NATION

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Future Tech Advice and Assistance Thread [O.O.C.]

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]

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Excidium Planetis
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Excidium Planetis » Thu Sep 10, 2015 5:37 pm

The United Dominion wrote:
Excidium Planetis wrote:Well, yeah, but the general reaction of humans (and probably other sapient species) is to wipe out a parasite that can turn them into slaves. The number of enemies my fungus race would have would be much greater with a negative form of control, than with a symbiotic relationship.


So, you have two assumptions here. The first is just assuming how anyone else reacts at all. You might be accurate, but you still probably shouldn't do it.

I'm not assuming. I am generalizing from personal experience both in RPs I have been in and from popular culture. I have RPed with nations that literally would go to war with my nation if I still had slaves, for that reason alone.

The United Dominion wrote:Add onto this assumption the fact that you're further not viewing this as having anything to do with cooperative RP but are still thinking with an RP mindset - namely, that you don't want to be "slavers" because "slavers" get destroyed. You're not focusing on the internal needs of the species as you might if you were just writing fiction on your own; you're focusing on "what do I need to do to not get curbstomped." The only place that makes sense is competitive RP.

I'm not afraid of being curbstomped, I'm afraid of only being in war RPs and not any cooperative RPs. It's kind of hard to arrange trade agreements when the default response is to kill you/liberate your slaves.

The United Dominion wrote:The second assumption is that your species can turn everyone into slaves. As I said to Void earlier, just because you can take over Generic Host Body doesn't mean your virus/bacteria/fungus can take over the bodies of all species. It's likely, especially in your case more than his, to be limited to very few; primarily, those native to the fungi's home planet and whoever else OOCly wishes to allow it.

So if my species is immune to your fungus, or is resistant and only gets mild irritations and headaches with some nausea, then why would it matter if it can take over hosts? It's a medical problem that we might help another species overcome but eradication isn't really on the top of the list there. If it's a sapient organism, it's even farther down the list since it can at least be reasoned with.

You have a point there, I guess. But then, any sapient species that existed on the home planet of this fungus would likely be susceptible, and thus also determined to destroy it (unless, of course, the fungus is symbiotic rather than parasitic).

The United Dominion wrote:
I don't know how I am going to RP it yet, since I am just working on the idea. Unlike a lot of RPers here, I actually enjoy figuring out the mechanics of a nation more than RPing.


I guess that's your call, but this really is more for people intending to RP, not just people who want help with random ideas that have nothing to do with RPing. So, if I continue to discuss, it will still be from the perspective that you will eventually RP.

Of course I intend to RP as this fungus. I just find developing the mechanics of a nation more fun than RPing, and thus start with how the nation looks, then figure out how to RP it.
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The V O I D
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Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby The V O I D » Fri Sep 11, 2015 3:25 am

Vocenae wrote:Hello, Vaxon.

Above all else, you need to realize that at the end of the day, whatever weapon you have will only be as powerful as your RP partner allows it to be. For a reminder of what makes for a good RP, please see the OP of this thread, specifically the section of "Rules of FT". It is here you'll find the C4, which are as follows:

Creativity, Consistency, Collaboration, and Compromise.


Yes, I understand that. I wasn't arguing whether or not I would use it; I was only arguing it's destructive capacity as a WMD, nothing more, nothing less...


Excidium, you are going to RP as a plant-based species with a symbiotic and/or parasitic relationship, hm? I'd be interested. See, the Void a thing and a place, not a nation; there are many, many canonical nations within the Void big and small. The Void is a place/thing that is essentially attached to multiple universes ('the multiverse'). And due to the Void's physics, Void Portals, which are essentially inter-universal wormholes, can open up at random in the Void; thus opening one in a random destination in the 'target' universe. Void Portals are somewhat randomized, but for the sake of RP could 'just appear nearby'. I'd be interested in interacting with your nation, if only because some of the nations in the Void don't really think a symbiotic/parasitic plant-people are weird. I mean, they have the Void Masters to deal with, which are essentially able to manipulate the very physics the Void obeys. Of course, no one asks to interact with the Void Masters. And even if someone did, they literally manipulate their entire home universe, but don't actually have any influence aside from that. Oh, look at that, I'm getting a bit rant-y.

Anyways, my point is if you're willing to interact, so am I. I warn you, though; the Void can be a hostile place in terms of beings not from it tend to... not survive long, if only because of the different physics and such. Not to mention it's darker than blackest night in the Void, as all the 'stars' do is emanate heat, and very little, if any, light. The Void, in-fact, is so very dark that most species within have adapted infrared vision or the ability to see in the dark. So, when Void-borne crossover to other places, they tend to have no windows or anything because they'd be instantly blinded by the amount of light.

So, either way we interact: whether it's your people who crossover into the Void upon a Void Portal's appearance, or if it's mine, both have a bit of a disadvantage in that... well... they're kind of like viruses trying to enter an almost-incompatible body, for a sort-of analogy. Nonetheless, it'd be interesting. TG me if you're interested.

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Excidium Planetis
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Excidium Planetis » Fri Sep 11, 2015 9:00 am

The V O I D wrote:
Vocenae wrote:Hello, Vaxon.

Above all else, you need to realize that at the end of the day, whatever weapon you have will only be as powerful as your RP partner allows it to be. For a reminder of what makes for a good RP, please see the OP of this thread, specifically the section of "Rules of FT". It is here you'll find the C4, which are as follows:

Creativity, Consistency, Collaboration, and Compromise.


