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Sean99

Please help in fleshing out setting (long)

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Hi all, I''m looking for some help in fleshing out the world for my game. I don''t consider myself much of a writer and the only way I can get inspired to write anything original is to take a theme I am intersted in and develop a story around it. The theme I am using use is this: As flawed as humanity is, we are much better off without religious dogma then we are with the laws and supposed morality of religion. Although I don''t beleive any part of this post contains any religion-bashing , if you are a religious person you may want to skip this post. I am trying to use this theme as a subtle backdrop to my game, I''m not aiming for the player walking away from the game saying "Sean''s right, religion sucks". In fact, the player will have the option of playing as a perfectly pious and morally upright priest and his perception of the world doesn''t need to mesh with what I have decided is its true nature. To illustrate the point, I am creating a world in which the gods really do exist. And if gods really existed, there are a few things they need to answer for. Why do they require worship? How can the different pantheons seperately take credit for creation? With several different religions all claiming to be the one true religion, at best, all but one are actively spreading lies. And if the gods are so smart, how come they are continuously proved wrong by science? MY SCENARIO FOR MULTIPLE REAL YET CONTRADICTORY RELIGIONS: The story of mankind begins with the Titans. They were strong in most aspects of the "Force" (similar to the Star Wars concept, I will be changing the name as soon as I can think of a better one) and beleived themselves to be immortal. The Force is the originator of the cosmos and all that exists is in some manner touched by or a manifestation of the Force. (There is no need for the exact nature of the Force to be defined, I beleive I will leave it to the imagination of the player). The Titans beleived the Force to be a sentient being (which is not necessarily true) and were jealous of it''s position as supreme being. They devised a plan to usurp the authority of the Force and become masters of the cosmos. They knew they could not take on the Force without augmenting thier elemental talents. They were strong in Earth, Air, Water, and Fire, but lacked any ability in the fifth element, Spirit. They tried to use incantations to instill themselves with Spirit-channeling ability, but quickly discovered that Spirit ability could not exist within them with the other four elements being so strong. (There is a distinction between Spirit-channeling ability and the inherent spark of Spirit that resides in all living things, including the Titans.) So they turned to Plan B: create weapons through which Spirit could flow. They decided to create living weapons which would be capable of following orders. So they molded clay in their own image and infused it with life. They tried incantations similar to the ones they had used on themselves to give the new weapon prototype the ability to channel Spirit, but to no success. One of their number devised a secret plan to get the weapon prototype to function properly. His plan required the presence of raw Spirit in close proximity, to sort of prime the pump of the weapon. There was only one source of Spirit available of the required strength; the life spark of a fellow Titan. Of course, the taking of another Titan''s life, if possible, would at the very least make him an outcast, so he plotted his own solo rebellion against the Force. While he was plotting, the Titans started breeding the weapon an anticipation of its eventually working right. Knowing that nothing on earth could harm a Titan, the murderous Titan (tentatively named Cain) searched Lovecraftian nether regions for a possible murder weapon. Cain eventually found his weapon, a creature feared even by its fellow demonic-thingies. He summoned the Terror, procured some of the weapons, invited a fellow Titan over, and set the Terror loose on him. To Cain''s simultaneous elation and horror, the Terror killed the Titan. Cain directed the fleeing life force through the waiting weapons. He immediatley bound the Terror and then examined the weapons for Spirit ability, and found his efforts to be successful. He marched his weapons to where the rest were stored, and commanded his group to prime the rest with their own flows of Spirit. With an army of Spirit at his command, he could bend the other Titans to his will and make his assault on the Force. Striding the streets of Titanopolis (another place-holder name until I find a good one), Cain called out his brethern and demonstrated his mastery of Spirit. The population of Titanopolis stood in disbeleif as Cain directed his weapons. That is, until the flow of Spirit quickly dissipated from them. No amount of Cain barking orders could bring it back. Cain was apprehended and eventually they got the full story out of him. The story of the murder of a Titan put many of them in shock, and none fully beleived it until they saw the corpse. They ordered Cain to banish the Terror, but he claimed to not know how. Securing the mystic bonds on the Terror, the Titans spent their remaining days on this earth coping with