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Distant Worlds: Everydaylife on Verces


Pathfinder Campaign Setting General Discussion

51 to 100 of 148 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>

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Something to consider, how do they view time? Our whole idea of hours, minutes, and seconds is based off the day, and calendars off days and season.

With no rotation there is no day or night and, if not axial shift, no summer or winter. Without these, how would their culture develop a sense of time? In the dark areas, you could use constellations, but what would you connect them to and why? You would know, if you payed attention, that the stars slowly shift and after a long period of time return to the first constellation set you saw, but nothing else.

Some thoughts from this morning's discussion with a friend.

Going on the speculation that Verces has, depending on your location, occasional or frequent storms of tremendous power, time could be based on these. "I was born near/during The Storm of Dams(When several dams burst)." or "Twenty times I have seen Goz'reh's wrath", or other notable local events. The blooming of a certain kinds of flower, or the life cycle of a prominent animal, those without seasons you wouldn't have a birthing time. Upside is that people familiar with your area know exactly what you are talking about. Downside is that no one else does. This also doesn't lend itself to hours/minutes/etc.

Also, I favor this one, achievement based time, where time itself isn't measured but events/accomplishments are. "I had my first blood and so am a woman." "I have learned to make a sword and so am a man." "I have married/had children and so am a adult." Upside is you age/standing is readily communicated across communities. Downside, none really, but you won't get regimented time from this.

Thoughts?

Scarab Sages

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Lloyd Jackson wrote:
With no rotation there is no day or night and, if not axial shift, no summer or winter. Without these, how would their culture develop a sense of time? In the dark areas, you could use constellations, but what would you connect them to and why? You would know, if you payed attention, that the stars slowly shift and after a long period of time return to the first constellation set you saw, but nothing else.

The passing of other celestial bodies might serve as a marker for some. If Akiton is visible at certains times, for instance, it might mark the beginning of a 'cycle' or whatever. There could even be local legends, marking the year as ending 'when the blood moon plunges into the sun' and beginning again 'when the blood moon tears free from the sun,' with the intervening time considered 'between years,' and marked by sacrifices and prayers that the blood moon fight it's way free. (Akiton obviously doesn't fly into the sun, but to someone living in the habitable zone of Verces, without any advanced understanding of the solar system or celestial dynamics, it might appear that way!)

.
Different creatures, regardless of the presence or absence of celestial phenomena, might have very set breeding cycles, and if a particular herd animal spends X amount of time pregnant, and then breeds again X amount of time later, very consistently during their prime breeding years, the people who grew up shepherding them might consider one breeding season, breeding time to the weaning of the young and the next breeding time, to be 'one year.'

There could even be creatures like locusts or mayflies, that have a very rhythmic cycle of appearances. If, every X number of rotations, the hawk-scorpions eggs mature in the hot sands bordering the habitable zone and a fresh swarm of these voracious pests darken the skies of the lands bordering 'lightside,' then the local farmers and such would likely mark time by the intervals between swarmings (which may vary a month or two one way or the other based on weather and humidity and whatnot, but not enough to matter to these locals).

Geysers or glacial movements or whatever might also happen at fairly specific intervals. A darkside-adjacent community might send someone regularly to pound another stake in front of the local glacier, and every time it has moved the length of a man's body, and pushed down another stake, they call it another week.


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These are indeed all possible. They also have the difficulty of being relative.

If you live near fullbright, you, and your society, have likely never seen a celestial body besides the sun, so the weird calendar of the darksiders doesn't make sense to you. The visible constellations will change from hemisphere to hemisphere for the Darksiders too.

Glaciers and breeding cycle vary from region to region. My glacier move X speed while your moves Y.

So, how do we get a global time system, and what is it based on?

Thanks for responding. I wonder if the different castes have, or had, different ways for measuring time. The animal cycle seems like it would fit well with the pure ones.

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The light intensity on the Ring was described as "eternal twilight", so maybe there are always some visible celestial bodies out there looking towards the Darkside horizon. But yeah, not much help out in Fullbright itself. If the orbits allow, ancient Fullbrighters probably could have gone off eclipses, but I'm not sure that would be frequent enough to be useful(and wouldn't only Akiton be close enough to provide a noticable eclipse?)

Kind of leaning towards something more fantastic to help there, like Set's suggestion of certain creatures being regular enough in their behavior to measure time, to a point at least. Regular "seasonal" shifts in the ecology, caused by multiple species going through different phases in harmony. There's another big push towards the importance Vercites place on balance in all things! (and that raises another question: Druids, Pure Ones or God-Vessels?)

As for global time, I can't help but lean towards Darksidish sky calendars, just for dependable regularity.

The light issue would also have a major impact on how they build too, from single buildings to how they organize their communities. There's a lot to play around with there for folks with an eye for architecture and interior design.(anyone here? ;) )

Oh man, and it would have an enormous impact on the local plant life. Maybe there's a tendency for a more lopsided symmetry for Verces flora? Could the plants growing closer to Darkside be more delicate things straining every bit of ambient sunlight and starlight as possible?

Landon Winkler wrote:

There was some talk about Desna being the intermediary, but I think Gozreh is actually a better choice for that. It really cements Gozreh's place as an important figure and highlights just how desolate the light and dark sides are (because in another world, a god of life and nature could easily fall in the light court).

Really like the concepts the come out of this, and this has me wondering even more about the typical druid caste affiliation.

Oceanshieldwolf wrote:
And perhaps the odd tight knit band of revolutionaries ready to commit the odd bit of urban terrorism. All sorts of fringe groups come to mind, from the anti-augmented, the Luddite-esques, the anti-imperialists (whether there is any imperial yearning on behalf of Verces (I'm guessing not) or just perceived by these fringe radicals), the anti-spacefarers, the anti-other-antis, rural-sovereignty nuts, survivalists. Just a thought.

I have a feeling you're going to like Kashak. :) Basically shows what happens with the balance between the castes goes out of wack, with the Augmented and God-Vessels pushing compulsory augmentation on the local Pure One populace. Trouble brewin'.

Thanael wrote:


Or maybe Naeth-Ys embodies this dualism too (in addition to his normal dualism between destructive and other magic) and instead of half skeleton appears as half-terminator 1000 augmented cyborg skeleton there.

:D

AlgaeNymph wrote:

While magic and technology are different, I wouldn't say they're opposing.

** spoiler omitted **

There's actually a lot of support for that approach; IIRC the Augmented are explicitly mentioned as being big into both technology and arcane magic, to the point that vercites might tend to view heavily magic-modified offworlders as Augmented themselves!

Somehow most of BT's Laptop Symphony megatrack (most, some of it doesn't really fit) has become Verces' theme music in my head when I think about that planet.

Scarab Sages

Mikaze wrote:
The light issue would also have a major impact on how they build too, from single buildings to how they organize their communities. There's a lot to play around with there for folks with an eye for architecture and interior design.(anyone here? ;) )

With 'daylight' only coming in from one side of a structure (unlike our houses with thier eastern and western exposures), clever arrangement of mirrors (or just holes in the walls at a certain height?) might help channel natural light into rooms on the 'darkside' of a house.

Unlike our rows of houses, which, on Verces, would result in every row of houses past the first being perpetually in the shadow of the first row, houses may be staggered, with enough 'yard' between them to keep everyone else from being in eternal shadow. Then again, the closer you get to lightside, the more important these 'oases' of shadow would be, to get out of the harsh endless light.


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Hmm, if it's twilight, then yes, some bodies might be visible continually.

