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You may be stepping on some copyright toes with the lone red hammer as the symbol. I have a couple of ideas in the works if anyone on the team's interested. The Inventor's Guild should definitely have a logo.... So I'll see what I can come up with for that.

 

We already have a symbol for the builders. And for the inventor's guild. It's nice that you guys are so enthusiastic, but a lot of this has already been addressed behind the scenes.

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One question that i have is, how common people see this paranormal things, and how they affects their life,

 

Not quite sure what you mean by paranormal...that term wouldn't have any meaning to people of the time (since they don't have any real understanding of what "normal" is).

 

Magic is a tangible force in The Dark Mod setting. Most people encounter it in some form or another on a regular basis. As it was in our own history, the line between "magic" and "science" is not well defined--most people see alchemy and mathematics as just another form of magic (or magic as just another form of science, if you prefer).
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@DigitalNapalm: I'm not so sure I like the idea of having rubber. In the real world, rubber is (originally) a New World product, and synthetics were invented to supplant a lack of natural rubber. Now, synthetic rubber would not have been invented for a very long time if people were not already aware of the usefulness of rubber--and at the earliest, would not be seen until polymerization and plastics entered into general usage, most likely.

 

Rubber is extremely vital to how our current society operates, and if the Builders and Inventor's Guild have never discovered rubber, they would be severely limited in their capacity to achieve. In fact, their technology would be essentially limited to a medieval level, with exceptions--most of which would be fairly rare. Hey! That sounds exactly like the Dark Mod universe! That's why I am extremely hesitant to introduce rubber. It's a hop, skip and a jump away from vulcanization and then it's the Rubber Revolution.

 

Without the almighty rubber, Diesel and Stirling engines, while still enormously useful, become extremely limited compared to their modern incarnations. In fact, it would be likely that they would be considered by and large novelties (particularly the Diesel engine). Fuel would be vastly limited in comparison to coal and even wood, and the primary (initial) users of Diesel engines, farmers (they are the ones who have the access to the largest supplies of vegetable oil), would be far too poor, and very likely without the modern tools and techniques we take for today. Furthermore, the nobles might even look down on the alternate fuels as being for the poor!

 

As for the calendar system, I think it's great! Although, I would still argue for the inclusion of months--lunar months, that is. Having months based on the moon (beginning on the end of the new moon) would be extremely useful for populace. (The current system of 12 months is more a relic of the Roman Empire than a useful time-keeping system.) NB: this means there would be 13 months a year.

 

If you care, I can write up some more comments on the rest later.

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In general, we're planning on sticking with real-world familiarity unless it is important to do otherwise. There's no reason to make a totally new and foreign calendar that mappers and players are forced to learn. That just makes it more difficult for players to relate to the environment. Since we've already established that the city is on the edge of a very ancient and crumbling empire, and that the empire was vaguely romanesque, there's no reason they can't have the same months and days that we have.

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I was actually going to go with Latin words for the months, just not names--no Augustus, no Julius in my calendar, dammit (I'm fine with gods' names, like Janus)! I'd also like to point out that the system described by Digital Napalm was in use by the Mayans, and lunar months are still in use in the Muslim world today! (What the hell do you think Ramadan is?) The calendar system may not be "familiar," but it's sure as hell real!

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When it's something based off the month, then yeah, that makes sense. Imagine if a festival is supposed to be on the third full moon of the year (e.g., our Pagans)? Besides, most holidays are based off a date (like Christmas, or Easter), rather than a month (like Thanksgiving).

 

@Spar: why does it have to be familiar?

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That just makes it more difficult for players to relate to the environment.
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It's not "so different" than ours, though. In fact, the vast majority of things are the same, which is partially why it (and other "alternate earth" settings) are so immersive. You only change things that make the game more fun (like adding monsters, or magic, or combining technology in new ways), and generally leave the inconsequential stuff alone.

 

Otherwise, you are forcing players to ingest a huge amount of information in order to try and understand and immerse themselves in the setting. That might work for a setting based on an 800 page trilogy, but not for us.

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The more familiar certain aspects of the world are, the more fantastic the other parts of the world will seem. And that's all to the good. Therefore it makes sense to keep the mundane aspects (like calendars) the same as our world. See Harry Potter, for example. HP's setting wouldn't be nearly so interesting if there wasn't a non-magic world sitting beside the magic one.

 

And that's even without getting into immersion, which I believe is enhanced by the fact that you don't need to pay attention to boring things like calendars. After all, if you want to make the argument that it's not immersive to have our calendar in their world, then logically it must be even less immersive to use the same language! Therefore I propose that we create a new language, Darkmodese, which we shall use throughout the game world, and which everyone must learn before they can play it.

