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Hidden 8 mos ago Post by Cyclone
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@BBeast

I think a big theme in your post, and one that I think is misguided, is to see the difference between upper and lower as a physical difference. It is a thematic difference, and I think treating each sphere as a formless blob with no content is detrimental.

Take magic.

Celestial magical sphere: Linked to stars and the sky, maybe be related to the movement of the stars, the time of the day, definitely related to the "star" that is how Galbarian mortals see the sphere.

Chthonic magical sphere: Related to earth, likely more telluric in nature, if a mage in the former case would raise his hand to reach for the magical realm, this one needs to connect with that which is bellow, walking bare-feet, channeling magic through the body, whatever.

Take soul

Celestial soul sphere: Probably Heaven or Valhalla like, angels and Valkyries, sky burials and funeral pyres

Chthonic soul sphere: Hades for example, boatman and reapers, crypts and graves.

There is a big change, and that goes beyond portals and physical place.


Since one appeal is that everyone can design their own Sphere to be the source of its own 'magic' and have its own effect, I think forcing sweeping things like this to be the case would be detrimental even if they help unify the Upper/Lower Spheres thematically.

One thing I expected in the docs, but couldn't really find, is a model of what you are thinking. With examples, models, something like a few example spheres and how they interact. It clearly isn't the Aristotlean model what we are doing here, there is a weird mix of Aristotles like layer spheres and orb spheres, and each time these things are discussed, I go out of it knowing less and less, with mixed messages like "There are no exceptions except the exceptions"

It is better to have a complex system that deals with its issues than a nebulous unclear system. I think if you want a strong thematic difference between Celestial and Chthonic, you need to at least state that and what you overall view on what is Upper and what is lower. Once the themes are put on the table, we can discuss them properly.


I'm interpreting this as you saying that examples are warranted, yes? I intend to add quite a bit to the Doc today and could give 5 or 6 such examples.

Speaking of which, I still think land gods are a problem, from what I see, the Chthonic realm is way too limited, and throwing trees to the sky because of canopies is... eh. I don't know crap about the nordic myths since I found them boring, but in terms of Aedra/Deadra, all Aedra would be Celestial, and... most of the Deadra as well, since they are outer gods, Azura, Clavicus, Hircine, Vaermina.

It also makes the metaphysical maps of the world weird, with the realm of rives, trees and the fairyland all side by the side with sun, with the stars. It makes sense in a world like Tamriel where all worlds are outer worlds, but is this what we are going for here? Weren't we going with Aristotlean layers, with a realm of wind, a realm of fire?


See, what you say about trees is due to one very poor example that I gave. The example in question was a forest god's Sphere perhaps being the upper canopy of some jungles, but back a page or two age when we chose to go with option B we more or less killed the idea of ta forest god having a Sphere like that. It's just too accessible, too tangible, too real. As the Spheres are partially metaphysical and magical places, that's why I think BBeast gave really good examples with the sky god's Sphere being the upper sky but great storms making it hard for just anything to fly up, and the dirt god having a Sphere that's underground but can only be reached by digging a long, long ways beneath some sacred hills.

To clarify, in keeping with the theme of Spheres being very magical places that are hard for mortals to access, I don't want someone to just claim "deserts on Galbar's surface" or "the rivers on Galbar" as their Sphere. Something more along the lines of the desert god having the sun (or perhaps some fiery subterranean realm) as his Sphere and then connecting it into the depths of deserts through some sort of portal is more of what we're going for. Instead of just claiming rivers as his Sphere, a river god could do something like claim the subterranean depths where all springs draw their water from.

Do you think that I addressed your confusions/objections adequately, Capy?
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Hidden 8 mos ago 8 mos ago Post by Crispy Octopus
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@Cyclone@BBeast

May I suggest an alternative?

I deeply enjoy the topology of a strict hierarchy, but BB is right in that it needlessly restricts player freedom without adding to the game too much. This is my solution.



