking and trusting Copperton enough to appoint him to that position and b) dying in the first place (I humbly suggest assassination). We can even tie the two together, as Previous Emperor's work against slavery might be the final push to get Copperton to finish the job. All this is, however, dependent on the question of how new emperors are chosen, and I might be misremembering.

    2) Exactly how many fields is Tokarev involved in? I realize that mad scientists would naturally branch out as field after field inspires them, and everyone needs a hobby, but inventing cybernetics single-handed? That plus his dabblings in engineering, aeronautics, robotics, etc. makes him seem over-powered, IMO, especially since the listed fields are in the material sciences and cybernetics need to bridge both the material and life sciences. He can be a great asset to the Loyalist side, but not the be-all-end-all.

    3) Why do both his children have to die? This might be the sucker for happy endings in me talking, but it would be nice to have something for Copperton to wake up to. (This is assuming that Copperton wakes up within his natural lifespan) And yes, I realize that his wife falling into madness and his sons dying has basis in Real Life, but it would be more tragic if he woke up and have nothing left.

    EDIT:

    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    Holy ****, you managed to work the Lincoln Monument into the story.
    Oh my god that's genius. Why did I not notice this before?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    I love every second of it. What if there has only been one Emperor since Copperton, and he's slowly becoming more and more paranoid about the presence behind him?
    I like it. It certainly sidesteps the question of "can this chair keep him alive past his natural lifespan?" because, y'know, that wouldn't have happened yet.
    Last edited by Landis963; 2012-03-10 at 11:17 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    I want to create a world that is full of possibility, and one of the best ways to handle it is by creating a bunch of stories that haven't yet been finished.
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  5. - Top - End - #215
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    Default Re: American Mythology Setting (Help is welcome!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Landis963 View Post
    1) On the Office of Emperor.

    2) Exactly how many fields is Tokarev involved in?

    3) Why do both his children have to die?
    1) I haven't given much thought to how the Emperors come to power. I don't think it should be hereditary, but I don't necessarily think it should be democratic, either. It's definitely something to discuss.

    As far as how Copperton came to power, RL could be a useful guide. Buchanan was a soppy president, and he basically wrote a letter to Lincoln saying "May you have more fun in the presidency than I."

    For our purposes, there could be some prior Emperor who gives up his term to Copperton, saying something like "You clearly know what you're doing better than I do. Have at it, young man," and then disappearing from the public eye.

    2) When I read the Copperton write-up, I got the impression that Tokarev had constructed some sort of gigantic iron lung for Copperton, but even then I think I'm OK with the idea of Tokarev being a polymath. In many ways, these mythical figures and folk heroes that we're creating fulfill the roles of the gods of more typical settings. Concho Tex is a good example: he claims ownership of literally every single cow and bull in the entirety of the New World, and people bow to that claim. He rides a giant cougar. Point being, these characters are larger than life, and I think we can afford to toy with that.

    3) Ninja, correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you were trying to create a situation where Copperton had nothing to live for but the Empire itself. Spoiler alert about the end of The Dark Knight:
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    In the same sense that Bruce Wayne makes the choice to become Gotham's public enemy in order to serve as its secret protector,

    so too does Copperton turn his full attention towards the good of the Empire at large because his previous efforts have poisoned any chance he has of living a normal life. Or something like that.
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  6. - Top - End - #216
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    Holy ****, you managed to work the Lincoln Monument into the story.
    Thank you. When I was coming up with the details, I realized I had an opportunity. A Golden opportunity, some might say. I wonder what other Emperors remain in a catatonic slumber while remaining at the center of their governments?

    Quote Originally Posted by Landis963 View Post
    First, great write-up. It does, however, raise a few questions.

    1) Was the emperor's position elected? I'm not sure if we ever discussed that or not. If it's not an elected position, then there goes Copperton's rise to power. However, if it is in fact hereditary, just have the newly dead Emperor entrust Copperton as, say, regent, just in time for the Kinstrife to blow up in his face. This old emperor wouldn't even need much of a character background, only grounds for a) liking and trusting Copperton enough to appoint him to that position and b) dying in the first place (I humbly suggest assassination). We can even tie the two together, as Previous Emperor's work against slavery might be the final push to get Copperton to finish the job. All this is, however, dependent on the question of how new emperors are chosen, and I might be misremembering.
    I seem to recall in the OP:

    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    The Empire: A democratic Empire made up of immigrants from across the Eastern Ocean, this nation is a major contender for control of the entire continent.
    Emphasis mine. And so that's what I went on. I assumed that the first emperor, Norton I, set various precedents, like G Washington in RL. One I imagined was that the Emperor would serve for a limited time, possibly because of how long a single Vampire Lord could live and thus reign over his subjects back in the Old World. Although, given how similar Republics throughout history tend to go, I would assume it more likely that either the Emperor rules for life and the next is elected by the Senate/Congress, or he rules for however long he wishes and then hands the crown to a non-hereditary successor. No one wants an actual dynasty of course, and so there's probably a law against a blood relative inheriting the crown.

    As to the previous Emperor, I imagined him similarily to the RL Buchanan. And I've often heard his inaction and ineptitude were the final causes of the Civil War, simply because he refused to act during the last few months of his term, when the rebels could have been decisively beaten before they grew into the threat they ended up becoming.

    Either way, changing the bio to reflect any new info is easy, so we just have to decide how we want to play this. I assume Zap has some idea of his own as to Imperial succession, so I want to hear if he's thought of it much.

    Quote Originally Posted by Landis963 View Post
    2) Exactly how many fields is Tokarev involved in? I realize that mad scientists would naturally branch out as field after field inspires them, and everyone needs a hobby, but inventing cybernetics single-handed? That plus his dabblings in engineering, aeronautics, robotics, etc. makes him seem over-powered, IMO, especially since the listed fields are in the material sciences and cybernetics need to bridge both the material and life sciences. He can be a great asset to the Loyalist side, but not the be-all-end-all.
    We could change it so that Jameson has background in something as practical as cybernetics/medicine. You are right about Tokarev. Looking at the list, he should really focus on General Mad Science, like engineering, Steamonautics and maybe something else on the side. Jameson isn't an idiot anyway. He's just more down-to-earth and more straightforward in his thinking, so perhaps a slightly more practical science is right up his alley.

    Quote Originally Posted by Landis963 View Post
    3) Why do both his children have to die? This might be the sucker for happy endings in me talking, but it would be nice to have something for Copperton to wake up to. (This is assuming that Copperton wakes up within his natural lifespan) And yes, I realize that his wife falling into madness and his sons dying has basis in Real Life, but it would be more tragic if he woke up and have nothing left.
    That's a tough question. On the one hand: I genuinely believe Lincoln is in the running for “Best Human Being Award”, so I'd normally agree that I'd like to see him have a happier ending. But then I think from a narrative standpoint. He has to suffer. He's this absolutely decent, dedicated man of enormous passions and talents, but one who judges himself too harshly at times for not being (in his mind) “good enough”. He couldn't save Scotland Tokarev from slavery. He couldn't prevent a horrible war that ended the lives of hundreds of thousands of his own people, a war that (although started by a laundry list of cultural conflicts that went back more than a century) to his mind only began because he wanted to help a group of people attain their legitimate rights as thinking creatures. Had he not been elected/selected, the Pro-Slavery Faction wouldn't have been backed into a corner like in RL. There could have been negotiations with an Emperor who wasn't directly supported by abolitionists. In Copperton's mind, he is the root cause of all the horrors that he sees around him.