the new reality they had been forced to face. The knowledge that there were forces capable of killing them, and that the precedent of murder had been established, filled the Titans with a creeping paranoia. The plan to master the Force took a back seat to a sudden need for security. Using methods pioneered by Cain in his search for a Titan-killer, they examined worlds of a less physical nature, far away from the thing they had bound in their midst. The weapon project had been deemed a failure and the weapons were to be destroyed. Unknown to the Titans, the breif flow of Spirit through the weapons endowed them with full self-awareness, and the they managed to sneak out of the city before their scheduled destruction. The Titans, already divided into quarreling factions with a strong mutual distrust, accused one another of having hidden the weapons away. Fearful that someone may try to repeat Cain''s experiment, each faction hastily left for their own seperate worlds. All of the Titans chose worlds in which they could still keep an eye on the earth so they would have advance warning if the Terror ever got free. While keepeing one eye always towards earth, the factions individually but nearly simultaneously made a few interesting observations. For starters, the weapons remained on earth and were developing cultures of their own. Even more surprising, when one of these creatures expired, their Spirit could easily be detected on its journey to rejoin the Force. Using incantations similar to what Cain revealed he used on the Spirit of the dead Titan, it would be a simple matter to direct the Spirit to a holding area until a way of harnessing their power could be found. Unfortunately, the incantation needed to be performed close to the freshly dead body, and none of them had any intention of going back to earth. Shortly, each group of Titans had worked out a way to very breifly manifest themselves through one of the creatures. It didn''t help that the men resisted as a Titan possessed their bodies to perform the rites over a dead loved one. It was an unpleasant experience for the Titans and even pushing themselves to the limits, they could only gather one out of every ten souls. Then they found that some men began to respect them for their power, regardless of the the stories passed on to them through the years about the events leading to the creation of mankind. These men willingly learned the incantations, making possession unnecssary. In return, they were promised positions of power in the afterlife and were occasionly allowed to draw upon the Titans'' power in the four elements. As the centuries passed, a pattern of human exploitation developed which was common to all of the pantheons. The Titans cared nothing for the well-being of mankind, just as long as they continued to reproduce and the preists performed the proper rites over the dead. The reproduction part they needn''t worry about. All they really had to do was make sure that their priests retain the social authority to perform the last rites. To this end, they took every opportunity to take credit for anything that would make the humans perceive them as forces not to be crossed. After a natural disaster, a representative Titan would communicate to a priest (in a manner similar to possession but not as unpleasant) to inform his people that their masters were displeased, giving some B.S. reason. They also took credit for human innovation. Generations after the discovery of fire, the domestication of animals, the beginning of agriculture, etc., the Titans would get their priests to start spinning it so that these things were all gifts from the gods. This wasn''t quite enough to guarantee the priests unquestioned authority. They decided a daily presence in the lives of the humans was necessary, so they invented ritual worship as a constant reminder of who giveth and taketh away. It didn''t take too long before the average person was convinced that the particular pantheon he followed was the source of all that exists, and that proper obedience and worship of his pantheon would secure a nice cozy spot in the afterworld. Not everybody blindly accepted the ruse. There existed a full sprectrum of beleif among humanity in regards to the gods'' actual relationship with humanity. At one end were those who suspected that the Titans did not have mankind''s best interest at heart. In the middle were those who questioned the claims the priests made about the Titans actively being involved so much in human activity but still felt that they owed worship and respect to thier pantheon. But by far most people accepted the Titans as presented by the priests. INTERVENING HISTORY: At the dawn of civilazation, men turned to the priesthood for leaders, but more qualified individuals who get the opportunity to prove themselves begin to establish a worldly authority apart from the priests. In every civilization that develops, the two seperate power structures become allies in monopolizing authority. Once in a great while, a person is born who can actually manipulate Spirit in the manner humans were intended to by the Titans. These individuals were not deemed especially useful by the Titans, because at most only a few were living at any one time, which is not enough to make them useful. At various points in time and geography, they would be considered as prophets, demon-possessed, saviors, or