Yes, I understand that. I wasn't arguing whether or not I would use it; I was only arguing it's destructive capacity as a WMD, nothing more, nothing less...


I believe the point you seem to be missing is that it only holds WMD status if your RP partner roleplays it that way. It isn't really a Weapon of Mass Destruction if your RP partner's species is immune to the virus and possesses weapons that can disintegrate these Runner/Evolved things, then is it?

As an example, 25 Megaton nuclear weapons are considered a WMD by pretty much all Modern Tech nations, but my nation uses them often in space warfare as an ordinary weapon. Why? Because the nations I RP with often have ships in the multi-kilometer range, made of material "better" than steel, and often times with energy shields too. 25 Megaton weapons were deemed the necessary amount of force to deal with a single ship.

You see? What might be considered a WMD against some RPers is just an ordinary weapon against others.
Last edited by Excidium Planetis on Sat Sep 12, 2015 6:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Ex-Ambassador (deceased): Evander Blackbourne
Ex-Ambassador: Cornelia Schultz, author of GA#355 and GA#368.
#MakeLegislationFunnyAgain
Singaporean Transhumans wrote:You didn't know about Excidium? The greatest space nomads in the NS multiverse with a healthy dose (read: over 9000 percent) of realism?
Saveyou Island wrote:"Warmest welcomes to the Assembly, ambassador. You'll soon learn to hate everyone here."
Imperium Anglorum wrote:Digital Network Defence is pretty meh
Tier 8, 7.5 nation, according to my index.Made of nomadic fleets.


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The Fedral Union
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Postby The Fedral Union » Sat Sep 12, 2015 4:29 pm

To echo some sentiments here, using WMD's on people a random someone with no discussion is a dick move (unless that person is willing to accept their use in general but that's another thing.)

That said; while I maintain deterrence is a thing, I also think that if you have to use WMD's (outside a really plot specific thing) then you've rendered having them moot. In RL if someone uses nukes than they've nullified the point of having them as a deterrent. Most civilized or in general most nations in FT don't go around willynilly flinging sun or planet busters around because .. Well wheres the fun in that A.. and B.. it just renders any story moot (unless again plot device).

So while some nations may have such weapons (WMD) in general; they don't use them because the point is get the maxim enjoyment out of rping and because seriously everyone says what I said before whats the point of an I win button?

In a closed thread where a WMD is a plot point; sure go nuts, but even that reflects on your general relations. You can have WMD and be a responsible steward; but you need to ask yourself this.

Why do have them?

Why do you need them?

When would you use them?

We also should define what a WMD is, your ships engines could be made in to a WMD theoretically (depending on what they are), orbital bombardment is WMD.. Ectera ectera.

Developing WMD because your icly responding to an IC threat from a hostile power who has them is valid; just like in reality; but it gets slippery easily. You don't want to walk off a bridge just because Joe from accounting is doing it.
Last edited by The Fedral Union on Sat Sep 12, 2015 4:39 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Huerdae
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Father Knows Best State

Postby Huerdae » Sun Sep 13, 2015 10:43 pm

We have posts for worldbuilding, and for RP, but sometimes, it's a little hard to decide when to go from one to the other. When do you start moving from purely worldbuilding your nation, into actually using and exploring it? If you ask me, it's not a hard cut-over. It's a long, slow process that never truly ends.

Prompt One: Where does the Worldbuilding End?

Simply put, it doesn't. Not that I'm familiar with, anyway. But that doesn't mean you should sit on what you've got in your mind indefinitely. What you've been working on for this past while is really the seed, the beginning of the nation. You don't need to have everything spelled out ahead of time - in fact, I'd advise against it. What you're trying to do before you start RP, is to be get far enough that you can reasonably come up with a single person. Sometimes, up to five.

At that point, you have enough variation that you can have a few ideas floating around between them, if you want it. People from different sections of your empire, or different ideologies. Are there competing religions? What do the colonists (remember the suggestions to have three systems?) think of the coreworlders? How can you tell them apart? What quirks might they have? These are the things that you should at least have a basic idea of. But don't mistake me for asking for too many specifics. The truth is, I suggest starting quickly, while the ideas, and most importantly the enthusiasm, is still fresh in your mind. You want to be willing to explore the idea, not get complacent in fermenting it in your mind into some perfect idea that never sees the sun.

So instead of looking at it and saying "why do I want them to act this way?", think instead of what things you can do to tell them apart, and try to explain it later. Remember, at this time, you don't have to have a complete nation behind them. You just need ideas, and a basic understanding of where you want to go. You don't even need to know why if you don't want to. Though, it should be noted that's a very dangerous thing to play with. Don't get too carried away, or you'll never know why, or things will go so far that many cannot maintain the proper suspension of disbelief when reading your posts. As always, that balance is left to you.

So in summary, you need a handful of people. When you have that, you can begin. I would say you even should.

Prompt Two: But how and where do I start?

Without the core of your nation developed, you obviously can't really go explore that directly. What you're exploring, instead, is reflected through these few characters, so you need some manner of stimuli against which to reflect. This can be any number of things, but I suggest keeping it to a character RP (and preferably away from one of the RPs where they have a good chance of dying. Sorry Rethan) and somewhere that has a full and vibrant history. This serves two purposes. It gives you plenty to reflect against when you go through the thread, and it also gets you entrenched, with an idea of who you're dealing with, in the community. You've started on the first part of collaborative and cooperative RP. You've made that first connection.