    But he never gives up. Despite his own sins piling atop his shoulders (real and imagined), despite the loss of his health, his family, his livelihood and even his good name when the war was at it's darkest moments, he holds to his convictions. Damnit, he improves his convictions. Lincoln was willing to leave all the Blacks enslaved if it would save the Union when he took office, but by the end of the war he had come to believe that there could be no Union with slavery. To be the brightest star in the sky, sometimes we must be refined in hell's fire.

    And in any case, at least one of Lincoln's sons survived, so there is still hope for a happier day for Copperton.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    3) Ninja, correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you were trying to create a situation where Copperton had nothing to live for but the Empire itself. Spoiler alert about the end of The Dark Knight:
    Spoiler
    Show
    In the same sense that Bruce Wayne makes the choice to become Gotham's public enemy in order to serve as its secret protector,

    so too does Copperton turn his full attention towards the good of the Empire at large because his previous efforts have poisoned any chance he has of living a normal life. Or something like that.
    I hadn't thought of that. Good catch there! I mostly agree with everything you wrote, but I already wrote out this long bit. How do you feel about an Emperor styled after the Early Roman Emperors? Nonhereditary, and picked basically because the incumbent thought they were genuinely the most competent person for the job.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    Ninjadeadbeard just ninja'd my post. How apt.
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  7. - Top - End - #217
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjadeadbeard View Post
    I seem to recall in the OP:...Emphasis mine. And so that's what I went on. I assumed that the first emperor, Norton I, set various precedents, like G Washington in RL. One I imagined was that the Emperor would serve for a limited time, possibly because of how long a single Vampire Lord could live and thus reign over his subjects back in the Old World. Although, given how similar Republics throughout history tend to go, I would assume it more likely that either the Emperor rules for life and the next is elected by the Senate/Congress, or he rules for however long he wishes and then hands the crown to a non-hereditary successor. No one wants an actual dynasty of course, and so there's probably a law against a blood relative inheriting the crown.
    Ah, thanks. Although I do like your idea of having the Emperors appoint their successors verbally before their forced retirement. I actually have something similar for a city-state in a different project of mine, although it's a triumvirate rather than a single ruler.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjadeadbeard View Post
    As to the previous Emperor, I imagined him similarily to the RL Buchanan. And I've often heard his inaction and ineptitude were the final causes of the Civil War, simply because he refused to act during the last few months of his term, when the rebels could have been decisively beaten before they grew into the threat they ended up becoming.

    Either way, changing the bio to reflect any new info is easy, so we just have to decide how we want to play this. I assume Zap has some idea of his own as to Imperial succession, so I want to hear if he's thought of it much.
    OK. When I thought of that, I was actually thinking of Kennedy and Johnson, in that Previous Emperor (whatever we decide to call him) actually started in on this problem but was interrupted by assassination/terminal disease/the end of his term, and left it to Copperton (the "Johnson" in this analogy) to finish his work. The fact that the Kinstrife popped up during Copperton's term meant that he naturally got a bigger slice of the history books.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjadeadbeard View Post
    We could change it so that Jameson has background in something as practical as cybernetics/medicine. You are right about Tokarev. Looking at the list, he should really focus on General Mad Science, like engineering, Steamonautics and maybe something else on the side. Jameson isn't an idiot anyway. He's just more down-to-earth and more straightforward in his thinking, so perhaps a slightly more practical science is right up his alley.
    It would be an interesting reversal: Instead of Jameson having to search out all of Tokarev's plans for editing, Tokarev comes to Jameson for help in creating his life-preserving machine, especially if Jameson is more versed in precision operations like (to use a modern example) installing a pacemaker.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjadeadbeard View Post
    That's a tough question. On the one hand: I genuinely believe Lincoln is in the running for “Best Human Being Award”, so I'd normally agree that I'd like to see him have a happier ending. But then I think from a narrative standpoint. He has to suffer. He's this absolutely decent, dedicated man of enormous passions and talents, but one who judges himself too harshly at times for not being (in his mind) “good enough”. He couldn't save Scotland Tokarev from slavery. He couldn't prevent a horrible war that ended the lives of hundreds of thousands of his own people, a war that (although started by a laundry list of cultural conflicts that went back more than a century) to his mind only began because he wanted to help a group of people attain their legitimate rights as thinking creatures. Had he not been elected/selected, the Pro-Slavery Faction wouldn't have been backed into a corner like in RL. There could have been negotiations with an Emperor who wasn't directly supported by abolitionists. In Copperton's mind, he is the root cause of all the horrors that he sees around him.
    I agree, but with one caveat: This seems like Act-2 "Darkest-Hour-Of-The-Plot" stuff.
    EDIT: Act 3, I mean, since "Darkest Hour" usually comes right before the climax.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjadeadbeard View Post
    But he never gives up. Despite his own sins piling atop his shoulders (real and imagined), despite the loss of his health, his family, his livelihood and even his good name when the war was at it's darkest moments, he holds to his convictions. Damnit, he improves his convictions. Lincoln was willing to leave all the Blacks enslaved if it would save the Union when he took office, but by the end of the war he had come to believe that there could be no Union with slavery. To be the brightest star in the sky, sometimes we must be refined in hell's fire.
    And thus he should be allowed to have earned his happy ending. (Warning: tvtropes link)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjadeadbeard View Post
    And in any case, at least one of Lincoln's sons survived, so there is still hope for a happier day for Copperton.
    Glad to see I was mistaken on that point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjadeadbeard View Post
    I hadn't thought of that. Good catch there! I mostly agree with everything you wrote, but I already wrote out this long bit. How do you feel about an Emperor styled after the Early Roman Emperors? Nonhereditary, and picked basically because the incumbent thought they were genuinely the most competent person for the job.
    That sounds like a great idea, especially if they were shorter than life terms. But I'll let Zap have the final word on this.
    Last edited by Landis963; 2012-03-11 at 02:34 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    I want to create a world that is full of possibility, and one of the best ways to handle it is by creating a bunch of stories that haven't yet been finished.
    In my posts, smilies generally correspond to my expression at the time. As an example, means "huh?" and "Hmm..". Also, "Landis" is fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by blauregen View Post
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  8. - Top - End - #218
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    As far as the Emperorship is concerned, I like the idea about styling it in the Roman Republic. Maybe something like this:
    • The Emperor serves for no more than 10 years.
    • The current Emperor may resign whenever he/she wishes.
    • Anyone may contest the Emperor's rule, campaigning against him/her for the office at any time.
    • The citizenry elect representatives to the Imperial Congress, and the sole responsibility for electing an Emperor falls on the shoulders of the Senate.
    • The current Emperor may have a voice as well, with his vote counting as more normal votes than usual.


    Copperton's lack of a happy ending could be better fuel for characters to take him as their culture hero paragon; they want to continue the work started by this Greatest of Men, particularly because he's suffered so much for it and won't be able to finish it himself.

