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Game of Contrasts - Gtx0 ?>

Game of Contrasts
Posted: Posted November 11th, 2008 by Leo
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Game rules

Write about a feature of some of your worlds or societies
that radically contrasts with the latest "seed feature."
(At the beginning of the game, it is Seed 1 below)

When you're done, you can either let more posters reply
to the seed, or post a new seed to be contrasted against
(philosophy, beliefs, rites, social organization, biology,
physics... whatever you like)

You can reply to an old seed provided you reply
to all seeds from that one up to the latest one.
(Number your seeds!)

If the game stalls, anybody can plant a new seed.

EDIT: Game rules are changed: there is no rule anymore.
See Eldin's post (8th post below).

Seed 1

The fishers in the kingdom of Arostos (Osara world) use
magic influence to drive sea birds to catch fish for them.
The fishers cave niches for their hound birds in the cliffs.
The drawback is the muck on the fisher ships.

There are 17 Replies
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Only humans are susceptible to the mind-control of other Orythyian humans.

In certain myths, there was a time when all minds---rock, animal and plant---could touch one another. But a certain clan of the animal-people grew obsessed with invading and controlling weaker minds, devouring their victims from within. So the other creatures and plants made a pact that they would build strong walls around their minds, and abandon all telepathy. The predatory minds were left alone, and they became the first humans.

In fact, humans were originally colonists from another planet. Their telepathy was the result of certain high-tech devices inserted into their heads to enable communication with the native sapient species. Unfortunately, the native sapient species had evolved slightly different communication pathways while the colonists were traversing space*, and the devices now communicated only with each other. How mind-control and mind-eating came about is complicated and not yet finalized.

*Their home civilization can put people in near-stasis, but doesn't have very fast spaceships, because it believes in energy conservation. So it takes a while to get between solar systems.

Posted November 11th, 2008 by lryda mbazha
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I added a rule on the first post:
If the game stalls, anybody can plant a new seed.

Posted November 14th, 2008 by Leo
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Seed 2

The leaders of the two races, the San'wal and Yinti, are chosen by being born during an eclipse of the two suns. Although they may have to deal with the ruling classes and castes of their race, they are chosen to be in a position of authority for life.

Posted November 19th, 2008 by Xhin
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The theocracy of the Bronze Age civilisation ara-Attl is based on a priestly caste, the initiates of which are selected in their childhood from the citizenry by current members of the priesthood. Advancement through the religious hierarchy relies entirely on election by peers.
At the top of the hierarchy is the Lord of the City, who presides over the level immediately below (the Synod). Any member of the Synod may be elected to this office, but after each 1638-day term a new election is held, and only the Synod may participate. There is no limit to the number of terms that a person may hold as Lord.
There are many cities, each with its own Lord, but the Lords of ara and Attl (titled Okutla-arain and Okutla-Attlin, respectively) are the principle figures of the civilisation - though their power is mainly customary.

The effect of this is that an ineffectual Lord (should one be elected) may be replaced without risk of upheaval. Another effect is that since the initiates are selected and trained by existing members, and elected by other priests who have undergone a similar training, the outlook and policies of the theocracy tend to be conservative, and change very little with time.

Posted November 19th, 2008 by thedukeofnuke
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This game keeps stalling. Wouldn't it make sense for the person who replied to the seed to start a new seed?

Posted November 20th, 2008 by Xhin
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Well, I dunno. Should I change the rule so that each reply must provide a new seed?

Posted November 20th, 2008 by Leo
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And/or let people introduce two seeds. (Or even three?)
And let them write about up to four(?) seeds, chosen from among the last three(?) and the first three(?).
(Sometimes people are going to have an easier time writing about two or three seeds than one. And often they're going to have an easier time writing about the last-but-one seed than the last one.)

In Adpihi there isn't any such thing as real magic; nevertheless it is (or at least once was) thought that magical power was inherited along "the rope", the unilineal descent group in which each person belongs to the line their parent-of-the-opposite-sex belonged to (sons inherit from mothers, daughters inherit from fathers).

