Inscrit le: 19 Sep 2009
Dim 27 Sep - 22:06 (2009)
These terms are used throughout the book. Some of them are more obvious than others, and will be apparent from context, so this is not an “absolute must-read” section. Those who have not played before may want to read through this before going further.
Biotech: Technology derived from biology and related sciences. Its contributions to the modern age are too numerous to list — a truly ubiquitous technology, it includes all medical and agricultral methods. As a Capability, Biotech represents your character’s physical health, including strength, stamina, and running speed.
Capability: Your character’s ratings in the five basic types of technology: Biotech, Cognitech, Metatech, Nanotech, and Stringtech. Capabilities range from 1-3 for unaugmented humans, and up to 10 for those with technological enhancements.
Civilization: In general, a culture and nation. When capitalized, Civilization refers to one of the major groups of humanity spread across the universe. In mechanical terms, each Civilization gives its citizens a pair of Core Values and a special benefit, and each character must pick a home Civilizaiton.
Cognitech: Technology derived from cognitive science. Advanced calculation modes, fast-learning procedures, and sophisticated research techniques fall under cognitech, but its best-known product is the Mesh. As a Capability, Cognitech rates your character’s mental faculties, from rational thought to creativity and intuition.
Complication: A problem for your character that you willingly accept in order to obtain more Twists. The higher your character’s Capabilities, the worse Complications you will have to accept.
Comprehension: The Theme that gives your character insights into the world.
Core Values: The most important things in your character’s life, the points of his or her moral compass. Characters typically have four Core Values: two of their own, and two taken from the Civilization in which they were born. Rated on a scale of 0-10, they allow your character to resist specific types of metatech assaults, and also provide minor bonuses to related actions.
Desired Future: A time when all sentient beings are capable of the same sort of cross-time awareness that the Transcendentals themselves have. This is the ultimate goal of the Transcendentals.
Diaspora: The era when humanity left Earth to seek new worlds, roughly six thousand years ago.
Empathy: The Theme that makes others trust and confide in your character.
Infosphere: The successor to the Internet, the Infosphere is far more pervasive and immense. Its name comes from the idea that it blankets a planet in much the same way that the planet’s atmosphere does. Nearly every piece of computing equipment — which means nearly every device in a high-tech civilization — contributes to the Infosphere.
Intrigue: The Theme that gives your character an involvement in politics and espionage.
Lens: A program run on a Mesh to change one’s viewpoint or emotions. Lenses can also provide talents and skills. They are perhaps the most potent and best-known applications of the neural mesh.
Magnetism: The Theme that allows your character to attract a following or inspire others.
Mesh: A computer-brain interface, composed of millions of nanowires woven through the brain and connected to a small but powerful computer housed elsewhere in the body. Meshes are the basis of highlevel cognitech.
Metatech: Technology derived from social sciences. Memetics and psychohistory are its most famous products. As a Capability, Metatech rates your character’s social skills, from making friends to orating to designing societies.
Patent Office: An extra-governmental organization tasked with the protection and regulation of intellectual property, for the betterment of the entire universe’s economy.
Plot Immunity: The Theme that provides your character an escape route from an unwanted turn in the plot.
Profession: A set of related skills and attitudes that let characters make a living and complete their duties. Professions are rated from 0 to 10, or theoretically higher for those with hundreds of years of experience.
Psychohistory: A predictive theory of history, allowing probabilistic forecasts of future events. Works best on large groups.
Replicator: A nanotech device that creates other objects quickly, atom-by-atom, with great precision. Replicators are a cornerstone of many a civilization’s industry, and (along with transmutation) were the devices that necessitated the current economy based on intellectual property.
Reserve: Points that can be spent to make your character’s actions more reliable, or to push the limits of his or her abilities. Characters with no Reserve left are exhausted, and at the mercy of others. Each Capability and Profession has its own Reserve.
Romance: The Theme that lets your character attract or deflect the romantic attentions of others.
Nanophage: A fast-acting nanotech weapon that expands and grows by incorporating nearby matter.
Nanotech: Technology derived from chemistry and quantum physics. Almost all sensors and modern construction techniques come from nanotechnology. As a capability, Nanotech represents your character’s senses and manual dexterity.
Nanotech War: Earth’s old superpowers strangled each other to death at the end of the Energy Crisis, killing one another’s governments with the pinpoint precision of nanobot assassins. This event precipitated the Great Diaspora.
Slave Mesh: A neural mesh (see page 143) with an external control enabled. Slave meshes allow an outside source to control the body and mind of the person who wears the mesh. They are illegal in most civilizations.
Society: A group that exists in multiple Civilizations, with a particular viewpoint on life and the universe. Those who join a particular Society must take its Core Value as their own, but receive a special benefit in return. Not all characters are part of a Society.
Stringtech: Technology derived from string theory and its successors, the “ultimate theories” of physics. Known for many dozens of warlike inventions, and also for transmutation chambers and wormholes. As a Capability, Stringtech rates your character’s ability to deal and prevent physical damage.
Theme: Your ability to change the plot in specific ways. Each character has a rating from 0-4 in each Theme. You can spend Twists through one of these scores to effect changes in the world. The six Themes are Plot Immunity, Empathy, Magnetism, Romance, Intrigue, and Comprehension. Players know about their characters’ Themes, but the characters themselves do not!
Transcendental Artificial Intelligence: A computer intelligence capable of sending messages to itself backwards through time. The Transcendentals are a centerpiece of the game.
Twists: Points allotted to each player, with which they can change the course of the game. Twists are spent “through” various Themes to effect changes in the story that your character might not be capable of creating. Twists are your a player’s powerful tool.
Wormhole: A connection between two regions of space, allowing near-instantaneous travel across any distance. Maintaining an open wormhole requires immense amounts of electricity. Even greater amounts must be used to create them in the first place.