    Also, placing his story on the timeline such that he's still in his coma is perfect fodder for a questline. "The Greatest Human Being Who Ever Lived is locked in stasis, and only the bravest, most true-hearted Imperials will be able to free him from his mental and bodily prison." Just because he hasn't had his happy ending yet, doesn't mean he can't have it eventually. I want to create a world that is full of possibility, and one of the best ways to handle it is by creating a bunch of stories that haven't yet been finished. The characters come in partway through all of these tales, and its their job to wrap them up. As an NPC, I think it's actually better that Copperton hasn't yet received his happy ending. It's not our job as worldbuilders to account for that; it's our job to set up the situation where it could happen, and the GM's job to actually bring it to fruition.

    Tokarev/Jameson: Jameson is a doctor? Hahahaha, it's Holmes and Watson! I love it! I also think it's really compelling that there are some situations (in this case, maybe the most important situation ever) where Tokarev has to ask for help, and Jameson really gets to shine. It's got movie rights written all over it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    As far as the Emperorship is concerned, I like the idea about styling it in the Roman Republic. Maybe something like this:[*]The Emperor serves for no more than 10 years.
    I assume that the 10 year limit is more by tradition than legislation. RL US Presidents serve 4 year terms, but until after FDR there wasn't a limit on how many terms they could have. Most (barring Theodore Roosevelt) didn't even attempt to run for a third term, following George Washington's precedent, rather than an actual legal limit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    [*]Anyone may contest the Emperor's rule, campaigning against him/her for the office at any time.
    Seems a little chaotic. I mean, every single decision an RL President makes can (and usually is) contested by at least somebody. If anyone can just up and decide to run against you at any time, you'd never do anything. Every decision would have to be politically motivated instead of motivated by practicality or morality. You have a situation like in Rome where all one had to do to attain the throne was placate the Mob. The Mob became Rome, and if you fell out of favor (like Pompey or the Senate when Caesar began throwing money at the poor), you were lost.

    It could be that the Congress can order an Emperor deposed if they can vote on it and reach a three-fourths majority on the issue. Or the Emperor must be reviewed by the Congress once per Congressional election cycle (if working with staggered terms like in RL, then once an entire set of elections) and can be deposed then if their performance is found wanting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    [*]The citizenry elect representatives to the Imperial Congress, and the sole responsibility for electing an Emperor falls on the shoulders of the Senate.
    The foundation of a bicameral Legislature in RL America was due to the need to balance power between the larger states and smaller states. One house is Population based while the other has equal representation. But are the conditions of the Founding of the Empire similar to RL? In light of this, could the Empire instead have a Parliamentary Legislature, or a single house? I know some Parliaments have more than one, but it would present an interesting dynamic to play around with.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    [*]The current Emperor may have a voice as well, with his vote counting as more normal votes than usual.
    So the Emperor is styled on Augustus Caesar. He's officially “Just First Citizen”. RL Caesar's official title basically just stated that he had the right to speak first at Senate meetings. The real power of the early Roman Emperors came not from their actual legal authority, but from the personal power of the man himself. Legal authority was added as time went on.

    Of course, does the Empire have the same sense of “Separation of Powers” as RL? If so then it seems out of character for the Executive branch and Legislative to be so close. Our founding fathers were so paranoid about anyone having too much power that I think Ben Franklin or someone similar basically declared the republic dead as soon as an Executive Branch Existed.

    Actually, now that I think about it (a little off topic but I think it bears mentioning), was there an equivalent to the Salem Witch Trials in this world? It could be argued that the Trials were the basis for the later founding fathers to demand the Justice system be built along the lines, “Innocent until proven Guilty”. That's exactly what happened in Salem, and when the truth of the matter came out the people were horrified by what they had done. I think the judge presiding essentially resigned on the spot he was so ashamed. Just something to consider.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    Copperton's lack of a happy ending could be better fuel for characters to take him as their culture hero paragon; they want to continue the work started by this Greatest of Men, particularly because he's suffered so much for it and won't be able to finish it himself...
    I do love this reasoning, especially what you said about our duty as world-builders.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    As far as the Emperorship is concerned, I like the idea about styling it in the Roman Republic. Maybe something like this:
    • The Emperor serves for no more than 10 years.
    • The current Emperor may resign whenever he/she wishes.
    • Anyone may contest the Emperor's rule, campaigning against him/her for the office at any time.
    • The citizenry elect representatives to the Imperial Congress, and the sole responsibility for electing an Emperor falls on the shoulders of the Senate.
    • The current Emperor may have a voice as well, with his vote counting as more normal votes than usual.
    It sounds pretty good, although I would add in some system for "votes of no confidence", as it were: "anyone may contest the Emperor's rule" needs some extra safeguards in place before it's safe for an Emperor to do anything, like Ninja mentioned.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    Copperton's lack of a happy ending could be better fuel for characters to take him as their culture hero paragon...
    Also, placing his story on the timeline such that he's still in his coma is perfect fodder for a questline... Just because he hasn't had his happy ending yet, doesn't mean he can't have it eventually.
    Fair enough. I was mainly thinking of after he wakes up, and it would make for a great plotline if the PCs' actions affected the optimism of Copperton's awakening.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    I want to create a world that is full of possibility, and one of the best ways to handle it is by creating a bunch of stories that haven't yet been finished... As an NPC, I think it's actually better that Copperton hasn't yet received his happy ending. It's not our job as worldbuilders to account for that; it's our job to set up the situation where it could happen, and the GM's job to actually bring it to fruition.
    I should really keep this in mind when I restart my own project. Do you mind if I sig this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    Tokarev/Jameson: Jameson is a doctor? Hahahaha, it's Holmes and Watson! I love it! I also think it's really compelling that there are some situations (in this case, maybe the most important situation ever) where Tokarev has to ask for help, and Jameson really gets to shine. It's got movie rights written all over it.
    It does have that ring to it, doesn't it? So, who should play them in the inevitable dramatization of the event? (Assuming, of course, that any future actors in this world have their analogues in this one)
    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    I want to create a world that is full of possibility, and one of the best ways to handle it is by creating a bunch of stories that haven't yet been finished.
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    Quote Originally Posted by blauregen View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Landis963 View Post
    It does have that ring to it, doesn't it? So, who should play them in the inevitable dramatization of the event? (Assuming, of course, that any future actors in this world have their analogues in this one)
    Dr Tokarev - Johnny Depp.
    Jameson - Robert Downey Jr.

    The part of "Dr Steam's Flying City" shall be played tonight by Shaquille O'Neal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjadeadbeard View Post
    Dr Tokarev - Johnny Depp.
    Jameson - Robert Downey Jr.

    The part of "Dr Steam's Flying City" shall be played tonight by Shaquille O'Neal.
    I'm not sure... I know John Noble can play an excellent mad scientist, but I'm not sure Johnny Depp can keep him from being "Jack Sparrow in a lab". Agree totally on Robert Downey Jr. playing Jameson.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    I want to create a world that is full of possibility, and one of the best ways to handle it is by creating a bunch of stories that haven't yet been finished.
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    Quote Originally Posted by blauregen View Post
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    I like this info we're developing about the office of the Emperor, but I'm wondering how relevant it is to the task of building the world. There's a series of posts over at one of my favorite blogs that seeks to implement a design philosophy that emphasizes efficiency over detail. Here's a link:

    Getting Real in Game Design

    In a nutshell, the goal is to adopt a
    highly agile, do now only what’s necessary and be ready to both say no to yourself and your customers when asked for something unnecessary in an effort to make sure you deliver what’s needed approach to creation.
    I try to adopt that in most of the things I do, not only because it saves me time, but I believe it leaves space at the table for creativity.