Looks life we've got two votes for animals are time-keepers. So fellow thread members, how would your culture view time if it was based of a creature(s) biological rhythms? It's not wake up when the sun comes up, it's wake up when the 'cow' needs milking, or I've been around for fifteen umlat birthings.

For Darksider celestial calendars, they give us years, but how do you make useful time measurement from this? It changes rather slowly after all. What terrestrial event do you use to break up a cycle, or do you? Do you use one system, celestial, for age and length of offices, contracts, etc, and another system for everyday things?

Another possibility for time, make it like our foot/inches system. Some ruler started using the amount of time it took him, or his fastest/slowest runner, to run a mile. So distances aren't just distances anymore, but also times. 'The kessel run in less than twelve parsecs' could totally work for these guys.

It's been years since I've taken a biology class, so could someone fresher than me give us some insights on the lack of night on plant's biological cycles. I'm pretty sure it would change things quite a bit, as the oxygen respiration cycle takes place at night.

Something I've been wondering about, what's the situation on oceans, rivers, etc. How is the water cycle affected? On earth, the lighter plates 'float' above the denser ones. If were locked, it would make sense for the heavier plates to shift toward the fullbright, right? So, does water kind of flow toward fullbright, gradually heating and evaporating, and the warm air flowing towards darkside, cooling/falling, and flowing back towards the light?

I'm with Mikaze on the balance thing. I'm getting a yin/yang duality feel here. Which leads to another question, and one that could lead to much flame, what about genders? Do we go asian style and associate women with cold and dark? Are men drawn to fullbright, full fire and energy? People, and the Vercesians seem very people-ish, have this compulsive desire to name, catalog, and speculate about things, as evidenced by this thread. It seems reasonable to assume they would do it too. So, how would they do it?

We have three castes and three zones, are each caste associated with a particular zone? Are the god-vessels associated with fullbright, the Augmented with darkside, and the pure-ones representing the line?

Scarab Sages

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Lloyd Jackson wrote:
We have three castes and three zones, are each caste associated with a particular zone? Are the god-vessels associated with fullbright, the Augmented with darkside, and the pure-ones representing the line?

Ooh, that's a good one.

The choices you picked make a certain amount of sense.

People living near darkside would be most likely to have developed and use fire (as a light and heat source, for one) than those living near brightside, and thus be more likely to have advanced in metallurgy somewhat faster.

People living near a perpetual energy source, of heat, light and life (through abundant solar energy making for lush vegetation), like brightside would be more likely to be people of strong faith, than those to whom the horizon is filled with darkness, cold and unseen horrors.

It would perhaps be a micro-cosm of the planar structure, with the 'upper' planes huddled around the primal source of life and light that is the positive energy plane, and the 'lower' planes arrayed like a last line of defense against oblivion around the negative energy plane. Feeling less 'blessed' with abundant free energy and boisterous life providing easier access to nutrition, the darkside-adjacent folk might be more coldly practical, and embrace whatever sorts of advancements they need to survive (including carving into their flesh and adding forged metal components, being less likely to see their bodies as divinely shaped, or unliving materials like metals as less sacrosanct or pure or natural than living materials). In the cold lands on the edge of eternal night, faiths may be grimmer, and more filled with warnings from capricious gods of the uncaring harsh climates, with a Cimmerian-like disrespect for the gods (who, after all, appear to be doing them no favors).

It might be easy to fall into the trap of thinking 'brightside = good' and 'darkside = evil,' but it could go the other way as well, with darksiders being folk who set great stock by honor and strength of character and self-reliance, seeing the men who live in the lands of plenty as more prone to soft living, politicking and deception. Those who grow up in shadows, value the light. Those who grow up surrounded by light, and who necessarily seek out the shadows (to avoid death-by-sunstroke, if nothing else!) could be seen as naturally duplicitous, and have a very different mindset about concealing their true natures, or 'shadowing' or 'occulting' facts or reputations. To the darksider, that which you cannot see (including the gods) in inherently untrustworthy. To the lightsider, that which is not as clearly lit might be a comfort to eyes accustomed to harsh light.

As with pretty much all cultural assumptions made by those on the other side of a fence, nothing would be as cut and dried. The brightside lands, particularly where they turn to blasted sun-scorched desert, can be as harsh and unforgiving as the twilight icefields of darkside, in their own way, but those closer to darkside wouldn't see it that way...


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Lloyd Jackson wrote:

Something to consider, how do they view time? Our whole idea of hours, minutes, and seconds is based off the day, and calendars off days and season.

With no rotation there is no day or night and, if not axial shift, no summer or winter. Without these, how would their culture develop a sense of time? In the dark areas, you could use constellations, but what would you connect them to and why? You would know, if you payed attention, that the stars slowly shift and after a long period of time return to the first constellation set you saw, but nothing else.

I dunno about the smaller time intervals - things like days and hours and stuff - imported from the Twins? Akiton? Eox? But with a solar system like Golarian's there's plenty of asteroids, and it probably isn't too far fetched to imagine that the fairly regular cycle of meteor showers divides the year, such as it is on Verces.

"Every sixth YellowFall we go down to the town and choose the new LightMaster..."

"I was born between GreenBurn and GreenSky 43 Orbits past..."

etc.

OF course, such events would naturally lend themselves to the life cycle activities of creatures on the Darkside... and every Orbit I suppose Vercites brace for the onslaughts of BloodRain and yearn for the passivity of the MatingFlares...


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Going back to the trade question, my reading/interpretation is that Verces might be high tech, but is still somewhat "new" to the interplanetary scene. Their might be very very few space-ship captains to have ever gone further inward than Akiton or past the Diaspora, and what traffic that has gone on that far out might be limited to exploration/scouting, and not much in the way of trade. To put it in real life terms...it's about a year to get from Earth to Mars, and even with the superior tech of Verces, it's probably still several months journey to Akiton. There is no mention in distant worlds of Verces having hyperspace capabilities, or even ships capable of appreciably encroaching on the speed of light.

Distant Worlds itself states that the interplanetary capabilities of most worlds is limited, which also is a nice way to explain why Eox hasn't nuked Golarion or why Verces don't have trade depots throughout the inner sea.


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Well, there just isn't the infrastructure for trade - Verces is fairly new to the whole thing. Moreover, I have to imagine that there's almost nothing more expensive than shipping something from Verces to Akiton or wherever - why bother?

I can see there being a lively (perhaps to the point of frequent stabbings and murder) trade between Verces and the Diaspora, which would explain the Space Elevator they have. Beyond that, there's no mention of gravity generating earth magic or air elementals lashed below decks or any of the kinds of things that would make for a "high-tech" fantasy space ship.

My guess is that Vercite ships have zero-G, are a lot like submarines (need to stop and replenish air, food supplies, etc.), and are not built for hauling tons and tons of cargo. Vercite trade with Akiton might be limited a voyage every few years, if that, while there is fairly brisk trade with the Diaspora, it may well be that the trade comes to Verces rather than vice-versa.

The Aethership captain that we see might be wearing an exo-skeleton of some kind that keeps her standing on even Akiton's weak gravity after a year-long cruise from Verces.

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Just a quick heads-up!

This is more on the mechanics-support side of things, but anyone wanting to run Verces-related adventures might want to check out Inner Sea Bestiary, especially page 42.

Force fields are probably the biggest thing with their alternate approach to shielding, especially if you want shield options that function similarly to those in Mass Effect.

Integrated weaponry also offers some options for Vercite robots and vehicles. Plasma and laser weaponry get worked out as well, along with how they interact with certain materials and spells.

There's also the vespergaunts, which could easily serve as horrifying enemies for Vercite adventurers abroad.


