Friday, September 27, 2013

[Dreaming Stars] A Sample World, Part 1

As the goal of the Dreaming Stars setting is to have a huge variety of cultures among the colonized planets, it seems highly appropriate to use some sort of random generator for the different worlds.

Fortunately, I have one available - the Random Nations Generator at the Arcana Wiki. Let's try to come up with a sample world using the generator...

Government

The first three results are:
So the world seems to be controlled by a representatives of a huge council of organizations and special interest groups - merchant houses, crafters' guilds, professional organizations and perhaps distinct social classes - but it's really controlled behind the scenes by an all-powerful church. Interesting...

Powerful Organizations

Picking the more interesting results from the list, we get:
So maybe this world has ongoing problems with pirates - let's make them "Dream Pirates" who strike out of the Plane of Dreams for raids and return there to their safe havens. The International Peace Mission Movement doesn't strike me as a model for the entire Theocracy, since a real theocracy needs to be a bit more worldly than that - but maybe it's an influential wing, or a "reform movement" or splinter group.

In the hands of a Theocracy, a highly trained and efficient disaster relief organization like the Technisches Hilfswerk also becomes a good missionary/propaganda tool, and they can likely be found on neighboring worlds. As for the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program... maybe the religion exalts art in all its form (which would make for a nice difference to the "religions as killjoys" stereotype) and seek to preserve art from the instability on other worlds. And, of course, such art becomes prime booty for our Dream Pirates.

An equivalent to Rosicrucianism could spring up among the various crafters guild and other less religious organizations - as a form of resistance to the all-powerful church. Finally, the church could be led by a "Veiled Prophet" whose identity is unknown to anyone else - effectively, the prophet's identity is erased as soon as he or she puts on the Veil. Possibly there is an order of blind priests with strong precognitive powers who seek out the next Veiled Priest when the old one dies...

Important People 

I'm not sure we should go into individual personalities for our world descriptions, but let's do this section anyway. Here the first three results are:
So first we have a high-class courtesan who was charged with witchcraft. Well, our setting does have psionics, so what kinds of psionics would be seen as evil by the Theocracy? The Psychic Vampirism discipline, possibly. But Psychic Vampirism can also be used for "good" ends, such as draining away negative emotions. Perhaps the dominant religion sees all emotions as being gifts from higher powers, and sees their negation as a sin? Of course, negative emotions must still be dealt with in another way - so the church encourages its faithful to channel them into art and thus "purify" the emotion. This would explain their obsession with collecting art and also mean that the world may be infamous for some really disturbing artwork as the believers express their darkest thoughts through such works...

Next we have a Soviet-era scientist who attempted to create human-ape hybrids via artificial insemination. Tricky. Perhaps there is a small enclave of ultra-tech geneticists on the world who create human-animal hybrids? Perhaps they were created as slave labor as the church does not recognize them as "real people"...

And the third entry is another high-class prostitute. Tying in with our religious focus, she was at first denied burial on consecrated ground by the "respectable" people of her town. Perhaps the theocracy frowns on prostitution - perhaps it sees sex as a necessary evil for procreation, but sexual urges are seen as negative emotions which need to be expressed and purified via creating artwork, not satisfied via visiting prostitutes. In fact, perhaps only negative emotions are supposed to be purified via art - possibly the emotion is "caught" in the artwork, and as long as the art exists that particular emotion won't attach itself to another person and trouble them. Thus, the Art Collectors of the Church concentrate on rescuing and safely storing artwork depicting negative emotions, while artwork depicting positive emotions is destroyed to release the emotional energy. And the faithful are strongly encouraged to hand over their artwork expressing their bad urges to the church for safe storage - which also gives the church plenty of insight into the psyches of their followers.



To be continued...