Silver Insanity

Precious, Valuable Madness
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 1:35 pm 
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Prismatic Pangolin

Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 8:50 pm
Posts: 2283
This is a modern world look-alike setting. With, of course, a difference: In 1981, Doctor Hammond constructed the world's first working fusion reactor. At game start (fall of 2008), it remains the world's only working fusion reactor. Hammond Technologies Corporation, who owns the reactor, sponsored the creation of Hammond Memorial Technical Institute, which is where much of the game is expected to take place - PCs can be students, or teachers, or in fact anyone else who'd have a good excuse to be hanging around campus. (Or even a bad excuse. Doesn't matter to me; as long as you can convince campus security to let you be there...)

There is a second college in town, Shaelblun University, an ancient liberal arts school. There is a good deal of student rivalry between the two institutions, though most of it is good natured - and the two colleges have a course exchange program, where a tech student seeking a minor in "applied mythology" can take courses at SU, or an art history major can find courses in digital design at HMTI.

The presence of essentially unlimited electrical power has opened the door to scientific advances beyond what's extant in the real world: maglev systems are in wide use, electric cars are slowly gaining popularity despite their still all-too-limited range, and other, more fantastic, forms of technology remain still in the testing and prototype stages.

And, somehow still in the background despite the best efforts of a few nosy reporters, there is magic. Sorcery is uncommon, but real, and a minor in "applied mythology" may actually mean something more than just a padded GPA...

It is assumed that all PCs in this game will have some degree of magical power - whether they know it or not. It is further assumed that they'll have some means of at least pretending to be a normal human. Either or both of these assumptions may be waived if necessary, but they're probably good starting points.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 1:36 pm 
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Prismatic Pangolin

Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 8:50 pm
Posts: 2283
Point one: Mad science is allowed. It won't be as crazy, off-the-wall powerful as the genius setting where you can build death rays out of toasters... unless, of course, that's your personal magical power, in which case all bets are off. However, even a nonmagical tech genius type character can achieve results well beyond what's real-world practical.

Point two: Part of the reason magic remains hidden is that, while there are a vast variety of magical talents, there's also one really common talent, possessed (to some degree or another) by something like one fifth of the population: the talent to shut down magic. Trying to work magic in a crowd... usually doesn't work; there are enough nulls around that your spell just fizzles. In its most common variation, a null simply weakens nearby magic - but how much weaker, and what constitutes nearby, varies from person to person. There are legends of nulls who could focus their powers more tightly than this, blocking enemy spells while allowing their allies to cast unhindered - but they are, for the most part, just that: legends. Most powerful nulls in modern times simply don't believe in magic, which makes practicing to focus the talent... difficult.

SU (usually pronounced "soo") does not hire nulls (except for a few critical locations where people need to be used to working without magic - like sports instructors), nor does it admit them as students. A few can usually be found on campus anyway - course exchange students from HMTI, or prospective students looking to tour the campus, or visiting parents, or so on. Still, it's a much more magic-friendly place than one would expect from its population density.

HMTI (usually pronounced "him-tea") has no such restrictions in hiring or admissions. This goes a long way to explain some of the student rivalries between the two institutions.

Point three: This is, to some extent, a "and the kitchen sink" type setting. If you can find a mythical creature in some book somewhere, it probably exists in the setting. Somewhere. If you can't find what you're looking for in a book - it probably exists anyway. Please note that this is not always a good thing: Cthulu mythos type stuff comes to mind. Fortunately, the gibbering horrors from the dimension next door can be shut down by your average basketball team; having nulls around does, occasionally, come in handy.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 1:37 pm 
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Prismatic Pangolin

Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 8:50 pm
Posts: 2283
Oh, yes. Another important detail: the blast zone.

The blast zone is a twenty mile radius around the fusion reactor, which was evacuated the year the reactor was built. Legally, you're not allowed to be there - the region is surrounded by an old barbed wire fence. But there are plenty of holes, and nobody really cares - the worst that can happen is you die from being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and if you ignore the "Danger! Keep out!" signs - well, that's your fault.

Well, ok. Nobody cares about the outer sixteen miles of the blast zone. The center of it, though, is a military fortress that would put the maginot line to shame; concrete bunkers bristle with guns, backed by arrays of missile launchers and almost-constant aerial patrols. There have been... problems... in the past. Starting with soviet sabotage attempts, and continuing with more recent radical eco-terrorist* or religious nut problems, and an entire passenger jet shot down on nine-eleven.

The outer region of the blast zone is a dense forest, massive trees growing through the remains of thirty-year-old buildings, and has become home to a wide variety of supernatural creatures (a possible explanation for the area's rapid growth).

_____
* Yes, there are idiots trying to shut down the reactor on the basis of "ecological" reasons. They cite the rapid growth of forest in the blast zone as "proof" that the reactor is emitting "dangerous radiation", cite the potential for ecological catastrophe (nuclear winter) in the case of an explosion, and generally make a nuisance of themselves.


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