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Dotting for later, as I'm still on the first page, but it's 1:42 AM and I've got to sleep, and close this window.

ALSO, though it might have been mentioned, based on Mikaze's mention of hard-light tech fey: kami. Spirits-within-the-stuff. I apologize if it's already been mentioned, but that's something that sprang to mind as you were talking about stuff.

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Tacticslion wrote:
kami. Spirits-within-the-stuff. I apologize if it's already been mentioned, but that's something that sprang to mind as you were talking about stuff.

Dude.

I'm not sure if the kami could fit into that concept out-of-the-box if they're tied exclusively to "natural" nature, but technological and/or virtual spirits should definitely be a thing. :D

And then there's the matter of what kind of kami would be present in each of the three very different portions of Verces itself.

edit-From the Bestiary by way of the PRD

Quote:

Kami are ancient, mystical, and otherworldly spirits created eons ago by the gods. Originally intended as guardians of those parts of nature that could not protect themselves, kami have proven remarkably adaptive. As the nature of reality changes, so do the kami.

There are countless species of kami—in theory, every type of animal, plant, object, and location could be served by its own type of kami.

Oh the possibilities...

Lloyd Jackson wrote:


I like the dual-court idea. Anyone else have thoughts on it?

Maybe it they would be called Castes instead? "As it is on Verces, so too in the Heavens"?


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Glad you like it!

One thing about the kami and being "in-nature", it's quite possible that kami are not entirely natural, as, well...

Shikigami have man-carved wards...

Zuishin have man-made gateways (to the "spirit world") as their wards...

Fukujin have man-cultivated bonsai trees, shrubs, and other similar small trees cultivated by people as their wards...

Dosojin watch over roadways that are created by people...

and Toshigami, which are specified to generally stay in places (including, interestingly for a place like Verces, cites that "has fallen to ruin, these kami guardians are all that remain to remember the lost city's glory."

That leaves, like, Jinushigami, Kaminari (although that's kind of questionable, as they use drums which are definitively synthetic and not natural), Kodama, Suijin (which it specifically calls out as interacting with living, breathing civilized communities in certain ways).

EDIT: To be clear (because I just kind of trailed off in my post, sorry), what I mean is that nature combined with technology, that's pretty much perfect fodder for making them kind of blends with nature plus super-tech. I can really see a kind of Avatar-like theme elements to this thing with those guys (although it's probably not like Avatar).

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Tacticslion wrote:
EDIT: To be clear (because I just kind of trailed off in my post, sorry), what I mean is that nature combined with technology, that's pretty much perfect fodder for making them kind of blends with nature plus super-tech. I can really see a kind of Avatar-like theme elements...

Yeah, had some similar thoughts about taking that approach with some kinds of fey.

Spoilers for a Verces adventure I was hoping to post here some time down the line:
Had this notion of...maybe not entirely artificial biospheres* serving as sacred groves within the cities themselves. They could be seen as a sort of sacred park, serving not only to keep urban vercites in touch with nature but also to infuse the whole of the city with that healthy natural goodness and life through a combination of ley line tapping, networking, etc.

Imagined them as having a partially enclosed steel and glass shell on the outside giving way to a more complete shell made of living wood that's crafted itself as it has grown, leaving the top open to the air. Inside, they're beautiful works of living art. Like the most lush and vibrant park you've ever been in with vercite flora and some fauna overlaid upon it. They seem like a mesh between something planned and something left to grow naturally.

And it's all networked and guided by a central controlling spirit, an Augmented fey. The fey aren't augmented with metal or plastics like vercites, but rather through magic and shifts in their anatomy, often built around making them more compatible with the "circuitry" the grove uses. Most often the plants themselves are the circuitry, all tying back to the fey in charge. The specific one from the adventure is this dryad that may have originally looked like whatever standard Verces dryads look like, but now had this mass of vine-like wiring growing from her head, back, limbs, etc. (I guess one shorthand way to describe is "think of SHODAN, but benevolent and made out of plant matter") She wouldn't be stuck in place, being capable of slowly merging into the network/park itself and reforming elsewhere, possibly always from certain "nodes". Her role would give here a great deal of control over the environment; not to a "reality warping at will" degree, but usually something a bit more subtle. (though she could utilize the flora and fauna in the park itself to protect herself and visitors if needed. The network gives her an extremely empathic link with her grove, which goes both ways for better or worse.

*This is really not the right word I'm looking for, but "closed ecological system" is too unweildy and also inaccurate and "biodome" has too much Pauly Shore baggage.

On the specific kami, the Dosojins have really captured my imagination, wondering how they could be visualized and how they are percieved on a world with both rural roads and super sleek futuristic highways.

Kind of wondering at what kind of kami or other spirits might represent, and can only be seen through, Augmented Reality.

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Y'know, about hte Vercites themselves...

How do most folks think they should be statted up? And how might the caste divisions affect that?

My first instinct is that they should all be human-like floating +2 types with alternate, maybe modular, sets of racial features depending on their caste(with pre-caste young vercites defaulting to Pure Ones).

One could make hte divisions stronger by having alternate stat modifiers for each caste, but I can't help but feel that goes too far in dividing what's really a single race of people, and it feels like it would shoehorn members of those castes more than alternate racial features would(though I could be very wrong there).

Or should there be no mechanical difference at all?


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RE: your spoiler. DUDE. WANT.

Also, Dosojins could be something like the appearance of the statue in Nebbu's dream, only with more high tech parts instead of just precious metals. Could represent various stages of advancement too: part could be wood, others stone, some bits clockwork, some metal-with-highlights (again, Shodan-esque), among others.

Other pictures on google searches to inspire the imagination:
tiny ringed circles humanoid statue

Frikkin' awesome horse (I'd actually recommend something like this after seeing it now)

Metal with glow lines!

Metal lion statue! (I dunno... I just thought it was neat)

styalized metal statue (kind of humanoid, also could be super-recommended)

Modern sculpture (kind of random, but I could see something like "random" geometrical angles coming to life and being a "humanoid-ish" statue that protected)

Clockwork... er... clock! (as above)

Random kind of trippy thing! (It... it just came up in the google search results. I don't know, could be nifty.)

The Borg. (Hey, they're the borg.)

After looking at those, I'd actually recommend something stylized like the horse statue (with the curving, rounded lines) but slightly translucent (maybe a transparent "outside" and opaque "inside"?) and with tron-lines running throughout it in three-dimensional space, and maybe matrix-like-text-scrawl either the running down the tron-lines, or perhaps only raining down in the non-tron-line areas. Perhaps even more Seraph-style appearance when in "battle mode" (the translucent outer shell glowing like he did) with matrix rain-text (of different colors, depending) flowing through the lines. Or something. Anyway, those are some ideas.

On the castes...

The castes are more likely to have caste-based archetypes, I'd say, than stat differentials (being the same race and all, given PF tendencies instead of D&D ones), but I could also see variant optional replacement-racial traits that are available to certain castes and not to others (again going with Pathfinder logic, as opposed to 3.X).

Additionally, they probably have "traits" that are available by caste.

Maaaaaaaaaaybe feats, but I'm not super sold on that idea, and I couldn't really help design them in any case.

For more specifics, I can't help. I really, really want distant worlds, I just don't have it yet.

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Dat horse aesthetic... Kind of visualize that same sleek-curvy look on some of the top-of-the-line speed-oriented vehicles. Like...Street Razor cycles. Either with wheels or hovering...

That clock design probably wouldn't look at all out of place in a temple of Brigh, on Verces or Golarion!

need to post some headcanon aesthetics pictures as well when I'm on a non-work computer

The caste-oriented class archetypes approach really has me wondering at the possibilities... Now I'm back to thinking about Augmented/God-Vessel crossover paladins in blade-winged angeltech armor slicing through the skies...

