Introduction to the New World

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Introduction to the New World

Post  Berserker on Wed Jul 16, 2014 4:36 am

As of late, there's been some misunderstandings and disagreements regarding the New World; in particular its technology level. This post is here to remedy that, particularly drawing upon OOC elements to make things easier to understand. It is a piece of information, not a piece of lore.

1. New World technology

In the New World, technology is leaps and bounds ahead of the Old World's, matching up to the late 1800s and early 1900s in our world. Not all things are similar, however. Steam engines and blackpowder weapons are widespread, but one of the most recent breakthroughs among New World engineers is being able to harness magic from focus points into containers crafted from various materials and engraved with runes. This magic energy can be discharged in various ways; initially, it was used to produce heat and became alternative fuel for steam engines, but other ways to discharge it have been found, allowing for more creative usage of their power. The power output is considerably higher than electricity.

Basic engineering and science is possible, but atom-level knowledge is still out of reach. Physics, gravity and the like have been covered in science.

So why isn't the technology on a modern (ie our world) level, like I said originally?
Essentially, the technology we possess would seem like magic to someone from a medieval time. They would be awed and terrified of the power we have at our fingertips today. But The Other Side is not like our world; it already has magic, and technology seeming like magic AS WELL AS actual magic in the same fantasy setting just seems redundant. It's hardly as fun if it doesn't have the same awe-inspiring first impression.

Therefore, I decided to lower New World tech capacities. Unlike computers, electronics and closed-in machines with no visible moving parts, the constant movements of steam engines, the new (old) tech allows characters to SEE things happening. It's possible to understand what's happening in the machines without going down to the motions of atoms and electrons.

tl;dr: big, but smaller technology gap allows people to make sense of stuff instead of destroying it because they don't understand aka burn the witch

2. What separates the New World from the Old World
The original plan with the New World was to build it up similarly to the Old World, but with a single body of united nations ruling it instead of many small countries. It was supposed to be peaceful and prosperous. When I thought this through, I realised it'd only give us everyday slice of life-type settings with little opportunity for drama and action, aside from underground street gangs and the brutal upbringing of homeless children (4edgy8me) and the like, because you know, it's worse getting beaten up and thrown in a trash can than it is to see your hamlet burn just as you return with the meagre coin earned from selling crops. No, really.

I changed my mind here as well. This is, after all, a fantasy setting, not a street survival simulator or technowizardry bionic implants setting. I'd like to bend the standards with the New World, not follow a standard for another type of setting.

To set the feel of the New World and make it different from the Old World's in more ways than just "you fight with a gun instead of a sword", the New World will be facing different challenges than the Old. By now, you know about Focus Points, and how unprotected areas become unstable and impossible to settle in, without raising a new focus point. The New World's challenge is that magic is much stronger there; so strong that it's a threat to the entire continent. Focus points are being worn out on a monthly basis due to the stress they take, and a lot of maintenance is needed. Slipping up on maintenance means more lost land that'll be nigh impossible to take back. Only a bit of the continent is actually possible to stay safe in; this is partly due to plot, and partly because of my past experience with trying to map an entire continent.

Whether it's filthy amounts of plot device, a scientific advance, some balls-crazy move that succeeds against the odds, or even something beyond New World characters, what ends up averting the crisis remains to be seen.

Summed up, peace doesn't make half as good a story as an imminent disaster.

3. My thoughts
I believe this'll make a very different and much more ultimately interesting setting for RP than yet another modern setting, which we have quite a lot of already. Modifying different factors allowed me to drastically tweak the feel of the RP, and I'm confident this is to the better. In my mind, at the very least, the two continents feel more like the same world now, and with them feeling more related to one another, I feel it's a lot easier to bridge the gap between them.

something something psychologic chronology relation theory
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