WORMSKIN

12/23/2010

Gorgon-style Interplanetary Phantasy

One of the things I enjoyed about the old Quantique stuff was the pleasing goulashing of Weird Tales-ish bizarrerie with Gygaxian naturalist seasonings. I want to continue that approach with 8th Planet. To this end I've come up with some principles to define the particular flavor I'm going for. I don't vouch for the originality of any of these ideas -- in fact the reason I've chosen them is because they represent the "tried-and-true" stuff that can be easily Lego'd into a D&D foundation. Ultimately I want to be able to evoke a place that conjures up the weird/exotic rush of a good Clark Ashton Smith or Jack Vance story.

Principles of interplanetary phantasy, Gorgonically speaking:
  1. Ancient, pseudo-ancient, and sufficiently advanced technologies exist side-by-side.
  2. The existence of extra-dimensional realities.
  3. Clarke's Third Law: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
  4. "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." Humanity's origins are part of its distant past and have been forgotten. Man behaves in much the same way as he always has. He is obsessed with wealth, privilege and status and the domination of other living things.
  5. The local setting is unstable and only semi-civilized.
  6. Indigenous races of other worlds are (a) of sub-human intelligence or (b) advanced beyond human development. Many of the latter type are extinct though evidence of their cultures remains. Such antiquities are prized by humans on both a practical and spiritual level. They facilitate the reassembly of ancient knowledge.
  7. Deep space travel is rare. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of years go by without visitors from humanity's more civilized worlds.
  8. Interplanetary travel is possible by ship as well as a local system of teleportation gates.
  9. The technologies (space travel, psionics, mechanization, etc) are strictly the domains of monk-like brotherhoods. Therefore they are not entirely understood by or accessible to the layman.
  10. Focus should be on the frontier -- the edge -- the fringes of civilization. On untamed worlds and environments.

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