Spheres are arranged as a strict hierarchy, however it is possible to bypass other spheres by investing the might to create a portal. A portal magically links two spheres and exists in a fixed location on both spheres it exists. Normally, like BB said, this would eliminate the point of a strict hierarchy, however my alternative is to make it possible for gods and any sufficiently power entities to traverse from one sphere to another that borders it without using might.

Naturally this restricts some gods ability to access Galbar without might, but honestly i like that. In fact, it plays a larger part in this idea. Why don't we have it that Spheres are not static? Based on a gods level of connection with Galbar Spheres can rearrange themselves, those who forge the most intimate connections being drawn in closer to the world?

This doesn't have to be a physical happening, we can just say it happened.

As for new players, Honestly I don't think accommodating them is that difficult. Just have it so *nobody* starts out directly connected to either the barrier/core or Galbar and that whoever of the celestial/underworld gods invests the most time on Galbar will take that position near it. Nobody needs to border the barrier and new gods can start on the outside after everyone works out their neighbours.

Bordering other spheres and an ability by gods to pass into other neighboring spheres freely (albeit maybe weakened) without a portal adds some celestial drama and politics. I'd hate to see that go.
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Hidden 8 mos ago Post by Double Capybara
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<Snipped quote by Double Capybara>

Since one appeal is that everyone can design their own Sphere to be the source of its own 'magic' and have its own effect, I think forcing sweeping things like this to be the case would be detrimental even if they help unify the Upper/Lower Spheres thematically.


Ok, so you can make a sphere without regards to whether it's celestial or chthonic? In the last post, you mentioned wanting a strong thematic difference, so I kinda assumed picking Celestial or Chthonic was not trivial.

<Snipped quote>

I'm interpreting this as you saying that examples are warranted, yes? I intend to add quite a bit to the Doc today and could give 5 or 6 such examples.


Definitely, I think an example model will do wonders.

<Snipped quote>

See, what you say about trees is due to one very poor example that I gave. The example in question was a forest god's Sphere perhaps being the upper canopy of some jungles, but back a page or two age when we chose to go with option B we more or less killed the idea of ta forest god having a Sphere like that. It's just too accessible, too tangible, too real. As the Spheres are partially metaphysical and magical places, that's why I think BBeast gave really good examples with the sky god's Sphere being the upper sky but great storms making it hard for just anything to fly up, and the dirt god having a Sphere that's underground but can only be reached by digging a long, long ways beneath some sacred hills.

To clarify, in keeping with the theme of Spheres being very magical places that are hard for mortals to access, I don't want someone to just claim "deserts on Galbar's surface" or "the rivers on Galbar" as their Sphere. Something more along the lines of the desert god having the sun (or perhaps some fiery subterranean realm) as his Sphere and then connecting it into the depths of deserts through some sort of portal is more of what we're going for. Instead of just claiming rivers as his Sphere, a river god could do something like claim the subterranean depths where all springs draw their water from.

Do you think that I addressed your confusions/objections adequately, Capy?


I think the main source of confusion on my part is the difference between the proposal and the linked Celestial Spheres.

In aristotelian, it kinda goes like this

[The sky (sphere of air]
[Galbar]
[The earth (sphere of earth)]

From what I understood of the proposal, it is not a layered cake deal, it is more like

(Sphere of air)


[Galbar - including the sky, which is the influence of the sphere of air, and the earth, which is the influence of the sphere of earth]


(Sphere of earth)

Which I would say is a more Dungeons and Dragons Planes thing? But then wouldn't that not be physical but instead purely magical?
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Hidden 8 mos ago 8 mos ago Post by Double Capybara
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@Crispy Octopus

The problem with that proposal is that some spheres have been described as a planet, including the sun and the moon, and overall, with the way spheres work, it won't make any sense.

