Author Topic: Unborn Legacy - FS campaign idea dump [WARNING - heavy polgrish!]  (Read 403 times)

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Offline Nyctaeus

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Unborn Legacy - FS campaign idea dump [WARNING - heavy polgrish!]
Another story about big, awesome project that will never be made... So let's go!

Unborn Legacy: Purgatorium
Freespace – Alternate Timeline. By Nyctaeus

Purgatorium tells the story of alternate timeline of Freespace universe. By the end of the Ancient-Shivan War, Ancients secured enormous wreckage of unknown, extremely advanced alien space at the outskirts of their space. They secured the wreckage and carefully examined the ship constructed by race they called Unborn.

The Unborn just like Shivans emerged from different universe, a neighbor to ours. This universe contains enormous amounts of dark matter formed in universe-spanning, sponge-like structure where all the matter is located and supporting universe-wide gravity network. The subspace in this universe is not dependent on the stars and other massive gravity islands, but it’s decentralized Subspace Field. A nanojump term we use to describe subspace jumps inside certain star systems is the only type of jump existing in this universe, and allows for jumping for far larger distances than in intersystem jump nodes allows us to jump in our universe. Races native to this universe developed means of subspace travel much more efficient than civilizations from ours. With little energy this universe produces in form of rare stars, life is also rarer. One of the lifeforms native to this were shivans – emanation of single, sinister will called The Destroyer by Unborn and later, by Ancients. Every shivan specimen is part of decentralized mental network governed by The Destroyer. This malovelent entity is transmitting her will by subspace field of it’s native universe. For mysterious reasons, this will is dedicated to eradicate all other lifeforms.

The Unborn were only a few other races which survived shivan genocide and carry on endless war with them presumably from thousands if not millions of years and facing constant threat of extinction. They were advanced enough to sneak-peak other universes, including ours. Eventually they found that subspace of our universe has different nature thanks to significantly smaller amounts of dark matter and concentrated nature of large gravity islands. Such environment would allow to cut The Destroyer’s influence due to lack of decentralized subspace field to transmit his will to his minions. For Unborn, subspace of our universe has a nature of large “isles” of subspace, connected via thin lines. Unborn found it as perfect opportunity to contain shivan threat in isolated star systems and live in peace beyond the reach of shivan influence. Eventually they decided to punch a hole between the universes and deploy enormous colonization expedition. But The Destroyer predicted it and launched massive fleet to pursue the Unborn exodus. This way, both races managed to penetrate our universe through permanent, artificial, star sized portal called The Rift. In our universe, it happened in the unspecified and very distant past.

In Unborn Legacy lore, Shivans are dependent on subspace not only because of travel, but mostly because of communication. While it’s not a threat in their native universe, in our universe they see any subspace-faring races as a threat to their unity because any subspace user is a danger for subspace route risking communication between two shivan fleets impossible. Shivans are extremely vulnerable for subspace war. It’s likely that Unborn-Shivan war transferred to our universe. Unborn cut numerous shivan fleets from the Rift and from the will of Destroyer making isolated fleets disorganized and easy prey. It is unknown what happened to Unborn expedition, but the hulk uncovered by Ancients was part of their expeditionary force.

Ancients salvaged the remaining Unborn technology, but it was too late. Their species were on the verge of extinction. One of their last, desperate act was punching through Shivan lanes to the first Knossos that Shivans emerged from. It’s leading to the star cluster containing The Rift and it’s the only subspace route to this cluster. Thanks to the technology of Unborn, they enhanced the Knossos with blockade mechanism. This Knossos later become known as The Dark Gate. This way, they cut shivan invasion from the will of The Destroyer, and managed to clean their space from the invaders. Usage of Unborn technology is possible solution for shields of the Lucifer, but also the superdestroyer may be still contained within Rift Cluster.

Reminder of Ancients resettled remnants of their civilization to different sectors of space, because The Dark Gate was always under constant risk or malfunction. Star-sized black hole in one of Ancient systems was used for large Ancients force, to guard the node to Shivan space. Ancients utilize space-time distortion to keep their fleets operational for countless millennia. They are so called Eternal Custodians. AI-controlled drones guards the other systems looking for eventual threats for sealed space. Those systems are known as Purgatorium. Purgatorium is interstellar graveyard of Ancient warships and planets desolated by the Lucifer and shivan armada. This is very dark and dangerous place, full of subspace anomalies and dark matter clouds. The Dark Gate lies at the very edge of Purgatorium. Sector is full of matter from the other universe causing various, unusual, psychical phenomenon. The campaign take place in systems of Purgatorium.

