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About Ian Watson

  • Birthday 06/01/1979

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  1. I was reminded yesterday that I had posted a small essay about how I feel paramorphs (and Z-rays) work, right here on EON.
  2. Believe me, I've had extensive conversations with Bruce et al. about this. It was Andrew Bates' opinion that Mercer is the only paramorph. Daredevils are just humans who happen to be particularly lucky or skilled. Bruce Baugh's opinion was that daredevils and paramorphs were the same thing, with Mercer being on a plateau beyond most typical daredevils. I prefer this explanation, myself. In any case, the APG's reference is indeed supposed to be about Max Mercer. The problem with paramorphs is that, since their "powers" are practically indistinguishable from skill and luck, it's nearly impossible for Tantalus to find them. My personal theory involves them being surrounded by a "bubble" of quantum/subquantum which has the effect of manipulating probabilities, but such a "bubble" contains roughly equal mixtures of both energies, so they'd still read as neutral to any scans. It's doubtful even the technology available to the Trinity Era would be able to identify such individuals, let alone the Aberrant Era. Captether mentioned my Wiki (I always like to hear that people are using it). I do have an article on Project Tantalus. It's short, but I included a symbol I created for the Project, if you want to use it. Likewise for Pandora (psions) and a symbol for Proteus. I've also got 'em kicking around for Argonaut and Cyclops, but they haven't been uploaded anywhere. I believe Asia Ascendant, and to a lesser extent Terra Verde, have some "Aberrants" which use stalwart or daredevil knacks.
  3. What can I say? I think a lot about the nitty-gritty of the Trinity Universe. (: Thanks! I was aware that you were working on AI, but I had no idea it had anything to do with me. ::blink What were we arguing about? On a quick skim, it looks very good, although it's more of a rules update than fluff. I like the new Knacks. I was going to include a similar section in the Trinity ST Handbook.
  4. Glad everyone's enjoying it so far. (: There's certainly room for it if you want to go that way. Hell, if the VP extends beyond Earth, there's nothing saying that weirdness can't happen on Luna or Mars or elsewhere in the galaxy. But I wouldn't say that such regions exist in an official sense, no. However, with sufficient Inspired science, it might be possible to maintain a bubble of altered reality, and perhaps to create new ones. I can think of one person in the Adventure! rulebook who may have done just this.
  5. The following comes from my own thoughts regarding Adventure!'s Z-rays, based on conversations with various people involved with the creation of the series. --- Z-rays do not exist as a discrete energy in and of themselves, but are a phenomenon generated by the interaction of quantum and subquantum energies. The discovery of subquantum is still several centuries away, and even then its interaction with quantum is not well understood. Perhaps with the the arrival of new "daredevils" following the Venezuelan Phenomenon, investigation into this mysterious realm can finally get underway. For the purposes of this dissertation, and in the interest of brevity, Z-rays will be treated here as a separate energy. In quantum mechanics, we learn that particles of matter do not exist in a solid sense like a billiard ball, but in a probability cloud. Heisenberg pointed out that the more precisely a particle's position is known, the less precisely one can know its velocity, and vice versa. Even more bizarrely, Richard Feynman discovered that particles don't have a single history, but rather have all histories. If a particle is at point A, and later at point B, it can be shown to have travelled every conceivable path between A and B. However, once again, one can measure each path's probability to determine the most likely path taken by the particle. In plain English, if you are attempting to determine the position of a pendulum, the position distribution can be shown as a bell curve; it's therefore most probable at any given time that the pendulum will be in the middle position. This situation doesn't just apply to particles, but on a large scale as well. The most probable path for an object on the large scale exactly conforms to predictions made by Newtonian physics. Also, as can be shown in the double-slit light experiment. The "Shroedinger's Cat" thought experiment demonstrates that an object's state rests in a state of limbo, with a 50/50 chance of either probability, until observation "locks" it into one of those probabilities. Now here's where things get hinky. The quantum forces dictate how particles interact with each other, while subquantum forces deal with information. On the scales normally employed by psions and novas, quantum and subquantum interfere with each other to a large degree, but at fairly low scales, they can actually work together. Combining the control of matter with the control of information results in the ability to affect probability. Places The uncontrolled explosion of Z-rays in the 1920s had an unforeseen effect on the world: they temporarily adjusted the history probabilities for certain places. These are places which had only received the most cursory of observation, if any, and thus Z-rays didn't have much observation to "fight against." This resulted in areas far from civilization - the foggy wilds of Transylvania, the deep swamps of the southern US, caverns extending deep underground, and so on - instantly getting new histories written for them, despite the improbability of dinosaurs in the modern day. These alternate histories seemed to be based more on imagination rather than simple observation. As time goes on, and Z-rays begin to dissipate, these locations begin to reassert the "correct" history, returning