Say the god of the sphere of the sky is isolationist, but the god who has a magical forest planet and the god of war who has a great arena battleground for a realm are active and constantly connecting with the earth. This is your new order



Does this mean the sphere they saw before as some distant planet is now right above their heads and covering the sky?
Hell, what happens if the sphere of the sun gets closer than the sky?
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Hidden 8 mos ago Post by Cyclone
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<Snipped quote by Cyclone>

Ok, so you can make a sphere without regards to whether it's celestial or chthonic? In the last post, you mentioned wanting a strong thematic difference, so I kinda assumed picking Celestial or Chthonic was not trivial.


Every Sphere would have to be either Chthonian or Celestial, but just by virtue of being one or the other wouldn't mean that its magic must adhere to some general set of rules. The only difference that the choice between Celestial/Chthonic would make is the potential connection.

As a practical example, you say that as far as souls go, a Celestial Sphere would be like a Valhalla/Heaven and the Chthonian ones more like Hades or Hell. The point I was trying to raise is that it's detrimental to mandate this sort of thing. If somebody wants to have an evil vulture god that swoops down to steal souls and bring them to some torture pit on the moon, I say go for it.

Definitely, I think an example model will do wonders.


I'll consult with BBeast and Mutton and make the example model once we've ironed out all the intricacies, then.

I think the main source of confusion on my part is the difference between the proposal and the linked Celestial Spheres.

In aristotelian, it kinda goes like this

[The sky (sphere of air]
[Galbar]
[The earth (sphere of earth)]

From what I understood of the proposal, it is not a layered cake deal, it is more like

(Sphere of air)


[Galbar - including the sky, which is the influence of the sphere of air, and the earth, which is the influence of the sphere of earth]


(Sphere of earth)

Which I would say is a more Dungeons and Dragons Planes thing? But then wouldn't that not be physical but instead purely magical?


I don't understand the symbology behind the distinction you're trying to make.

@Crispy Octopus

Let me start by ensuring we're on the same page about the Lower/Upper model.

Under the Upper/Lower model there can still be a layered hierarchy in that some Spheres are more distant than others. For instance, Mars is more distant than the Moon. However, a god of sufficient power (or portal/gateway/Bifrost) could theoretically go from Galbar to Mars without stopping at the moon, because there's enough empty space to go around the moon if needed. The same principle would potentially apply for Chthonian Spheres; the mountain god's cave realm might only exist beneath the mountains and continents, so one could potentially link an even deeper Sphere to Galbar without going through his caves.

However, it'd be impossible to link from Mars straight to the cave dude's system without going through Galbar, because that's going straight from an Upper Sphere to a Lower one. This may seem rather arbitrary if you think of portals as more like magical wormholes rather than rainbow bridges or bottomless pits that link two places, but this rule creates some meaningful distinction between the Upper/Lower Spheres and so I'm reluctant to dismiss it.

Normally, like BB said, this would eliminate the point of a strict hierarchy, however my alternative is to make it possible for gods and any sufficiently power entities to traverse from one sphere to another that borders it without using might.


I've been running off the assumption this would eventually become possible as gods obtain abilities, artifacts, and/or portfolios that make such travel feasible.

Why don't we have it that Spheres are not static?


Well, I don't have terribly strong feelings, but I'm somewhat against the shuffling of Spheres being a regular phenomenon because:
a) The current lore is that the Spheres already exist (they were designed and carved out by the Architect) and are just empty, awaiting their new tenants. This implies somewhat that they have fixed locations.
b) The reshuffling of Celestial Spheres might not be that impactful because it'd just represent some planets/moons/celestial bodies moving closer or farther from Galbar, but the reshuffling of Chthonian realms would probably involve some sort of cataclysmic upheaval on Galbar's surface, because despite being somewhat magical, all of these Spheres still have physical locations that they occupy according to the current system.
c) It'll be annoying to keep track of an ever-changing hierarchy. What if someone wants to move their Sphere to be the closest Lower one to Galbar, but the current owner of the closest Sphere is opposed to that for some reason? IMO it's best to just sort these things out OOC before the RP starts.
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Hidden 8 mos ago Post by Crispy Octopus
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Ah.