    On one hand, I think it would be really cool to lay out the entire governmental structure of this world; to detail the Emperor's powers, the length of the terms, how the various branches check and balance each other, and all that. It would provide a lot of fodder for some very interesting political roleplay.

    On the other hand, I have a strong intuition that saying "The Empire is like a cross between U.S. Democracy and the Roman Republic, with an Emperor that is elected, serves for no more than 10 years, and has a little influence on the Senate to decide the next Emperor," is all we really need to get off the ground. Similar to the idea of leaving the ellipses at the end of Copperton's story, I think this particular approach allows us to build the proverbial sandbox, and any DM that comes along is welcome to flesh it out further.

    That said, I agree that "anyone can contest the Emperor's rule" is a little too lazy on my part. I pictured a world where someone is always campaigning for election, while the Emperor usually just lets his work speak for him. That said, I think you guys point out legitimate problems with it, and it should either be revised or scrapped in favor of a broad-stroke, potential-laden summary of the government.

    If Tokarev and Jameson were immortalized in film, they would have to be huge celebrities, and they would have to alternate roles.

    And Landis, Ninja, and anyone else who's watching: you're welcome to put every word I've ever said in your signatures. I won't even charge you!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    I like this info we're developing about the office of the Emperor, but I'm wondering how relevant it is to the task of building the world.
    In that case, what still remains to be built? We have 4 major cities, several culture heroes, the Boradoans, most of the mountain natives (which still need a good name), and several good plot hooks that can hold a party's interest.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    On one hand, I think it would be really cool to lay out the entire governmental structure of this world; to detail the Emperor's powers, the length of the terms, how the various branches check and balance each other, and all that. It would provide a lot of fodder for some very interesting political roleplay.

    On the other hand, I have a strong intuition that saying "The Empire is like a cross between U.S. Democracy and the Roman Republic, with an Emperor that is elected, serves for no more than 10 years, and has a little influence on the Senate to decide the next Emperor," is all we really need to get off the ground. Similar to the idea of leaving the ellipses at the end of Copperton's story, I think this particular approach allows us to build the proverbial sandbox, and any DM that comes along is welcome to flesh it out further.
    I still think there should be some info on it past the basic outline. And, again, if we're only building a sandbox, what's left to be built?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    That said, I agree that "anyone can contest the Emperor's rule" is a little too lazy on my part. I pictured a world where someone is always campaigning for election, while the Emperor usually just lets his work speak for him. That said, I think you guys point out legitimate problems with it, and it should either be revised or scrapped in favor of a broad-stroke, potential-laden summary of the government.
    Personally, I'd go with the revision, into something like "the cities can petition for a vote of no confidence in the Emperor, and if it is ratified by the Senate then the election process begins."

    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    If Tokarev and Jameson were immortalized in film, they would have to be huge celebrities, and they would have to alternate roles.
    Heh.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    And Landis, Ninja, and anyone else who's watching: you're welcome to put every word I've ever said in your signatures. I won't even charge you!
    Thanks.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    I want to create a world that is full of possibility, and one of the best ways to handle it is by creating a bunch of stories that haven't yet been finished.
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    Quote Originally Posted by blauregen View Post
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    Lemme see what I can chalk up from memory really quick.

    What We Have So Far:
    Things:
    • The Empire of the New World
      The Lightborn
      The Gardens of Nostalgia
      Norton, C.E.
      "The Capital"
      • The Progeny of Freedom
      • The Imperial Senate
      • Politics

      Firstport
      "Largest City in the World"
      • The Academy of Steam
      • Trade
      • Immigration
      • Ruined Undercity

      Coterois
      "Speakeasy Intrigue"
      • Sunken Quarter
      • Gangs
      • Vampires
      • Cthulhu Cults
      • Voodoo Zombies

      Mahigan
      "Gateway to the West"
      • Werewolf Mafia
      • Shipping Center
      • Starting point for Westward immigration

      Tree Island
      "Gamblin' and the Law"
      • Famous Brothel
      • Famous Casino
      • Gunfights

      San Bernardo
      "Western Steamworld"
      • Immigrant Town
      • Zany steamworks
    • Borado
      The Devout
      Nuevo Borado
      The Palace of the Old Gods
      "Forbidden City of Gold"
      • Hidden by stalwart protectors
      • Home of the Old Gods
      • Ancient Secrets locked away

      Platarena
      "Marvel of the West"
      • Technological Rival to Tokarev
      • Desert Metropolis
      • Corruption and the Black Fox
    • Natives
      Eastern
      "Creole Trail of Whimpers"
      • Native States
      • Native Supply Lines
      • Guerrilla Tribes

      Mountain
      "Sacred Protectors"
      • Spirit Journeys
      • Underworld Adventures
      • Caravan Raids

      Northwestern
      "Bickering and Resilient"
      • Many tribes that don't get along
      • Imperial Hostility
      • Fishing and Forestry

      Northern
      "Frozen Whiteys"
      • Vinland-Esque


    So... this kind of turned into a catalog of plot hooks...

    I think this is what we need to do:
    1. Make sure this list contains everything we've worked on in terms of locations and factions.
    2. If a faction doesn't have a home, then we ought to come up with one.
    3. We need to make sure there's a paragraph or two of flavor text for each location and faction, including a short list of notable figures.
    4. We need to make sure we've got all the culture heroes we're going to need to get started.


    I'm fairly certain there are other things we need to do too, but this should keep up tied over for now. I'll make a separate list of Culture Heroes, and we should be able to cross-reference that list with this one to figure out if we need any more cities, factions, etc.
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    Oh yeah, I almost forgot! Landis, your insistence on adding more to the government blurb made me go back through the Eberron books for inspiration, and I think you're dead right. Each country should have its own write up, and the political structure of that country is essential to represent. We don't have to draft a constitution or anything, but we definitely need a paragraph or three.

    Does that sound like anything you'd be interested in tackling? At least for the Empire? I trust your judgment 100%.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    Oh yeah, I almost forgot! Landis, your insistence on adding more to the government blurb made me go back through the Eberron books for inspiration, and I think you're dead right. Each country should have its own write up, and the political structure of that country is essential to represent. We don't have to draft a constitution or anything, but we definitely need a paragraph or three.

    Does that sound like anything you'd be interested in tackling? At least for the Empire? I trust your judgment 100%.
    Thanks! I'd love to donate at least a paragraph towards this, and you or Ninja can augment it as you think it's needed.

