mordicai caeli (mordicai) wrote,
mordicai caeli

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So I am getting nearer & nearer to a final conceptualization-- or at least, a plateau-- for my next Oubliette campaign. I refine it, iteration by iteration. The next one will be a reboot, again-- many elements will remain, many others will be twisted. I even have a meta-mechanic for "editions," but that is more a private joke. The next game-- well, I don't know quite what the next campaign will be like. I think I might try to start small, & work my way out from there? I don't know-- I'll want to collude with players, before I get my heart set on anything. I do have setting changes-- well, that is what I will call them. A lot of them are ideas I've had for a long time, & hinted at, but I think at some point you have to stop hinting, & show your hand. Or at least, you can, that is an option. For instance, the Karnak, the "sunken island" people-- your Numenoreans, your Atlaneans-- are pretty much officially revealed as Neanderthals. Man, can I tell you, I sure hate the word "Neanderthal." Or at least, the etymology. Since it only refers to a place in real world geography, I can't break it down. Well-- I can, I have. Neanderthal, Neander valley, Neander to Neumann, to New Man. Which is a funny pun, right? Quirk of history. But I don't think it works for Oubliette. So anyhow-- I don't use the word Neanderthal, which is for the best-- but I want to figure out a way to sort of peek out from behind the curtain & say so. Speaking of, I still don't get capitalization. Is it "human" or "Human"? I mean-- what if there are more than one type of "human?" Like, you could reasonably say Neanderthals are a type of human, right? So then Human would mean Homo sapiens, while human would mean...Homo the genus? I think that is right?

Race, or species, is a factor in the next campaign. I have been dropping hints that inhumans are around in Oubliette, & I think I want to bring them out of the shadows more. & of course tie them to my interest in Hominids. So you have Humans (Homo sapiens, but you also have Karnaks (Homo neanderthalis), & Demi (Homo floresiensis), & Alphas (Homo superior). I am still fleshing out details on the math for character building-- I want the races to play the same, but build differently-- for instance, Demi have less attributes & more skills, while Alphas have more attributes but less skills. Karnaks are more average, with less weaknesses but less strengths. Alphas have some fringe benefits for having high attributes-- slightly better Willpower, Defense, Health-- but I think the fractional probabilities there are balanced out by the minuses you get from not having any dots in a skill. I don't know-- nothing is set in stone yet. I also need to stress that I don't want the other species to become an example of orientalism. No, Karnak culture is not borrowed from Japanese culture or whatever. I hate how sometimes games do that-- dude, Asian people are not elves. How to dodge this? Well, it is tricky, it sure is. I think taking inspiration from fiction, especially science fiction, can help. Donner's Krypton, for instance, is a Karnak influence, & so is Krull. Take it, & twist it so it fits in context, & then boom.

Metaculture is going to play in, as well. Groups that operate above a nation state level. Both world-spanning conspiracies, underground movements, whatever. Sort of like...well, isn't Catholicism a good example? You can be an American, or a Kenyan, or a Korean, & still be Catholic. Complicated loyalties along certain ideological lines-- lines that flux to fit into social norms. The different metacultures won't be mandatory, but will offer advantages. Taking a page from Vampire: the Requiem's Covenants. I don't quite know how I'll work them all, but I have few ideas. Rituals, experience breaks, that kind of thing. & then of course, that layered on top of culture, on top of the mores & technology of places.
Tags: house rules, oubliette, races, setting

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