Adpihi was also settled from Earth; by accident (that is, they meant to settle someplace, but they wound up on Adpihi). They "crashed", or at least landed roughly, so their ships were destroyed to the point that they can't repair them nor even tell exactly how to build a new one; also they lost a lot of their data. So they basically start over from the beginning of the Iron Age, but progress more rapidly than Earth did originally because they know what's possible.

Leaders etc. on Adpihi are chosen in a more-or-less democratic process; that is, they are chosen by their followers. They are not, de jure, chosen for life, but in fact they may retain their positions as long as they want them, if they keep winning approval and winning more of it than their regularly-appearing challengers. Office isn't property, at least not mostly in later times; so it can't be bequeathed, nor inherited by primogeniture or some such thing. Nevertheless it's been noticed that people who do become leaders are likelier to have had more, and more-recent, ancestors who were leaders, than people who don't. But there's no pattern at all through which line such a leadership-tendency might be inherited; any variation of sex or birth-order is possible. (That is, if a mayor's or duke's great-grandfather was a mayor or duke, that might be his mother's mother's mother's father, and he might be that guy's youngest daughter's oldest daughter's middle daughter's youngest son.)

Adpihi doesn't have a theocracy. Or, at least, they don't think they have one. In fact, after the Great War, they actively disprefer theocracies. (A theocracy -- one of the few in Adpihi's history -- started the Great War, and was the leader of the defeated side.)

So, what's a new seed supposed to be?

Is this good? It's not new, I've mentioned it before.

In Adpihi there is a class of wandering, story-telling entertainers called "professional liars". They offer to tell people lies if their audience will pay; and also, they must require their audience to swear not to believe a word the liar says. They are not, however, under any obligation to actually lie; only to ask their audience not to believe them. As a result most of the news, and most of the history, of Adpihi, (at least in its early days), is spread by these liars. But it's frequently distorted to add entertainment value; though ordinarily it's not distorted much, and the main points are left as is.

Occasionally, if some powerful person commits some dastardly deed in secret, and a liar finds out about it, the liar may start telling people all about it. The powerful person has little recourse, since the liar can honestly claim that he told his audiences he was just making it all up; if the audience chose to believe it that was them perjuring themselves, not him committing any malfeasance.

Professional liars do, of course, labor under a few legal disabilities, some of which may sometimes be severe. They can never testify in court; they can't conclude binding contracts; their signatures are no good on checks or credit-cards; etc.

The punishment for betraying a fiduciary trust, (such as collecting a bonus for destroying your corporation by investing heavily in toxic mortgage-backed securities, and then blowing a bail-out loan from the government on junkets), is to have all your property confiscated and then to have judicial notice taken of your incredibility -- that is, you are declared not to be believable about anything. So, recently, several former CEOs and other corporate executives have suddenly found themselves suffering the same legal disabilities the liars suffer. (Except liars are allowed to own property). Thus, the clearest way for these ex-felons to survive, if they happen to have the ability to tell an entertaining story, is to become professional liars. (The Liars' Guild is allowed to believe an initiate's oath-of-membership; that's the last time a Liar is trusted.)

So suddenly there are lots of entertaining stories about high financial wheeling-and-dealing being told around Adpihi. (And a few boring ones told by ex-CEOs who soon starve.)

Posted November 22nd, 2008 by eldin raigmore
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And/or let people introduce two seeds. (Or even three?)
And let them write about up to four(?) seeds, chosen from among the last three(?) and the first three(?).
(Sometimes people are going to have an easier time writing about two or three seeds than one. And often they're going to have an easier time writing about the last-but-one seed than the last one.)

Looks good, thanks. Game rules edited on first post.

Posted November 24th, 2008 by Leo
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Does anyone have a next installment?

Posted May 5th, 2018 by chiarizio
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In Adpihi there is a class of wandering, story-telling entertainers called "professional liars".

I'm having a hard time finding a radical opposite to this in my conworlds. Closest (or farthest) may be the wandering memory devourers of Osara who force people to tell all their life and are so good at spotting lies that they are always sure to get the truth.

Seed 4: One bear species of Arbei (Osara) is on the verge of reaching some primitive sentience, but they are naturally so wary that the other sentient species are hardly aware of that.

Posted June 14th, 2018 by Leo
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