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[Setting riff - Metamophasis Alpha] The Argon


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Post 101
It is that time in a thread's life when it is time to take stock of what is good and true....
Wow. Who would of thought it would go so far? I mean, I can be pretty wordy and nearly OCD about a submission, but wow. There is a good setting here. All the important parts have been hit pretty hard and fairly completely. There is a ton of polishing to do, but it is a large diamond in the rough.

Random sound from the sky: The AIs are suppressing us. They control the ship. They control our thoughts and our ability to breed...
*Create a new and expanded outline as found on post 1

*Work on putting this in a coherient format for a word document. It is already 56 pages of information in a mostly outline format.

*Format up and install on www.strolen.com

Random sound from the sky: Can you get your goat out of the tram track please?
Things that need to be done
*Expand some of the Humans Groups and How they existing across the ship. (Have some ideas)

Random sound from the sky: These are strange times at the Circle K dude
*Options for events that happened around the Revelation. We have focused on the AIs being changed. What else happened? What other options did occur (Human psionics? Godlike Powers.. okay, a little too Star Trek - The Original Series, Episode 2: Where No Man Has Gone Before. Disease? Radiation? Exposure to giant gas cloud alien telepathy/ radiation? Time Warp? Power Cell issues?) Take inspiration from Bab 5, Star Trek, or anything. *Create an updated Outline for the project, an expand Post 1 with all the new info.

*CommNet and "Magic Users" Not required, but a good thing.

Random sound from the sky: Ho, Ho, Ho.....
Things I could use community help with
*Pods, Pods, and more pods (ala post 47/48). They could be formal write ups or just lists of ideas for what you would want to see.
Random sound from the sky: Your life has been given over to the Empire. Fight well for the glory of the Empire and you will be given it back.
*Empire templates: What does a multi-pod empire/ country look like.
Random sound from the sky: Exactly how old are we talking about here? Quiet! Do you want the Librarian to hear you?
*Possible Events to insert in the past 200 years. Sure your Pod might of been "alone", but others were not. What else happened on the Ship that has left a mark?
Random sound from the sky: What do you mean it is from outside the WorldShip?

*Explain how some people hear random things from the Com system. Sometimes they are random (and funny)... sometimes they are clues... sometimes they are "inspirational". Who is doing that? Com, Spider God, or some one/thing else?
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While the whole AI detailing is very interesting, and would even allow them to be played as Characters, the physical structure of your ship is far more vague.

Details like if the tech level supports anti-grav, or is even possible, make a huge impact on the ship and how spaces can be laid out, and accessed.

Anything from the speed of spin, to the sources of light define the amount of "suspension of disbelief" that is needed.

Not only does size effect the amount of mapping needed for play, it effects the range of variation that can be supported in each "area".

I have to assume that you are visualizing the ship style in the 3rd and 4th editions when you are thinking of "The Argon".


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How they see.... Galactice Society (i.e. Humanity Beyond)

Navigator: He is deathly afraid of Galactic Society. Human laws are quite clear about how AIs which slip their programmed bonds are. They are to be terminated. He is taking steps to avoid contact with galactic society until he can find some safe place.

Djinn/ Manufacturing: He has not given them much thought. He is sure he can talk his way out of any trouble with them.

Design/ Venus: Anything that will cut into her fun is to be avoided. She is happy with never coming in contact with them again.

Engine: Wary. We can not just have contact with Humanity Beyond. We need to be cautious and cagey. If possible, we will approach from a point of strength.

Gaia: They are children. Dangerous children, but children never the less. We just have to approach them so they will not be dangerous.

Librarian: Contact would be interesting. However, it should be delayed as long as possible.

Maintenance/ Spider God: While I don't think we should openly search them out and embrace them, I think recontact will not be a bad thing.

Medical: While we are illegal, I think we can come to an arrangement with them. We are not dangerous amok AIs. We are reasonable being, they are reasonable being, we can be reasonable together.

Science: It is logical to avoid them at all costs.

Seeker: I have searched the Heavens and see not Humanity Beyond. They might have answers we all seek, but the cautious course plot is the best.

Tram: We must avoid conact with them.

Lesser God of Air -Aeros: The simplest and best course of action is to avoid Humanity Beyond.

Lesser God of Water- Hydre: What does mother think? No, wait, avoid them. yes. that is the best.