just plain gifted. Keeping the humans out of Titanopolis was a major concern for the Titans, lest they unwittingly unleash the immortal Terror. Every pantheon made it abundantly clear to their followers that the city was sacred ground not to be tread upon by mortal feet. Among the sceptics, a natural science started to develop, although it was constantly being opposed by the priesthood, who squashed it every chance they got. Where it was able to survive, science consisted of a study of the Force, and its practioners were able to manipulate the natural world through incantations just as the Titans were. The priests took to personifying the Force as a great evil enemy to mankind and a foe of the Titans. And the mystics who knew its secrets were painted as black magicians who had sold their souls. SUMMARY OF MAGIC: Priests: Able to channel the four base elements; Fire, Air, Water, Earth. Little or no control but can draw upon huge quantities. Ability is entirely dependent on the grace of his gods. They can also sense the channeling of others, regardless of element. Spirit-channelers: Ability to channel Spirit. Solely gained through an accident of birth. Mystics: Ability to manipulate relatively small flows of all five elements, but with great precision and can combine them to create novel effects denied to Priests and Spirit-channelers. THE WORLD AS IT IS WHEN THE GAME BEGINS: There are three major empires. Empire #1 Very loosely based on ancient Egypt. The preisthood has become the ultimate spin machine. I see the priesthood as similar to the various ministries of 1984. As trading ships make their way down the Nile-like river, they carry news of far-off lands which the priests work quickly to suppress or spin if the truth doesn''t suit them or the government. Point of Pride (I want each culture to have at least one thing they beleive themselves superior in compared to everyone else): Strong family bonds. Empire #2 Loosely based on Babylon. The oldest civilization. Three distinct ethnic groups located in the north, middle and south. At one time or another each had been the source of the ruling dynasty. Although there is little racial prejudice, the empire has a tradition of the leaders of the second-most powerful group subtly defying the auhtority of the current ruling dynasty. Point of Pride: The Rule of Law. Although there are differnt laws for the three different classes (farmer, artisan, leader), the leaders are just as beholden to the law as everyone else and do pay some price for wronging a commoner. Empire #3 Loosely based on ancient Persia. The only major nation which has rejected conventional (Titan-based) religion. Although their world-view is based on the supremacy of the Force, they insist on personifying it as a sentient, human-like being. Point of Pride: The learnedness of their scholars. THE GAME AND THE PLAYER The player will be born as one with the ability to channel Spirit. Which nation he is raised in will be randomly determined each game. This will effect how careful he needs to be in concealing or flaunting his ability to channel. I''m going to use the rapidly-role-play-your-chidhood technique (I''ve never actually seen this but heard it mentioned on these boards) to introduce the player to the world and determine what resources and reputation he starts with. The game is a text RPG. It will be open-ended so that the player chooses his own goals. Being able to channel spirit does not necessarily preclude him from the priesthood in certain lands, nor does it prevent him from learning the teachings of the mystics. Although the reality of my world is that the Titans are SOB''s, the player will still be able to play a priest who fully beleives in his religion and will fight for the greater glory of his gods. He may aslo advance in the standard combat and theivery skills as he uses them. The focus of gameplay will be more on the political than on combat. MISC. CONSIDERATIONS By no means are all priets bad guys. After the Titans had claimed morality as another one of their domains, the priesthood started to attract people who genuinely wanted to do good. Maybe mankind does owe the Titans obedience simply because they are mankind''s creators. Basically, I don''t want eveything to be black and white. WHY I''M POSTING I need help in fleshing out the history and present-day cultures of my world. Aside from the three empires mentioned, I need lots of smaller nations for them to play off of, and various nomadic peoples which would fit in with the setting of my world. Also, if anyone sees potential plot points based specifically on my setting, I would like to hear about it. I would be most grateful for breif mythological / historical stories (or summaries of such) in which the protagonist illustrates a basic human personality trait (greed, bravery, honesty, etc) and which would fit the nature of one of my cultures. I plan to use such stories as a pool of reference for my NPCs to draw on in conversation. Of course, due credit will be given to anyone who contributes. The game will be distributed as freeware. If anyone really likes what I''ve posted and wants to contribute more than just an idea or two, I''m open to working with a co-writer and you can e-mail me at wutmewurry@aol.com. Otherwise, Thanks in advance to anyone who posts some ideas, and for finishing reading this post. -Sean