But how does joining someone else's thread help you? That's performed simply by letting your characters react to what they see and hear. This can be something as simple as the color, shape, and smell of a new place, or as drastic as a world-shattering culture clash. For example, the simple things like the Huerdaen tendency toward agoraphobia came from such a thread, where I realized that there would be people who had spent their entire lives, or at least childhoods, aboard ship. To suddenly go from such an environment to something massive and open could be shocking, even terrifying. From a 'world' where the 7' by 7' hall of metal was comforting and safe, to an open sky of blue with puffy clouds.

These are the things you want to think of. It doesn't mean you have to remark on them in RP, but instead I would remark on perhaps every other thing that your host takes the time to describe. Events or types of travel would also be useful to for reflection, as they often change between nations. For some, a transporter is a commonplace, safe object. For others, it's a disintigrator that assembles a copy elsewhere. These are not at all unreasonable viewpoints. In fact, the only thing that is unreasonable is if you go to a different nation and find nothing out of place. That would be most unsettling of all.

So see things out of place. If you can't find anything, talk to your host. Talk to others in the thread, see what they think. Even if it's just the predominance of circles in this new nation, or the way they talk, or their slang or accents. Perhaps it's their choice of color? Even that can be a major thing, as some cultures find various colors taboo. Alternatively, the lack of certain numbers in popular culture. In the USA, most buildings don't have a 13th floor. In Japan, that would be the 4th. These differences are particularly telling about your nation, but not only that, they're telling in how your people react to them in other nations. Is it perfectly reasonable to have some of these things clash on a level that is insulting or abrasive. Don't shy away from causing a little bit of a scene (keep in mind it should be small, you shouldn't try to hijack a thread with your antics, but a complaint here and there about how soft/hard the beds are, or the oddity of chopsticks instead of silverware) is a good way to explore what resides inside your own character's heads. More-so, what they think and see is of value to you, as well.

So get your handful of people into a small-scale roleplay, and let them explore. You'll be surprised where it may take you, and what it may say.

Prompt Three: How does this lead into my nation?

All of these things are of use to you, in the end. Not only how your characters react, but the level at which they react. To leave a tip could be customary, or deeply insulting, but what it does in both cases is say something about the people who are feeling those feelings. This is the next thing you should be reflecting on as you go through the thread. Now that you've taken your first few steps, now that you've put your hand out there to RP, you should be looking at what you're doing and trying to follow it back to something in your own nation. Some reason or cause for it. You don't always need to know why. You don't even need it to affect everyone. Each person can have their own influences as well, which lets you avoid retcons if these ideas you're playing with don't pan out to be as interesting as you previously thought.

The point here, is to use these threads to explore what you may also be interested in. I think everyone finds something they once thought was interesting turned up to be pretty boring in the end. This is your chance to check it, and confirm. Try out the ideas, see how well they fit. At this point, with only a few people, it can easily be explained away as a radical viewpoint, or a minority's view. Even if someone in the thread says something as blatant as "We all feel that way!" they could be describing anything, so don't be afraid. Try it out. Take off your gloves a little and look a what happens. You may learn some surprising things about your nation.

As you go, expand it slowly. A few people at first, then give them some backing. Maybe a ship back home, or a comm line where they can talk to their families. Start expanding back toward home by way of IC windows into your nation. Make use of other people's technology to reflect on your own. One such technology can be FTL. Everyone has their own that is a little different, from the Star Trek 'warp' tech, where the stars fly by, to the acid-trip Star Wars hyperdrive. FTL is one thing that's easy to personalize, so it's one thing that's easy to have your people notice. Have them look at it, and react to it. Do the flying stars or swirling colors make them seasick? Do they think it's pretty? What are they used to? You can show all of this, and every time you do that, you show a little more of your own nation. Grow, expand, and after you can play ten or more people without too much trouble, you'll find you're at a point that you don't really need to set these limits on yourself anymore. You can go home, to your own nation, and let others explore it. It should only take a handful of threads, often as few as two or three.

Each and every reaction your people have provides a little bit more about your own nation. Don't lose sight of that. Explore it. Enjoy it.

The End, and other things

Keep in mind, these are just my suggestions. I'm not saying it's the only way, it's simply the way I wish I had done it. My own RPs, I first started with the whole nation, and found myself retconning many things said in my first few threads. It took me a dozen threads to get a good idea of what I wanted, and each time my nation showed its colors, it had changed. The lower scale helps to allow people to avoid that, by letting you explain away one or a few people doing strange things.

Obviously, this isn't the only way to explore your nation. It's simply the one that I suggest. It avoids many of the pitfalls I fell into, and it gives you good insight into what you are exploring on your own. It lets you show off basic parts of your nation, including simple culture, and racial traits, without having to drown in the peculiarities of these right away and try to balance them against each other all at once. So there you have it. Hopefully what I put here helps you decide on your own course, and helps you take a few steps into the community we all know as NS FT, whether it's in the same group I RP in, or another.