    Empire: Let's start with your basic framework, Zap: 10 year terms, citizenry elects Senate, Senate elects Emperor.
    • Votes of "no confidence": This, I think, should be in the hands of the people, not just the Senate, or at the very least they should check each other. Why don't we have it such that the people always start the vote of no confidence, and petition their representatives to remove the Emperor from his position. However, there would need to be some way for the Emperor to defend his actions (or lack thereof), so why don't we put the resulting Senate vote in the terms of an impeachment trial? The Emperor drops everything, prepares a defense, gives it to the Senate and to representatives of the press, who distribute it to the people, and then the Senate chooses, knowing that if they don't choose what the people want, his office could be in jeopardy.
    • Normal succession: Instead of "anyone may campaign at any time", why don't we have it such that the current Senate chair, no matter who he may be, is automatically next in line for the throne should the incumbent fail to choose a successor? That would cut down on the amount of campaign BS that plagues RL America every other year, or at least channel it away from the Emperor's seat. In this way, the Senate can wheel and deal without it affecting the Emperor too much.
    • Mechanisms of the Senate: First, there should be three delegates for each state: a junior, an incumbent, and a senior senator, each with one vote towards any given issue. (this comes out to 150 delegates, retaining the power of the Emperor's double vote). These three delegates themselves have three year terms, timed such that the "senior" senator is always in his last year of office and the "junior" is just starting his three-year term. The time between elected terms should be no less than 2 years. (This keeps the climate of any one political delegation from remaining stagnant).
    • Powers of the Emperor: At the very least, it should be "commander in chief of military powers" and "double vote on any issue facing the Senate." Should he have veto power as well? (signs point to no, as simply the double vote is a huge amount of power in any even number of delegates). And what, exactly, is his connection with the Lightborn religion?
    • Perks of the Emperor: DARPA (that would be Steamlabs Inc./Tokarev Industries/Mad ScienceCo.), White House-esque mansion (perhaps with a mausoleum containing the past Emperors). Should he have a summer home too? I mean, the RL president has one (deserved or not), and it's not as if there isn't space to hold it in the Empire.


    And that's all for now, I think. I'll try to tackle Borado on my next post.
    Last edited by Landis963; 2012-03-13 at 01:16 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    I want to create a world that is full of possibility, and one of the best ways to handle it is by creating a bunch of stories that haven't yet been finished.
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    Quote Originally Posted by blauregen View Post
    Now witness the power of this fully operational railroad engine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Landis963 View Post
    • Normal succession: Instead of "anyone may campaign at any time", why don't we have it such that the current Senate chair, no matter who he may be, is automatically next in line for the throne? That would cut down on the amount of campaign BS that plagues RL America every other year, or at least channel it away from the Emperor's seat. In this way, the Senate can wheel and deal without it affecting the Emperor too much. However, to combat every Senator having 10-year terms, I propose we have them campaign to keep their positions every other year, and then only against representatives of their home state.
    I'd suggest 3 year terms for Senators, and their elections are staggered. 1/3 of the Senate is up for election one year. Then next year, another third is up. Then the last third. It lends them a grace period of 2 years where they don't have to worry about reelection and can vote how they see fit.

    Perhaps the Party or Senatorial Faction with a majority picks the Chair from among their ranks, but I don't want to see the disappearance of the Emperor's choice. How could the incumbent Emperor affect this process to get the successor he wants? Political Favors?

    Quote Originally Posted by Landis963 View Post
    • Powers of the Emperor: At the very least, it should be "commander in chief of military powers" and "double vote on any issue facing the Senate." Should he have veto power as well? And what, exactly, is his connection with the Lightborn religion?
    Huh. Going over the political map. I think I accidentally made 50 States, 51 counting the Mountain Natives Territory. That's...spooky.

    Anyway, the “Double Vote”. This would be enormously powerful if there were only a few Senators per State. Should Senate seats be equal between states, like one or two per? Two votes could easily decide a deadlock if there's 200 Senators and they go half-and-half on an issue like they would just on the eve of the Kinstrife.

    The Emperor should keep the military powers, but I think the Veto should be given to some sort of Supreme Court.

    Quote Originally Posted by Landis963 View Post
    • Perks of the Emperor: DARPA (that would be Steamlabs Inc./Tokarev Industries/Mad ScienceCo.), White House-esque mansion (perhaps with a mausoleum containing the past Emperors). Should he have a summer home too? I mean, the RL president has one (deserved or not), and it's not as if there isn't space to hold it in the Empire.
    The Imperial Mansion. First designed by John Mason (T Jefferson, I will write up soon) it was a technological wonder when first constructed using the finest clockwork and lightning powered devices. Somewhat dated at present, the Mansion is still an architectural wonder. Under the mansion one can find the Imperial Vault, where every Emperor is allowed an honored place of burial. While some have declined the honor, it has never been denied to anyone. Emperor Jonathon Norton himself resides in a colossal marble tomb set at the Vault's center, directly under his statue in the Entrance Hall. There is no set Imperial Summer Home, but there's nothing stopping an Emperor from returning to his citizen residence for periods of time.

    In RL, if you ever have a chance to take a tour of the real Capitol building, there is a tomb in the Catacombs where George Washington was supposed to be buried. It lies directly under the Dome. Washington's estate decided against moving his body there however, preferring to leave it at Mount Vernon.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    Ninjadeadbeard just ninja'd my post. How apt.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjadeadbeard View Post
    I'd suggest 3 year terms for Senators, and their elections are staggered. 1/3 of the Senate is up for election one year. Then next year, another third is up. Then the last third. It lends them a grace period of 2 years where they don't have to worry about reelection and can vote how they see fit.

    Perhaps the Party or Senatorial Faction with a majority picks the Chair from among their ranks, but I don't want to see the disappearance of the Emperor's choice. How could the incumbent Emperor affect this process to get the successor he wants? Political Favors?
    Added, and fixed. Thanks for the edits.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjadeadbeard View Post
    Anyway, the “Double Vote”. This would be enormously powerful if there were only a few Senators per State. Should Senate seats be equal between states, like one or two per? Two votes could easily decide a deadlock if there's 200 Senators and they go half-and-half on an issue like they would just on the eve of the Kinstrife.

    The Emperor should keep the military powers, but I think the Veto should be given to some sort of Supreme Court.
    Added note to this effect in main Empire post, but haven't added anything on the Supreme Court yet. Maybe for another time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjadeadbeard View Post
    The Imperial Mansion. First designed by John Mason (T Jefferson, I will write up soon) it was a technological wonder when first constructed using the finest clockwork and lightning powered devices. Somewhat dated at present, the Mansion is still an architectural wonder. Under the mansion one can find the Imperial Vault, where every Emperor is allowed an honored place of burial. While some have declined the honor, it has never been denied to anyone. Emperor Jonathon Norton himself resides in a colossal marble tomb set at the Vault's center, directly under his statue in the Entrance Hall. There is no set Imperial Summer Home, but there's nothing stopping an Emperor from returning to his citizen residence for periods of time.

    In RL, if you ever have a chance to take a tour of the real Capitol building, there is a tomb in the Catacombs where George Washington was supposed to be buried. It lies directly under the Dome. Washington's estate decided against moving his body there however, preferring to leave it at Mount Vernon.
    Interesting. I don't think I've been inside those catacombs, or at the very least I don't remember being inside them. May I suggest that Mr. Mason is one of Jameson's greatest idols, because of his achievements with clockwork?
    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    I want to create a world that is full of possibility, and one of the best ways to handle it is by creating a bunch of stories that haven't yet been finished.
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    Quote Originally Posted by blauregen View Post
    Now witness the power of this fully operational railroad engine.