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Couple of things for now, I''ll comment more heavily later:

1. Your "Force" is basically the Tao. An ineffable presence responsible for the creation & maintainence if the Universe, and yet not one too interfere with day to day business. Look it up, you might find some more inspiration.

2. Your 1st and 3rd Empires would probably do well to have some some of chaste system, with the 1st relying heavily on slavery. Perhaps the "Egyptians" could use pyramids as giant mana banks, from which the priests could draw off to control the slaves. If somehow a natural disaster (or attack) were to damage a pyramid, you''d have slaves running amok.

3. On the multiple pantheons thing : a surprisingly common belief (shared by Catholics, Muslims, Hindus are more), is that each religion worships the same "god" (read Tao/Force), they just name & personify it differently. The pantheons aren''t actually separate gods, they''re separate aspects of the One God, created to better associate with a hard to understand force. They exist separately because each culture has a different climate, and laws, and so the religion has become shaped to accomodate that. And that is why there can never be ONE true religion ... although there can be an understanding that they are all worshipping the same "God".

(Out of interest, recently the Pope and the Muslim Leader met and agreed publicly that they worship the same God ... there''s hope yet)



"NPCs will be inherited from the basic Entity class. They will be fully independent, and carry out their own lives oblivious to the world around them ... that is, until you set them on fire ..." -- Merrick

"It is far easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle if it first passes through a blender" -- Damocles

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Did I miss something, or did you fail to specify what the aim of the game is? Even ''open-ended'' needs to have some sort of goal, even if it is a moving target, such as increasing stats, exploring the whole world, or something else.

However, getting into Titanopolis and discovering, perhaps even unleashing The Terror seems a worthy ''goal'' (even if the player doesn''t know this is the goal.) Perhaps the player could end up doing this inadvertently, and then spend the rest of the game trying to fix it? I think that could make for a great story, with many implications such as humans helping gods and so on. However, it probably goes against your open-ended plan.

Does the Terror have a motivation? Or friends?

Maybe there are some Titans who feel sorry for the humans being manipulated or controlled, and seek to give them a better deal. Perhaps some renegade priests worship these Titans. Perhaps these Titans are presented by ''normal'' Titans as being evil so they have no worshippers, even though the Titans in question are on the human''s side.

Perhaps some humans discovered how to collect this Spirit from a dead body for their own purposes. This could involve trapping the Spirit within the dead body, allowed animated dead at their command. (Basically, Necromancers, although you may want a more original name.) They may pose a threat to humans in general, and/or to the conventional priests. Titans might consider intervening to stop this threat to their power, perhaps through the much disliked possession.

My main concern is that a lot of the background, although a great setting, seems to have little relation to the gameplay elements that you mentioned at the end.

It''s hard to flesh it out because a lot of it seems unrelated. But I hope some of those ideas give you food for thought, if nothing else.

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Merrick,

I like your idea for the pyramids. I wanted to include them but only if they served some purpose other than just as burial chambers.

As for the idea that all religions worship the same god, it doesn''t fit in with the world I have set up (what implications this idea has in the real world is a debate for a different forum). I want the Titans to be beings who are real representations of the gods found in most real-world mythologies. Which means that they are arrogant and petty and contradict each other. I''m trying to answer the question "what if these characters were real and were truly the creators of humanity?". And if they are real, what do they owe us and what do we owe them?

I could allow for characters to take the tao approach; people who do not personify the Force and try to live according to precepts based on being in harmony with the way of things. If I did include this belief system, I would want to give them powers distinct from the other three types of supernatural classes.

Thanks for the input!

-Sean



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Kylotan,

Sorry I was vague on game-play. I didn''t think this would be the proper forum.
I am designing my game first as a sim-style program where the NPCs go about their business and do (hopefully) interesting things on their own. Then I am going to modify it to make allowances for the pc. I am trying to put an emphasis on actual role-playing. Part of that will be what the player decides his character believes about the nature of reality and what his character does about it. He will have the ability to address crowds if he ever wants to get up on a soap box to reveal information (including lying) or express opinions. The player builds a reputation (either good or bad) as he goes about the game. If he is playing a charcter whose world-view is frowned upon in his current location, he needs to be careful about what he says. Or he might want to act as a missionary and shoot off his mouth all over the place.

NPC behavior in a nutshell: NPCs have desires for resources, and conflict arises over the possession of these resources. Information plays a huge role, as NPCs formulate plans basd on what they think they know. The PC will be just another player on the stage, and the NPCs will be after his resources just as the player will be after theirs.