And yeah, I'd be hesitant on a feat approach too, considering how many there are already. (though there probably would be some supporting whatever new mechanics the Vercites bring with them, of course)

Tacticslion wrote:
For more specifics, I can't help. I really, really want distant worlds, I just don't have it yet.

It's really good. Back to the matter of aesthetics and artwork, the one piece of Vercite art out there is from that book but is also available as an avatar on the boards. Zagnabbit's been using it for quite some time now!


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Every word that you say on this thread makes me want that book more.

... I'm waiting until I can afford it. Stupid sensible financial decisions due primarily to being responsible for babies. Always getting in the way of going bankrupt on Paizo stuff. :(

;)

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Augh, unable to fit in time for much more:

All the electronic music on my iPod has been the soundtrack for Verces in my head. Some of the cover artwork seems like it could work as well, here and there.

Like a heavily Augmented bard equipped primarily for showy public performance. Honestly, there are a ton of fun visuals to get out of bards in this setting. :D

Gonna try and commission some Verces art this or next month. Will post as soon as anything's available!

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Lloyd Jackson wrote:

Something to consider, how do they view time? Our whole idea of hours, minutes, and seconds is based off the day, and calendars off days and season.

Every culture that we know of from the Neolithics that built the first runic circles, to today has based it's time on the sun and the moon. They have a regular rhythm and are tied to changes in the climate, whether it's just wet or dry seasons or full rotations from sun and snow.

I don't see why this would be different for other worlds, given that nothing has the dependable regularity of celestial cycles.


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LazarX wrote:
Lloyd Jackson wrote:

Something to consider, how do they view time? Our whole idea of hours, minutes, and seconds is based off the day, and calendars off days and season.

Every culture that we know of from the Neolithics that built the first runic circles, to today has based it's time on the sun and the moon. They have a regular rhythm and are tied to changes in the climate, whether it's just wet or dry seasons or full rotations from sun and snow.

I don't see why this would be different for other worlds, given that nothing has the dependable regularity of celestial cycles.

It's different because Verces has no moon and the sun never rises or sets! What do you do with that?

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Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Lloyd Jackson wrote:

Something to consider, how do they view time? Our whole idea of hours, minutes, and seconds is based off the day, and calendars off days and season.

Every culture that we know of from the Neolithics that built the first runic circles, to today has based it's time on the sun and the moon. They have a regular rhythm and are tied to changes in the climate, whether it's just wet or dry seasons or full rotations from sun and snow.

I don't see why this would be different for other worlds, given that nothing has the dependable regularity of celestial cycles.

It's different because Verces has no moon and the sun never rises or sets! What do you do with that?

Maybe nothing. Maybe there is no concept of time other than now, some time from now, and awhile before now. Heck time as we know it may be nothing more than a shared consensual invention.

Star patterns may move though. Either that or there is no consistent time marker.


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LazarX wrote:
Star patterns may move though. Either that or there is no consistent time marker.

Stars, yeah, that works. Verces experiences one rotation of the starfield every one of its years, so at least the night side has some way of marking time.


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But if the night side is seen as a cruel thing of Zon Kuthon (it may or may not be), that means that time may very well be seen as a cruel thing of Zon Kuthon too. A very interesting connection between clockwork spined metallic things and torturous spined metallic things. Clockwork style could be seen as something hideous and awful.

... or perhaps they've invented digital chronology.

... or perhaps the night side is instead associated with Desna (what with all the stars). I actually think this one is much more likely considering they're a space-faring race and temporal mechanics are extremely important to finding ones way in space (you need to know how long your voyage is going to take). In fact, as Desna is the god of traveling and stars, and the night side is filled with stars and its the stars that mark time (and the Vercites travel to them), I'd say it's a pretty strong case for Time being considered part of Desna's portfolio on Verces. She suddenly became very, very, very much more important to them.

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Tacticslion wrote:
or perhaps the night side is instead associated with Desna (what with all the stars). I actually think this one is much more likely considering they're a space-faring race and temporal mechanics are extremely important to finding ones way in space (you need to know how long your voyage is going to take).

Remember that magic may make all sorts of calculations that we need to do in the mundane work unneccessary. If you have a magical celestial navigation device, it might be nothing more than "go this way" at key intervals.

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Tacticslion wrote:
But if the night side is seen as a cruel thing of Zon Kuthon (it may or may not be), that means that time may very well be seen as a cruel thing of Zon Kuthon too.

To the ancient Greeks, the gods were frequently cruel, whimsical, and petty, things generally best not to get noticed by. Didn't stop them from peopling the sky with constellations of them though. In fact just about every culture peopled the sky with it's gods and myths.


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I understand what you're saying, but I don't think that fits Pathfinder Campaign Settings thematic elements well (though, of course, you can feel free to disagree!)

Even magic requires a high degree of precision. Otherwise, wizards wouldn't need intelligence to cast them, nevermind the verbal and somatic components (and sorcerers' charisma-based magic could be looked at as a kind of savant innate ability to make complex precise magical formulas instead). And of course the material components: while those aren't mathematical precisely, they are chemical in nature and, even though they don't work in scientific ways, there's something sympathetic at work about them (otherwise guano wouldn't be useful for fireballs), which explains why 3.0 gave wizards 'alchemy' even back when it was its own skill instead of a subtype of craft.

The point is, precise math can be as nifty or not as you wish, even in a fantasy setting with magic to "do stuff" for you, and Golarion (and its related solar system) seems to indicate that it's useful and used in such things.

Point in fact, the existence of a solar system, much less alchemy and firearms, indicates that science mostly works accordance with the rules we're generally familiar with.

Thus, some amount of reliance upon math in addition to magic.

Further, while they might be super-magical (I don't know, I'm still reading), Verecites do rely on technological upgrades (that much is known for sure from art and what little bits I've had time to peruse). That means they need science (and its attendant math) to do so (thus Robot-subtype constructs rather than purely magical constructs, which are found in various places in the solar system).

With the Zon-Kuthon reference, I was specifically building off of Mikaze's previous concept of Zon-Kuthon ruling the night and Sarenrae ruling the day.

I find it very, very interesting that Zon-Kuthon (LE) and Desna (CG) rule the night time in different ways, while Nurgal (CE) and Sarenrae (NG) rule the day. It's not a perfect square of opposing alignments, but it's pretty sweet. My guess is that each are venerated in their own way, and I could definitely see something like Nethys and Gozreh (though perhaps in a shared form with Desna like Shimye-Magalla?) each also being revered for their dualistic natures. That pretty neatly divides the alignment spectrum and covers pretty much any alignment a Verecite might want, and generally fits with the thematic elements I've been picking up. Nethys is mildly problematic in that he's a distinctly Golarion-ascended god... but then again, he's an Osirion ascended god, and they've got just about the most outside contact with the worlds beyond Golarion of anyone from that planet, so, it's not too hard to imagine his name getting around.

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Tacticslion wrote:

I understand what you're saying, but I don't think that fits Pathfinder Campaign Settings thematic elements well (though, of course, you can feel free to disagree!)

The point is that I don't think Golarian space travel is something you want to cast too far in the NASA/Apollo theme. It's essentially the same as sea travel save with the slight addition of a third dimension. (given that Paizo has opted for a classically flat solar system, on the big scale, it's not that different than two dimensional ocean navigation)


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LazarX wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:

I understand what you're saying, but I don't think that fits Pathfinder Campaign Settings thematic elements well (though, of course, you can feel free to disagree!)

