Essential Reading for Contributors

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Essential Reading for Contributors

Post by NoXion »

The setting of Nova Mundi makes a number of technological, scientific and philosophical assumptions that new readers and contributors may be unaware of. In order to aid understanding, this thread will provide the basic "rules" of the setting as well as provide a number of links to detailed examinations of salient topics.

The most basic rules of the setting are:

- Perpetual motion machines of the first and second kinds are impossible. Apparent PMMs are possible due to the cosmology of the setting, but in every case the energy has to come from somewhere, even if it's a pocket universe or something like that.

- No humanoid aliens. Do not, however, take this as some kind of rule against humanoid non-humans. If say, you wanted to introduce an intelligent race of anthropomorphic animals into the setting, there are multiple possibilities - they could be the consequence of uplifting, a culture of humans who genetically or biomechanically graft animal features into themselves, or they could be wholly biomechanical creations, created on the whim of a powerful AI or by other Terrans for a specific purpose. More generally, try as best you can to make the aliens in this setting really alien, not just physically but also psychologically - if you think the various cultures on Earth have different values, then the values of beings from other worlds will be even more so.

- Another thing to keep in mind when creating aliens is the Fermi paradox, or why we haven't seen any evidence of advanced technological aliens in real life, despite extensive astronomical observation of the galactic neighbourhood. This means that super-advanced technological aliens will be very far away in time as well as space, or that they are deliberately keeping themselves hidden.

- There is no "supernatural" or "mystical" element to the setting. There is no God, but there are beings who are so vast and powerful they may as well be gods from a baseline perspective. Sufficiently advanced technology can be indistinguishable from magic, and can be presented as such to those who don't know better.

- Faster than light travel is possible but not easy; constructing a wormhole pair requires anything from lunar to stellar amounts of mass-energy, depending on width, and FTL drives require a highly advanced understanding of physics that the majority Terran civilisation won't reach for at least a couple of dozen millennia.

- Psyonic powers exist as a skill that can be learned by anyone with the patience and ability to understand the lessons. In Nova Mundi, psyonic powers are a function of intelligence, not neural tissue. This means that non-organics can and do become powerful Psyons.

- Actual magic is possible within the setting, but only as a reality-warping imposition on our natural universe brought in by eldritch abominations which are ultimately alien to our form of existence. This means that prolonged use of and/or exposure to magic can have a destructively twisting effect, and also acts as a beacon to other extra-universal horrors...

With those basics laid down, I can now point you to some useful links that have relevance to the setting:

Transhumanist Terminology - A comprehensive listing of terms, which this setting is intended to draw on.

Tech Levels - This page and the rest of the website provide a useful yardstick for the state of technology in the setting. For example, most major factions in the setting during the 22nd century have a Tech Level of 15-16.

Traversable Wormholes - A detailed discussion of their physics and implications. Probably more relevant to later in the setting.

Tales of Future Past - A useful inspiration for anyone wishing to contribute something with a retro-futuristic flavour.

Atomic Rockets - Takes a detailed look at the implications of and requirements for manned interplanetary/interstellar travel.

The Planetary Classification List 6th Edition - for those of us bored with kind of worlds typically found in science fiction.
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