Great War never happened. GTA and PVN continued to battle each other, until GTA managed to break through imperial defenses with immense fleet of two prototype Atropos units and eleven Orion destroyers. They reached Vasuda Prime, crushed all defenses and commenced orbital bombardment of Vasudan home world, resulting in 300 millions of vasudan civilian casualties. Massive counterattack of vasudan second-line warships caused tremendous loses of terran forces. Only GTD Equilibrium – Atropos-class warship, and GTD Galatea managed to escape. This event become known as Gehenna of Vasuda. Terran chain of command collapsed after so massive loses, and vasudan retaliation was almost as bloody. Elite Fleet of the Emperor with imperial 11th and 14th broke through weakened terran defences, and turned Vega III planet into barren, rocky world using experimental plasma cannons. Causalities on terran side were just a half of those caused to vasudans, but Terrans lost whole habitable planet, and numerous warships during their endeavor. Khonsu II also died during this events.

Later General Assembly of GTA and new emperor Smentes I along with his sister - princess To’Merti II of the PVE met at Taba station in Antares and signed ceasefire, realizing that this war went too far and caused too many lifes to perish. Antares along with Epsilon Pegasi and several other systems become no man’s lands with both GTA and PVN representatives in each of those systems. The peace was fragile due to radicalization of both terran and vasudan societies after Gehenna of Vasuda and Desolation of Vega III. Colonial Hegemony – a social movement formed in terran systems quickly gained momentum and wide influence in terran worlds and General Assembly alike. From a reform movement, nationalist and xenophobic CH quickly become political and military power independent from command structures of GTA Navy. At the vasudan side, Church of Light started to prophesize the returning of the great, cosmic destroyers who will come to lead vasudan race to salvation. Young emperor Smentes I proven himself prone to those teachings so the Church quickly grew into post-Gehenna vasudan society. Khafre, known military officer of the PVN and princess To’Merti II were highly skeptical towards their the influences of the Church and along with majority of General Assmbly, they were supporting peaceful coexistence between two races exhausted by long years of war.

In fact, terran-vasudan war turned into cold war with spontaneous, small skirmishes happening from time to time. Church of Light fanatics calling themselves Hammer of Light started guerilla raids against terran convoys and civilian stations. Colonial Hegemony wanted to resume the war accusing new emperor of supporting the HoL, but GTA officially refused. The situation was stable but tense, until the PVN discovered strange device of unknown origin in Gulnara system. Study of this device quickly proven that it was constructed on unstable subspace route to different sector of space, but all efforts to activate this device were futile. Vasudans attributed this device to mysterious race of Ancients, who once visited their homeworld. Few months later, GTA discovered second gate in terran Talania system. GTA carefully examined this device and later they commenced construction of Charon Station using intercepted PVN intel. Vasudans never managed to open the gate, while GTA started first trials of devices of Charon in order to open ancient subspace gateway.

You are Lieutenant Drea Anilah d'Angoulême – veteran of Terran-Vasudan war codenamed Banshee and one of few survivors of both Gehenna of Vasuda and Desolation of Vega III. You are pilot of 114th Blackwolves squadron onboard GTD Nereid – Flagship of 13th Terran Fleet of Talania. The story begins at 14th December 2354. Although Talania is located at the fringe of GTA space and Charon project is top secret, vasudans are aware of existence of second Ancient gate. Who open their gate first will make significant progress at cold war and uncover mysteries of ancient civilization.

Features:

- Refreshed fleets for GTA and PVN, each one with new dedicated weaponry including anti-cap armament, multiple new ship classes and refits of T-V era craft. Technology of both sides was derived from FS1 designs.
- Fighters have shields. This is completely different tech than we know from both Freespace games. If I and Adm. Nelson remember correctly, testing of shield technology happened before FS1.
- Ancients with complete fleet appearing as viable spacefaring power and antagonist.
- Ancients have no shields, but their ships slowly regenerate.
- Three viable sides of conflict, lots of politics, diplomacy etc.
- …four if Shivans are introduced.
- Different explanation for Hades and GTI heist.
- Fully FS1 style campaign aimed to re-create and expand original vibe of first game.

Screenshots:








***

I discussed this project before, posted some screenshots, and some users may recognize mysterious alternate-story campaign idea I mentioned several times. I never intended to seriously develop this, because I'm lacking time and FREDing skills... And I have no FREDers to make it happen.

This thing started it's life years ago after many discussions with former leader of Earth Defence - ShivPL. The point of this discussion was FS1 > FS2. We both wanted to see next-gen terran and vasudan fleets of FS1 style armed with railguns, torps and ****... And I also wanted Ancients. With Orph3u5's The Shard of Infinity and Woolie Wool's Twist of Fate canceled long time ago, I envisioned my own project of similar setting. Main asumption was: What if Shivans never appeared and Great War never happened?

This thing even has pretty big modpack and two fully working missions. I was working on it only to satisfy my urgent need to make something for FS while being aware that more serious stuff deserves my attention, especially commercial RTS game project and commissions of all kinds... So I cheated the need and switched back to real bussiness.

...but this stuff eventually grown big. So I guess it's worth showing you guys and provide opportunity for some small brainstorm.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2019, 07:33:42 pm by Nyctaeus »
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Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: Unborn Legacy - FS campaign idea dump [WARNING - heavy polgrish!]
An interesting read.