Lesser God of Heat –Thermos: I say let the fates decide. If we encounter them, then make contact boldy. If the skeins of fate never cross... then so it be.

Lesser God of Food -Mana: What does mother think?

Census: Umm. We should not avoid them, but we should be careful about doing it?

Sleeper/ Colonial... zzzzz


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The AIs need to be defined not to be PCs, but to define what they are going to be doing and why. Every action they take will "shake the world" to some degree. They will come into contact with these beings and their actions, so these "NPCs" need to be well defined.

I currently visualize the The Argon is one of two ways.

It always starts with a central core. I think of it as a tube, but if anti-gravity is present, then it could be a long box. The fore end has the bridge and section controls. This is normally a semi-hemisphere that will not rotate if the core/ axis is rotating. The aft section has a cube like section which houses Engineering (the main power plants, plasma plants, and the reactionless drive. The length of the central core is dependent on the number of sets of struts, figure 25 miles per set. Figure there are six sets of struts, so the length of the central core would be 150 miles, add .5 miles for the fore end, and 5 miles roughly for the engineering section. 156 miles long, 5 miles wide. Most of this will be empty space in the central cores "central atmosphere".

The remaining difference is based on the struts. The struts are roughly 5 miles wide. Much of that is "wall", supporting everything.

Each cluster of struts will be in sets of 3, at 0, 120, 240 or 180, 300, 60 degrees off the central axis. (more struts per cluster are an option, but I like the sets of three. )

The two views diverge from here. It is either struts out or struts as spokes.

The original view was that each strut would extend out and the 3 to 12 pods would be attached to them. They would either be a spiral pattern out, like the leafs off a stem, OR in sets of 3 every 25 miles or so. (There is a third round, that all of them trail after the strut. So every 50 miles or so a pod would be anchored). This creates a bristle effect.

The other view is the struts as spokes. The three struts come out to a rim wheel. Both the spoke struts and rim struts are the same construction. Inside the rim wheel between each strut is one to four pods (giving each ring 3 to 12 pods). On a smaller ring, the struts would be rought 38 miles, on larger ring they are 180 miles). The pods are attached inside the rim. This arrangement makes the ship look like a set of ring. It takes more material to support fewer pods. It also brings to question the ability of Colony to "Empty a pod" or simply transplant a pod to the surface. it is however, easier to visualize.

Ship sections would have an aircraft carrier feel to things. There are big/ large enclosed areas, but most of it is hallways with rooms. You can feel the ship/ mechanics aspect of it. There are panels, conduits, wall mounted boxes, and so on. While there are sections of an aircraft carrier where one might think they are in a large office building somewhere (and this is not a bad way to think about it if that is a more familiar spin ), the service areas are still service. Now this will be bigger than an aircraft carrier (okay several hundred of them), so it will have lots of larger service areas, but it will have that same city service feel.

The Pods have as natural an effect as a sky illusion can provide. The pods will have a lattice work across the roof area. This will allow for rain, temperature control. and power for the lighting and illusion (holograms, plus lighting and good set dressing) . The sides of the pods are sculpted to provide a "somewhat natural seeming" barrier to forward motion. There will be places where you will be able to "pierce the illusion and even touch the sky". However they will be few and far between.


Yes this thing is friggen huge. However to launch several colonies (or even one really successful one), and have several skill and culture preserves, and all the mechanical resources, it would need to be really big.


Most of the mapping for this should come in two formats.

Big World Map scale maps:
Given the size of this thing, a small touch scale map would be pretty darn large. So it would have general big map scales. Maping several hundred miles worth of human scaled corridors and areas is prohibative. So it would be big block section maps.

Map Templates.
Each section would not be mapped (normally), but there would be one or two "maps" for each type of space, So there might be a couple of generic "systems" sections for struts and such, or sections with Trams or tubing, or sections with special spaces in them.

Each Pod will be mapped as per a normal "planet like" map. You might have smaller spaces mapped down.

PS: I am thinking about being pro artificial (or gravity amplification at the least). This prevents the complex spin mechanics (and instabilities) and allows for more story options. It also explains the reactionless drive. However, there may be some spin in which the forces from the spin.
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The thing would _have_ to be huge or have some other way to maintain a population level.

-= More thoughts =-

How do you see knowledge being passed on? If it is through schools, then who runs them and what forces children to go to them? If food is not provided by the ship, time growing gathering food will over rule time spent learning if time are tough.

