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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Default A non-planar cosmology

    This is a cosmological system I use rather than the standard D&D system of planes and spheres.

    Consider that the life of one individual might be pictured as a thread moving from the past to the future. It's born of the combination of other threads and might spawn new threads of its own before it terminates. Imagine the threads of every living creature moving through time on roughly parallel courses. These threads bump up against each other and intertwine and form a long string. Now imagine that in each thread, each life, the creature that thread represents can make every choice. They can have their cake and eat it too. Except that now the thread has split and in one thread the creature ate the cake and in the other thread the creature kept the cake. Most choices are fairly minor and the threads they create are fairly weak and can co-exist with other threads inside the string. But some choices are so powerful that they can drag the threads around them into a new string that runs alongside the original string. Even intertwines with it. Many of these strings (actually, an infinite number of these strings) run alongside each other to form a strand. Moving between strings is possible and creatures might do it every day and never notice because the changes to their world are so small. Moving between strands is possible, but harder, because the changes are larger, more energy must be spent to move and to adjust to the reality of the new strand. While like strands tend to clump together, the space in which they exist is infinite so the space between them is infinite. So, in a sense, there's a lot of room between them. Which means that very alien strands can exist side by side, even closely intertwine or, in extreme cases, merge.

    This cosmology works nicely for me for a lot of reasons:

    First, it gives me, as the DM, carte blanche for time travel. I can spend people back in time or forward in time and simply explain that they are jumping to possible futures/pasts and put them back in their original time with no changes. Or I can say they created a new thread and let them travel in time within that thread. You can see how this might also be a useful tool, with care, for effecting retcon changes to campaign setting or making major changes as the players move forwrd with the game.

    Second, it allows me to deal with visions of the future as possibilities with varying probabilities. I don't have to predict the future I just have to predict a future.

    Third, I can have a wild variety of planes rather than the standard issue sets. I can have multiple celestial/infernal/demonic strands. I can have alien worlds (I mean, really alien worlds).

    For example: In one setting I've got agents of a celestial strad interfering in my main strand to prevent an infernal strand(which was an offshoot of the celestial strandeons ago) from taking over. And I've got several fragments of demonic strands that seek to attach themselves to the main strand and, like a virus, use it to reproduce and then shatter it to send more fragments out to infect other strands. I've got multiple invaders from other strands coming to the main strand as well.

    In another setting I deal with the idea of a Feywild by saying that two strands have merged. So it's readily possible to step from one strand to another simply by travelling in space in either strand. And the strands shift against each other. You might be walking home from school and find that your path now takes you through an elven glade. Or a monstrous realm.

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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: A non-planar cosmology

    Quote Originally Posted by jjordan View Post
    This is a cosmological system I use rather than the standard D&D system of planes and spheres.

    Consider that the life of one individual might be pictured as a thread moving from the past to the future. It's born of the combination of other threads and might spawn new threads of its own before it terminates. Imagine the threads of every living creature moving through time on roughly parallel courses. These threads bump up against each other and intertwine and form a long string. Now imagine that in each thread, each life, the creature that thread represents can make every choice. They can have their cake and eat it too. Except that now the thread has split and in one thread the creature ate the cake and in the other thread the creature kept the cake. Most choices are fairly minor and the threads they create are fairly weak and can co-exist with other threads inside the string. But some choices are so powerful that they can drag the threads around them into a new string that runs alongside the original string. Even intertwines with it. Many of these strings (actually, an infinite number of these strings) run alongside each other to form a strand. Moving between strings is possible and creatures might do it every day and never notice because the changes to their world are so small. Moving between strands is possible, but harder, because the changes are larger, more energy must be spent to move and to adjust to the reality of the new strand. While like strands tend to clump together, the space in which they exist is infinite so the space between them is infinite. So, in a sense, there's a lot of room between them. Which means that very alien strands can exist side by side, even closely intertwine or, in extreme cases, merge.