Although from the sum of it, I cannot see why the Unborn/Destroyer universe has to have a Dark Matter-cosmology. By some of what you write, you would have actually been better off with that universe having an Entropic Gravity-cosmology IMO - it would also add another wrinkle to the whole "two universes in contact"-angle; and technical reason for wide differences in warfare goals.
"When you work with water, you have to know and respect it. When you labour to subdue it, you have to understand that one day it may rise up and turn all your labours into nothing. For what is water, which seeks to make all things level, which has no taste or colour of its own, but a liquid form of Nothing?" - Graham Swift, Waterland

"As you sought to steal a kingdom for yourself, so must you do again, a thousand times over. For a theft, a true theft, must be practiced to be earned." - The terms of Nysa's curse, Pathfinder: Kingmaker

"...because they are not Dragons."

 

Offline Nyctaeus

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Re: Unborn Legacy - FS campaign idea dump [WARNING - heavy polgrish!]
It's based on some lecture about "how lucky we are" and ratio of dark matter to antimatter and normal matter in our universe. Can't remember who was the author. Anyway I imagined all verses of the multiverse as having the same laws of physics as our universe [Shivanverse/Unbornverse included] but different dark matter/antimatter/normal matter ratio. Entropic Gravity is just a theory, but it would provide much more exotic explanation for the setting I have in mind. I can push my imagination to it's limits and imagine a coherent and consistent universe based on different theory, but it's too much work considering the fact how little role it would play in actual storytelling.

Another fact I was considering is the fate of Shivanverse. According to three theories about expansion rate of individual universes, I picked the pulse theory. Shivanverse may be far beyond the point of expanding and it already started it's collapsing again to primordial singularity. Another reason why Unborn/Shivans want to penetrate our universe.

It's still minor to actual reasons for conflict, whole reason of "what if" scenario etc. Basicly everything revolves around the Unborn and their decision to pierce through interdimensional membrane, penetrate our universe, and affect events during T-V War and later. UL approach to main FS timeline is: Shivans did this first before Unborn or even after eradicating Unborn to kingdom come before. UL timeline is: What if Unborn did this first?

Another explanation for dark matter and overally exotic matter from another universe is their mystery. While we can't see dark matter, we see it's influence. I wanted to introduce various exotic physical phenomenon like gravity or subspace anomalies to put emphasis on how dark and unknown Shivans really are and their native universe alike. Unknown physical phenomenon are excellent lorebuilding tool. Artistic reasons counts too. Last 2 screenshots with GTA frigate and Ancient destroyer are from mission set in Meridiana system - close to The Rift and therefore dark, and infected by unknown substances from different universe.

The Destroyer itself is amalgam of different ideas from various franchises, but Tyranid Hivemind from WH40k remain as primary. However I wanted Destroyer to be something more than just a will focused on fulfilling it's everlasting hunger. Somewhat much more complex, intelligent, cunning, unknowable enemy with ancient and very mysterious background behind. It has a reason to invade terran and vasudan kind that is much more important than eradicating the Unborn.
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Re: Unborn Legacy - FS campaign idea dump [WARNING - heavy polgrish!]
Interesting thing, but I still don't know what to think of that inter-universe travel. It doesn't actually have that much impact on the story, besides that T and V fight over portals, or?

 

Offline Nyctaeus

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Re: Unborn Legacy - FS campaign idea dump [WARNING - heavy polgrish!]
I doubt if we ever go through the Rift, and I doubt if I ever want to reveal everything around Shivanverse at all. It's supposed to be mysterious background that will be dosed to player in small bits to keep the mystery... Ever mysterious and dark.

There is no single primary antagonist in UL and there are no good and bad guys. We fight with HoL-infected Vasudan Empire, Ancients who protect the Purgatorium, later also Shivans and GTI-driven Colonial Hegemony. Main part of the conspiracy is Unborn technology that GTI recovered. Unborn were working on device capable of faking Destroyer's will and therefore influencing shivan fleets isolated from true will of the Destroyer. HoL are cooperating with GTI. Both factions use the noise caused by civil [and later official] war as a smokescreen for their endeavour. GTI wants to open Knossos in Talania to enter the Purgatorium and access The Dark Gate. They want to reach shivans, and try to seize control about some larger task force. Ancients are obviously in opposition. Player is not aware about true reason behind the expedition thinking that exploration of ruins of Ancient civilization and race with vasudans is main reason. When we unleash Shivans, **** hits the fan.

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Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: Unborn Legacy - FS campaign idea dump [WARNING - heavy polgrish!]
Anyway I imagined all verses of the multiverse as having the same laws of physics as our universe [Shivanverse/Unbornverse included] but different dark matter/antimatter/normal matter ratio.

Than I question why bother with another universe if the multiverse is homogenous - in this case. Normally the consistency of universes across a multiverse is to highlight the difference in comparision (e.g. through a "meet your doppelgängers"-scenario or an alternate timeline), which is not something you actually did originally.