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    Borado:

    This is slightly more difficult than the Empire because of the relative lack of framework: Viejo Borado is obviously a theocracy, but we don't have much of a picture of Nuevo Borado other than the alien artifacts in Platarena and the fact that they split off from the Old Boradoans after a perceived close-mouthed-ness.

    • Viejo Borado
    • As mentioned, a theocracy, as the departure of the deities which made it a deitocracy has been covered up by the priests.
    • All I can think of is some pyramid scheme with a public High Priest with attendants, who themselves have attendants, and so on for a couple of levels. I'll try this again when finals aren't on the brain, in the meantime, you can add details as you see fit.
    • Nuevo Borado
    • The presence of Blackfox in Platarena suggests a Robin-Hood esque divide between "rich" and "poor" in Nuevo Borado, which leads me to believe that the "upper classes" are hoarding most (if not all) of the technological benefits derived from the alien technology.
    • Thus, there is a "technocracy" in place, with those with the most alien tech able to enforce their desires upon the populace. Thus, Blackfox is unique in that he eschews an excess of gadgets, instead relying on his wits and physical strength. (can't remember if he had a whip or not).


    EDIT: How do you make lesser bullet points?
    Last edited by Landis963; 2012-03-13 at 02:08 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    I want to create a world that is full of possibility, and one of the best ways to handle it is by creating a bunch of stories that haven't yet been finished.
    In my posts, smilies generally correspond to my expression at the time. As an example, means "huh?" and "Hmm..". Also, "Landis" is fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by blauregen View Post
    Now witness the power of this fully operational railroad engine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Landis963 View Post
    Interesting. I don't think I've been inside those catacombs, or at the very least I don't remember being inside them. May I suggest that Mr. Mason is one of Jameson's greatest idols, because of his achievements with clockwork?
    The catacombs are pretty cool from what I remember (my class got to see a lot of the capitol on my trip there because the Pres and Congress were all out for break). Lots of arches and such, and then Washington's "Tomb", this huge friggin' marble casket in the center directly under the rotunda. It's cool.

    As for Jameson's idol: Why not? I'm just writing a treatment on the Four Saints at the moment. Expect it in the next day or so. I also think Tokarev would be a fan of Abus Politus (the Franklin stand-in) in the same way Jameson respects Mason.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    Ninjadeadbeard just ninja'd my post. How apt.
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    Just popping up on here to let you guys know that I haven't disappeared or anything. I'm coming into the final turn on my other campaign setting, and I'm really pushing to churn out ideas to get it all wrapped up. I may be pretty sparse on this thread until that happens (probably sometime by the end of next week), but I'm definitely reading everything you guys are posting.

    The only criticism I'll give at this point is to look to already-published works when you're thinking about your write up for politics etc. While you're brainstorming, you're free to get as deep and involved as you'd like, but be sure to boil it down into something concise and effective when it comes time to type up the final draft.

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    We can win no laurels in a war for independence. Earlier and worthier hands have gathered them all. Nor are there places for us ... [as] the founders of states. Our fathers have filled them. But there remains to us a great duty of defense and preservation. ~ Daniel Webster

    Below are two of the Four Saints. I'm actually having trouble writing John Mason (Jefferson) and William Proteus (John Adams) because of the vagueness we decided upon for the Old World. However, I was able to piece together two. I hope these entertain, if nothing else.

    Albus Politus Ben Franklin
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    Albus Politus would eventually be world renowned as an author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat . But at first he was a lowly minister's son in Trimountaine, the most northerly of the New World Colonies that would one day form the Empire. His father was a minister of an Old World church, and had been training his son to go into the same profession. Instead, Albus ran away from home and never looked back. He finally settled in Firstport, and began making a name for himself as a printer and publisher. His first work was his own, Albus' Tome, an almanac of useful spells, new scientific discoveries, astronomy and satirical tales Albus picked up while he traveled.

    His work was widespread in short order due to growing trade routes between the colonies, and because he was considered enormously clever by his readers. While his works were distributed, his mind never stopped. Albus devised, supposedly while in the bath, a system of communication using fast riders that would eventually become the Imperial Postal Office. He also developed a stove that could ignite and be put out instantly with a simple hand-clap. His work on lightning and electricity moved the technology of clockwork forward by decades, and at the height of his scientific accomplishments Albus created the first Ironmen.

    While the Ironmen were hailed as a magnificent scientific advancement, Albus was cautious. Later in life he would devote most of his time to the first Abolitionist Movement, his own creation.

    For all these advancements as well as his philosophical treaties, Albus became the most recognized New Worlder in the World. He became the Colonial Representative to the Old World Parliament, and served their for many years, touring the capitols and making himself generally well-liked. He made fast friends with kings and courtiers alike who rather enjoyed his humor, as well as his inability to take himself too seriously. During his travels, Albus noted one of the Crown's other colonies, Finnegal. He was appalled by the sheer, brutal poverty that the people lived in and he saw at once that this would be the fate of his own homeland soon. He pushed the thought out of his mind, but it refused to vacate entirely.

    But it was also during this time that radical movements within the colonies threatened revolution. While politically neutral, Albus enjoyed his well-earned status too much to openly side with his people. And then the letters arrived. Albus never revealed who, but someone had sent him a series of letters between the Royal Governor of Trimountaine and the Crown, detailing plans to seize weapons and magic items from the colonial populace. Without hesitation Albus made the letters public knowledge, printing them the same night he received them. Within days of the publication, riots broke out in the New World, and the Vampire Lords brought Albus up to Parliament. He was lambasted for 4 hours by enraged Vampire Lords who called him every obscenity imaginable. He was called a 'villain', a 'traitor', and a fool. For 4 hours he was publicly humiliated by those people he once thought he wanted to be like. When he enterd Parliament that day, he had been a Loyalist. He left it four hours later, a Rebel.

    Returning home to the New World, he began to hunt for allies. The Colonial Congress was being called to determine what to do about the swiftly souring relationship with the Old World. Albus enlisted the aid of several rebellious souls and intellectuals in pushing for independence. He worked as a puppet-master for years, but in the end the resolution was drafted.

    Albus was sent back to the Old World where he worked as a diplomat. Now however, he stayed at the courts of those nations with a grudge against his new nation's former master. It took all of his skills, but after a decisive victory at Siopot, Firstport, he had the political fortunes to force the revolution to become a World War.

    The war ended in victory and Albus returned home. He could have been elected Emperor, but he said that he, being 90 at the time, was too old and blessed his friend and fellow revolutionary Jonathan Norton with the throne. There is no place of burial for Albus Politus. It is said that he vanished one day in the flash of a lightning storm.

    In character, Albus was very unlike his fellow 'Saints'. He was highly irreverent, known for exceedingly bawdy humor, and generally believed that society itself could use a bit of a loosening once in a while. He was described once as being 'Every man's favorite grandfather'. Albus was known for a hedonistic lifestyle, tempered at times by a wit sharper than any blade.