 

What's that? You don't want to have to spend 6 months studying a language before you get to play the game? BAH! Lazy players, grumble grumble... :P

My games | Public Service Announcement: TDM is not set in the Thief universe. The city in which it takes place is not the City from Thief. The player character is not called Garrett. Any person who contradicts these facts will be subjected to disapproving stares.
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The more familiar certain aspects of the world are, the more fantastic the other parts of the world will seem. And that's all to the good. Therefore it makes sense to keep the mundane aspects (like calendars) the same as our world. See Harry Potter, for example. HP's setting wouldn't be nearly so interesting if there wasn't a non-magic world sitting beside the magic one.

 

And that's even without getting into immersion, which I believe is enhanced by the fact that you don't need to pay attention to boring things like calendars. After all, if you want to make the argument that it's not immersive to have our calendar in their world, then logically it must be even less immersive to use the same language! Therefore I propose that we create a new language, Darkmodese, which we shall use throughout the game world, and which everyone must learn before they can play it.

 

What's that? You don't want to have to spend 6 months studying a language before you get to play the game? BAH! Lazy players, grumble grumble... :P

 

 

I always thought the mix of the familiar and the weird or anachronistic in the Precursor games added a great deal of flavor. One (probably more) old FM had a kind of Mechanist mining operation that had broken into an ancient tomb or something. The mix of undead and mining equiptment, crude electric lights and woo, had a great deal of impact. It made the setting impossible to really pin down in terms of origins, enhancing the immersion because it could not be criticized as being too much this or that, it was a mix, and it gelled nicely with the magical/technical world of the games. I usually despise attempts to weld magic and sci fi into one setting, except Lovecraft of course, who could crap on my kitchen floor and I'd thank him heartily.

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  • 7 months later...

Re: the infection discussion before, plus Thief lore (not TDM), plus faction discussion...

 

Was I the only person who thought it was strange in Thief games that the faction that was rigidly orthodox was also the side associated with science and technological progress? It felt a little like trying to cram too many dichotomies on the same two factions (the pagans felt fairly coherent to me, ironically). Progress doesn't correspond to stasis, it's just a different sort of change from reactionary mystical environmentalism.

 

What if the Builders were mainly associated with Hygiene (and thus, hate sex, things that might make you want to have sex like dancing or drinking or watching racy shows, and also have Positions on things like begging, spitting on the sidewalk, food preparation, animal handling, and improper waste disposal). Also rigidly dogmatic, because Unclean Thoughts lead to Unclean Behavior which leads to Uncleanliness, and Cleanliness is of course next to Godliness (perhaps slightly above it). On the other hand, despite being harsh and the antithesis of fun, they're also obsessed with A) public sanitation works like sewers, aqueducts, and drainage projects (hence, "Builder") and B) fight undead, werewolves, rats, vampires, and other plague-related critters, and thus aren't entirely bad. Anyway, the Hygiene philosophy, moreso than Tech, sort of fits their status as the dominant urban faction, dark age cities being places where lots of people are crammed together in ways that facilitate epidemics.

 

As for the Inventor's Guild, if the Pagans are pulling the gameworld towards superstitious, tribalistic barbarism and woo (like The Hills Have Eyes meets The Wicker Man), and the Builders are despately trying to maintain the status quo and suppress all heresy, the Inventors should be pulling the game-world towards something more familiar to us, if via a different technological path. Call it the Pratchett effect. Thus, their motif should be more real-world enlightment. Locke, Smith, da Vinci, empirical science, deism, Clockmaker sybolism. Needless to say, given the general grittiness of the setting, they're the weakest faction.

 

As a weak minority (and as inventors in a world without patent protection), they would tend toward secrecy, which would lead to any number of conspiracy theories from their enemies (ie, practically everyone). Due to their tendency towards thinking in terms of intricate machinations, subtle and complex, some of these theories are actually true. Thus, also some Illuminati/Stonemason vibes. So, sort of a hybrid of Keepers and Mechanists.

 

On a purely unrelated note -- forget explaining zombies with technology. Can anyone tell me how firing a water arrow (Thief style or TDM style) into a bloodstain produces anything other than a big, bloody water puddle? And don't me started on how mind-boggling it is guards don't instantly freak out on noticing massive patches of moss growing in the middle of a castle. Once you get that drunk, I think you're technically passed out.

Edited by perilisk
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Sounds about right.

 

I can only offer a guess that the water arrow crystal is a thin crystalline shell containing a liquid. The liquid when combined with air (which happens in a second with the 'whoosh' sound when the crystal breaks, like sulfur trioxide combines with water to form sulfuric acid, with the catalyst for it to happen rapidly contained in the liquid) now has the capacity to dissolve the crystal shell. This liquid also changes the colour of blood from red to transparent or grayish by changing the oxidation level of iron attached to hemoglobin molecules (like bleaching), (you all know different oxidation levels of metals cause different colours, right?). This liquid also acts like a surfactant to lower the viscosity of blood and all together it seeps into the crack between the bricks, stones, marble tiles, wooden boards, or the ground.