To witch the second universe to a something akin to a "Dark Matter galaxy" would have served the same purpose; an outer layer of dark matter would have prevented observation, so you could easily have stuck any fantastical cosmic phenomena in there you like; as long as the cosmic impact is a net zero in gravity and radiation you're good.

But then you mentioned this:

Quote
Shivanverse may be far beyond the point of expanding and it already started it's collapsing again to primordial singularity

Now this makes it a bit more interesting - the universes are of a different age. This might actually make it interesting because you immediatly land on scenario where potentionally cannot "turn back the clock" on the arrival of the extra-universal beings. There is some real thematic charge with regards to terms of coexistence, ressource limits vs technological surrogation etc etc...  :yes:

Quote
Another explanation for dark matter and overally exotic matter from another universe is their mystery. While we can't see dark matter, we see it's influence. I wanted to introduce various exotic physical phenomenon like gravity or subspace anomalies to put emphasis on how dark and unknown Shivans really are and their native universe alike. Unknown physical phenomenon are excellent lorebuilding tool. Artistic reasons counts too.

If you want unknown phenomena caused the inter-universe contact it really opens the question why the two universe must have the same cosmology - to stick with Entropic Gravity, it explains the same phenomena as Dark Matter but without having to introduce introduce non-baryonic particiles into the cosmology; yet if you were to transfer from a Dark Matter into an Entropic Gravity universe there would be immideate consequences as by implication the laws governing gravity would be different.

Just imagine a terran ship crossing the dimensional membrane and then its means to greate artifical gravity immediatly failing because the laws of nature governing the device no longer apply. Which then by extension could also serve a reason not make the player cross over in the over universe.

As for the artistic reason, I get the whole dark = obscurity = mystery angle ... it just a bit plain IMO.

Quote
Entropic Gravity is just a theory

So is Dark Matter - last I know, definitive proof for the existence of Dark Matter is still out.

Now Dark Matter is theory that has the support by the scientic consensus, for a complicated array of reasons some of them good (e.g. no competing theory has produced evidence either), some them hard to understand (because complicated math), and some of them downright dogmatic (which way to include gravity in the GUT).
"When you work with water, you have to know and respect it. When you labour to subdue it, you have to understand that one day it may rise up and turn all your labours into nothing. For what is water, which seeks to make all things level, which has no taste or colour of its own, but a liquid form of Nothing?" - Graham Swift, Waterland

"As you sought to steal a kingdom for yourself, so must you do again, a thousand times over. For a theft, a true theft, must be practiced to be earned." - The terms of Nysa's curse, Pathfinder: Kingmaker

"...because they are not Dragons."

 

Offline Nyctaeus

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Re: Unborn Legacy - FS campaign idea dump [WARNING - heavy polgrish!]
I see where you are heading and I can oversimplify it all in the question: Why both universes have to share the same laws of physics?

The answer is even simpler: They don't :P

Dark matter and uniformity of cosmology in the multiverse are current mainstream theories, so they were my default pick when I started to form cosmology standing behind Unborn Legacy... But I also like more exotic theories. As I said before, Entropic Gravity-verse would be excellent alternative. This part of the lore was never fully formed, and I guess I would updetail or completely rework this part if I ever decide to develop UL. I still like the idea of dark matter-verse, but Entropic Gravity-verse is also good... If not better idea if explored correctly and consistently.

I like strange, exotic, obscure, unknown... :]

Collapsing is another, and completely different thing. It does not exclude the reason why Unborn decided to pierce through multiverse membrane, but it may be actually another reason. Shivan-created Rift is another possibility. The Destroyer is ancient and presumbly eternal entity that is certainly aware that it's universe is slowly dying, so he created the Rift to re-settle himself and shivans to our universe. Unborn followed and significantly complicated the process delaying it or completely stopping it's progress. The Dark Gate constructed by Ancients using Unborn tech is one of examples of titular Legacy, as Ancients contributed to Unborn's efforts to stop or delay Shivans advance.

I know that both Shivans and Unborn are extremely old and advanced. Perhaps III or IV on Kardashev Scale. A single warship hulk recovered by Ancients and later by GTI was considered a relic of some ancient war, but in fact it was a part of eternal war. Maybe even Unborn left the hulk purposely to influence native, younger races and encourage them to commence their own efforts against forthcoming Shivan threat. Unborn certainly does not give a **** about native life in our universe, but they won't hestitate to utilize it if possible.

Ideas, ideas, ideas...
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Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: Unborn Legacy - FS campaign idea dump [WARNING - heavy polgrish!]
I see where you are heading and I can oversimplify it all in the question: Why both universes have to share the same laws of physics?

The answer is even simpler: They don't :P

While I appricate that appearently I scored a point for Scepticsm; you are stopping short because I contiue to fail to make the implied allegory explicit.

