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Old 02-23-2018, 12:26 AM   #221
PTTG
 
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Default Re: New Sci Fi Setting Seeds

Here's a thought. What sort of future path leads to a moderately anarchic near-future (50-100 years) without being an outright apocalypse, post- or otherwise?

My thoughts tend to a combination of some technological development enabling economic decentralization combined with some kind of successful attempt, by small powers, to drive large powers to fracture.

I don't see a particular way to bring about a mostly uniform, decentralized way of life without some kind of catastrophe (either causing the decentralization or caused by it). In particular, any force able to be unified enough to break up the current centers of power would, by its very nature, be a new center of power unless destroyed.

Maybe throw in a few EMPs and a plague or two so the population's been dramatically reduced but there's no outright destruction. Anyway, thoughts on it?
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Old 02-23-2018, 07:30 AM   #222
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Default Re: New Sci Fi Setting Seeds

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Originally Posted by PTTG View Post
Here's a thought. What sort of future path leads to a moderately anarchic near-future (50-100 years) without being an outright apocalypse, post- or otherwise?

My thoughts tend to a combination of some technological development enabling economic decentralization combined with some kind of successful attempt, by small powers, to drive large powers to fracture.

I don't see a particular way to bring about a mostly uniform, decentralized way of life without some kind of catastrophe (either causing the decentralization or caused by it). In particular, any force able to be unified enough to break up the current centers of power would, by its very nature, be a new center of power unless destroyed.

Maybe throw in a few EMPs and a plague or two so the population's been dramatically reduced but there's no outright destruction. Anyway, thoughts on it?
For tech steal from Stormwatch. The Engineer has nanotech linked to plants that could use photosynthesis to produce an incredible variety of goods in unlimited volume. Just tone it down a bit. Anyplace that can grow crops can produce most of the basic industrial goods needed. Add in some form of Cold Fusion and highly useful but non-singularity robotics, and something that isn't AI but can pull a lot of economic weight anyway, and vola, wealth is widespread and special advantages rare. Heck, isolated pacific islands can produce all they need for larger populations than they now have while retaining far more of their traditional cultures.

Any good for you?
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Old 02-23-2018, 07:47 AM   #223
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Default Re: New Sci Fi Setting Seeds

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Originally Posted by PTTG View Post
Here's a thought. What sort of future path leads to a moderately anarchic near-future (50-100 years) without being an outright apocalypse, post- or otherwise?

My thoughts tend to a combination of some technological development enabling economic decentralization combined with some kind of successful attempt, by small powers, to drive large powers to fracture.

I don't see a particular way to bring about a mostly uniform, decentralized way of life without some kind of catastrophe (either causing the decentralization or caused by it). In particular, any force able to be unified enough to break up the current centers of power would, by its very nature, be a new center of power unless destroyed.

Maybe throw in a few EMPs and a plague or two so the population's been dramatically reduced but there's no outright destruction. Anyway, thoughts on it?
You need a 90% population reduction, probably caused by the release of a series of biological weapons during a conflict. A weaponized version of Ebola (with a delayed manifestation of symptoms during the contagious period and respiratory transmission) could kill off 50% of humanity. A weaponized version of the Pneumonic Plague (with resistance to antibiotics) could have similar global lethality. Add it a weaponized version of Smallpox (with increased lethality), and you could reduce global populations by 87.5% with a year of all three disease being released. The remaining casualties would come from the collapse of the distribution systems of food and medicine.
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Old 02-23-2018, 08:16 AM   #224
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I don't see a particular way to bring about a mostly uniform, decentralized way of life without some kind of catastrophe (either causing the decentralization or caused by it).
The reason people have centralized ways of life in the first place is because they derive benefits from them. That there isn't any way of removing them without also losing those benefits really ought to be obvious, but somehow....

Breaking up big institutions automatically means a lot of people are worse off than they would be. You can mitigate that by having some other factor make everybody drastically better off - this is usually either those various forms of cheap energy and miracle productivity, or by playing up the intangible benefits like "feeling of community" or "oneness with nature" and asserting they outweigh the losses. But the advantages of cooperation are big enough that explaining why people fail to organize into ever larger cooperative units almost requires something fairly nasty that interferes with the effort.

Though it might not necessarily look like a *disaster* from their viewpoint - ours seems to be "nationalism" these last couple centuries, and lots of people think that's a good thing. A widely popular suitable ideology could work, it just makes the place somewhat alien from the point of view of most of your audience.
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Old 02-23-2018, 08:20 AM   #225
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{Atlantis:The Godswar!!!}

This is inspired by a discussion of White Wolf's old game Aberrant and the desire from a Trinity Atlantis setting. Here's my idea.

During a brutal war among supers of many lands a powerful being (basically a mixture of Doctor Who, Doctor Strange, and Martian Manhunter) leads a group of mid-level supers and other humans back in time to a period about 14,000 years ago, when Vega was the North Star. Since the Time Traveler was aware that the supers war would lead to a period of high tech fascism that would last several millennia, and he was fond of many things about the English speaking peoples he knew would be totally lost, he sought to create a safe base to send a colonizing mission to the Small Magellanic Cloud so that the best of that culture could be saved.