    This cosmology works nicely for me for a lot of reasons:

    First, it gives me, as the DM, carte blanche for time travel. I can spend people back in time or forward in time and simply explain that they are jumping to possible futures/pasts and put them back in their original time with no changes. Or I can say they created a new thread and let them travel in time within that thread. You can see how this might also be a useful tool, with care, for effecting retcon changes to campaign setting or making major changes as the players move forwrd with the game.

    Second, it allows me to deal with visions of the future as possibilities with varying probabilities. I don't have to predict the future I just have to predict a future.

    Third, I can have a wild variety of planes rather than the standard issue sets. I can have multiple celestial/infernal/demonic strands. I can have alien worlds (I mean, really alien worlds).

    For example: In one setting I've got agents of a celestial strad interfering in my main strand to prevent an infernal strand(which was an offshoot of the celestial strandeons ago) from taking over. And I've got several fragments of demonic strands that seek to attach themselves to the main strand and, like a virus, use it to reproduce and then shatter it to send more fragments out to infect other strands. I've got multiple invaders from other strands coming to the main strand as well.

    In another setting I deal with the idea of a Feywild by saying that two strands have merged. So it's readily possible to step from one strand to another simply by travelling in space in either strand. And the strands shift against each other. You might be walking home from school and find that your path now takes you through an elven glade. Or a monstrous realm.


    Okay, it’s a time-space multiverse as opposed to a Music of the Spheres orrery-type arrangement. The former concept expands material realm permutations towards infinity, while the latter exists specifically to reify the unseen forces of afterlife metaphysics into chunks (that can be broken down, written about, and depicted in a long run of splatbooks). It’s apples compared to beef jerky.

    The fantasy rpg people ended up with a wheel because it meshed with the sources they were extracting their metaphysics from (Elric novels, Dante Alighieri, a slop bucket of mythology encyclopedia), and ran with it because they were explicitly trying to explain the back-stage of the (printed) cosmos with hard-coded morality, knowable divine beings, and a after-death realms you can vacation in. The Inner Planes cube and the various astral/shadow/ethereal/etc realms are attempts to create an back-stage for the weirdness of magic and matter that doesn’t act like atoms and molecules...like if you could visit the subatomic particle bestiary and fight quarks. All of this being done specifically to create a product line with a sense of continuity for a consumer base. The base assumption is universality...fundamental things underpin all reality (realities), and once you kick off the mortal coil you can perceive the greater system of things...and participate in it, maybe.

    As described your multiverse doesn’t do any of the above, so there’s no point of comparison. It doesn’t explain the afterlife or the moral landscape thereof, it doesn’t explain the underpinning natural philosophy of magic and magic critters and critters made of acid and evil. You’re not wrong, there’s nothing wrong with your choices, but if you are presenting your system as an alternative...it is not an alternative. It is an entirely different thing to the point that your temporal-spatial multiverse can exist, without contradiction, alongside an metaphysical orrery.

    In effect, you’ve created an in-game language for fiat adjustments by the DM. Retcon? Multiverse shift. Unexplained new dramatis personae? Multiverse shift. Impossible by RAW thing? Multiverse shift.

    The equivalent to the orrery, or Wheel, or whatever would be diagram PCs and NPCs make of the different kinds of threads/strands, and the attempts to explain why there are “celestial” and “infernal” ones and what that means on a deeper metaphysical level. For example, the very word “celestial” must have an agreed-upon definition...core qualities that are consistent across individual beings, groups, whole threads, etc...and then comes the question of why and how that consistency exists.

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    Default Re: A non-planar cosmology

    Quote Originally Posted by Yanagi View Post
    Okay, it’s a time-space multiverse as opposed to a Music of the Spheres orrery-type arrangement. The former concept expands material realm permutations towards infinity, while the latter exists specifically to reify the unseen forces of afterlife metaphysics into chunks (that can be broken down, written about, and depicted in a long run of splatbooks). It’s apples compared to beef jerky.