The point is that I don't think Golarian space travel is something you want to cast too far in the NASA/Apollo theme. It's essentially the same as sea travel save with the slight addition of a third dimension. (given that Paizo has opted for a classically flat solar system, on the big scale, it's not that different than two dimensional ocean navigation)

Ah, nooowww I gotcha.

I still disagree, but to a lesser extent: the navigation between moons and especially the astroid belt would need hefty three-dimensional travel for a local traveler (i.e. anything the size of an actual ship) to function well, and while star maps could certainly help with that, there's also the varying rotations of the planets to consider.

To be clear, though, I'm less with the NASA/Apollo theme and more the Star Trek-sans-Warp or Star Wars-sans-Hyperdrive themes for Verces. Perhaps, based on the art, more like Aliens/Starship Troopers-level tech (with less horror... at least on some of the planets; but I'm specifically talking about Verces, so less horror) but with more emphasis on tech-replacement. I actually have another series from the nineties entirely - [ooc]it's on the 'tip of my brain' kind of thing, but, to be melodramatic, alas, I cannot recall it now! :)[ooc] - that would be a good analogy for this stuff.

Actually, upon rethinking it yet again, I'm going back toward the Star Trek-sans-Warp technology as being closer. Simply make the Borg not a virus-style thing (and not made of, you know, nearly-dead drones) and you have much of the basis for the augmentation of Verces, complete with nifty specialized pieces of equipment for different tasks. The not-a-drone/not-a-collective thing makes a huge difference, of course.

The other element I didn't mention for needing to know how long your voyage was going to take: food and supplies. While certainly, magic can accomplish this as well (as magic can pretty much accomplish anything) - at least practically for smaller amounts of people -, the Skull and Shackles AP showed that food and supplies is a serious and important thing for sailors of all kinds, and this would be no different. In space, you can't just stop off somewhere for a quick refill - you'd need to make sure you knew where you were going or at the very least had enough to get there.

That might be one reason for the favorable view of augmentation: perhaps augmented don't need to eat as much (photosynthesis implants or 'electrosynthesis' for their augmented parts - again, kind of like borg), and thus the ships piloted by them can be smaller and lighter, escaping and maneuvering more easily. That's actually a really cool way to look at the monk-ships, now, actually. They starve and freeze themselves, but ultimately it's on their path to becoming a new and superior creature... like a [humanoid] worm slowly transforming into a [starship] butterfly, say the Desnites, by enduring Zon Kuthon's cold flaying the weakness from them... and ultimately they will wake up to open their new eyes and souls to the sun and endure the fury of Nurgal (and protect others), never feeling cold or hungry again, as they ready themselves to channel their new 'food' into life giving and power for themselves and their charges, or to destroy those who threaten either (solar beam canon: activate!)... according to Sarenrae's will.

I actually wonder, now, if the religions of the four gods are conflated.

I could actually see a Shimye-Migalla-like deity resulting from Desna and Zon-Kuthon (becoming a neutral entity) and Sarenrae and Nurgal (becoming a chaotic neutral entity) and, perhaps (or perhaps not), Nethys and Gozreh (both neutral, making yet another neutral entity). This would skew the alignment slightly in favor of chaos, and strongly in favor of neutrality of all sorts, so I'm not sold on it, but it's a thought.

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I definitely want to keep all social notions aside in this consideration (so the dark side / light side deities/pantheons not having any influence on this perspective) on the time thing.

Since the line of Verces is in perpetual twilight, they wouldn't necessarily have a good clear view of the night sky, and might not have developed space-peering telescopes to see through it until they could launch satellite probes with telescopes and signal communication (like a Hubble telescope). I would also assume, being a culture which values scientific exploration and study, they would want to develop an objective definition of time cycles - the whole subjective "now-state" or "event-state" descriptions of time would have to be a thing of the past, being subjective and not easily communicated across different cultures and worlds. To this end, perhaps when they nailed down the speed of an electron as it orbits the nucleus of an atom, that became the basis of their *objective* time scale, where they measure seconds, days, months, and annual cycles in the exponential speed of electron spins, stating them as complex exponential values with insanely massive values.

If the sun's energies are more powerful the closer one goes towards the Full Bright, the kinds of plants (tropical, temperate, and evergreen) would also change across the slim latitudinal bands of differing sunlight reception. That might be interesting for some planned or wild gardens or preserves.

On the earlier subject, if the world being in twilight had made peering into the depths of space difficult for a long period of time in Verces' history, until they had enough technological understanding and resources to pierce the veil of the atmosphere, this could make space travel a relatively recent novelty on Verces, and they might have already had many other types of tech or magic-tech developed for decades or centuries before they built their first aetherships to breach the upper atmosphere. Augmentation, mechanical bio-engineering, and understanding on various sciences could have been massively exacerbated before they ever realized their potential to claim the stars above the sky. Furthermore, if their climate is as extreme as a tidally locked planet could entail, they could have had additional challenges simply being outside enough in calm conditions to observe things in the skies above, with the proper resources and information available - and they simply could have been a victim of their own environmentally-imposed cabin fever. Perhaps they are recovering from a manmade environmental catastophe they narrowly avoided, one which had massive practical and sociological implications they inherited through the recent centuries - maybe this leads them to have a more peaceful, trade-oriented, and naturally harmonious, self-sustaining lifestyle and society. In many ways, catastrophes like this could have made major technological advances in some ways, while individual resources, personal rights, and certain other studies may have had more negative consequences and setbacks, with a technological dysjunction that they are only recently bringing into balance after several hard recent generations which made significant progress to this end.

Verces is wonderful, IMHO. It's one of the few First Steps outside of Golarion which tempts the imagination for adventure at many levels of play. Also, with the eventual release of Allen Taliesin's Sailing the Starlit Seas, and any other fan-work based on popular themes of the Spelljammer and Placescape campaign settings which dealt with these themes which come available in the coming years, I am sure this and other similar worlds will only become more popular adventuring hotspots. I mean, who wouldn't want to ride a space-faring starship, no matter how slow it went?!?!

This thread makes me happy. JAMES SUTTER, please feel free to make any necessary clarifications, even if you don't go shpeeling new canon material! We can handle it! ;)
-will


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xidoraven wrote:
I definitely want to keep all social notions aside in this consideration (so the dark side / light side deities/pantheons not having any influence on this perspective) on the time thing.

*Looks at avatar*

You Rakshasa would...

(Neat post and interesting ideas!)

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Man that's a lot ot digest. :D

Another thought on the matter of time: Maybe there's some other cosmic or atmospheric phenomenon(either natural or supernatural) that could play into it too. Like some sort of regular aurora effect. Even without that, there's a lot to play around with now, along with how it could shift in several ways tracing Xidoraven's concepts.

Just had this thought while mulling over the specifics of a Distant Worlds campaign:

Augmentation might be highly ritualized, with great care taken to ensure that any upgrades connect properly with the recipient's mind, body, and/or soul. So it's certainly not butcher's work, and it has an extra layer of mystical or religious consideration laid over surgery already undertaken with utmost ethical care.

So what happens to all those bits and pieces that get replaced? While ritualized disposal might fit, I'm kind of imagining processes a bit like the current mildly unsettling LifeGem approach in the real world: Take the carbonized remains and use them in the fabrication of the augments that are being used. Maybe the parts that are wholly or partially composed of their recycled body parts make up critical elements of their augments, or maybe they compose the outer aesthetic elements, like embedded gems or gildwork. This would mean that even if someone wound up with a full body conversion, there could still be a part of their body present, completing hte mind/body/soul union, which might be a big deal for Vercites and may even be a critical component of proper Augmentation.