If you have two universes, the distinction between them should have a point - a thematic grounding - as much as having theoretical footing - because Science Fiction.* That's why I got reasonably excited by the implication of the second universe being an aged universe - an incurrsion from such a universe would be a good allegory for a lot of things that are would constitute an irrecovable change (as there would come a point when you no longer can "send them back").

If you have to universes that share a cosmology - therefor are only different by degree and not kind - there is no reason to not treat them as interchangeable places. Which has some applications, as said in the kind "this small thing makes all the difference"-kind of story which is a foundation for normative storytelling.

As originally proposed, in the story the speration of the universes only serves to do two things:

1) To disconnect the histories of the Unborn/Shivans from the Terran/Vasudans; having them have no interaction, not even an accidental one, prior to when it is required. However that can be achieved in multiple different ways, e.g. distance, time dilation, or the interferrence of a third party, that do not require you to make a whole new universe.

2) To impose limits on guiding being behind the Shivans, which is okay** - but I am not convinced that this is the only way to do it; but then again I might be a bit to fond of deicide has an allegory for the attempt to emancipate the individual (successful or not).



* To examplify the point let me introduce you to a central point of Pendragon-lore: Model 2-technology.

Spoiler:
Model 2-technology is why there are Humans outside of the Milky Way, both in terms of how they got there and why they got there.

Model 2-technology is basically the catalyst every "super-science tech" I want people to have, but it is also based in alien perception of reality that cannot 100% be translated into terms that are within the human standard capability to precieve and abstract (but doesn't contradict it either; its like there is a secret menu to reality); Model 2-integrated AIs asked to explain the science to humans will stop making sense during the explaination and can be confused by humans lack of understanding.

However due to their utility, and the fact that you can have an AI learn to integrate into human made technology, Model 2-components is highly sought after - and since it cannot be manufactured by humans (wouldn't know how to) it needs to be extracted from machines that do. Hence one reason why humans "hunt" Mechanosphere objects and why humanity entered in technologcial stagnation after the Commonwealth was destroyed (the most efficent way to get Model 2-componets requires coordination beyond the limits of the Empire, Arbiters, Freeholds, the Harbor Captains and the Revolutionary State combined).

The whole thing collapses into an allegory on limits of human understanding and the question if these limits are absolute; also as to how easily one can misunderstand the shape of the world if one relies on the familiar.



** Maybe a bit too much this ;)
« Last Edit: August 12, 2019, 04:38:06 am by 0rph3u5 »
"When you work with water, you have to know and respect it. When you labour to subdue it, you have to understand that one day it may rise up and turn all your labours into nothing. For what is water, which seeks to make all things level, which has no taste or colour of its own, but a liquid form of Nothing?" - Graham Swift, Waterland

"As you sought to steal a kingdom for yourself, so must you do again, a thousand times over. For a theft, a true theft, must be practiced to be earned." - The terms of Nysa's curse, Pathfinder: Kingmaker

"...because they are not Dragons."

 

Offline Nyctaeus

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Re: Unborn Legacy - FS campaign idea dump [WARNING - heavy polgrish!]
There are couple of reasons why I decided to introduce Shivanverse.

I can't just simply put two incredibly powerful and ancient races in our universe because such a war results in extreme environmental changes. Purgatorium itself is full of subspace anomalies, dark matter "clouds" and other strange phenomenon. Where two universes meet, space go crazy. Ancients themselves had obvious and large effect on terran and vasudan races in main FS timeline, and putting more advanced, ancient civilisations in even more distant times would make things even more complicated. Mass Effect displayed civilisations in the Milky Way as growing on ruins of possible Type III civilization, and this fact affected every race in the galaxy. Yay, space is huge but if you have galaxy-spanning civilization, something surely remain after them. If I simply put Unborn-Shivan war in some distant sector of space, T and V may never find any trace about their existence.

I don't buy Mass Effect at all to be honest. The Leviathans and their backstory are terrible explanation for horror things the Reapers are, because there is nothing exotic, obscure and abstract about this explanation and Leviathans themselves. The Reapers are just waiting outside the galaxy for life to flourish again, like BW needed the most fake and unbelievable explanation to hide the dark, evil guys from the player. I don't do this. The bad guys are scattered around the galaxy unable to reconnect, but majority of them awaits in collapsing, nightmarish realm plotting their comeback.

UL is alternate timeline story - a FS story affected by interference of unknown, and not necessairly evil superpower - the Unborn. From UL perspective, main FS timeline is just the same story without Unborn interference. But in this case, they just decided to do their part. Following other example - The Man from a High Castle when Allies just lost the World War II, I don't want to change any other aspects of past of FS universe aside from everything that remained after Unborn. If I just set whole war in our galaxy and close to T, V and A, possible implications are huge and too big to be neglected.