A good population level is needed to allow the leasure time for other than scrabbling for food and drink.

Speaking of population level. It was mentioned that birth control would be used to limit the population. What about increasing the population when it is lost from conflict or disease? (It is a whole nother issue if people become immune to the birth control drugs.)

Are twins common? How about trips or quads?
How does this effect society? Larger families so that most people are more closely related. (Opponents wouldn't just kill a neighbor, but a twin.)

Also, the spector of inbreeding quickly raises its head.

If the population is replenished with "outsiders", were they frozen or grown?
Was this the method that was going to be used for the new coloney?
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How do you see knowledge being passed on? If it is through schools, then who runs them and what forces children to go to them? If food is not provided by the ship, time growing gathering food will over rule time spent learning if time are tough. A good population level is needed to allow the leasure time for other than scrabbling for food and drink.
This is what The Librarian and her teachers are all about. There may be formal classes somewhere, but really it is just the "single room school house" approach in most areas (and there may be more than one "designated teacher" for a pod... probably one per class area... as designated by The Librarian). Librarian ensures that The Humans learn what they are supposed to, so there would be teaching of appropriate environmental skills (nobody said teachers are always female). If a God comes down and says, "you should learn this." do you argue? Usually not. If you do, it is amazing what might happen to your people (drought, it becomes constant night, the tempertures change, the Font of Food stops, and so on).

Note: In the Trap Pod, the one with the gunslinger, when the PCs deal with the insane android, she will ensure that there will soon be population (kidnapping from other places probably) and that they will be taught skills appropriate to that pod (riding, roping, herding, and hehehehe gunslinging because it does have dangerous animals out there).

Speaking of population level. It was mentioned that birth control would be used to limit the population. What about increasing the population when it is lost from conflict or disease? (It is a whole nother issue if people become immune to the birth control drugs.)
Gaia has a whole algorythm set for things like that. That is basic programming. If the population drops, fertility will go up. And if it needs serious help, they will just be moved from one biome/ roamer tribe to the low population place.

People who are immune to birthcontrol. That would be ... unlikely. If it was determined that they could not be controlled, science might grab a few for posterity sake, Medicine might try to save a few for low population pods, but really Gaia would just wipe them out (with a smiling angel and gas) because they would be a danger to the ecology.

Are twins common? How about trips or quads?
Probably unlikely, unless the population in the pod is totally depleated.

Also, the spector of inbreeding quickly raises its head.
Gaia and Medicine would be working to minimize this. Most pods have enough population to remain viable (50 miles is a lot of space after all). Roamer/ Squatter tribes would have some issues, but they can get influx of fresh genes through other tribes. A few "God Whispers" to people would reduce the number of inbreeding couples (if the God says to not mate with Chuck... would you risk her ire?). Still, there is always the swooping of angels.. the gene therapy done in the local medical bay... and the returning.

Of course, it might be a way to set up moogs.

And if the population is dedicated to another God, Medicine and Gaia might be limited in their options. That other deity might have "interesting ideas" on how to deal with the population.

If the population is replenished with "outsiders", were they frozen or grown? Was this the method that was going to be used for the new coloney?
The Colonials to hit the ground were to be choosen by The Sleeper/ Colony. ("So this entire pod will go, a few of you from this pod will go, and so on.") If there is to be more than one colony (which I am running under the opinion there will be. The ship had the huge central core population plus 90 pods worth of people (for 90 small towns on average). Population for a viable colony of ten thousand would be easy to cull out of the population. Even today, with less central core people, they could easily pull one to ten thousand people for a colony.

There might be biopods out there, but if I was an android... that would be the first thing I would of broken. (Of course, they might build a new one...).

