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  1. On The Doyen

    Hello, everyone. As work progresses on Aberrant: Nexus, I'm now faced with writing up a small section dealing with the Doyen from the Trinity gameline, which only has limited information on them. And as I've done before, I'd like to hear what ideas on the Doyen you folks might have. Although this material will focus on the Doyen during the Nova Age, it should apply for Trinity and Adventure! chronicles as well. I'll repost the canon Doyen data here (as seen below), followed by a few of my own ideas on the Doyen. The latter can and might well be changed or outright rejected, depending on the feedback from you folks. Any serious ideas about the Doyen that you'd be willing to share would be greatly appreciated. CANON DATA >1-The Doyen are a "transcendent" Forerunner alien civilization whose origins predate not only Humanity but the formation of the Solar System. Their original homeworld was likely destroyed when their star became a red giant. By "Forerunner" I mean the Doyen are one of those super-advanced alien civilizations That Came Before the currently-existing younger sapient species came into being. As for what "transcendent" means, please refer to Point #7 below. >2-Doyen are exceedingly long-lived, but not immortal as they can be killed. Many if not most individual Doyen are older than Humanity. >3-Doyen see themselves - unjustifiably - as being far superior to all the younger/lesser/upstart sapient species, and take offense at the idea that such beings would dare to question the "wisdom" of their elders. Doyen think that only they can comprehend the "big picture" of what is going on in the universe, and see their own actions as being in the best interests of the younger, ignorant sapient species. They're pretty full of themselves - arrogant, conceited, pretentious, you name it. >4-Doyen consider themselves too evolved to engage in direct conflict. Stripped of pretension, this means that Doyen are inherently cowardly and deeply paranoid beings who like to get others to do their dirty work for them. This cowardice and paranoia are natural parts of the Doyen psyche - any Doyen who isn't a deeply paranoid coward is considered insane. This is the result of uncounted epochs of enjoying the advantages of their psionic powers and physical state - they are far less used to dealing with actual danger/threats on a regular basis as a human would be. >5-Doyen perceive time differently than younger, short-lived species such as Humanity, Qin & the Chromatics. They are deliberate, long-term thinkers and shape plans over extremely long periods of time. In turn, they are very poor at thinking "on the spot" where quick reactions are required and can easily make mistakes in those circumstances. They also underestimate the apparent - from the Doyen POV - impatience of the younger species. >6-The Doyen have been acting as patrons to those younger species who they feel may be useful to them, the Qin being the prime example. This allows the Doyen to exploit them as needed and also steer their natural development in directions that won't pose a threat to the Doyen or their interests. >7-Doyen are creatures of pure noetic energy, condensed into the physical world. As they have a much more active link to the subquantum world they feel the disruption of quantum energy far more intensely than psions. While a psion finds it harder to manipulate noetic energy when the local area is bombarded with quantum energy, the Doyen are physically and mentally disrupted by the quantum flux — they flicker in and out of existence. They are reminded that humans have the capability within them to manipulate quantum energy and that is one of the very few things that scares the Doyen as a species. Like other psionic disruption, it is actually the quantum manifestation rather than the uncontrolled taint radiation that causes this effect, though the Doyen (along with every other group in Trinity) do not believe that taint and quantum differ. >8-Doyen are resistant to mundane attacks - bashing and lethal - due to their quasi-solid bodies. What matter their bodies consist of resembles a one-meter rough sphere of rust-colored smoke which is tangible and viscous to the touch. Their bodies also give off slight, harmless discharges of static electricity. When they die, the cloud collapses into a small puddle of rusty goo. >9-Doyen have powerful psionic capabilities in multiple Aptitudes, except for Quantakinesis. Both known specimens (Ascent into Light pp.109-110 & Alien Encounter 1: Invasion pp.113-114) had each Telepathy Mode at 5; each Biokinesis, Psychokinesis and Vitakinesis Mode at 4; and each Clairsentience and Electrokinesis Mode at 3. Doyen also likely have each Teleportation Mode at 4, as the latter specimen used Translocation 4 to teleport itself off of Chrome-Prime after being exposed as a malevolent manipulator to the Chromatics. Both specimens also had Willpower and Psi ratings of 9. Exceptional Doyen might have higher ratings than those seen above at the Storyteller's discretion. >10-Doyen can possess - similar to the Parasitic Possession Extra of the Dominate quantum power - Trinity-Era psions, who have all gone through the Prometheus Process. Psionically Inspired beings of any other kind - not to mention beings with other forms of Inspiration - cannot be possessed by Doyen. >11-Doyen possess noetic biotechnology that is millennia ahead of both the Qin and 22nd Century Humanity. MY OWN THOUGHTS >1-I suspect that the Doyen have no direct means of attaining the level of power that a Quantum 6+ nova/aberrant is capable of. The most powerful Doyen may have access to Proxy-level powers in multiple Modes, but that would be the upper limit AFAICT. >2-Instead of matching quantum powers directly, the Doyen must use