    His family life was less glorious. His only son, George, never liked him, and the feeling was reciprocated. Later in life Albus tried time and time again to reconcile with his son. It never succeeded. George Politus was a Royal Governor at the time of the revolution and refused to switch sides. George's son, William was a different matter. William loved his grandfather, and Albus was known for doting on him and trying to make a lasting connection there. William moved in with his grandfather some ten years after the revolution to care for him.



    Jonathan Norton George Washington
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    Jonathan Norton is best remembered as the first Emperor, who led the Empire to victory in the Revolution and who kept the nation from collapsing afterward. He was born to wealthy parents near modern day Norton CE, and lived a fairly carefree childhood on their plantation. He grew into a strapping young lad and soon found work as a prospector, going out into the wilderness and mapping it for others. He also learned how to hunt and shoot. When war broke out in the Old World, Norton joined up with the local militia to serve against the Natives who allied themselves with the enemy nations. In this war, young Norton achieved great honors among the colonials, becoming the most decorated colonial soldier of the war. He was also well known afterward by the Natives as 'The Destroyer' for his efficiency in combat. He was snubbed by the Vampire commanders however. He was mortal, and so despite his skills they refused to grant him an officer rank.

    After the war he settled down and became a gentleman farmer. He was well known for his excellent harvests and fair trade prices, as well as his near-perfect manner. Norton was known to have turned his cheek when personally insulted, but wrathful when he saw another person belittled. Another title he seemed to earn around his home was 'giant killer' for his intolerance of those who insulted or harmed others in his presence.

    When the revolution began in earnest, Norton was called upon to serve as General of the Armies. He was, after all, the most experienced colonial in the ways of war. For several years he waged a bitter campaign. In the first year, his army was decimated by desertions and disease, as well as combat. He barely clung on through the winter. His army, hardened and made lean through this hardship did win a surprising victory in the midst of winter. After this, he rarely directly engaged in combat, preferring to strike from the shadows and morning mists. Even this wasn't enough at times, for his army was still far smaller and less experienced that his foe. In his most humiliating battle, Norton watched as his army fled the field at the very sight of the enemy. His rage, so carefully kept in check his whole life, finally broke through. He unleashed a savage fury so intense upon his fleeing men, calling “Stand Fast! Stand fast! Cowards! Cowards and traitors!” that the enemy army was too intimidated to fire.

    Norton was also a master of deception, using guerrilla tactics, spies and assassins, and even simple sabotage to hinder the enemy. He survived one harsh winter by tricking his foe into believing his army was twice its actual size, intimidating them from attacking til spring, whereupon they would discover he had slipped away.

    After the Battle of Siopot however, suddenly Norton had a fighting chance. Foreign aid in the form of weapons and armor and allies flooded into the colonies. With such support he was finally able to go on the offensive, driving the enemy from the continent and securing victory after many years of war.

    After the war, Norton sought to remain in charge of the army only until a provisional government had been set up. When it had, he retired to his farms. After a while though the first government appeared to be faltering. It lacked the kind of power that was needed in a centralized government. The army was on the brink of revolt and threatened to dismantle the nation entirely. Norton returned to speak with the commanders and begged them not to do so. They weren't swayed. So, Norton pulled out a letter to read to them from the Directorate (the pre-Imperial ruling body), hoping that their words of comfort to the soldiers would prevent the coup. When he could not read the letter, Norton took out his reading spectacles and apologized, saying that he had lost his eyesight in service to the Empire. Before he was even finished he saw his men weeping openly for him, and knew the coup had been prevented.

    A restructuring of the new Government did come to pass soon afterward, but the aging Albus Politus refused the throne, instead offering it to Norton. Norton eventually agreed and served for ten years as Emperor. Though he was begged to remain in power indefinitely, Norton retired forever after that. He would die almost a year later, leaving behind an Empire.
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  24. - Top - End - #234
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    You know, if you want to make this really American, an Empire just isn't going to cut it. What is America without the Constitution or Democracy?
    What I'm saying is that there are a couple things that really define America

    1. Egalitarianism: The lack of nobility (social class runs from working class to gentry, no serfs or nobles), the existence of democracy (to varying degrees, depending on who has suffrage), the belief in rags-to-riches stories.

    2. Diversity: the entire place is a melting pot, creating new cultures by synthesizing the old. So, new cultures such as a vibrant post-enslavement culture among one race, a self-sustaining half-breed population, that kind of thing.

    3. Progress-Orientated: Americans are always looking for the Next Big Thing, and throughout our history we have always been forgetful of history. We like to make things the world has never seen before, and usually much less skeptical of the new than others are. This also means that the existance of a frontier is very important. It is said that Britian has mourned the loss of the Empire for 50 years. If that is so, than America has mourned the loss of the frontier for 100 years.


    As it now stands, I'm only really getting Progress-Orientated. Making a really American setting is something that fascinates me, and I don't think that this setting really does it.

    EDIT: I would start making one myself, but I don't think that this sub-forum really needs three threads on the subject.
    EDIT-EDIT: Whoops, read more deeply. I would suggest, then, changing the name of the chief executive from the Emperor to the Patritian. Emperor has to much of a noble feel, in my mind. And, even if it isn't actually an Empire, the Imperials wouldn't call it such, not if they're American-esq.
    Oh, and calling a secret society the "Rectorum?" Seriously? That just opens up way too much space for "Girard's Rift" type jokes.
    Last edited by The Anarresti; 2012-03-16 at 09:16 AM.
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  25. - Top - End - #235
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Anarresti View Post
    You know, if you want to make this really American, an Empire just isn't going to cut it. What is America without the Constitution or Democracy?
    What I'm saying is that there are a couple things that really define America

    1. Egalitarianism: The lack of nobility (social class runs from working class to gentry, no serfs or nobles), the existence of democracy (to varying degrees, depending on who has suffrage), the belief in rags-to-riches stories.

    ...EDIT-EDIT: Whoops, read more deeply. I would suggest, then, changing the name of the chief executive from the Emperor to the Patritian. Emperor has to much of a noble feel, in my mind. And, even if it isn't actually an Empire, the Imperials wouldn't call it such, not if they're American-esq.
    Oh, and calling a secret society the "Rectorum?" Seriously? That just opens up way too much space for "Girard's Rift" type jokes.


    First off, I have to say that I'm very hesitant to go into much detail about the political structure of this setting. I understand the rules about political discussion on this board--and I'm confident that we won't get into anything would compromise them--but all the same we're walking on thin ice.

    That said, I wanted this to be an example of American Myth moreso than America itself. In the beginning, I didn't care whether we represented the U.S. or not, but that's where it's gone and I don't have a problem with it.

    However, I also want to keep this within the realm of fantasy. The "Empire" thing is an artifact of this possibly being a medieval setting, and since we've moved away from it I don't think it would be such a big deal to change it to democracy or something.

    An empire for this setting doesn't seem like such a big deal. Granted, it's not the most linguistically accurate term for the republic that this is shaping up to be. Maybe it's because of things like the Empire State or something, but I feel strangely drawn to calling this an empire. At the same time, I think the phenomenon of "united states," i.e. independent states that are united by an overarching government, is similar to the idea of an empire, which is why I originally chose the name.