I am going to draw the player into the game by starting off with the only mandatory "quest": an assssination attempt will be made on his life and he needs to find out who is behind it because the attempts won''t stop until he puts a stop to them. During the course of tracking down this individual, the player will learn of other goings-on in the world which he can choose (or not)to get involved in. I guess at the very least (if my role-playing design elements aren''t effective) you could classify it as an explore-the-world type of game.

I want the Terror, if incorporated into the game, to be one of those things defined mostly by the player''s imagination. I do want to incorporate him into the story somehow, but I have a few reservations. For one, history has been mucked with so much that nobody should even know of its existence. I suppose there could be lost tomes in which some wise person chronicled the true history before the priests completely revised it. The other problem with it is that the unleashing of the Terror will turn it into a save-the-world type game (either from the Terror or by sicking it on the Titans). I''m not sure if I want to go down that well-beaten path. I should point out that if I do something like that, there will be heroic NPC''s ready to stand against it so that it''s not the sole responsibility of the player to save the world. Heck, maybe he wants to destroy the world. I do like the idea of the player doing it inadvertently.

I''m not sure if I like any of the Titans being less bastardy, I see them as being cold and selfish by their very nature. Actually, I have plans for contrasting their nature with human nature, but that''s the one secret I want to keep until the game is complete. Although, if I want to stay true to representing my historical models, I suppose some of them should be decent (i.e. Prometheus, and didn''t he pay a price for helping us out!)

Thanks,

-Sean







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Guest Anonymous Poster
I like what you''ve got sofar. Two comments:

1) Getting the player to learn the truth about the backstory presents some difficulty. The Titans appear much more powerful than humans, and they''ve already got a lock on propaganda abou themselves. So who would the player learn the truth from?


2) Even with the Titans as several pantheons of gods, you''ve still got two absolutes that seem to be even more powerful, namely the Terror and the Force. This kind of gives you an easy out into standard western monotheism, which I gathered you wanted to avoid.


My suggestion: have the player stumble across the Terror. Let the Terror try and motivate the player, drop clues about the reality bejind the scenes, etc.

Let the Terror be another Titan, albeit one that is powerful and violent. It wants to be freed to carry on murdering other Titans. Whether this is homicidal insanity or some warped sense of justice is unclear throughout the game.

The rest of the backstory remains mostly the same, but toss out any refernces to the Force as sentient- just make it a power source.

Then the player gets manipulated back and forth as a pawn between the various Titans, the Terror, and the human empires. Everyone has a different version of the beginning of man, or the history of the Terror, etc, and the player gets to try and sort it out.

It allows for multiple endings and an intricate plot, with less combat than interaction.

Just a suggestion, use it if you like it, ignore it if you don''t.

JSwing

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quote:
I''m not sure if I like any of the Titans being less bastardy, I see them as being cold and selfish by their very nature.

Something else to think about, if only to reject it... I''m sure you''ve already thought of this, but I expect that the Titans wouldn''t use the words ''cold'' and ''selfish'' to justify their actions. Those words have negative connotations that would seem alien to a race that has always acted that way. I think it''s important that there are 3 stages to knowing about the Titans: the ''naive'' stage where they are considered gods and revered as such - then the ''enlightened'' stage where it is realised that they manipulate humans for their own needs - and finally the ''moral'' stage where you see that the Titans don''t feel they are doing anything ''wrong''. Possible motivations for this include (a) fearing retribution from The Force and needing to take drastic action for the Titans to survive, (b) considering property to be 9/10 of the law and since humans were essentially property, they could have no rights, (c) considering the ''intelligence'' level of humans to be so low (compared to a Titan) that they are not considered sentient and therefore using them as mere resources could not possibly be wrong... etc.

I also think that, given that the ''Persian'' empire is effectively the antithesis of the other 2 empires, that there would be a significant war between them, far worse than any religious conflict today. Worshipping a god that is thought to be the outright enemy of other gods implies a far higher level of enmity than any combination of religions we have in the present day. (Although there are some indications that the Sumerian god Enki, Ptah in Egyptian religion, was also the same being as ''Satan'' in the Christian sense... that''s wandering a bit off-topic though.)