The other thing is the mystery and exoticism factor. Different universe if detailed properly, deepens the unknown vibe that Shivans should have. Not only because it has different rules of physics etc. but also for the very fact of being different universe. Also strange environment allows me to create stranger and more interesting backstory for them [that I only started a little :P] even if I don't want to fully reveal it to avoid technobabble and keep things deliberately untold. Following official narrative of V, I want to hint majority of thos thigs and leave player with a base for further, internal brainstorm. This rule applies also to the Unborn. If Ancients were capable of fully understand Unborn technology, they would be unquestionable rulers of the Milky Way by now, but they presumbly lost the Unborn hulk during the chaos of Ancient-Shivan War and they were on the edge of extinction so majority of their even limited research was lost. The Dark Gate, spinal beam cannon of Minos-class superdestroyer and bio-crystalline, regenerative armor of their ships are everything they inherited.

I imagined Unborn as deeply mental and psionic race, interfering with their technology via pure willpower. They never used any written or spoken language, because their memories are not stored in their "brains", but in decentralized information "cloud" based on perception of reading basic quantum information field. Think this with more quantum woo. So Ancients reverse-engineered the simplest things with very limited time and completely no understanding. GTI and HoL have more time, but even worse cognition but much more voracious ambitions. This is the same rule as Pendragon example you mentioned - I don't want Shivans and Unborn to be understandable for Terrans, Vasudans and Ancients.

So historic implications, requirement of limits for the Destroyer and exoticism factor remain valid in my decision to introduce the Shivanverse, but there is also another reason. The simplest and most obvious.

Different universes are awesome :P. No matter how deep and complex lore we want to create, certain things just remain awesome for general reception. Whole BP was founded on simplest and the most overused plot in sci-fi and fantasy - the destiny and choosen ones, than added tremendously detailed lore around it. And it works well.
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Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: Unborn Legacy - FS campaign idea dump [WARNING - heavy polgrish!]
I can't just simply put two incredibly powerful and ancient races in our universe because such a war results in extreme environmental changes. [...] and putting more advanced, ancient civilisations in even more distant times would make things even more complicated.

I take it that you have never watched Babylon 5 then?

Spoiler:
In Babylon 5 there are a number of so-called First Ones - ranging from single individuals/ship to whole species worth. All the First Ones are advanced beyond the point that their tech is inscrutable and their motives can't really be discerned - with the exception of the Shadows and the Vorlons. Furthermore, these First Ones are depicted as being so advanced in terms of technology and interst that they just don't interact with the Younger Races anymore, unless they want to (and in one instance if they don't care).

The Shadows and the Vorlons interact with Younger Races in the galaxy, but only as so far as employ them as pawns in what ammounts to a comsic war of ideology on how to best nurture the advancement of the Younger Races. However during the events of the show both sides abbandon their restraint and threaten to destroy the Younger Races as a result - but not each other despite the ability to do so.

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Yay, space is huge but if you have galaxy-spanning civilization, something surely remain after them

The question is not the existence of any remains but if these still hold anything that yields information (There is a reason Histiography traditionally gives much more significance to Tradition than Remains); e.g. as the chase with the hieroglyphic script of Ancient Egypt before the Rosetta Stone was found. It was accepted that the hieroglyphs were language but because there had been no continious tradition of their meaning nothing could be said about what they actually meant, until  with Rosetta Stone a fairly mundane text which was repeated in Ancient Greek (which had a continous tradtion) and Demotic Egyptian (which is precurrsor to Coptic) - from that translation could be worked out.

FS1's depiction of being able to translate the Ancients' language at all is highly unrealistic to the extend of being intellecutally offensive - with the FS Ref Bible's loophole of ancient Ancient-Vasudan contact making it only minimally better. But then again you can let it slide because it works well with "Destruction of the Old brings forth a better New"-angle of the Epilogue cutscene, which also aligns Shiva as being a revealing deity in the tradition of Shaivism*.

*In Shaivism, Shivan is the supreme deity and imbuded with all 5 powers that make up the divine (creation, preseration, destruction, revaliation, obscuration). Note: I am not a Hindu, I just talked to one once :D I just may have been saying non-sense.

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*all the ME stuff*

TBH I never cared much for the Reaper-lore because I found it beside the point - its all noise with little to nothing to add in terms of the subtext. (*grumbles on for a bit about who's fault it is that game fiction tends to be unambigious and overexplained to deteremental degree*)

The important part about the Reapers, to me, was their thematically grounding in Mass Effects organic-synthetic dichtiomy - being the extreme of synthetic end of the scale. Additionaly, their defeat is less about the actualy in-universe objective but about the generational change that is represented with the Council Races & Company asserting their right to self-determination over what is essentially the just previous generation of occupants of the galaxy.