    The fantasy rpg people ended up with a wheel because it meshed with the sources they were extracting their metaphysics from (Elric novels, Dante Alighieri, a slop bucket of mythology encyclopedia), and ran with it because they were explicitly trying to explain the back-stage of the (printed) cosmos with hard-coded morality, knowable divine beings, and a after-death realms you can vacation in. The Inner Planes cube and the various astral/shadow/ethereal/etc realms are attempts to create an back-stage for the weirdness of magic and matter that doesn’t act like atoms and molecules...like if you could visit the subatomic particle bestiary and fight quarks. All of this being done specifically to create a product line with a sense of continuity for a consumer base. The base assumption is universality...fundamental things underpin all reality (realities), and once you kick off the mortal coil you can perceive the greater system of things...and participate in it, maybe.

    As described your multiverse doesn’t do any of the above, so there’s no point of comparison. It doesn’t explain the afterlife or the moral landscape thereof, it doesn’t explain the underpinning natural philosophy of magic and magic critters and critters made of acid and evil. You’re not wrong, there’s nothing wrong with your choices, but if you are presenting your system as an alternative...it is not an alternative. It is an entirely different thing to the point that your temporal-spatial multiverse can exist, without contradiction, alongside an metaphysical orrery.

    In effect, you’ve created an in-game language for fiat adjustments by the DM. Retcon? Multiverse shift. Unexplained new dramatis personae? Multiverse shift. Impossible by RAW thing? Multiverse shift.

    The equivalent to the orrery, or Wheel, or whatever would be diagram PCs and NPCs make of the different kinds of threads/strands, and the attempts to explain why there are “celestial” and “infernal” ones and what that means on a deeper metaphysical level. For example, the very word “celestial” must have an agreed-upon definition...core qualities that are consistent across individual beings, groups, whole threads, etc...and then comes the question of why and how that consistency exists.
    I disagree with some of your points. I think a time-space multiverse works quite well for explaining concepts like gods and the afterlife and allows for the same modeling that the existing planar model has.

    I can explain gods as:
    -Powerful beings from another strand that take an interest in the inhabitants of the current thread.
    -Powerful beings from the same strand that have created parallel strands because the force of their power warps the reality of the strand they originated in.
    -Powerful beings who created the strand.
    -Powerful beings called into existence by the power of the beliefs of the inhabitants of the strand.

    D&D certainly does use a consistent format for product branding and settings. Except that they don't. They've altered the structures and conceptions of the planes, the inhabitants thereof, and the relationships those inhabitants have repeatedly. But that doesn't particularly matter because this is quite clearly home-brew for home-brew games.

    And while I've create a tool that a DM could misuse I'll point out that every tool can be misused and there's nothing to prevent a DM using a planar model of cosmology from making enormous changes. The Forgotten Realms cataclysms come awful close to that, for that matter.

    This model will obviously not be to the liking of everyone but it does have a few advantages (with attendant risks) that make it appealing to me.

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    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: A non-planar cosmology

    Quote Originally Posted by jjordan View Post
    Consider that the life of one individual might be pictured as a thread moving from the past to the future. It's born of the combination of other threads and might spawn new threads of its own before it terminates. Imagine the threads of every living creature moving through time on roughly parallel courses. These threads bump up against each other and intertwine and form a long string. Now imagine that in each thread, each life, the creature that thread represents can make every choice. They can have their cake and eat it too. Except that now the thread has split and in one thread the creature ate the cake and in the other thread the creature kept the cake. Most choices are fairly minor and the threads they create are fairly weak and can co-exist with other threads inside the string. But some choices are so powerful that they can drag the threads around them into a new string that runs alongside the original string. Even intertwines with it. Many of these strings (actually, an infinite number of these strings) run alongside each other to form a strand. Moving between strings is possible and creatures might do it every day and never notice because the changes to their world are so small. Moving between strands is possible, but harder, because the changes are larger, more energy must be spent to move and to adjust to the reality of the new strand. While like strands tend to clump together, the space in which they exist is infinite so the space between them is infinite. So, in a sense, there's a lot of room between them. Which means that very alien strands can exist side by side, even closely intertwine or, in extreme cases, merge.
    While I get how it works "metaphorically", I have problems with the exact implications of your description.