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Ok some quick thoughts, not very well formulated or thought-through, but perhaps they give you some food for thought.


Perhaps Cain is the Terror. Instead of him finding a creature/being that can kill Titans, let him find a way to channel an Anti-Force (think Chaos versus Cosmos) that is capable of killing a Titan. After the murder the other Titans imprison him on earth (they couldn''t kill him, because no other Titan wants anything to do with the Anti-Force, or perhaps they can''t find out how to channel it). Then everything progresses as you have described, The Titans flee to other realms, fearing that Cain will find a way out of his prison.

Eventually the bonds of his prison weakens and he regains his ability to possess people. He begins gathering followers of his own and teaches them about the other Titans and about the origins of humanity, only he twists the story so that he is the good guy, imprisoned by the other ''evil'' Titans because he wanted to help/free the humans. Few are willing to accept this ''new'' religion though, since everyone has grown up in one of the kingdoms, being taught since childhood that their God/Titan is the ''true'' God and ultimate power, and they refuse to believe that he/she/it is evil. Cains goal is of course to find enough followers with the ability to channel so that they can destroy his bonds, setting him free.


Along a similar line, but retaining the original Terror as a being/creature:
Perhaps Cain is imprisoned on earth along with the Terror as punishment for murdering the other Titan, and from within his bonds he begins to gather followers etc...


This was perhaps not what you wanted, since I changed your story a bit, but anyway, just something I thought of when I read your post (which was very interesting, by the way).

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Kylotan,

Your description of the Titans hovers around the point I am trying to make with them. It's kind of a sci-fi/fantasy/religious cliche that more advanced beings are to humans as a human is to an ant or pet. My position is that sentience (same as self-awareness?) is a qualitative and not quantitative trait. And any supposedly advanced race should realize this and treat other such races with respect.In other words, I would condemn the Titans for their trteatment of humaity on ethical grounds. I don't believe the gods are entitled to a "higher morality beyond human comprehension" which just happens to be permissive towards human exploitation. Moral rules are the same for all races capable of understanding the concept of moral rules. What the exact rules are will always be up for debate, but that's another story.

You are right about the Titans considering humanity as property. That's why I made sure that humanity was definitely a creation of the Titans and not just another thing they take false credit for; to throw a gray area into the relationship. Perhaps, given what I said above about universal morality, some could argue that universal morality demands obedience to a creator which supercedes the inherent integrity of all sentient beings, so that even were the truth known, people would continue on as before.

Definitely, the other nations will see "Persia" as great blasphemers. After all, black magicians are highly respected in that country. They (the real Persians) had a dualistic religion with a good god and evil god, from which the Christians borrowed for Satan and also the concept of Hell. Originally my game was going to be based solely on a Christian/Persian dualstic religion until I decided I wanted to depict religion in general. Now I'm trying fit the duality aspect of the Persian religion back in while retaining their standing as seekers of the true nature of the Force unhindered by Titanic deception.

Thanks for the thoughtful comments,

-Sean



Edited by - Sean99 on August 10, 2001 6:33:36 PM

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I think that because the Titans fear the Terror they should use propoganda against it, and incorporate it into the religions as a Satan character.

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quote:
For a person who considers himself not a writer , this appears to be well thought out .

Thanks. I'm happy with what I have so far. Where I'm floundering for ideas is in fleshing out the rest of the world. I want to give it a believable historical feel without completely ripping off real history. And I'm going to be completley lost when I get down to the dialogue level.
I never played Black and White. Did they make some mistake I'm in danger of making?
quote:
I think that because the Titans fear the Terror they should use propoganda against it, and incorporate it into the religions as a Satan character.

That's something to consider. Currently, my take is that the Titans don't want humanity to know of its existence for two reasons. First, no matter how they spin it, eventually somebody is going to figure out that this thing is more powerful than the Titans, and might try to use it against them. Second, knowledge of the Terror would increase human curiosity about Titanopolis and eventually someone is going to go there to gawk at it or destroy it or use it. I'm thinking that the corpse of the murdered Titan doesn't decay (the Titans didn't bury or cremate it either, having no burial customs and being afraid to touch it anyway), so anyone finding the Terror would also find the corpse. That would pose a huge threat to all of the religions (God is dead! I saw his corpse!)