    The only problem I have with changing "Emperor" to "Patritian" is that you would have to change "Empire" to something equivalent. "Patria" seems like the most likely candidate, but it's being used right now. I'm completely open to discussion to figure out something that would work, though.

    2. Diversity: the entire place is a melting pot, creating new cultures by synthesizing the old. So, new cultures such as a vibrant post-enslavement culture among one race, a self-sustaining half-breed population, that kind of thing.
    This may be another thing that you understood differently after reading a little more, but I feel like we have this covered. Nothing's been set in stone just yet, but here are the different cultures that have made a mark on the New World thus far:
    • Natives: The original gangstas. Within this group are 4 distinct cultures, each with their own relationship to the Empire and Borado and one another.
    • Boradoans: Southern Natives who have a distinct culture and stick to their guns in the defense of their territory.
    • Nuevo Borado: A breakaway faction of the Boradoans that seeks to be as advanced as the Empire, but using their own means.
    • Lightborn: the non-expansive puritans who just wanted a place to live free from the religious tyranny of the Old World.
    • Imperials: a wave of immigrants that came over when it became clear that the New World was a place of gigantic potential regardless of religious belief.
    • Jamatu: Probably came over around the same time as the Imperials, but on different ships, settling in different places. These guys mingled with the Natives to create their own race and culture.
    • Expansionists: These are the pioneers who went out in search of the far reaches of the New World, and they had a marked effect on the mentality of all Imperials. Manifest Destiny at its finest.
    • Steam Technology: This could be a revision of Imperial culture, or a culture unto itself.
    • Ironmen: Disenfranchised former slaves who find themselves with all the potential in the world and very little opportunity to actualize it.


    That's 9 cultures, and we're not even done yet! We've hinted at some kind of Russian-esque culture to the far Northwest and a Vinland-esque culture to the far Northeast, and I'd like to see some kind of China analog near San Bernardo, possibly even to the point of renaming the city.

    At the end of the day, I would be okay if we only had these cultures. We could theoretically publish as-is, leaving plenty of room for expansions. I think we're building a setting, which--for all its similarities--is not a simulation. I'm shooting for the Reader's Digest U.S. History. No hatin' or anything, but I'm not sure what else to say here.

    3. Progress-Orientated: Americans are always looking for the Next Big Thing, and throughout our history we have always been forgetful of history. We like to make things the world has never seen before, and usually much less skeptical of the new than others are. This also means that the existance of a frontier is very important. It is said that Britian has mourned the loss of the Empire for 50 years. If that is so, than America has mourned the loss of the frontier for 100 years.
    Like you said, I feel we have this covered. Tokarev and Nuevo Borado are the two finest examples.

    Oh, and calling a secret society the "Rectorum?" Seriously? That just opens up way too much space for "Girard's Rift" type jokes.
    As in "damn near killed 'em"? That was a very quick placeholder for something we would elaborate on at a later date. I think it needs work, too.
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  26. - Top - End - #236
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    Yes on a more throughout reading, you do seem to have the bases well covered. But, what is the difference between "American Myth" and "American History?" Probably due to the young age of the country, the line between the two becomes blurred?
    Any hope of a homegrown religion or movement, like a Mormon-equivalent?
    And to what extend where you hoping to make this setting? Have you made a map of the continent yet? As seen with The Giant's setting, geography can often shape culture and vice-versa.
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  27. - Top - End - #237
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    I believe we have 3 maps in the OP!

    On Myth vs. History: Originally I had intended to focus more on myth, but it's become a project that's focused a little more on history. Long story short, I'm okay with this. However, I would love to see more mythic elements. I have missed a good representation of Bigfoot, and a few others that I can't recall at the moment.

    Mormons are totally OK in my book. Care to give them a write-up?
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  28. - Top - End - #238
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    Quote Originally Posted by Landis963 View Post
    • Viejo Borado
    • As mentioned, a theocracy, as the departure of the deities which made it a deitocracy has been covered up by the priests.
    • All I can think of is some pyramid scheme with a public High Priest with attendants, who themselves have attendants, and so on for a couple of levels. I'll try this again when finals aren't on the brain, in the meantime, you can add details as you see fit.
    I think we can add an interesting twist. How about instead of a Theocracy with a single High Priest, Viejo Borado is ruled by something resembling an Executive Council or Oligarchy of Priests? Among this class there could even be elections and such. They see themselves as an Order of Knights given a sacred task, and so any hierarchy isn't set in stone, since seniority and capability trumps technical position.

    Quote Originally Posted by Landis963 View Post
    [*]Nuevo Borado
    • The presence of Blackfox in Platarena suggests a Robin-Hood esque divide between "rich" and "poor" in Nuevo Borado, which leads me to believe that the "upper classes" are hoarding most (if not all) of the technological benefits derived from the alien technology.
    • Thus, there is a "technocracy" in place, with those with the most alien tech able to enforce their desires upon the populace. Thus, Blackfox is unique in that he eschews an excess of gadgets, instead relying on his wits and physical strength. (can't remember if he had a whip or not).
    I rather like the idea of Nuevo Borado being ruled by a Santa Anna type military dictatorship, or more precisely, an Allende style. Very pro-industry, pro-technology, just not a particularly idealistic regime, and thus one that believes people need to be herded, rather than led. With a stronghanded government in power, and going with your idea of a rich-poor divide, the Blackfox and others, such as a Pancho Villa stand-in, have a lot more to work with.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjadeadbeard View Post
    I think we can add an interesting twist. How about instead of a Theocracy with a single High Priest, Viejo Borado is ruled by something resembling an Executive Council or Oligarchy of Priests? Among this class there could even be elections and such. They see themselves as an Order of Knights given a sacred task, and so any hierarchy isn't set in stone, since seniority and capability trumps technical position.
    Ooh, I like it! Would each priest be well-versed in a particular area of society so that they can work together to pilot their society?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjadeadbeard View Post
    I rather like the idea of Nuevo Borado being ruled by a Santa Anna type military dictatorship, or more precisely, an Allende style. Very pro-industry, pro-technology, just not a particularly idealistic regime, and thus one that believes people need to be herded, rather than led. With a stronghanded government in power, and going with your idea of a rich-poor divide, the Blackfox and others, such as a Pancho Villa stand-in, have a lot more to work with.
    Could the priests of Viejo Borado be funding the Pancho Villa-analogue and making sure Blackfox gets intel that destabilizes the Allende regime? With the eventual hope that they reunify?

    EDIT: Oh, and if you would please follow the link in my sig to the new and improved link to my campaign world thread? I'd greatly appreciate it.
    Last edited by Landis963; 2012-06-16 at 08:29 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    I want to create a world that is full of possibility, and one of the best ways to handle it is by creating a bunch of stories that haven't yet been finished.
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  30. - Top - End - #240
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    I believe we have 3 maps in the OP!

    On Myth vs. History: Originally I had intended to focus more on myth, but it's become a project that's focused a little more on history. Long story short, I'm okay with this. However, I would love to see more mythic elements. I have missed a good representation of Bigfoot, and a few others that I can't recall at the moment.

    Mormons are totally OK in my book. Care to give them a write-up?
    I see that my response to this didn't actually get posted. Yes, sure, I'd love to give a Mormon-equivalent group a write-up.
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