    So if you're ready for some nitpicking and stupid questions:

    My first understanding was: 1 thread = 1 creature, 1 string = 1 reality, 1 strand = 1 group of similar realities.
    But then, when a creature make a minor choice, their thread is split in 2 while remaining in the same string. But you probably didn't intended to say that there are now 2 copy of the creature in the same reality, so what happens?
    1) The string "remember" that the two thread came from the same creature, so every other creature in the string only percieve one of the two. Which one they percieve is irrelevant as the two are observationally equivalents (which mean that "eating a cake or not" cannot be a minor choice).
    2) Every other creature that "percieve" the splitted creature also has its thread splitted in two, so that one copy observe one copy, and the otehr one observe the other one. Hence, the "split" slowly propagate trough the reality, until eventually the string has finished to split in two strings.
    3) Something else?

    Moving between strings: If a creature move from a string to another string, he will encounter the "copy" of himself in this new string, so he will definitly remark something. Unless if when a creature move from a thread to another, its copy also move exactly at the same time to another string, etc. Moreover, if a creature has a choice between moving to another string and remaining, does that mean it split into two thread, one of them moving to the other string, and the other one remaining there? I'm not sure to see any way to make any of this fully consistent.

    (But then worldbuilding does not need to be fully consistent, as long as it does not have too much influence, and does not feel like "the DM improvise rule according to his whim")

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    Default Re: A non-planar cosmology

    Quote Originally Posted by MoiMagnus View Post
    So if you're ready for some nitpicking and stupid questions:
    There are no stupid questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by MoiMagnus View Post
    My first understanding was: 1 thread = 1 creature, 1 string = 1 reality, 1 strand = 1 group of similar realities.
    But then, when a creature make a minor choice, their thread is split in 2 while remaining in the same string. But you probably didn't intended to say that there are now 2 copy of the creature in the same reality, so what happens?
    Maybe that makes a new string. Maybe the two threads co-exist side by side and people perceive only one of them? "No, no, no, that's not how I remember it. You definitely had the octopus."

    Quote Originally Posted by MoiMagnus View Post
    Moving between strings: If a creature move from a string to another string, he will encounter the "copy" of himself in this new string, so he will definitly remark something. Unless if when a creature move from a thread to another, its copy also move exactly at the same time to another string, etc. Moreover, if a creature has a choice between moving to another string and remaining, does that mean it split into two thread, one of them moving to the other string, and the other one remaining there? I'm not sure to see any way to make any of this fully consistent.
    In the case of minor shifts I would say the two entities trade places with neither of them being aware of it because the changes are so minor. In the case of major shifts the two that traded places could be aware of what happened and very puzzled. In the case of un-natural shifts then it would be fully consistent to have another copy of yourself in the new thread. What happens then? Do you co-exist? Do you slowly merge into a single entity? I could define an answer but I prefer to leave it open to suit the needs of the story/world-building.

    Quote Originally Posted by MoiMagnus View Post
    (But then worldbuilding does not need to be fully consistent, as long as it does not have too much influence, and does not feel like "the DM improvise rule according to his whim")
    I like a fairly high degree of consistency so players can make reasonably accurate predictions about what will happen in the world based on their understanding of it. I don't want them to feel completely out of control.

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    Default Re: A non-planar cosmology

    Quote Originally Posted by jjordan View Post
    Maybe that makes a new string. Maybe the two threads co-exist side by side and people perceive only one of them? "No, no, no, that's not how I remember it. You definitely had the octopus."
    I know there's this theory on people collectively misremembering things, I just don't know what it's called. I'm fascinated by the fact that you managed to add this into your multiverse.