Coolio then, I like what you're going for from the description. Just go for it!
Hidden 8 mos ago Post by Double Capybara
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@Cyclone

I don't understand the symbology behind the distinction you're trying to make.


The symbology is just to represent distance. The big difference is what is part of Galbar and what is part of the sphere, meaning Galbar has a Sky and an Underground and these cannot be the sphere of Air and Earth as Aristotle says.
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@Cyclone

<Snipped quote>

The symbology is just to represent distance. The big difference is what is part of Galbar and what is part of the sphere, meaning Galbar has a Sky and an Underground and these cannot be the sphere of Air and Earth as Aristotle says.


For simplicity's sake Sky and Earth are just lumped together into one effective Sphere--Galbar. I think this makes the most sense because Spheres are meant to be very distinct, difficult to traverse, and have binding effects on native objects. Having mortals walk around with their feet on one Sphere and their faces in another for the entirety of their lives seems at conflict with the nature of Spheres as we've established.

We're not following Aristotle's system too rigidly; just the broad strokes.
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Hidden 8 mos ago Post by Muttonhawk
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Well, this is a lot to unpack. I'mma do some reading now...
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Hidden 8 mos ago 8 mos ago Post by Muttonhawk
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Okay guys, so we've run into some trouble by using some vague terms that did not quite transfer properly. Let's get down to first principles and build our way up again.

First, some points to optimise on with what we're trying to accomplish. Here are some objectives:
- Providing resources for cool stories.
- Providing creative control for all players.
- Providing an internally consistent framework of constraints to build on.
- Providing the ground work for some kind of dichotomy, should the players wish to play that out.

As you might imagine, sometimes these points may be at odds, and that is where it's especially worth talking things out. For all the other gaps in explanation, it's safe to assume that you can choose the one that adheres to the above points by default.

Now that's out of the way, I want to solidify the terminology a bit here to reduce confusion:

Gateway: A permanent connection between two places constructed with MP as per the act described in the draft Mk III rules. Please keep the term 'gateway' restricted to this application so people don't get confused! If folks want to use the term gateway for things other than this, we need to come up with a term to fill these specific criteria in its place. (Edit: Cyclone says they're gateways now, not portals :))

Connection: Any means of transgression between spheres. Any means. This can be a gateway, this can be a natural difficult means of transitioning such as the river Styx, or this can be some other contrivance. The bottom line? If any spheres interact, it is through a connection.

I love and appreciate the models you wrote up, BBeast, but I feel as though the two words above were muddled quite a bit.

Natural Connection: I'm adding this just as a term of convenience. A natural connection is a connection which is discovered and not manually created before it is utilised, such as a cave to the underworld or getting lost in the woods and ending up in the fairy world. These are always difficult to traverse in some way.

Now, how does this spheres stuff add up?
I feel as though too many ad-hoc facts have been placed in to patch this up that don't really matter in the big picture, such as physical relations, themes, and metaphysics. Most if not all of this should not constrain the players, so I'm going to try to summarise the upper/lower model in condensed terms to work with as a foundation. I'm using the upper/lower model, seeing as that's the one that makes the most sense in my eyes with the objectives I outlined above:

- A sphere is a plane of existence. If these aren't the Barrier, the Core, or Galbar, they are each allocated to a deity.
+ What's inside? Doesn't really matter; the owning player decides.
+ Do spheres have any necessary bearing to one another in three dimensional space? No. Their only relations are through connections.

- A sphere is either upper (Celestial, being between Galbar and the Barrier) or it is lower (Cthonic, being between Galbar and the core). The only mandated difference is that an upper sphere may not have any direct connections to a lower sphere and vice versa.
+ Are there any other differences? Doesn't really matter; the owning player decides.
+ Why do we have this at all? So Galbar is the middle ground and players can set up the resulting dichotomy however it would suit them.
+ How will this dichotomy take shape? Doesn't really matter; the players decide.