This also has some implications when dealing with certain kinds of magic and other supernatural elements that would hinge on the presense of old bodies(like say a sorcerer bloodline), while not countering their new nature entirely(no actual flesh present).

Then again, I'm not so sure even the most thoroughly Augmented would have none of their old flesh. Can't help but see them going down to a shell-protected cyberbrain "black box" at the most extreme, Ghost In The Shell style. But the repurposing of replaced flesh and bone could still be a big deal for religious, psychological, and supernatural purposes, from the practical to the sentimental.

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Just had to think about that when considering the possibilities of PCs carrying important information hidden in their genetic code and full body-conversions neccessitated by extreme injuries.

Kind of like thinking of the processes of Augmentation running along those lines. Lots of rules in place to ensure that it's all done properly and that the true nature of the subject's mind and soul are unharmed, which adds an extra bit of weight to when some folks might engage in offering augmentation, or forcing it, without going through those safety measures or outright rejecting them in favor of inflicting their "improvements" on others.

While entrance into the Augmented caste is a matter of individual choice, I can totally see counselors or all sorts being in place to ensure that folks are mentally, physically, and spiritually prepared for certain levels of augmentation. Not as a matter of exclusion or worthiness, but for the safety and welfare of the individual in question. Getting a HUD system in an optical upgrade might not be a big deal, but anything that goes deep and could affect the core of who a person is would totally call for a check up to make sure they're ready for it.

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Thinking about this picture and similar visuals again...

I can totally see a bard archetype or other alternate options based not only on playing up sonic attacks, but also whose song abilities enable them to record then sample and remix the music and sounds of others, then play it right back, either amplifying the music of their allies or subverting the music of enemies.

Imagining an Augmented bard facing off against a devil, and playing back its boasts and threats in an utterly demeaning manner, cut with the samples of celestials singing, their voices presented with greater power, and all of it pumped out of their audiogear to embolden allies.

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xidoraven wrote:

If the sun's energies are more powerful the closer one goes towards the Full Bright, the kinds of plants (tropical, temperate, and evergreen) would also change across the slim latitudinal bands of differing sunlight reception. That might be interesting for some planned or wild gardens or preserves.

Augmentation, mechanical bio-engineering, and understanding on various sciences could have been massively exacerbated before they ever realized their potential to claim the stars above the sky. Furthermore, if their climate is as extreme as a tidally locked planet could entail, they could have had additional challenges simply being outside enough in calm conditions to observe things in the skies above, with the proper resources and information available - and they simply could have been a victim of their own environmentally-imposed cabin fever.

You know, the cabin fever idea really clicks with what's presented in Distant Worlds. As a people they really do seem eager to get out and meet new people, given the descriptions of how open and welcoming they seem to be with offworlders.

On the matter of a possible disaster from which they're recovering/have recovered, yeah...that could be a huge part of their current caste system. And it might be a hard learned lesson the leadership of Kashak have forgotten. (it might also be the source of the Bird-Men of Qidel!)

Can't stop thinking about the possibilities for plant-life now...

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Tacticslion wrote:
That's actually a really cool way to look at the monk-ships, now, actually. They starve and freeze themselves, but ultimately it's on their path to becoming a new and superior creature... like a [humanoid] worm slowly transforming into a [starship] butterfly, say the Desnites, by enduring Zon Kuthon's cold flaying the weakness from them... and ultimately they will wake up to open their new eyes and souls to the sun and endure the fury of Nurgal (and protect others), never feeling cold or hungry again, as they ready themselves to channel their new 'food' into life giving and power for themselves and their charges, or to destroy those who threaten either (solar beam canon: activate!)... according to Sarenrae's will.

I'm falling in love with the ideas and visuals coming out of this, especially the Desnan metamorphosis angle.

One thing about the Ascetics of Nar stand out with that in mind:

For all they endure from the harsh environment of Darkside, and for all the pain they have to push through, and for all that suffering that might be attributed to Zon-Kuthon...

They have the best naked eye view of the stars of any vercites on the planet. That's the Desna part. That's what they contemplate. Even as they sit in place, pieces of them falling off, their eyes and minds explore the cosmos over their heads. Committing them to memory, not just learning the map of the stars, but feeling it. Both humbled and uplifted by the vast illuminated void. So expansive, so full of potential.

Eyes on the prize.


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Mikaze wrote:

Man that's a lot ot digest. :D

Another thought on the matter of time: Maybe there's some other cosmic or atmospheric phenomenon(either natural or supernatural) that could play into it too. Like some sort of regular aurora effect. Even without that, there's a lot to play around with now, along with how it could shift in several ways tracing Xidoraven's concepts.

Just had this thought while mulling over the specifics of a Distant Worlds campaign:

Augmentation might be highly ritualized, with great care taken to ensure that any upgrades connect properly with the recipient's mind, body, and/or soul. So it's certainly not butcher's work, and it has an extra layer of mystical or religious consideration laid over surgery already undertaken with utmost ethical care.

So what happens to all those bits and pieces that get replaced? While ritualized disposal might fit, I'm kind of imagining processes a bit like the current mildly unsettling LifeGem approach in the real world: Take the carbonized remains and use them in the fabrication of the augments that are being used. Maybe the parts that are wholly or partially composed of their recycled body parts make up critical elements of their augments, or maybe they compose the outer aesthetic elements, like embedded gems or gildwork. This would mean that even if someone wound up with a full body conversion, there could still be a part of their body present, completing hte mind/body/soul union, which might be a big deal for Vercites and may even be a critical component of proper Augmentation.

This also has some implications when dealing with certain kinds of magic and other supernatural elements that would hinge on the presense of old bodies(like say a sorcerer bloodline), while not countering their new nature entirely(no actual flesh present).

Then again, I'm not so sure even the most thoroughly Augmented would have none of their old flesh. Can't help but see them going down to a shell-protected cyberbrain "black box" at the most extreme, Ghost In...

Or you can take a (creepy) page from the Oz books. Maybe the discarded body parts get recycled into some really creepy techno flesh golems.


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That could actually be useful, too, to create laborers who could do stuff for the Vercites beyond the narrow borders of their world, though it would quickly trend toward evil, with the animate dead spell prerequisite.

One other possible use for organs and left-over flesh: fertilizer. You don't exactly have a huge ecosystem, and taking flesh, making it into compost, and using it to enhance/tend for the plants, while slightly creepy in some ways to our sensibilities, actually makes a lot of sense, when dealing with a society that reveres both nature and tech. In their own way, the "tech pushers" would be doing the "nature lovers" a favor, by providing them necessary biomass to ensure healthy plants; they'd only speed up the cycle a bit.

Of course, when getting into discussions of recycling, you have to consider the tech folks' parts: are they recyclable, one-use, or what? But you also have to consider Verces' energy acceptance/output. Do they use sustainable sources only (or at least mostly)?

While a lot of this is beginning to delve beyond "cool flavor", I'm actually becoming intrigued by the questions it raises and what this means about the society, and the Augmented, Pure Ones, and God-Vessels.

Also very interesting that I just noticed, is the line about how the Pure Ones "can count on traditionalist members of the God-Vessels to back them against any challenge to the status quo." That... suddenly sounds an awful lot like Erastil might be all up in this biznuz somewhere, which is quite surprising to me.

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I enjoy the carbon-infusion idea, and the fertilizer (this jives with the past ecological disaster idea), and even though I am not a fan of the flesh-golem idea (too obvious and predictable for a tech society), using said part-creatures with resistance to the harsh terrains on the extreme sides could indeed be very helpful, and the perfect setup for corruption and misuse by necro-peeps.