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    Default Re: A non-planar cosmology

    Quote Originally Posted by the_david View Post
    I know there's this theory on people collectively misremembering things, I just don't know what it's called. I'm fascinated by the fact that you managed to add this into your multiverse.

    I think you are talking about the Mandela Effect, official website linked below.

    https://mandelaeffect.com/

    The Mandela Effect theory in itself is connected to the idea of timelines splitting and merging. Your ideas are also reminding me of the Alternate Histories from Cultist Simulator.

    I agree with an ealier commenter that this theory could coinsist with the Great Wheel cosmology quite easily.

    Itself... its a very different idea to what dnd normally has as a cosmology. It allows for timetravel, and for reality hopping, which can be cool concepts, even if they are very tricky to do in RPGs.

    You say your system can handle everything that normal DND cosmology has. But what are planes like The Abyss, Baator and Celestia? Are they simply different strands that took a different path? What are devils and demons who are trying to trick mortals into sinning, and why do they do that?

    I think your system would work better in an agnostic/humanistic kind of setting. Who knows what happens after death, Faith only gives power through personal strenght of conviction, not through divine intervention, and there are no angels or demons or elemental planes. Their might however, be a string that is on fire, or a world with horrible monsters.
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    Default Re: A non-planar cosmology

    What represents a "major" choice?: any choice is meaningless on its own and the hat you pick up at the morning might have more repercussions on your timeline than deciding to become a plumber in 10 years and even the choice of killing all life will probably not have any significant impact on the trajectory of the planets.
    Last edited by noob; 2019-06-09 at 08:16 AM.

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    Default Re: A non-planar cosmology

    Quote Originally Posted by DMwithoutPC's View Post
    You say your system can handle everything that normal DND cosmology has. But what are planes like The Abyss, Baator and Celestia? Are they simply different strands that took a different path? What are devils and demons who are trying to trick mortals into sinning, and why do they do that?
    In my conception these are strands with different origins. The celestial realms are composed of related, but branched, strands where the inhabitants are familiar with strand travel and each other. The infernal realms are branches of the celestial strands. The inhabitants of the infernal strands seek to bring other strands under their control to increase their power. The celestial realms feel 'forced' to act to protect other strands from the predations of the infernal strands. Sometimes the inhabitants of a strand have some difficulty distinguishing the protection of the celestials from the predations of the infernals.

    Demonic strands are broken fragments that have looped back on themselves. These fragments of time and space constantly repeat, living the same time over and over. They drift through space trying to attach to healthy strands. Once they do, the demons rush to grab every last measure of power they can, revelling in the new time and experiences. This process destroys the strand, creating new fragments that scatter and repeat the process. The only thing celestials and infernals can routinely agree on is their hatred of the demons.

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    Default Re: A non-planar cosmology

    Quote Originally Posted by noob View Post
    What represents a "major" choice?: any choice is meaningless on its own and the hat you pick up at the morning might have more repercussions on your timeline than deciding to become a plumber in 10 years and even the choice of killing all life will probably not have any significant impact on the trajectory of the planets.
    Yup. In one sense all choices are major. In another they are all minor. It all depends on your point of perspective.

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    Default Re: A non-planar cosmology

    Quote Originally Posted by jjordan View Post
    Yup. In one sense all choices are major. In another they are all minor. It all depends on your point of perspective.
    It could be interesting to have a relativist cosmology: that person who thinks all his choices are important is living in a referential cosmology where travelling from one place to the other is harder than for planets who does not makes choices from their own point of view and so from their own point of view are living in a densely packed cosmology.
    Last edited by noob; 2019-06-09 at 10:53 AM.