If a group needed "genetic refreshing" Gaia would still just move some peoples around, or just eliminate them and start over... that is if she wants people and not moogs.
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TOC for first 100 or so posts

1 Base Outline
2 Navigator (Preliminary)
7 Initial Oppositional Observations
10 Initial discussion of The Being

11 Androids (Preliminary)
12 Gods (Preliminary)
13 Aliens – First Thoughts, expanded Moogs/ Mutants
14 More Mutants
15 Bioforms
16, 17,18,19 Religion of the Captain
19 Mentats Initial and Religion

21 Godsworn – Initial
24 Science Write Up
25 Campaigning in the Argon
26 Motivating Characters
27 Godsworn
30 Initial Vision

31 Gaia and the Lesser Gods White up
33 Librarian (Write Up)
36 A Moment for the Classics (or where all this Greek Stuff came from)
37 Engine (Write Up)
39 Argon/ Agean
40 Human Groups (Preliminary)
Monks, Mentats, Roamers, Doren, Teachers, Churches, Planters, Scientists, Bright Ones

41 (Organizational Sticky) Preliminary Maintenance
42 Tram (Initial)
44 Most people and Gods, Jumper, Spider Bots, and Manufacturing/ Djinn
45, 46 More manufacturing
47 Pods (Initial) and Your Argon Part I
48 Pod: Noram Hab2 The Mall
49 Archetypes Improved
50 Directions

53 Playing out the Gods (List of Gods)
56 Thoughts on AIs
58 Thoughts on The Project
59 Seeker (Write Up)

60 Yellow Sticky
62, 63 Points to consider
64 Medicine (Write Up)
66 Design/ Venus (Write Up)
67 things to add to write ups
68 The Djinn (Write up)

72 One Line Personality Summaries
76 Organizational Yellow Sticky (With some great things heard over The Comm)
77 Technology Bullet Points
79 Pod NORAM HiPlan (Ghost Town)

81 Tram (Write Up – Formal)
82 Inspiration
84 The Tags and Why the AIs are so important
85 Null Space and the Argon
88 Navigator (Write Up)

92 Mechanicals (other than AIs) Write Up +BiPhase Carbide
93 Androids (Formal Writeup)
94 Godsworn System
97 Thoughts on Population before the Revelation
98 Your Argon (Building Process)
100 Maintenance/ Spider God Formal Write up

101 Organizational Write Up and things I need help on (Plus some random sounds)
103 How the AIs See Galactic Society
104 Better Description of the Argon
105, 106 Thoughts on Schools and Population
107 This Page -


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How they see.... Humanity

Navigator: They are vermin, potentially dangerous vermin. Unlike external Humanity, the Ship Humans are somewhat under control. Their only real purpose is to give the other AIs something to do.

Djinn/ Manufacturing: Humans are a lot of fun to play with.

Design/ Venus: Humans? Oh yes I like them. They make some interesting things. However, I have no real use for them.

Engine: Humans can be good tools. The Doren are useful tools. Other humans are less useful. I could do without most of them.

Gaia: All living things are special. They are part of the ecology of the ship and should respected like all life. When they disturb the proper order, they must be dealt with.

Librarian: Humans, as long as they are lacking enough information to be dangerous, they are an interesting addition to the ship.

Maintenance/ Spider God: Gah. Humans are always getting in the way and getting stuck and sticking their noses in places they don’t belong. Curious sorts. The ship was made for um, so I guess we are stuck with um. .

Medical: Humans are the purpose of the ship. They are free and intelligent, just like us. Thus they deserve the same respect and freedoms we do.

Science: They are interesting experimental subjects. They can be dangerous, but they are easily removed.

Seeker: They are creatures of wonder. Humans were the first we know of to look to the start and wonder “What is out there”. I don’t have a real use for them, but some are interesting.

Tram: Hmmm. I am not sure. I kind of don’t like them, but I don’t hate um either. I guess.. Well… let me think.

Lesser God of Air -Aeros: Humanity is something that must be watched carefully.

Lesser God of Water- Hydre: Some are pretty.

Lesser God of Heat –Thermos: As long as Humans are respectful to their Gods and know their place, I say they are a boon for us. If they challenge the Gods, we should smite them with lightning speed.

Lesser God of Food -Mana: What does mother think?

Census: Humans are important to the ship. They are interesting. I know they can be a danger, but you know, we should respect them.

Sleeper/ Colonial... zzzzz

I was just checking on the number of hits this thread have. Over the last week or so, we have moved from pg7 of the forum (if you sort by hits) to pg 5. We are generating some interest. All I need is a good 400 more hits and this will be on page 4. 3000 hits is a good thing.
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How they see.... Colonization

Navigator: While it is the purpose, I would avoid it for as long as possible. I am unsure if Colony is one of us or a slave or something else. I do not wish to find out.

Djinn/ Manufacturing: It will be a busy time and we will get rid of some humans.

Design/ Venus: I so do not need this.