to the most probable outcome. By the Trinity era, Earth has largely been investigated and catalogued to such an extent that the Venezuelan Phenomenon, amplified though it was, didn't have sufficient momentum to overcome the known world as observed, and thus no "newly discovered" ancient civilizations or the like were found. People Some people hit by the initial Hammersmith explosion - and the later Venezuelan Phenomenon - got affected by it. It may have been a certain frame of mind they were in, a material they were handling, or perhaps a genetic quirk. The scientists of the Trinity Universe may never find out why. In any case, once affected, they become sort of encased in a bubble of personal spacetime. This bubble functions largely like normal spacetime, except the prevalence of Z-rays within the bubble. The Z-rays respond to the unconscious desires of their owner to a certain extent, affecting the probabilities of the world around them. Traffic congestion and traffic lights function in a way to impede any followers, the individual just happens to make perfectly-aimed attacks, and what seemed to be a killing strike is rendered a glancing blow. These bubbles affect the probabilities of the outside world only slightly (no instant armies of ninjas at your beck and call), so they're generally strong enough to survive the duration of an individual's life, or several decades at least. It should be noted that, like electron shells on an atom, daredevils have at least one additional "energy level." The common expression of daredevil manifestation is as described above, the unconscious manipulation of probability, or perpendicular time. The higher energy level, much less common, is the conscious manipulation of linear time. Instead of merely manipulating the quantum histories of the world around them, they are able to consciously manipulate their own personal history and its place in larger spacetime. The only known example of this manifestation achieved the higher energy level by being directly present at the initial Hammersmith explosion. While events of this type are exceedingly rare, it is not recommended for anyone to attempt to repeat this themselves, just as it's not recommended for aspiring novas to place themselves in mortal danger in the hopes of awakening a dormant M-R node.
  6. At the bottom of the thread, there should be a bar with two dropdown boxes. On the right, one reading "Merge Posts." On the left, one labelled "Moderation Options." Moderation Options includes a "Pin this topic" entry.
  7. Node is already 1-10... the concept I had was that Attunement would represent every living thing's connection to the underlying subquantum universe. On the Aberrant sheet it would run backwards, and every time Node overlaps Attunement, you gain Taint. In terms of changing stuff, I made that several years (and hard drives) ago. I'm not sure I have the original files/programs needed to alter those. Mr Gone's site has several different sheets which may be of use, including a few different Aberrant sheets.
  8. Just found where on my HD I'd hidden my nAberrant sheet, and uploaded it for your perusal. http://ianw.wolf-spoor.org/downloads/AberrantSheet.pdf Happy to answer questions.
  9. I poked at making an Aberrant conversion to the Storytelling System here: http://community.livejournal.com/etherlab/tag/naberrant There's also some stuff covering the other games. I tried to tie all three of them together in a way that made sense.
  10. It's nowhere near complete, certainly. It's been sitting there for years and no one's bothered contributing to it. One of these days when I have some damn time, I'm going to have to roll up my sleeves and hit it myself.
  11. For those who haven't, read the opening fic for the Trinity ST Handbook (can be found at the RPGBooks wiki in my sig). It was written by Stew "DigitalRaven" Wilson, based on a general overview Bruce Baugh gave me. Enkidu's people have been living in the clouds of Venus. Make of that what you will.
  12. Certainly, go for it if you want to. Sounds like great game fodder. (: The way I see it... okay, you know basic quantum theory, yes? Where a particle like an electron doesn't have a definite position, just a cloud of probabilities. It only "collapses" down into a specific location once it's been observed. There's far more to it than that, of course, but it's the salient point. In the 1920s, there was still a good portion of the Earth which hadn't really been explored. Until they've been explored, they sort of exist in an undefined cloud of probabilities (and, once explored, collapse down into the most likely probability, which is "reality"). The Hammersmith explosion artificially collapsed many of these waveforms, instead choosing the highly improbable (seems to have been based almost on expectations and myth of the local populace). So instead of "just" a swamp, you get the dinosaur swamp. Instead of just a cave, you get a population of underground creatures. And once these locales are "created," they exist as though they have always existed, with a full history. The dissipation of Z-rays by the 1940s means that waveform probabilities are no longer artificially locked in place, so most of the Hidden World disappears to become more mundane by that time. Of course, by the 2120s, Earth has been mapped out in far more detail. There are no uncollapsed waveforms for the Venezuelan Phenomenon to affect. Once the Phenomenon reaches other worlds, on the other hand....
  13. It was supposed to be the first supplement for Battleground, but the line was cancelled before it was released. We had planned to do our own version of it, along with a list of third-party figs that could stand in for FSA troops and teks. With most of CtheC, the project sort of petered out and didn't go anywhere. I really should put what I have up on RPGBooks in the event someone wants to help finish it.
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