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    Default Re: A non-planar cosmology

    Quote Originally Posted by jjordan View Post
    The inhabitants of the infernal strands seek to bring other strands under their control to increase their power.
    This is actually a very large oversimplification. Some of the infernal strands are seeking to increase their power so they can go to war against the celestial strands and take what they believe originally belonged to them. Some infernal strands are building up power to defend themselves against the inevitable celestial attack they 'know' will come. Some strands are fighting chaos, determined to bring order to the cosmos.

    You can see I prefer a shades of grey morality scale in my settings.

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    Default Re: A non-planar cosmology

    Quote Originally Posted by jjordan View Post
    In my conception these are strands with different origins. The celestial realms are composed of related, but branched, strands where the inhabitants are familiar with strand travel and each other. The infernal realms are branches of the celestial strands. The inhabitants of the infernal strands seek to bring other strands under their control to increase their power. The celestial realms feel 'forced' to act to protect other strands from the predations of the infernal strands. Sometimes the inhabitants of a strand have some difficulty distinguishing the protection of the celestials from the predations of the infernals.

    Demonic strands are broken fragments that have looped back on themselves. These fragments of time and space constantly repeat, living the same time over and over. They drift through space trying to attach to healthy strands. Once they do, the demons rush to grab every last measure of power they can, revelling in the new time and experiences. This process destroys the strand, creating new fragments that scatter and repeat the process. The only thing celestials and infernals can routinely agree on is their hatred of the demons.
    I think DMwithoutPC's is wondering more about the why than the how. Why do the infernals want to conquer other strands? Why would invading another strand give you more power in your strand? Why would that be easier than invading another planet in your own strand?

    In the great wheel cosmology souls are power. When a mortal dies their soul travels to the outer plane of their god. There they either become one with the plane or they become petitioners in service of their gods, and eventually they can become a more powerful outsider. They fight wars on behalf of their gods, like the blood war.
    It seems a bit crazy, but the great wheel cosmology has a meaning of life. It's to fight wars for a more powerful being. Yes, it sucks.

    Your cosmology has issues. I get that the celestial strand is trying to protect itself. It's also protecting other strands in order to protect itself effectively. (If one strand goes, we all go.) I love the demonic strands, and it also makes sense. The problem is with the infernal strand as it seems to be missing a motivation. (or purpose, meaning, whatever.)

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    Default Re: A non-planar cosmology

    I feel like using generic celestials and fiends are a missed opportunity. Might be more interesting to have something tied stronger to the thread themes or to not have them at all.
    Last edited by Milo v3; 2019-06-11 at 06:35 AM.
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    Default Re: A non-planar cosmology

    Then all the strands unites and form the spaghetti monster which creates the universe again.

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    Default Re: A non-planar cosmology

    Quote Originally Posted by Milo v3 View Post
    I feel like using generic celestials and fiends are a missed opportunity. Might be more interesting to have something tied stronger to the thread themes or to not have them at all.
    Generic? In my settings the celestials, infernals, and abyssals are all customized and the cosmology makes that easier to do, in my opinion. But you might be referring to truly alien creatures in the Lovecraftian sense? Floating jellyfish-type creatures that appear, do things that wreak havoc upon the land, and then disappear?

    I've got a lot of other 'aliens' that I can plug in. But the point of sharing the cosmology was not to give everyone my lore but to give people a tool that makes it easier for them to build their own lore.

    I'm interested in looking at shades of grey so I've taken the standard tropes and modified them. Without using the standard tropes the changes I've made wouldn't stand out as much. My infernals run a kingdom with a state religion, for example. It's oppressive in many respects and harsh in others but also genuinely delivers on all the promises they make and eschews violence and coercion in their spread. They are also in competition with other infernals who want the strand for themselves. My lawful good celestials fall in to the 'awful good' category and their rigid adherence to their code of behavior (and their willingness to punish people who fail to live up to this code, even if they don't subscribe to it) can be very grating. The chaotic good celestials can occasionally be found working with the lawful evil infernals to combat the chaotic evil abyssal creatures. The former because they are fighting evil, the latter because they are fighting chaos, and both are trying to preserve the strand the demons would destroy. If I wanted to do this with the classic model I'd have to re-write canon material. This way I can leave canon untouched, borrow from it where needed, and keep going. Everything you know about Orcus? Still true. Irrelevant since he's not active in this strand, but still true. And if I decided to add him later? Easy.