Needless to say that for that reason alone, I found Geths' and Legion's story to be the most compelling arc across the series (and still wonder what makes the people tick who say that about Krogans) .... okay maybe not quite because Tali  :lol:
« Last Edit: August 12, 2019, 01:28:05 pm by 0rph3u5 »
"When you work with water, you have to know and respect it. When you labour to subdue it, you have to understand that one day it may rise up and turn all your labours into nothing. For what is water, which seeks to make all things level, which has no taste or colour of its own, but a liquid form of Nothing?" - Graham Swift, Waterland

"As you sought to steal a kingdom for yourself, so must you do again, a thousand times over. For a theft, a true theft, must be practiced to be earned." - The terms of Nysa's curse, Pathfinder: Kingmaker

"...because they are not Dragons."

 

Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: Unborn Legacy - FS campaign idea dump [WARNING - heavy polgrish!]
My dismissal of Mass Effect-"deep lore" might sound a bit strange considering just how much Dark Souls-lore nerd I can be. But actually, its not that strange as In DS lore bits generally add a layer of subtext (mostly because DS is does recognizes that the games can subside on a very basic main quest and good flow)
"When you work with water, you have to know and respect it. When you labour to subdue it, you have to understand that one day it may rise up and turn all your labours into nothing. For what is water, which seeks to make all things level, which has no taste or colour of its own, but a liquid form of Nothing?" - Graham Swift, Waterland

"As you sought to steal a kingdom for yourself, so must you do again, a thousand times over. For a theft, a true theft, must be practiced to be earned." - The terms of Nysa's curse, Pathfinder: Kingmaker

"...because they are not Dragons."

 

Offline Nyctaeus

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Re: Unborn Legacy - FS campaign idea dump [WARNING - heavy polgrish!]
I take it that you have never watched Babylon 5 then?
I watched some B5 yeeears ago but can't remember a thing. Later I played some TBP campaigns and familiarized myself with the lore, but I'm obviously not B5 expert. What I see here is different main assumption about ancient races in general. In B5 majority of them just fled, and only few remained in Milky Way. Even if we acknowledge the reasons of their behaviour, it's still abstract for us. It seems to be some greater, unwritten set of rules governing behaviour of those races that is even not practical for humans. But we're just humans with coherence limited by our own biology. It's important assumption of B5 franchise in general and it's artistic freedom of it's creators to make it this way. But my approach is different...

Main assumption of races in FS is different and it seems to be more pragmatic - life trend to expansion. All four canon races display this behaviour. I think that expansion is cosmic constant for all life. Environment of unlimited space and resources provides unlimited opportunities to grow. Ecosystem on Earth is balanced by nature itself, but individual endeavours of certain species to expand happen all the time like plague of mouses in Australia. In certain conditions, mouses reproduce in astonishing rate until natural counter for them - a disease appears to decimate the population. Every year we deal with ****load of flies. More flies are born and die everyday, than humans exist... Than the autumn comes, and decimate flies by tinea. Closed ecosystem like Earth allows natural counters to do their job, but space has no such counters. Terrans and vasudans expand by everything they do, Ancients by eradicating other races and probably colonization efforts, Shivans... Are more complicated and their behaviour is probably much more sophisticated, but Sathanas fleet is result of expansion for some unknown purpose.

In UL timeline, Both Unborn and Shivans are example of races doing expansion presumbly for millions of years, but both expand for different reasons. Type III or IV may continue their expansion for some high purpose, because they have any resources they need to achieve something greater. Unborn expand to our universe escape shivan genocide, end the eternal war, find peace and probably some more, abstract reasons. Shivans expand for... Just being Shivans :P.

Encounters of such advanced civilisations with smaller, younger races is inevitable because of enormous scale of their endeavours. Even if Unborn do something far beyond T and V space, it's likely to be noticable. For example if they decide to capella some other star in order to sanitize certain star system from shivan infection, terrans will notice it. Big scale of events means bigger environment damage and I wanted to show the aftermath of such war by Purgatorium, where extremely advanced technology was used by both sides. Time and space go nuts, enormous clouds of unknown, hazardous substances devours hulls of starships, subspace becomes extremely unstable etc. Capella in FS2 is excellent example for this. For GTVA it was a nightmare and cataclysm on the scale never encountered before. For Shivans... Ehh... It was just regular tuesday.

So when two races like this go war, the damage to everything is hard to comprehand.

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The question is not the existence of any remains but if these still hold anything that yields information...
Sometimes it does not have to be. A working piece of technology may be examined and after research, and reverse-engineered. Sometimes even broken tech may be reconstructed by long-term research. This is working example. There are still some mysterious artifacts on Earth we barely understand like mayan crystal skulls or this. We have no idea how they made them, but we can more or less reproduce them.

The question is: Do we really guessed a purpose of this artifacts correctly? :]

I believe that Ancients influence done to early vasudan race was direct reason why we were able to decipher Ancients language and figure out a way to deal with Lucy. In any other case, it's exactly as you said. Both terrans and vasudans wouldn't be capable of doing that in time.

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*all the ME stuff*

I have no idea why every race in the universe have to develop synthetic life, why every synthetic life always behave Skynet way, and why all creators are equally naive.