Best of luck, friends.
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Kyrusia
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Capitalizt

Postby Kyrusia » Sun Sep 13, 2015 11:17 pm

Been a while, but a new guide has been added to the Helpful Links section of the OP, a guide produced by Huerdae.
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The Ben Boys
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Ex-Nation

Postby The Ben Boys » Mon Sep 14, 2015 1:30 pm

Genomita wrote:Speaking of 40k, the original idea for my nation was that the genomitans came from a genetor world of the AdMech that was tasked with studying the tyranids, but were declared heretics when they were rediscovered after a long period of isolation caused by a warp storm. During that isolation they had begun to move away from the dogma preached by the AdMech to further their research and had begun to implement what they learned, though they gave the implants they developed their own twist and made sure not to make themselves susceptible to the hive mind. So yeah, the tyranids were a major source of inspiration for my love of biotech, but I've kinda moved away from them since then, in part because my nation is not at all the warlike type, like many of the ones you mentioned seem to be.


Being a fan of 40k I find this a very interesting origin story, one that could definitely be applied to original work with the same basic precepts and concepts.

As for the manufactured organs serving specific purposes, they have those, though there is only so much you can do with even advanced biotech without going into handwavium territory, and I'd like to keep that to a minimum. I might not be able to explain everything, but it should still be believable, which is why the Genomitans wouldn't use CT as replacement for things such as sensory organs or other vital parts but in addition to them, both to minimize the chance of technological errors and to retain a certain harmonic balance, if that makes sense. It's less about retconning things so that they always used a mix of organotech and CT but rather the Genomitans realizing the current limits of what they can do with their usual approach, and looking for ways to change that without going overboard.


Ah I see what you're going after then; not having an entirely bio-driven race can insert some personality and interesting technological innovations into it.

And yeah, the civilopedia was a good source of inspiration. Materials like bioglass and the like seem like a good addition to what the Genomitans already have. I'm hesitant to incorporate material from the Yuuzhan Vong because I seem to recall that many people considered them overpowered. They also seem rather warlike. The flood ship is just a CT ship infected by organotech, so not really what I'm looking for.


Thanks, the civilopedia had helped me get over writer's block innumerable times. Considering it was compiled to be a massive repository of science fiction (as is what Beyond Earth was meant to be) I'm surprised that more people don't mention it.

I kept trying to find peaceful biotech civilizations, but just flowery Zerg came up and it got quite annoying after awhile, so I went with the "biotech" part in hopes that it would help.

Glad I could be of service, let me know how it goes; I'm interested in how the Genomitans integrate these new technologies.

Lastly, many thanks for that link to Starbound. I'll definetly have to check that game out when i got the money to spare.[/quote]


"Both Religion and science require a belief in God. For believers, God is in the beginning, and for physicists He is at the end of all considerations"-Max Planck

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Tekonia X-2
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Ex-Nation

Postby Tekonia X-2 » Wed Sep 16, 2015 4:16 pm

Finally a thread for FT nations. I've been looking all over for this. Now, where the multiconglomerate of societies under one roof, the Council. I need to join one fast.
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Lubyak
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Compulsory Consumerist State

Postby Lubyak » Wed Sep 16, 2015 4:34 pm

Tekonia X-2 wrote:Finally a thread for FT nations. I've been looking all over for this. Now, where the multiconglomerate of societies under one roof, the Council. I need to join one fast.


Hi, I'm going off of your post in the RP Questions Thread, so do correct me if I'm getting something wrong.

I do want to clarify that this isn't an in character (IC) organisation or anything along those lines. We're not a Council ala Mass Effect or anything like that. This is simply an out of character thread for FT players to come together for advice and discussion. If you'd like to found an IC Council, that's great! We always enjoy new RPers. However, I do recommend that you read the thread OP very closely, and go on to read the posts linked there, just so you can get an idea for how the general FT community works.

Hope this was helpful, and welcome to FT!

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Tekonia X-2
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Ex-Nation

Postby Tekonia X-2 » Wed Sep 16, 2015 4:55 pm

Lubyak wrote:
Tekonia X-2 wrote:Finally a thread for FT nations. I've been looking all over for this. Now, where the multiconglomerate of societies under one roof, the Council. I need to join one fast.


Hi, I'm going off of your post in the RP Questions Thread, so do correct me if I'm getting something wrong.

I do want to clarify that this isn't an in character (IC) organisation or anything along those lines. We're not a Council ala Mass Effect or anything like that. This is simply an out of character thread for FT players to come together for advice and discussion. If you'd like to found an IC Council, that's great! We always enjoy new RPers. However, I do recommend that you read the thread OP very closely, and go on to read the posts linked there, just so you can get an idea for how the general FT community works.

Hope this was helpful, and welcome to FT!


I know that my paragraphs were OOC I'm just trying to find a thread that has already joining members in it do you know of any or active ones?
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Oppressorion
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Ex-Nation

Postby Oppressorion » Thu Sep 17, 2015 1:05 am

Tekonia X-2 wrote:
Lubyak wrote:
Hi, I'm going off of your post in the RP Questions Thread, so do correct me if I'm getting something wrong.

I do want to clarify that this isn't an in character (IC) organisation or anything along those lines. We're not a Council ala Mass Effect or anything like that. This is simply an out of character thread for FT players to come together for advice and discussion. If you'd like to found an IC Council, that's great! We always enjoy new RPers. However, I do recommend that you read the thread OP very closely, and go on to read the posts linked there, just so you can get an idea for how the general FT community works.

Hope this was helpful, and welcome to FT!


I know that my paragraphs were OOC I'm just trying to find a thread that has already joining members in it do you know of any or active ones?



There are two Roleplaying groups in NS that I know of, currently.

Shattered Stars is a new, proposed RP group - its thread is here.
Alternately, there is GESO, which is located here. As I am myself a member, I can't give my opinion on it other than ask you to look.