    Again, not for everyone. But this is a tool that allows a lot and doesn't take away.

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    Default Re: A non-planar cosmology

    By the way, something you will need to be very cautious about is the feeling of agency.

    If for every choice, both possibilities occur in different strings, it means that whatever is your player want, there will be one string where they succeed, and one string where they fail. They affect the narration (which string are we telling the story of), but have zero effect on the multiverse itself.
    (Note that depression and existential crisis coming from this is probably something frequent for NPCs literate enough to know how the multiverse work)
    Last edited by MoiMagnus; 2019-06-11 at 10:53 AM.

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    Default Re: A non-planar cosmology

    If you haven't already seen it, I suggest you check out the 2e Chronomancer book. Its "Temporal Prime" plane works a lot like what you describe here, with the same "interweaving worldlines" imagery and everything, and it has a lot of useful material and advice you could borrow, from monsters like time dimensionals to time-hopping organizations to a quickly-create-an-alternate-world section.
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    Where are my Like, Love, and Want to Have Your Manchildren (Totally Homo) buttons for this post?
    Won a cookie for this, won everything for this

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    Goblin

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    Default Re: A non-planar cosmology

    Quote Originally Posted by PairO'Dice Lost View Post
    If you haven't already seen it, I suggest you check out the 2e Chronomancer book. Its "Temporal Prime" plane works a lot like what you describe here, with the same "interweaving worldlines" imagery and everything, and it has a lot of useful material and advice you could borrow, from monsters like time dimensionals to time-hopping organizations to a quickly-create-an-alternate-world section.
    Thank you. I'll take a look at that.

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    DwarfBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: A non-planar cosmology

    Quote Originally Posted by jjordan View Post
    Generic? In my settings the celestials, infernals, and abyssals are all customized and the cosmology makes that easier to do, in my opinion. But you might be referring to truly alien creatures in the Lovecraftian sense? Floating jellyfish-type creatures that appear, do things that wreak havoc upon the land, and then disappear?

    I've got a lot of other 'aliens' that I can plug in. But the point of sharing the cosmology was not to give everyone my lore but to give people a tool that makes it easier for them to build their own lore.

    I'm interested in looking at shades of grey so I've taken the standard tropes and modified them. Without using the standard tropes the changes I've made wouldn't stand out as much. My infernals run a kingdom with a state religion, for example. It's oppressive in many respects and harsh in others but also genuinely delivers on all the promises they make and eschews violence and coercion in their spread. They are also in competition with other infernals who want the strand for themselves. My lawful good celestials fall in to the 'awful good' category and their rigid adherence to their code of behavior (and their willingness to punish people who fail to live up to this code, even if they don't subscribe to it) can be very grating. The chaotic good celestials can occasionally be found working with the lawful evil infernals to combat the chaotic evil abyssal creatures. The former because they are fighting evil, the latter because they are fighting chaos, and both are trying to preserve the strand the demons would destroy. If I wanted to do this with the classic model I'd have to re-write canon material. This way I can leave canon untouched, borrow from it where needed, and keep going. Everything you know about Orcus? Still true. Irrelevant since he's not active in this strand, but still true. And if I decided to add him later? Easy.

    Again, not for everyone. But this is a tool that allows a lot and doesn't take away.
    I think milo v3 means that devils, demons and celestials are quite generic as a trope, and that your setting should allow for more original "factions". All you'd need to do is change a name, but I don't really see the point in that.

    In fact, it explains why demons and devils are so alike. (Dretches and lemures, imps and quasits, balors and pit fiends, succubi and erinyes.) You're cooking up one amazing setting and I'm loving it.