- A sphere has natural connections to other nearby spheres without gods needing to make them. These natural connections are difficult to traverse and influence each other end with the effects of the opposite sphere.
+ What spheres are nearby? Apart from the above point on upper vs. lower, it doesn't really matter; the owning player decides.
+ What makes a connection difficult to traverse? Doesn't really matter; the owning player decides.
+ How do spheres influence each other? Doesn't really matter; the owning players decide.
+ Are there any restrictions to the scale or nature of connections? Keep it within reason, and guide yourself with the objectives at the top of the post.

As you can see, this is a framework upon which the deities can set up whatever themes and interactions they wish organically. It does not mandate anything more specific than the above points. This has developed out of Aristotle's concepts, but is not his actual model.

(As an aside, if we want to adopt the Middle Spheres are Separate model, we would essentially have three branches from Galbar rather than two, with the middle spheres having no backing border like the Core or the Barrier. All the other above points would hold. I wouldn't mind either way, but I think with Cyclone going for a dichotomy rather than a trichotomy, we can stick with plain upper/lower unless there are any other arguments.)

On the Elder Scrolls stuff: As far as I can see it, this was brought up as an example of a godly dichotomy. The Aedra and Daedra are at odds with one another regarding Mundus, that's where it starts and ends. The actual cosmology (the big fuggoff wheel 'n' stuff) isn't really relevant to our models.

On Shifting Spheres: I'm of a mind with Cyclone. It's extra complexity we don't need and it would require players to constantly keep track of everything. The upper/lower model lends itself to arranging the spheres however we need anyway.

On Instant Travel (i.e. Temporary gateways): I see Cyclone's reservations about them. I put the suggestion in the proposals part of the doc just to have it there to talk about. I personally also prefer encouraging people to make other means of traversing natural connections or constructing permanent gateways rather than having instant easy travel. If there aren't any arguments otherwise, we can probably do away with the godly instant travel act.

That said, I think it would still be nice to envision arcane rituals or weird happenstances as natural connections between spheres, so mortals can summon demons in evil circles of evil and the like. The qualification of 'difficult to traverse' can be filled all sorts of ways, such as mass human sacrifice! Are there any objections to this?

EDIT: Cyclone just relayed to me that a gateway could be made in the form of a blood ritual that mortals could activate, so rituals wouldn't necessarily have to be natural connections either!

Anyway, if there is any other confusion or correction, please let me know.
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Hidden 8 mos ago Post by Crispy Octopus
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So anyone here making a Celestial Sphere god?

I have a sheet that's shaping up pretty well for my god of light, I'd love to find some Sphere Neighbors!
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So anyone here making a Celestial Sphere god?

I have a sheet that's shaping up pretty well for my god of light, I'd love to find some Sphere Neighbors!




Cthonic for life.
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Hidden 8 mos ago Post by Lord Zee
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@Crispy Octopus I am, but I'm not sure how good of a neighbor he'll be haha.
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Hidden 8 mos ago Post by Muttonhawk
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@Crispy Octopus To be fair, my character is turning out pretty edgy xD
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Haha :P

Well us good two shows gods need a foil after all.

@Lord ZeeDo you have a discord account so I can DM you or are site PMs better?
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An update: Us GMs have internally resolved the remaining details regarding instant travel, connections, and cosmology. Expect changes soon.

Especially regarding a certain p-word.
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Potato?

You're not banning the best staple crop are you!?
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Especially regarding a certain p-word.


...stop using the word 'portal' because it's misleading and makes one think of a 'wormhole' that could go anywhere. Let's just call them connections, or gateways.
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There. Usage of the p-word to refer to the connections between Spheres is now punishable by beheading! Let none say that they were not warned!
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I’m gonna say the p-word....
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