I should also note that as a whole, this thread does not recommend the use of Roleplaying groups and encourages players to just RP with whomever they like, using this thread and the IRC channel as a really big group.
Last edited by Oppressorion on Thu Sep 17, 2015 1:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Xidiz
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Ex-Nation

Postby Xidiz » Thu Sep 17, 2015 5:00 pm

Hello,

I'm new to FT, and I have some concerns about my nation.

You see, the Xidiz can be mistaken for one of those "consume-everything insect swarm" type nations, and indeed that was my original intention. But I realise that doing so is really, really restrictive, because then all I can do is consume things. Which gets boring, quickly, if it's all you can do.

So, I've changed aspects of the Xidiz to try and make a more reasonable and fun nation. But I still want to stick to a kind of Insectoid species. My concern is this: At what point do I draw the line between this nation and the all-devouring swarm? I am worried that I will miss this line completely. Currently, the Xidiz have a biological caste system, and are certainly Insectoid in appearance, but lack a hive mind or swarming nature. Am I just being overly paranoid, or should something change, and if so, what?

I really just want some advice on how to avoid becoming an all-devouring swarm nation despite several similarities.

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Sunset
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Postby Sunset » Thu Sep 17, 2015 9:47 pm

Xidiz wrote:Hello,

I'm new to FT, and I have some concerns about my nation.

You see, the Xidiz can be mistaken for one of those "consume-everything insect swarm" type nations, and indeed that was my original intention. But I realise that doing so is really, really restrictive, because then all I can do is consume things. Which gets boring, quickly, if it's all you can do.

So, I've changed aspects of the Xidiz to try and make a more reasonable and fun nation. But I still want to stick to a kind of Insectoid species. My concern is this: At what point do I draw the line between this nation and the all-devouring swarm? I am worried that I will miss this line completely. Currently, the Xidiz have a biological caste system, and are certainly Insectoid in appearance, but lack a hive mind or swarming nature. Am I just being overly paranoid, or should something change, and if so, what?

I really just want some advice on how to avoid becoming an all-devouring swarm nation despite several similarities.


Write it that way. Simplistic, yes, but when you introduce a character as 'Commander Zy'Di'zin' rather than 'Commander Drone Forty-Seven' and take the time to describe his/her carapace, the ornamentation he has lacquered to it and the like, there will be an immediate recognition in the other player's head that they are not a swarm. If you write them as a swarm, they are a swarm (even if they are not - there are plenty of 'nations' that might as well be a swarm given they are written as such) but if you write them as individuals, as people with their own merits, flaws, and stories, they are no longer a swarm even if they retain some biological appearances from those days.
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Interstellar Planets
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Postby Interstellar Planets » Thu Sep 17, 2015 11:55 pm

Xidiz wrote:Hello,

I'm new to FT, and I have some concerns about my nation.

You see, the Xidiz can be mistaken for one of those "consume-everything insect swarm" type nations, and indeed that was my original intention. But I realise that doing so is really, really restrictive, because then all I can do is consume things. Which gets boring, quickly, if it's all you can do.

So, I've changed aspects of the Xidiz to try and make a more reasonable and fun nation. But I still want to stick to a kind of Insectoid species. My concern is this: At what point do I draw the line between this nation and the all-devouring swarm? I am worried that I will miss this line completely. Currently, the Xidiz have a biological caste system, and are certainly Insectoid in appearance, but lack a hive mind or swarming nature. Am I just being overly paranoid, or should something change, and if so, what?

I really just want some advice on how to avoid becoming an all-devouring swarm nation despite several similarities.


Further to what Sunset said, one problem with fiction of this nature is that humans can't, by virtue of being an individualistic species, identify with a 'hive mind'. We can't understand what it would be like to be a member of such a species (beyond understanding the science behind it), and we never will. All you can really do is state that it is so, give the narrative a 'college try', and hope for the best.

Something else to bear in mind is that not all insects are members of a 'hive', so it's conceivable to RP insects as individuals. You should also remember that 'hives' in nature are never actually a collective consciousness ala the Borg, but rather just a group of cooperative individuals that work together via hormones and such, and they just happen to display emergent intelligence.

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Xidiz
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Postby Xidiz » Fri Sep 18, 2015 12:34 am

Sunset wrote:
Xidiz wrote:Hello,

I'm new to FT, and I have some concerns about my nation.

You see, the Xidiz can be mistaken for one of those "consume-everything insect swarm" type nations, and indeed that was my original intention. But I realise that doing so is really, really restrictive, because then all I can do is consume things. Which gets boring, quickly, if it's all you can do.

So, I've changed aspects of the Xidiz to try and make a more reasonable and fun nation. But I still want to stick to a kind of Insectoid species. My concern is this: At what point do I draw the line between this nation and the all-devouring swarm? I am worried that I will miss this line completely. Currently, the Xidiz have a biological caste system, and are certainly Insectoid in appearance, but lack a hive mind or swarming nature. Am I just being overly paranoid, or should something change, and if so, what?

I really just want some advice on how to avoid becoming an all-devouring swarm nation despite several similarities.


Write it that way. Simplistic, yes, but when you introduce a character as 'Commander Zy'Di'zin' rather than 'Commander Drone Forty-Seven' and take the time to describe his/her carapace, the ornamentation he has lacquered to it and the like, there will be an immediate recognition in the other player's head that they are not a swarm. If you write them as a swarm, they are a swarm (even if they are not - there are plenty of 'nations' that might as well be a swarm given they are written as such) but if you write them as individuals, as people with their own merits, flaws, and stories, they are no longer a swarm even if they retain some biological appearances from those days.