 

Unlike in asian and warm countries where people went barefoot in houses and had clean floors, in Europe people slept on beds because they were clean had no rats or cockroaches and were warmer than the ground, similarly people always wore outside footwear, and were not afraid of dropping crumbs while eating a bun on the rug, the bedroom floor or any other floor and any other small trash. For that reason guards wouldn't be surprised to see some mossy trash in a semilit area, nor would they look down much. On bright tiles - that's just the way they programmed the game, it bothered me too, maybe it'll be different this time, who knows.

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Was I the only person who thought it was strange in Thief games that the faction that was rigidly orthodox was also the side associated with science and technological progress?.

 

Yep. That isn't the case in TDM, however. Builders are not particularly interested in scientific progress either way. They care about building, civilizing, and demonstrating their faith through hard work. There are plenty of philosophical 'groups' that believe slightly different things, just like in our own history--there is a 'puritan' philosophy, that believes all entertainment and relaxation is sinful as it takes away from work and toil.

 

I have a feeling that a 'pro-hygiene' faction would be a bit overwhelmed in the grimy, filth-ridden conditions of a psuedo-medieval city.

 

they would tend toward secrecy, which would lead to any number of conspiracy theories from their enemies (ie, practically everyone). Due to their tendency towards thinking in terms of intricate machinations, subtle and complex, some of these theories are actually true. Thus, also some Illuminati/Stonemason vibes

 

Yep, you pretty much nailed it.

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Yep. That isn't the case in TDM, however. Builders are not particularly interested in scientific progress either way. They care about building, civilizing, and demonstrating their faith through hard work. There are plenty of philosophical 'groups' that believe slightly different things, just like in our own history--there is a 'puritan' philosophy, that believes all entertainment and relaxation is sinful as it takes away from work and toil.

 

I have a feeling that a 'pro-hygiene' faction would be a bit overwhelmed in the grimy, filth-ridden conditions of a psuedo-medieval city.

 

My concern is that they overlap thematically, somewhat, with the IG, as I still to think of building and civilizing as Progress, much like invention. I suppose as long as it was emphasized that they oppose machinery -because- of its labor-saving aspects, they could still be strongly philosophically opposed to the Guild on more than just the question of intellectual freedom.

 

I do see your second point (though I think it would motivate a great deal of their labor; sewers and aquaducts are basically sanitation projects). On the other hand, don't they tend to cloister themselves away in churches and monasteries? That's more evidence of a mindset that looks at the city as a very filthy and sinful place -- they have a strong interest in changing the city to suit their preferences, yes, but that doesn't mean they want to mingle with the unwashed masses when they don't have to.

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My concern is that they overlap thematically

 

They're organizations, not thematic archetypes. Just like real life, they agree on some things and disagree on others (even within their own organization).

 

From the wiki:

 

The Builders were originally very supportive of the Inventors, respecting their hard work and new ideas. The Builders do not support the creation of steam-beasts, however, suspecting that their creation involves contact with spirits and does not honour God. Inventors tend to be free-thinkers, and often publically disagree with Church doctrine about how the world works, risking charges of heresy. The Church is now uneasy in its relationship with the Guild, with many Builders talking loudly about heretical practices and wolves in sheep's clothing.
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My concern is that they overlap thematically, somewhat, with the IG, as I still to think of building and civilizing as Progress, much like invention.

Adding to what Springheel said, there's still room for opposition within the theme of "Progress". For example, consider a conservative/liberal split between Builders/Inventors.

 

A liberal's view of progress is quite different from a conservative's view of progress; broadly speaking, the former involves the creation and use of new ideas and paradigms (inventing new things), while the latter involves the use and furthering of existing ideas from within an existing paradigm (spreading the existing creed of the Builder, smiting anything which threatens the safety and stability of the established order [from zombies to heretics], bringing the benefits wrought by the Builder's hand to a wider audience by creating public works for them).

 

These ideas don't necessarily have to be in conflict, but they often are, because each viewpoint simply doesn't grok the other one: How could those cranky conservatives not see that progress necessitates striving for new ideas and re-examining old beliefs??? Why do those dangerous liberals keep trying to undermine everything we've worked for???

 

In reality, of course, there are few "pure liberals" or "pure conservatives", and the ones that do exist are tedious fanatics. :P There are never merely two sides in a large debate; nor does everyone sit in a well-defined position along a single line between "liberals" and "conservatives". If you wanted to perfectly graph everyone's beliefs, (A.) you would need a graph with many many dimensions (possibly infinite), and (B.) you would fail, because few people's beliefs are that well-defined and constant.

 

Further, this entire post is a sweeping generalisation. The Inventor's Guild doubtless bicker amongst themselves constantly, just like academics and scientists in our world; and what church would be complete without its own internal debates and schisms?

My games | Public Service Announcement: TDM is not set in the Thief universe. The city in which it takes place is not the City from Thief. The player character is not called Garrett. Any person who contradicts these facts will be subjected to disapproving stares.
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