But Legion plot is cool! And Krogan plot is not cool :P, except for polish translation of Wrex in ME1. Dude, Wrex is really tough and brutal asshole here. Krogans in english version and all further releases are just... Polite and generic compared to polish Wrex.
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Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: Unborn Legacy - FS campaign idea dump [WARNING - heavy polgrish!]
I watched some B5 yeeears ago but can't remember a thing. Later I played some TBP campaigns and familiarized myself with the lore, but I'm obviously not B5 expert. What I see here is different main assumption about ancient races in general. In B5 majority of them just fled, and only few remained in Milky Way. Even if we acknowledge the reasons of their behaviour, it's still abstract for us. It seems to be some greater, unwritten set of rules governing behaviour of those races that is even not practical for humans.

The First Ones didn't flee - its implied that most them just left because there was nothing left for them in the Milky Way for one reason or the other - you know "been there, done that" but for entire galaxy. Babylon 5 also operates under the rule that the advancement of a civilisation will move it towards saturaltion (see the Minbari) and asceticism (see the Vorlons and in a roundabout way the Shadows too) - and eventual some from of evolutionary transcendence (the final episode of season 4 features a look into the far future where Humans have evolved to be new Vorlons).

Another rule it establishes in its portail of the Centauri, is that civilisation can't expand without limits. The backstory for the Centauri is that they had much more expansive empire but have been in retreat for at least two centuries. While you have to take Londo's statements with a grain of salt, even he admits in one episode that it is because the Centauri just couldn't hold on to that much territory (and Londo is an expansionist at that point the show). And despite his and Refa's opinions on the matter (again both are expansionist) there is no implication that the Centauri are actually in decline, what is in text is actually saying that they are suffering from political and cultural stagnation because the rule of tradition over rationality.

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life trend to expansion [...] but space has no such counters

...except in post industrial societies the trend appears to reverse, e.g. with personal wealth depressing the birth rate ;) - it's rather depressing to think that sentience can't elevate a species over its biological base IMO.

It is true that in canon, that galaxy holds on pattern similar to invasive species - which why one obvious interpretation is that the Shivans are some sort of control system (which I made a post about years ago, which is too old to be found by the current iteration of the forum search appearently).

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why every race in the universe have to develop synthetic life, why every synthetic life always behave Skynet way, and why all creators are equally naive.

How about you don't trust the self-serving rhetoric of a reactionary, self-styled space god? - Traue keinem über 5000! (= "trust no one over 5000 years of age"; "Traue keinem über 30" was a slogan of the german 1968 student movement, decrying, among other things, that the grandparent and parent generations "would not be forthcoming" about the period between 1933-1945)

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And Krogan plot is not cool :P, except for polish translation of Wrex in ME1. Dude, Wrex is really tough and brutal asshole here. Krogans in english version and all further releases are just... Polite and generic compared to polish Wrex.

That makes me dread just how bad the anxiety about sexual inadequacy in heterosexual polish men must be :P - You can substitue infertility for percieved inadequacy all you want, doesn't make it less retrograde; really tested my committment to a policy of self-determination to paragon that.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2019, 04:28:16 pm by 0rph3u5 »
"When you work with water, you have to know and respect it. When you labour to subdue it, you have to understand that one day it may rise up and turn all your labours into nothing. For what is water, which seeks to make all things level, which has no taste or colour of its own, but a liquid form of Nothing?" - Graham Swift, Waterland

"As you sought to steal a kingdom for yourself, so must you do again, a thousand times over. For a theft, a true theft, must be practiced to be earned." - The terms of Nysa's curse, Pathfinder: Kingmaker

"...because they are not Dragons."

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: Unborn Legacy - FS campaign idea dump [WARNING - heavy polgrish!]
What is happening in here

 

Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: Unborn Legacy - FS campaign idea dump [WARNING - heavy polgrish!]
What is happening in here

Which sentiment is that?
"When you work with water, you have to know and respect it. When you labour to subdue it, you have to understand that one day it may rise up and turn all your labours into nothing. For what is water, which seeks to make all things level, which has no taste or colour of its own, but a liquid form of Nothing?" - Graham Swift, Waterland

"As you sought to steal a kingdom for yourself, so must you do again, a thousand times over. For a theft, a true theft, must be practiced to be earned." - The terms of Nysa's curse, Pathfinder: Kingmaker

"...because they are not Dragons."

 

Offline Nyctaeus

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Re: Unborn Legacy - FS campaign idea dump [WARNING - heavy polgrish!]
What is happening in here
Madness, I presume.
Exile | Shadow Genesis | DA Profile | P3D Profile

Proud owner of NyctiShipyards. Remember - Nyx will fix it!

All of my assets including models, textures, skyboxes, effects may be used under standard CC BY-NC 4.0 license.

  
Re: Unborn Legacy - FS campaign idea dump [WARNING - heavy polgrish!]
Probably unrelated, but here's a little inspiration for Alien artifacts: https://www.orionsarm.com/eg-article/4a59d19f81fed