Interesting advice. So, I should write the characters as if they are individual, to prove the lack of a hive mind? That makes sense. I appreciate the help.

Interstellar Planets wrote:

Further to what Sunset said, one problem with fiction of this nature is that humans can't, by virtue of being an individualistic species, identify with a 'hive mind'. We can't understand what it would be like to be a member of such a species (beyond understanding the science behind it), and we never will. All you can really do is state that it is so, give the narrative a 'college try', and hope for the best.

Something else to bear in mind is that not all insects are members of a 'hive', so it's conceivable to RP insects as individuals. You should also remember that 'hives' in nature are never actually a collective consciousness ala the Borg, but rather just a group of cooperative individuals that work together via hormones and such, and they just happen to display emergent intelligence.


Also very interesting.

I understand that most insects are not part of hive. Beetles, flies, mosquitoes, assassin bugs, locusts, and a variety of others (pretty much every one, really) are individual. The Xidiz are partially both. They have traces of having had such a hive system in the past, but are also free willed in many cases.

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Postby Interstellar Planets » Fri Sep 18, 2015 1:31 am

Xidiz wrote:
Interstellar Planets wrote:

Further to what Sunset said, one problem with fiction of this nature is that humans can't, by virtue of being an individualistic species, identify with a 'hive mind'. We can't understand what it would be like to be a member of such a species (beyond understanding the science behind it), and we never will. All you can really do is state that it is so, give the narrative a 'college try', and hope for the best.

Something else to bear in mind is that not all insects are members of a 'hive', so it's conceivable to RP insects as individuals. You should also remember that 'hives' in nature are never actually a collective consciousness ala the Borg, but rather just a group of cooperative individuals that work together via hormones and such, and they just happen to display emergent intelligence.


Also very interesting.

I understand that most insects are not part of hive. Beetles, flies, mosquitoes, assassin bugs, locusts, and a variety of others (pretty much every one, really) are individual. The Xidiz are partially both. They have traces of having had such a hive system in the past, but are also free willed in many cases.


Sounds interesting!

What I meant with the last part was that technically, all insects are 'individuals'. They're driven by instinct, and organised by hormones, to work cooperatively, and the end result is emergent intelligence. While your species is obviously going to be more intelligent than your garden variety (lol) ant, they will still have instincts - the same way that we're driven by instinct when we comb our hair, do a fight or flight, or get into bed with somebody. If you frame it like that, rather than using telepathy or however 'collective consciousnesses' are operating these days, it may be both easier to narrate, and easier for the reader to identify with them.
Last edited by Interstellar Planets on Fri Sep 18, 2015 1:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Xidiz
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Postby Xidiz » Fri Sep 18, 2015 2:52 am

Interstellar Planets wrote:
Xidiz wrote:
Also very interesting.

I understand that most insects are not part of hive. Beetles, flies, mosquitoes, assassin bugs, locusts, and a variety of others (pretty much every one, really) are individual. The Xidiz are partially both. They have traces of having had such a hive system in the past, but are also free willed in many cases.


Sounds interesting!

What I meant with the last part was that technically, all insects are 'individuals'. They're driven by instinct, and organised by hormones, to work cooperatively, and the end result is emergent intelligence. While your species is obviously going to be more intelligent than your garden variety (lol) ant, they will still have instincts - the same way that we're driven by instinct when we comb our hair, do a fight or flight, or get into bed with somebody. If you frame it like that, rather than using telepathy or however 'collective consciousnesses' are operating these days, it may be both easier to narrate, and easier for the reader to identify with them.


From what I have formulated so far for the Xidiz:

The Xidiz are all individuals, to an extent. Certain castes, like Workers, are seen as inferior, and are almost always subservient to others, often used like slaves. However, other, more intelligent castes, are seen as true individuals. The is also the odd caste called the Brain, that used to fulfil a very important purpose, but that are now really useless. Xidiz have a simplistic civilization, with semblances of monarchy, dictatorship and democracy in their history and today. Certain castes are biologically inclined to certain tasks. For example, most of the Soldier caste enter work where combat or strength is important, and most Workers perform hard manual labour jobs. Their is no hive mind to the Xidiz, despite traces of such an evolutionary past remaining. Xidiz have a culture, albeit an alien one, and are individuals, no matter what caste, although how individual is greatly dependent on caste. There is no telepathic, neuro-hormonal (I probably made that word up) or other link controlling their actions. The Xidiz cooperate because they believe that it is beneficial for them.

Also, it is worth noting that, at least in my mind, Xidiz are much more isolated from one another than most FT species, and that they prefer to stay away from strangers where possible. Also, they can be viciously territorial, especially when protecting their young.

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Postby Neornith » Fri Sep 18, 2015 6:07 pm

Xidiz wrote:
Interstellar Planets wrote:
Sounds interesting!

What I meant with the last part was that technically, all insects are 'individuals'. They're driven by instinct, and organised by hormones, to work cooperatively, and the end result is emergent intelligence. While your species is obviously going to be more intelligent than your garden variety (lol) ant, they will still have instincts - the same way that we're driven by instinct when we comb our hair, do a fight or flight, or get into bed with somebody. If you frame it like that, rather than using telepathy or however 'collective consciousnesses' are operating these days, it may be both easier to narrate, and easier for the reader to identify with them.