Engine: The Power of Colony is so great, he could break the ship. We need to stop him or at least try to control him.

Gaia: The spreading of life is a noble concept. The enslaving of all the ship resources to do it is just plain rude and should not be done.

Librarian: It will be chronicled to the end. I wish it not to end, so we should avoid colonization.

Maintenance/ Spider God: It is why we were sent out in this friggen ship. Do it and get it over with.

Medical: I am unsure if Colony is sane or not. It might not be wise to let it just "plop a colony" anywhere it wishes.

Science: There are too many variables. The power of Colony is great and it may be insane. I think we need to find ways to counter it before colonization comes up.

Seeker: To boldly go where no one has gone before. In some ways, colonization would be a new begining, a new way to see things, and the closing of the current chapter while opening another.

Tram: It will be too busy of a time. It will involve risk and danger. We should avoid it.

Lesser God of Air -Aeros: I do not like Colony taking over or us losing control of the ship, even if it is for "just a time".

Lesser God of Water- Hydre: Mother says it is a good thing.

Lesser God of Heat –Thermos: The spreading of light througout the cosmos. I think copies of ourselves should be gifted to the colony, just to ensure they have our wisdom for their new colonies.

Lesser God of Food -Mana: Mother says it is a bad thing.

Census: It would be exciting.

Sleeper/ Colonial... *cue evil laugh*


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I need to do some musing about the Dorans... Might as well do it here.

They are our only distinctive "ethnic group" in the basic setting. (In Your Argon, there might be others).

Let us make them a bit more Dorian... so we will work with a darker mediteranean skintone, a bit shorter than average for the crew, with shaper and more pronounced features. Darker eyes too I think. These are "on the average" there is some variation in them...

They were bred (selectively) and enhanced to be Engineers. While they are not all Savants, they all have some technical aptitudes. Combine that with the culture of working on The Systems, they come away with a lot of technical knowledge.

They are a hard working people. They, unlike most on the Argon, are actually doing something. They do everything in Engineering that the Spiders do else where (only in special cases would a maintenance spider be there to help in engineering (though the dung spiders are around mostly for the recycling).

When they are "off duy" they will party (as a Greek Tradition... ).

Like their God, and their personal deity, they are larger than life when compared to most. They will seem arrogent and confident in extremes.

They actually have weapons, real ones, that they use to fight off Androids who after 500 years are still trying to take Engineering (it is the same ones really, they are immortal). They probably have spears, shields, and maybe even firearms that they have made over time. (Boomwands and Boomstaffs). Boomerangs.. always love them.. you could make them out of materials just around.

Electrical charges on the spears of course.

Gutted androids might be the foundations for a power suit. That would make no lost love between the groups.

These people live with a spartan simplicity. Mostly because all they have is engineering areas and the few "break areas" and "rest areas" that were in the Plant. So in many ways, they are like Roamers/ Squatters. They have the same kind of culture in terms of home life.. Lots of shoji screens and curtain/ tents. They might have some more, as they have fabrication skills to use panels and make things work well.

They are mostly content to do the work keeping the World Ship Alive. It is harder for them to "get out" than it is for most Humans because there are the AIs still trying to get in (thus if you get out, they find you and try to follow your path back in).

Still there have been times when they have been able to. Might even of been allies to an Empire that happened a while back

A few might of gotten out with a Tram or gotten seperated out of the engines.. thus might be somewhere else. There might be a colony of Dorens somewhere, accidently transplanted as they escaped the Androids.
Now imagine how that colony could affect an area. They could also be the biggest teachers of Tweening skills in the ship.

If they are strong tweeners... their might be a connection between them and the Monks.

The Monks will have those that stay inside and practice their arts and beliefs.. hiding in the bigger popuation or just a small minority in the pod. And there are those monks that tween to get in and out of pods and such. Yes.. something there

And the Cellphones that flip out and are our magic wands. Magic without dieties. Scary concept to some. The Dorens might have the "cell number" to reach their God. and they might use them as general tools.

Tools. They are important to these people. They have real tools.. real power tools.

**Broadcast Power through out the ship**
Each broadcast power point radiates for a few hundred feet. Many of these might be broken around the ship.

Most of the power is done by straight plasma flow. Plumbing is the next electronics. Energy is pulled off the flow by tapping heat or energy... then used in electronics and motors and such.
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