Bases where set up in places were the raising seas of the Holocene, still millennia in the future, would scour away all the evidence. The migration settled down to build their future and recover the Earth's lost secrets. In a generation they built fine cities. They had achieved Tech Level 12 because of all the available super tech the Time Traveler and other tech oriented supers brought or worked on. The Time Traveler created a passage to the Small Magellanic Cloud and settlements where built to terraform a dozen worlds for humanity.

About three hundred years after the founding, a powerful super with vast psionic abilities rose up. She was called Zodin the Terrible, terrible meaning awesome and indescribable at that time. Zodin was one of a group of thinkers who held that human history and civilization was a warped mistake, especially Western Civilization, and humanity should abandon all technology and be prevented from ever having any. Zodin saw all of human history as an abomination and a crime.

The Time Traveler realizing that Zodin meant to warp and limit all human minds on the Earth to enforce her vision of Utopia for the rest of human evolutionary history moved to stop her. She drove the Time Traveler mad, but he killed her. The Time Traveler fled forward in history becoming the Doctor, and Iris Wildthyme, the Master, the Rani, and several others. The Time Traveler is slowly healing, but knows little their past. Zodin as a horror and antagonist remains in their mind.

Atlantis slowly recovered from the fight. The colony worlds are becoming inhabitable and settlements are on each world. These settlements are democracies. Meanwhile, Zodin's cultural clique wasn't made by her, it made her. There is a strong minority in Atlantis that wants to erase human history. They seek to form their own utopias. Not one vision of Utopia, several different ideals of Utopia. Some feel humanity needs a Mystical Theocracy to guide it. Others seek a to build a Monarchy guided by Enlightened Philosophy. Others seek to sustain the primitive and prevent the rise of civilization in the first place. Others simply seek power. Still others care only for their own pleasures and whims.

The PCs would be the guardians of History and of Human Free Will. They would strive to allow humanity the right to make their own mistakes and learn their own lessons. They know that after the millennia long rule of the techno fascists humanity overthrows them and goes on to achieve a profoundly good and noble civilization. Something truly worthy and worthwhile. The PCs are the guardians of that future, and of their own people's right to go to the stars and seek their own dreams and wonders. Or maybe the PCs could go off and seek to become gods. It would be your game.
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Last edited by Astromancer; 02-24-2018 at 12:47 PM.
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Old 02-23-2018, 10:59 AM   #226
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Default Re: New Sci Fi Setting Seeds

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Originally Posted by PTTG View Post
Here's a thought. What sort of future path leads to a moderately anarchic near-future (50-100 years) without being an outright apocalypse, post- or otherwise?

My thoughts tend to a combination of some technological development enabling economic decentralization combined with some kind of successful attempt, by small powers, to drive large powers to fracture.

I don't see a particular way to bring about a mostly uniform, decentralized way of life without some kind of catastrophe (either causing the decentralization or caused by it). In particular, any force able to be unified enough to break up the current centers of power would, by its very nature, be a new center of power unless destroyed.

Maybe throw in a few EMPs and a plague or two so the population's been dramatically reduced but there's no outright destruction. Anyway, thoughts on it?
A civil war in any large country will have that effect. We don't really need sci fi. We just need a to read a good Ostern and imagine it happening again. Watch Dr Zhivago or read Eastern Approaches, or some of Peter Hopkirk's stuff.
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Old 02-23-2018, 12:39 PM   #227
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Default Re: New Sci Fi Setting Seeds

Wouldn't a major country collapsing into civil war simply create a power vacuum that would be quickly filled by some other force?
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Old 02-23-2018, 01:31 PM   #228
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Wouldn't a major country collapsing into civil war simply create a power vacuum that would be quickly filled by some other force?
Historically it is just as common for them to want to stay out of it or to only intervene in to small a degree to change the context of the situation. While there was intervention in the Russian and Chinese Civil Wars it did not quickly fill the power vacuum nor stop it from degenerating into something like a Mad Max setting.
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Old 02-23-2018, 02:47 PM   #229
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Default Re: New Sci Fi Setting Seeds

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Wouldn't a major country collapsing into civil war simply create a power vacuum that would be quickly filled by some other force?
Eventually, yeah. The benefits of concentrated human intellect and concentrated human labor are pretty well established, by now. It might take a generation or two, though, depending on the cause(s) of the disintegration.

I don't think a benign innovation would be enough to fracture modern urban society, though. A zero-point power source, or something, gets implemented in cities faster than anywhere else, because that's where the wealth will be made.

Make resource extraction less important, and rural areas dry up even more quickly than they're doing, already.

No, you'd need something that either eliminated the cities, outright, or made people want to abandon them, and that would have to be catastrophic.
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Old 02-23-2018, 03:57 PM   #230
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An alternative idea would be to have a society where human civilization has abandoned the Earth (either because of ecological collapse or because of ecological preservation) and spread out across the Sol System. Even if the population of the Sol System was 20 billion, it would feel empty if it took an average of a month to travel between space colonies. If the average space colony possesses a population of 800,000, then the Sol System would possess 25,000 city-states.

Even if the majority of the space colonies (20,000) were located in the Main Belt, it would still seem rather empty, as they would occupy ~19 cubic AU (~64 trillion trillion cubic kilometers). With an average separation of nearly 19 million kilometers, each space colony would experience a more profound physical isolation than any settlement in human history. Each space colony would have to be self-sufficient, attached to a small asteroid that provides the raw materials for the systems that support its population, but it would likely trade only information, and even communication would be difficult with over a two minute delay in responses.
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