I love brainstorming like this. I only wish we could nail more things down, rather than just creating new possibilities without any concrete benchmarks....

Great input and responses, everyone. :) Loving this thread. We should do this with all the worlds.


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Well... back when Erastil taught humanoids to first hunt, and farm, he was depicted as a elk-headed humanoid, not a human. He isn't listed among the ascended gods, and nothing ties him to golarion specifically, so maybe. In an environment as crazy are Verces, changing things related to food production could be really risky. "You want to forsake the traditions that have preserved us for millenia?" Leading to a strong traditionalist streak for the Pure Ones. Maybe that's part of the reason they keep to the low tech? "You desire to go gallivanting across the stars, change your body to fit your whims, and experience all the universe has to offer? Very well, you may do so. And may the Star-song bless you. I will stay here and tend the fields of Xanatu, like my father and his father before him back to when the Stag-spirit first taught us the secrets of the field. And when I am returned to the earth, my son will take my place, and our stewardship will continue until the ending of the world."

Sorry, not sure where that popped out of. Also, as a totally off-topic aside, I love this sentence from the article on Torag "He gets along well with Erastil, perhaps the only deity more curmudgeonly than he is." I just see these them as two vigorous, old men whose friday drinking ritual is so set that nobody has to say anything. It's just the way it is, for so long that maybe only Desna remembers the first time they met in an open field and shared some mead.

I'm with Mikaze for falling in love with the images this thread inspires. I think the idea of keeping a part of the replaced bit in the augmentation fits really well. You may upgrade something to better perform a function, but you never forget what it was originally. Kind of like the relationship between Augmented and Pure Ones.

Back to an earlier question about racial modifiers Mikaze posed, I wonder if the Lashunta provide a good fit here. A single modifier common to the entire race with a bonus, and penalty, that corrospond to particular castes? Not sure if that would be too shoehorny. Alternate racial traits, depending on how much affect they have, could do this as well, as you suggested. I'm actually leaning towards a combination of ability score, racial, and class/archtype differences. A Pure One bard(Thundercaller/Animal Speaker) would be quite different from the Augmented bard you've posted.(Sound Striker?) What think ye?

My final request/thought of the post, I want some thoughts on the water cycle. How does it work people?

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Lloyd Jackson wrote:
My final request/thought of the post, I want some thoughts on the water cycle. How does it work people?

Any water that goes too far sunside evaporates and may be lost forever. Any that goes too far darkside freezes.

Brownian motion would lead water vapor to attempting to go in both directions, only to perhaps be pushed back by the agitated air of the hotside, and 'slope' towards the cooler air of the darkside. Communities closer to darkside would likely go on expeditions to carve up ice and blocks of snow forming on darkside and drag it back towards the equatorial regions to use as a water supply, as it doesn't seem likely that much in the way of rivers would form naturally.

Without seasons, the tops of mountains nearer to darkside (or the shadowy sides of mountains closer to sunside?) might trap some moisture, but probably not enough to create snowmelt-fueled river systems, since any moisture that did freeze atop mountains would just stay there until it turned into glaciers and rolled down under it's own weight, as there's no 'spring' or 'summer' to melt it.

There might be a perpetual 24/7 'dew cycle' going on in the shadows of those mountains closer to sun-side, as water collects on the cooler perpetually shaded sides of mountains closer whose other side is in constant sunshine, and then pours down that cooler mountain side to form mountain side lakes, shielded from the sun.

I'm not sure such a water cycle would be naturally stable, or require some occasional outside input, in the form of icy comets being plotzed down, or gates to the elemental plane of water, or some other form of conjuration (water) magic or portal or whatever.

If a significant percentage of the world's water supply is frozen at the far side, in the center of the 'dark pole,' and has to be mined out and dragged sunward to irrigate crops, etc., that might make for an interesting sort of industry / resource management / source of caravans / etc.

Does Verces have a moon? Tidal forces might explain some odd water behavior, perhaps, with an equatorial moon dragging a local ocean more towards dark side based on it's rotation.

If water vapor does end up dispersing out over the sunside as well, while effectively 'lost' to the humanoid life of the equatorial regions, it's possible that desert creatures adapted to life on sunside have means of extracting it from the air, and the 'desert' of sunside might have more living creatures than an arid earthly desert, and have a higher concentration of water vapor than we'd expect, perhaps even with low-lying areas being shrouded in perpetual fog (providing a welcome cover for the creatures seeking to cool down a bit and get out of the direct sunlight, as well as helping them hydrate, making foggy patches quite dangerous, since various critters may be resting there already...).

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Posting on the go, but IIRC Verces doesn't have any moons. I think it was stated as "possesses no satellites other than the Skydock".

Maybe there's an alternate way to get tidal forces into play? Nothing's coming to mind at the moment...

Gah, so many ideas spinning out of what everyone's saying. Lloyd Jackson's thoughts on Erastil have me wondering just what the heck he would look like to Vercites... Guy with the head of a hairless deer-like animal, with fleshy antennae-antlers tipped with crystaline formations that serve as both weapons and a means of communication within the species? Or something with a completely different symmetry from his Golarion appearance?


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Thanks. I think you'd still have a water cycle to some extant, hot moist air flowing darkside with cold dry air flowing towards fullbright, leading to rain, snow, etc.

One of the interesting things about a tidally locked planet is that you can still have plate tectonics, at least that was my impression from some previously posted articles, could be wrong. I'm wondering about a pacific ocean size glacier on darkside that slowly flows toward darkside, running alongside the raised continents, gradually melting into rivers that continue to flow in that direction until they evaporate. Of course mountains, valleys, and other terrain features could pool the water into ponds, lakes, and seas just as we have here.

This could really alter the habitable zone, with areas of the 'line' following the 'oceanic plain's' glacial rivers far into the fullbright, with habitations gradually increasing in elevation as you move towards darkside.

Now the map of Verces that we have seems to show water flowing from the poles with a great river essentially running through the middle of the line. The only way that makes sense to me is if the line is also a depression, a slight trench circling the world from north to south. In which case you don't have a river so much as you have a very long squiggly ocean. We need a detailed topographical and meterological maps of this planet! Pardon me all, I'm off to bug James about who did the maps on Verces.

*Edit looking at the map again, the nation of Kashak, the heavily augmented one that's making people nervous, is missing it's fullbright half. According to text, most nations on Verces extend from one side of the line to the other, segmenting the ring, making it so each usually only touches two. So may fellow Vercians, how/why is Kashak missing it's other half?

*Edit 2. There may be something to melt snow build up, not just on mountains, but plains as well. One of the things covered in the articles is that although air flows between the two sides, which air mass is at the bottom changes depending on where you are on the map. Near the equator the warm air mass is actually beneath the cold air, while near the poles cold air takes it's rightful place on the bottom. What this implies is that somewhere in the temperate zone the two air masses switch. The cold air mass could occasionally flip down on the equator or up on the poles as well. This sort of thing could really affect the water supply. Imagine if your ground air stream went from darkside to fullbright. Things would melt in a hurry.

*Edit 3 Correct, no moon.

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Lloyd Jackson wrote:
Thanks. I think you'd still have a water cycle to some extant, hot moist air flowing darkside with cold dry air flowing towards fullbright, leading to rain, snow, etc.

The thing I'm having trouble wrapping my head around, is, why would the air move at all?

Weather on earth comes about because warm air expands and cool air contracts, and the movement of the sun's light over the surface of the earth causes these sections of warming air and cooling air to be in constant motion.