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    DwarfBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: A non-planar cosmology

    Quote Originally Posted by MoiMagnus View Post
    By the way, something you will need to be very cautious about is the feeling of agency.

    If for every choice, both possibilities occur in different strings, it means that whatever is your player want, there will be one string where they succeed, and one string where they fail. They affect the narration (which string are we telling the story of), but have zero effect on the multiverse itself.
    (Note that depression and existential crisis coming from this is probably something frequent for NPCs literate enough to know how the multiverse work)
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    Kinda like the way the Avengers doomed more people than they saved in Endgame.

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    Default Re: A non-planar cosmology

    except that choices are meaningful because you create more worlds.
    by choosing to choose more often you create more worlds that contains people that makes more choices.
    The most common worlds are worlds where people are taught to make choices as often as possible because those worlds makes more similar worlds that contains people that makes a lot of choices.
    So statistically in this cosmology if you were born as a random person the start of your education would be that your parents would try to make you chose stuff as often as possible because there is more worlds that works this way than other worlds(essentially it is evolution but applied to worlds)
    Last edited by noob; 2019-06-12 at 05:05 AM.

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    Default Re: A non-planar cosmology

    Quote Originally Posted by noob View Post
    except that choices are meaningful because you create more worlds.
    by choosing to choose more often you create more worlds that contains people that makes more choices.
    The most common worlds are worlds where people are taught to make choices as often as possible because those worlds makes more similar worlds that contains people that makes a lot of choices.
    So statistically in this cosmology if you were born as a random person the start of your education would be that your parents would try to make you chose stuff as often as possible because there is more worlds that works this way than other worlds(essentially it is evolution but applied to worlds)
    I really hadn't considered that idea. Probably because I think of knowledge of how the cosmos works as having a fairly limited distribution. But maybe I'm wrong about that distribution.

    Gaming the cosmos.... huh.

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    Default Re: A non-planar cosmology

    Quote Originally Posted by jjordan View Post
    I really hadn't considered that idea. Probably because I think of knowledge of how the cosmos works as having a fairly limited distribution. But maybe I'm wrong about that distribution.

    Gaming the cosmos.... huh.
    It is called the evolution of life but applied to worlds instead of individuals.
    It is not gaming it is Darwin laws.

    let us say that at each choice there is one world with more odds of having choices than the other then the world that have higher odds will make more worlds including possibly worlds where people make even more choice and so on and the worlds that contains the stuff that makes the most choices are the world that makes other similar worlds the fastest.

    Essentially it is inevitable in your cosmology as long as making choices within a world is what create worlds and not something exterior to the worlds or something that does not varies in function of the worlds.

    The individual starting to teach people to make more choices would probably have no clue at all of how worlds works but because each choice splits the worlds then there is probably a chain of choices that leads a freedom loving person to consider freedom is making as many choices as possible and that chain of choice will exists as will all the other chains of choices so there will be one world where a person will teach the thing independently of having any idea of how worlds works.
    Then afterwards at each person that teacher meets this person can either choose to follow or to not follow but there is one world where the person decided to follow and in fact by looking at the right chain of world you can find a world where each person decided to follow.

    Even without a "teacher" individually someone who makes a choice can be more likely to cause more choices or less choices and there will be a world where the person took the choice that leads it to increasing the rate at which choices happens(example: make a kid which itself will make more choices) and asymptotically by looking at the right chain of worlds you would have all the individuals that took only the choices that maximize of more choices occurring and the world where this happened makes more worlds than the others and thus will have more worlds similar to itself than the other worlds.
    Last edited by noob; 2019-06-12 at 01:08 PM.

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    Goblin

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    Default Re: A non-planar cosmology

    No, I see that. The way you explained it made it seem like some realities were gaming the system. And then the comparison to evolution and gaming the system made me laugh.

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    DwarfBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: A non-planar cosmology

    So mindflayers would come from a different string or strand, rather than from the future? Works for me.

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