their noetic biotech in order to do so. Huge noetic amplifiers, biotech mecha, doomsday weapons - anything a Forerunner civilization ought to be capable of creating, but interpreted as noetic biotech. >3-The Doyen's Technology Rating is low for a Forerunner civilization, either at T12 or T13. Both listings are posted below for reference. As I suspect the Doyen technology base is entirely comprised of noetic biotech, the issues of formatting and tolerance overload would restrict the devices an individual Doyen may have access to. That is in addition to the effects of the Doyen's natural cowardice and deep paranoia - there's little reason why they would not be fearful of and extremely paranoid about their own kind. Any civilization where innovation is automatically considered suspect will find their technological development stagnating. Another question is the size and mobility of such devices. Also, there may be serious risks to the health of Doyen attempting to operate such hyper-powerful biotech devices. T12 - Mature Interstellar Age: Spacecraft capable of quick interstellar travel are invented. The closest stars take hours to reach and those further out days or a few weeks as appropriate. Crossing an entire galaxy will take many weeks, months or years. Spacecraft capable of slow intergalactic travel are possible, but are limited in function as are T10 interstellar spacecraft and generally only travel to the satellite dwarf galaxies and star clusters of their home galaxy. Interplanetary travel is a matter of mere minutes. FTL communications systems are invented, allowing data to flow quickly as far as the network spreads. Molecular nanotechnology matures, allowing for the cheap fabrication of high-quality devices and organics. Mass production of diamondoid and other materials of diamond-quality strength. Means of feasibly producing exotic forms of matter - such as hyperdense matter - are developed. Affordable antimatter production allows it to be used as a compact energy source and as hyper-efficient rocket fuel. Medical nanotechnology makes nearly all older medical practices obsolete, as living bodies can be harmlessly taken apart and reassembled in perfect health in specialized vats. Minds can also be copied without requiring the original's destruction and "played back" into living bodies or AI formats. Neurotechnology matures; allowing for the invention of direct neural interfaces that only require skin contact to function, neural disruption weapons and "telepathic" technology. Sensors can automatically scan for nearly anything known to T12 science. Matter transmission between transceivers is invented. X-ray laser weapons and many forms of particle beam weapons are invented. Body armors are typically powered exoskeletons and incorporate diamondoid composites and exotic alloys. Gravity manipulation technologies mature; allowing for the development of personal flight gear, small AI-driven robot missiles, force fields, tractor/pressor beams and gravitic weapons. Hypergravity technology allows for very compact nuclear reactors and hyperdense armor to be created. T13 - Early Intergalactic Age: Spacecraft capable of intergalactic travel are invented. The closest galaxies take weeks to reach and those further out months or years as appropriate. Total mass/energy conversion is the premier power source of T13 spacecraft and cities, with tiny antimatter reactors being used for small vehicles. Astronomical engineering is now possible, with moving planets and disassembling them for raw materials being commonplace. Dyson sphere and ringworld construction are also feasible. The T12 advances in exotic matter and nanotchnology are woven into the fabric of civilizations at this Technology Rating. "Self-healing" metals containing their own repair nanomachines are invented. Nanomachine swarms capable of reproducing themselves are developed. Medical nanomachines can assemble full-grown living bodies from a genetic sample in just a few days and imprint them with recorded minds. They can also grow cybernetic implants within living bodies without any need for surgery. The distinction between organic and machine sapience becomes academic, as organic sapients can "upload" their minds into AI formats and AIs can "download" themselves into organic bodies as a routine medical procedure. Lifespan length becomes indefinite, as proper medical treatments prevent aging and can transfer minds permanently into new bodies as desired. The creation of Von Neumann machines is now feasible, and can transform planets in almost any way desired - bioforming, reconstruction, disassembly - in just a few months. Matter transmission that do not require transceivers to receive and retrieve passengers and/or cargo is invented. Gamma-ray lasers, and matter disintegration weapons are developed. Time dilation effects can be created with force fields, even to the point of seemingly "freezing time". Personal force fields and stasis fields become standard defenses against T13 weaponry. >4-Doyen cannot possess creatures that have not undergone some form of the Prometheus Process - don't even bother rolling the dice, such attempts always automatically fail. Instead, Doyen must rely on their Telepathy modes to manipulate those creatures. Attempting to possess a nova or aberrant is automatic suicide for a Doyen. >5-The Doyen's culture is likely reactionary in the extreme if not completely hidebound when it comes to any form of change. They've had it good - in comparison to Humanity - for so long that they've gotten really comfortable with their status quo. Faced with anything that could disrupt their beloved status quo, their initial impulse will be to find out the cause of that change and nip it in the bud. Soooo... your thoughts on all that, anyone?
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