On a tide-locked planet, the warm side is always warm, and the cool side is always cool. The areas where the air is agitated and expanded remains in one place, and the areas where it is still and contracted also remains stationary, so there would be no wind. The air would just sit there. Warmer on one side. Cooler on the other. Moisture would spread through the air from evaporation of any water that came anywhere near sunside, rise into the air and spread out. As Brownian motion spread it out, some of it would crawl back towards the equator, but other parts of it would be drawn sunside, and remain trapped as vapor. Eventually, sunside would be so muggy that the liquid would precipitate, and almost immediately evaporate back into vapor, making some areas of sunside perhaps in a constant drizzle.

Perhaps the migration of water throughout the atmosphere would create a very, very weak sort of 'breeze,' but, without night and day moving around the globe, there shouldn't be any wind at all, as I understand it. (And I'm no meteorologist...)

Wind effects might be generated by different densities of atmosphere being somehow disrupted and intermingled, with each struggling to get back to it's proper 'layer' once leaving the area of disruption, but I'm not sure what sort of 'disruption' would be sufficient to create global weather effects without also rendering the planet lifeless...


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If one side of the planet is hot, the air will be less dense than on the cold side. Colder, denser air will flow toward the warm regions while warmer, less-dense air will flow towards the colder regions. You actually see this sort of thing happening every day, like when you open the refrigerator door and your toes are suddenly freezing. Definitely lots of movement potential just from the differentials. No rotation needed. The lack of rotation or tilt should mean that air flows are more constant though. No shifting of the jet stream, etc.
If you set up a tank of water with heating and cooling units on either side you'll end up with an area that rotates in an elliptical shape, at least that's what happened with ours, but our tank was long and shallow. Dye makes it easier to see. It's pretty fun if you've got some spare time in a lab, or a fish tank at home, though I don't know how big it needs to be to work.

Scarab Sages

So, convection resulting from warm air rising and cold air sinking would create a different sort of airflow, with cool air (eventually being warmed as it travels away from darkside into warmer climes) subducting under warm planes of air (being cooled as they travel higher and away from sunside) and then, somewhere around the equator, flipping around with the formerly cool air having warmed enough to rise and the formerly warm air having cooled enough to sink, creating weather at the equator.

Yeah, I could see that as a source of weather, and even rain and stuff, as the vapor humidity unable to precipitate on sunside is finally cooled in it's travel to the equator enough that it can fall as rain or snow or whatever.

It just wasn't gelling in my head, since it's so different than how our own weather systems tend to work, being caused by air being heated up and cooled every 12 hours or so as the sun's light moves across the surface of the planet.


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Those were my thoughts as well, makes things like the location of the ascetic's place make more sense. In the middle of darkside, there might not be any weather, just an endless, perfectly clear, night. Good if you want to meditate on the perfection of the stars.

You're right, it is really different. Something I've been wondering about this weather system, without daily and seasonal differences in radiation, and from the map what appears to be a lack of continents or large mountain ranges, weather at the equator may be pretty consistent. With hemisphere sized air masses moving overhead, and nothing to disrupt them, in places it could very well rain constantly. Every minute of every year could be a hurricane like downpour.

This could relate back to their relatively new space program despite being quite advanced. If the line is constantly under tropical storm conditions, and the only places clear enough to see are out in the wastelands of darkside, it might be a while before you really notice the rest of the universe. Once you do, since you can't see it at home, clouds, light, etc. It really wouldn't be on people's that much anyway. Also, though it is the most fertile region, the line's constant storms could make it much more difficult to advance certain things. What'cha think? Would the line look like a constant belt of storm cloud ringing the planet?

Lantern Lodge

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Hot spring-fed freshwater cenotes and underwater river systems?

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I can't stop thinking about the weather phenomena, and the tidally-locked planet theories.

While it might seem that a light, breezy, nearly non-existent atmospheric mixing is the natural result of such a planetary composition, it's not very exciting. What if, instead, in the far past - when Vercites were moving from their industrial to their modern era, and completely succeeding in setting themselves up for an ecological catastrophe - the top leading scholars on the subject of weather patterns (which have always been a point of contention, for being so fickle on the points of rainfall and growth seasons, etc.) publicly promoted negative activities as a means of creating an atmospheric composition which would create more dynamic and sustainable weather patterns. Although the weather did take the forecast pattern for about a decade, the balancing factors of the planet's hydro-thermodynamics tipped back, throwing the weather into nearly three times as long in terrible weather catastrophe, which surprisingly many people survived.

As a result, learning from these setbacks, and utilizing the proper technology and magical innovations, they work to return their planet's natural processes, and as a result, the weather is usually calm and hospitable around 60% of the time, but there is a large segment of time where the weather becomes strangely erratic and stormy, changing from only the active equatorial regions to the polar territories. While it is difficult to get sustained precipitation over the whole year, certain practices (as outlined above), water-creation magic-tech and eco-safe weather machines, and more reasonable modern practices (strongly influenced by the natural groups [Erastil, etc.]) have made things easier on the whole - and the stormy season has become a time of togetherness, where groups and families can congregate inside from the unusually turbulent weather - a constant reminder of their past behaviors.

This feels more right to me, despite the lack of practical backing. Then again, Golarion has a hurricane that doesn't end, and stays in one place. You tell me how much sense it has to make!


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Building on what xidoraven said (which was built off of the fascinating conversation between Set and Lloyd) I could see potent druids being almost entirely necessary for the current status-quo (with Control Weather)... and thus another balancing factor and another reason Verces loves themselves some natural 'balance'.

Given the possibility of permanent super-storms due to tidal locking and presupposing some previous cataclysm that was the result of failed experimentation of the past, it makes tremendous sense that druids (or clerics with the weather domain... actually what would go a long way to explaining power the God-Vessels wield) would eventually be the ones to restore 'balance' to the broken, threatened world. Especially if the cleric to initiate such things was Erastilian, the world would definitely tend to listen to her, and thus create a balanced system focusing on community and tradition, even while its radical groups sought to explore ever-farther outward.

Also, if Verces was tidally locked due to past experimentation, that means the dark side might be a tremendously potent window to the past technological glories... and a potent reminder of past technological failures. This would be another reason why the monks (who seek to ultimately become one with super-tech) would go meditate on this side: to remind themselves that they must still approach all things in balance. Literally, it's the ultimate lesson in humility: "Yes, you may be about to become a super-awesome laser-blasting uberbeing and be something that many other creatures come to depend on to live, but remember: all that power didn't stop people from making dumb mistakes in the past; be wiser than they were, be humble."

Also building off of xidoraven and Lloyd's points: a combination of perpetual twilight and storm clouds for ages would definitely hamper any sort of potential realizing that there were stars out there.

Given the nature of weather, though, (even granted that theirs doesn't work like ours) wouldn't the dark side be ever-foggier and colder until it turned to ice (due to the cold condensing the clouds and pushing them lower)? Before the advent of balance-restoring druids, the Vercites could very well have looked at the foggy wall-thing as the literal "the end of the world". They'd literally feel very Nordic in their view of things as the hot part of the world meets the cold part of the world, and they'd live in Midgard or "middle earth" which had the balance between the two. The difference is, they'd have absolute proof of their middle earth theories, and it wouldn't be that difficult to show.

Also, people who'd wander out into the fog-wall? They'd likely never come back. It gets so cold so quickly, and they'd be effectively blind in the situation... very precarious.

Of course, the fog could have been seen as a 'savior-shield' from the brilliant light, too, depending on their interpretation.

...

... so I've gotten way off the topic of current Vercite theory and into theoretical past (probably-now-defunct) religious ideas. Sorry.

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