From what I have formulated so far for the Xidiz:

The Xidiz are all individuals, to an extent. Certain castes, like Workers, are seen as inferior, and are almost always subservient to others, often used like slaves. However, other, more intelligent castes, are seen as true individuals. The is also the odd caste called the Brain, that used to fulfil a very important purpose, but that are now really useless. Xidiz have a simplistic civilization, with semblances of monarchy, dictatorship and democracy in their history and today. Certain castes are biologically inclined to certain tasks. For example, most of the Soldier caste enter work where combat or strength is important, and most Workers perform hard manual labour jobs. Their is no hive mind to the Xidiz, despite traces of such an evolutionary past remaining. Xidiz have a culture, albeit an alien one, and are individuals, no matter what caste, although how individual is greatly dependent on caste. There is no telepathic, neuro-hormonal (I probably made that word up) or other link controlling their actions. The Xidiz cooperate because they believe that it is beneficial for them.

Also, it is worth noting that, at least in my mind, Xidiz are much more isolated from one another than most FT species, and that they prefer to stay away from strangers where possible. Also, they can be viciously territorial, especially when protecting their young.


If I could suggest I would downplay the isolationist part because in my experience it has a tendency to limit yourself on ability to RP with others

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Postby Star Trek America » Sun Sep 20, 2015 9:06 am

I would suggest you write how you like and desire because isolationism is not some killer of interaction.

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Postby Vocenae » Sun Sep 20, 2015 11:07 am

Star Trek America wrote:I would suggest you write how you like and desire because isolationism is not some killer of interaction.


Not true. All of Future Tech (and RP in general, because otherwise you're just writing short stories for yourself) is built around getting to know and interacting with other players. That isn't to say that you have to be involved in EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE across the galaxy, but if all you want your nation to do is hide from everyone then there isn't really much of a point to RPing it. you are, in that case, quite literally playing with yourself. Now I'd like to address isolationism itself real quick (and this is not directed at any specific players whatsoever) but for all tech levels, not just Future Tech, I do feel that the reason players start off as isolationist (even myself) is because there's what I call "The New Kid Fear". You don't know anyone, you don't really understand how the community operates, you're just herre with your idea and you want to do whateverone else is doing but you're afraid that you'll get eaten alive if anyone makes eye contact with you.

This is especially true in the Modern Tech community and the various Closed Roleplaying Groups that float around across tech genres every now and then. But it isn't really ap roblem in Future Tech. FT craves new people. We love having new people to talk to OOCly and new, interesting things to explore ICly. Actual wars and nation vs nation stuff is actually pretty rare in our tech level, most of the time our RPs are far smaller and more akin to character based adventure RPs. That is why we put so much emphasis on getting to know your fellow FTers in a OOC fashion because as has been stated in one of the many guides linked in the OP of this thread, Your worst IC enemy needs to be your best OOC friend. That is why FT works where the other techs don't. The vast majority of us are not competitive, we're not manipulative, we don't really have anything to do with any sort of political systems ICly, we're just here to write and hang out with people who share the same general interest and love of science fiction.

Xidiz, I highly encourage you to visit Future Tech's IRC channel #NSLegion and get to know more members of the community in real-time. The link to the channel can be found here. Just make sure to log in with your nation name or something similar so we can know who you are.

If you are unable to log in to IRC, talking on the RMB of The Local Cluster is the next best thing!

And on top of all of that, if you're looking to get a feel for your nation but don't want to do it in RP, please feel free to use The Compendium. It is a thread designed specifically for the short stories of the Future Tech community. Anyone can post in it and there are only a couple minor rules to follow (such as stories need to not break the forum rules, and no factbook entries), so feel free to use it!
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Postby The Fedral Union » Sun Sep 20, 2015 2:35 pm

Or alternatively your species can grow out of its isolationist stage through necessity or a sense of "Well they want to be friends and there are a-lot of scary enemies out there". IC circumstances change; civilizations adapt and react; even hive minds have a sense of adaptability. That said sense of scale applies; space is big; so it'd be easy as hell to hide if your mobile enough.

I should also note there isn't an official channel for FT (because its so wide and varied) ; There is a high number of folks distributed outside of IRC and on the forums who rp. But IRC is a good tool to use to get in contact with folks quickly, no denying that fact.
Last edited by The Fedral Union on Sun Sep 20, 2015 2:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Xidiz
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Postby Xidiz » Sun Sep 20, 2015 3:26 pm

Vocenae wrote:
Star Trek America wrote:I would suggest you write how you like and desire because isolationism is not some killer of interaction.


Not true. All of Future Tech (and RP in general, because otherwise you're just writing short stories for yourself) is built around getting to know and interacting with other players. That isn't to say that you have to be involved in EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE across the galaxy, but if all you want your nation to do is hide from everyone then there isn't really much of a point to RPing it. you are, in that case, quite literally playing with yourself. Now I'd like to address isolationism itself real quick (and this is not directed at any specific players whatsoever) but for all tech levels, not just Future Tech, I do feel that the reason players start off as isolationist (even myself) is because there's what I call "The New Kid Fear". You don't know anyone, you don't really understand how the community operates, you're just herre with your idea and you want to do whateverone else is doing but you're afraid that you'll get eaten alive if anyone makes eye contact with you.