Dactylos,
Both of your ideas are similar in that Cain should be a special case, which I agree with. The other Titans probably should have bound him with the Terror or something, but I need him to be free. He does have his own followers, which I am modeling after the monotheism of the Hebrews. I need to be tight-lipped about Cain because he plays a big part in the secret I alluded to in a previous post (which does involve a new religion and Cain walking the earth, so you are kinda close).

JSwing,
quote:
Getting the player to learn the truth about the backstory presents some difficulty.

I don't intend to make it mandatory for the player to figure out the backstory. The goal of the backstory is to be a foundation to build the rest of the world on. It's looking like most people think a crusade against the Titans would make the most interesting story (and I agree), but I have a few concerns with making it an obvious goal. Basically, I want the player to be able to play a variety of roles. I don't want to force him into the role of crusader. I want to introduce other plots consistent with the world but don't directly relate to the deceptions of the Titans.
quote:
Even with the Titans as several pantheons of gods, you've still got two absolutes that seem to be even more powerful, namely the Terror and the Force. This kind of gives you an easy out into standard western monotheism, which I gathered you wanted to avoid.

Right, the Titans are not gods because they deserve to be, or because of their power levels, they are gods only because they appointed themselves gods. I am trying to avoid western monotheism, because I am trying to look at the common elements of most historical western religions (with the exception of the secret I suddenly can't stop mentioning ).
quote:
Let the Terror try and motivate the player, drop clues about the reality bejind the scenes, etc.

This is something I hadn't considered. Maybe the Terror has been able to manipulate people before, too?

quote:
The rest of the backstory remains mostly the same, but toss out any refernces to the Force as sentient- just make it a power source.

The Force isn't necessarily a sentient to begin with. I just figured people tend to personify nature and natural forces, at least until understanding of the natural world becomes sophisticated enough that the personification can be done away with. AFAIK, a materialistic view of nature didn't develop until well after the time periods I'm looking at.

Thans for the feedback everyone, keep it coming!

-Sean


Edited by - Sean99 on August 12, 2001 6:31:12 PM

Edited by - Sean99 on August 12, 2001 6:34:59 PM

Edited by - Sean99 on August 12, 2001 6:41:38 PM

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quote:
Original post by Sean99
I need to be tight-lipped about Cain because he plays a big part in the secret I alluded to in a previous post (which does involve a new religion and Cain walking the earth, so you are kinda close).

Sounds very interesting. (BTW: change his name from Cain: that is too clichéd. )

quote:
I don''t intend to make it mandatory for the player to figure out the backstory.

I hope you''re going to make a sequel then! I like to know everything about ''deep'' games, and this kind of game is one I would explore for ages to try and learn more about.

Not sure where these next quotes came from, as it looks like there is a post missing...

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Even with the Titans as several pantheons of gods, you''ve still got two absolutes that seem to be even more powerful, namely the Terror and the Force. This kind of gives you an easy out into standard western monotheism, which I gathered you wanted to avoid.

One interesting side to this is that the Terror and the Force are not necessarily opposed (providing I didn''t miss something above). It could even be conceivable that the Terror was the Force''s vengeance upon the Titans. Although this would make the Force somewhat sentient - not something you want to commit to, I know - it could be a valid belief held by some.

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"Let the Terror try and motivate the player, drop clues about the reality bejind the scenes, etc."
This is something I hadn''t considered. Maybe the Terror has been able to manipulate people before, too?

And why not. I am not sure if you ever addressed the Terror''s motivation. You can flesh out any character just by trying to imagine its motivation for what it does. I''m not saying The Terror needs to have had an unhappy childhood or anything like that But does it seek to destroy everything, all living things, just all Titans, or something else?

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It will be hard for you to make this game 1) Because you dont know the myth well enough, and 2) you live in a world where people believe a: we were created by god or b:we come from apes, into humans.

Its hard to know much about greek mythology, because everyone tells the myth a different way. Some will say your wrong, other will say your right. I think its all a bunch of bulshit and were just a game like the sims some alien in playing on his computer.

BUt thats just my opinion.

"I''''ve sparred with creatures from the nine hells themselves... I barely plan on breaking a sweat here, today."~Drizzt Do''''Urden

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