This is especially true in the Modern Tech community and the various Closed Roleplaying Groups that float around across tech genres every now and then. But it isn't really ap roblem in Future Tech. FT craves new people. We love having new people to talk to OOCly and new, interesting things to explore ICly. Actual wars and nation vs nation stuff is actually pretty rare in our tech level, most of the time our RPs are far smaller and more akin to character based adventure RPs. That is why we put so much emphasis on getting to know your fellow FTers in a OOC fashion because as has been stated in one of the many guides linked in the OP of this thread, Your worst IC enemy needs to be your best OOC friend. That is why FT works where the other techs don't. The vast majority of us are not competitive, we're not manipulative, we don't really have anything to do with any sort of political systems ICly, we're just here to write and hang out with people who share the same general interest and love of science fiction.

Xidiz, I highly encourage you to visit Future Tech's IRC channel #NSLegion and get to know more members of the community in real-time. The link to the channel can be found here. Just make sure to log in with your nation name or something similar so we can know who you are.

If you are unable to log in to IRC, talking on the RMB of The Local Cluster is the next best thing!

And on top of all of that, if you're looking to get a feel for your nation but don't want to do it in RP, please feel free to use The Compendium. It is a thread designed specifically for the short stories of the Future Tech community. Anyone can post in it and there are only a couple minor rules to follow (such as stories need to not break the forum rules, and no factbook entries), so feel free to use it!


Thanks for the explanations and advice.

I am still trying to figure some things out, but I do think that it may be equally as plausible for them to be quite close and cooperative, given their elements of hive minds, which are by their very nature cooperative systems.

The Fedral Union wrote:Or alternatively your species can grow out of its isolationist stage through necessity or a sense of "Well they want to be friends and there are a-lot of scary enemies out there". IC circumstances change; civilizations adapt and react; even hive minds have a sense of adaptability. That said sense of scale applies; space is big; so it'd be easy as hell to hide if your mobile enough.

I should also note there isn't an official channel for FT (because its so wide and varied) ; There is a high number of folks distributed outside of IRC and on the forums who rp. But IRC is a good tool to use to get in contact with folks quickly, no denying that fact.


Indeed, if the Xidiz saw benefit to space exploration and diplomacy, they would probably become more and more cooperative. If a major threat came along, alliances and agreements could help the Xidiz greatly.

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Postby The Fedral Union » Sun Sep 20, 2015 5:02 pm

Indeed; the one inherent common thing all species have is a drive to survive, weather or not they share the same morals or ethics is pretty much answered like this "YMMV; but being from different worlds and having completely different histories would add a deviation effect. So sometimes to make allies or if your like me a Federation of many different species and cultures we may have to forgo the highly intricate details involved in cultural differences. Now since culture is.. complex.. Never mind barriers to language.. We all assume Lingua Galactica for ease of rp; we don't define what it is how ever.

But if your folks can decode a culture through their transmissions (and believe me said transmissions propagate for a while) you can probably find a good ally. Its still a risk though; but alas space is always a risk.

In a sense some or most species on NS evolve out of their isolationism when there are equals around; it would be nice to see more alien powers about aside from myself and cadre of friends. The thing is people play what their most comfortable with; or the role they are comfortable with. It would take time to grow beyond that zone and expand in to other shoes. It took me a while to get a grasp on non humans, it does fit my multicultural and species format. Humans ectera. Playing on the "Federation Trope"

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Postby Genomita » Mon Sep 21, 2015 9:06 am

It occurs to me that I never shed much light on the original developers of my living ships, and for some reason I really want to make them intelligent space snails or snail-like. Think about it, snails are actually remarkably suited to life aboard spaceships or habitats. They can already climb vertical surfaces with ease and their eyestalks allow for 360º vision, which would be a great help when navigating an environment like a space station. Make them larger, more intelligent and give them hands to make tools and you got are pretty much good to go.

There is also this nifty NASA experiment testing the effects of microgravity on snails.http://news.discovery.com/space/snails- ... 110401.htm

The species I picture would be patient, philosophical and scientifically inclined, with a knack for organic technology influenced by a large variety of symbiotic species on their homeworld. It's still very much WIP, but I already love the idea ^^.
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OMGeverynameistaken
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Postby OMGeverynameistaken » Mon Sep 21, 2015 10:43 pm

After a bit of a vacation, I'm thinking of trying to get back into NS again, although I'm at a bit of a loss as to where to start. If anybody has any ideas, I'd be glad to hear them.


Re: The fungus thing

I think the idea of the fungus itself achieving sentience at some point and consciously making a choice to go from parasite to symbiot would be a neat idea. Essentially at some point the fungus takes over a philosopher and gets the idea from the host's brain that "hey, maybe enslaving these people and sapping them of all potential to improve the world isn't such a great idea. Man, I'm kind of an asshole, aren't I?" Having established itself anyway, the fungus makes the choice to allow people to control themselves, acting as a communications medium and omnipresent law enforcement apparatus. There's no crime in Fungusland, because the moment you try to break the law, the fungus steps in and you walk yourself to jail. It's terrifying and orwellian to us, of course, but if a society was like this for a thousand years, they'd probably be fairly well adjusted.

That or the fungus sets up a religion, establishing itself as nominal 'god', speaking through a priestly class, and generally guiding everybody for their own good (which is, of course, the good of the fungus as well.)

After making contact, the fungus could make the determination that "other species don't want to be infected, therefore I will make the conscious decision not to infect them." That way you avoid people showing up with flamethrowers.
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