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New to OA, what's a good way to "get into it"?
Quote:The end of the current backstory/primer consists of a fairly in depth overview of the setting (the table of contents at the end). Are you saying that's still a bit too abstract and 'Planescape like' to really work for a new person?

Hmmmm... Has the primer been reworked during the last year or so? I read through it the last time I tried getting into the setting, and I don't remember it quite so friendly. I browsed through it again just now, and it seems a lot more approachable than it felt back then. Meaning either it was reworked and somebody did a very good job, or the like 6 or so hours of reading in the last few days have resulted in the accumulation of enough information for it to suddenly make a lot more sense. If the first is the case, great. If the second is the case, it might be a hint that it might indeed not fully fulfill its purpose as entry-level reading.

Quote:Basically a sort of 'Narrative hook sub-setting' that works to introduce new people to the setting in a less dry and more approachable (and less overwhelming perhaps) manner. Is that sort of what you're thinking here?
I don't think it has to be fully narrative (as in the sense of being encapsulated in a story with an actual plot), but other than that, yes, that's pretty much what I mean.

Quote:What if we were to take the 'Solar System in 10,600AT' article, or a portion of it, and maybe combine it with a number of the 'Snapshots' (mini stories each describing some aspect of the setting) that we've started adding to articles as a way of making the setting more approachable?

I've read through about half of it by now, it's pretty long... But conceptually, yes, I believe this might work. Definitely don't hit the reader on the head with introducing the Godess of earth in her ring of super-processors surrounding the sun right in the first paragraph, though... Tongue

Quote:Coming at this from another direction - regardless of where we might end up setting such a beachhead, what sort of setting elements would be good to include?

sticking with the "Sol in 10600AT" example, I would possibly start with some flavour text describing a sight that could be from earth, then emphasise that it isn't actually earth but venus, from there take a very short detour to why it's not earth and why earth is off-limits, using that as an excuse to very coarsely introduce Gaia and the concept of S+ beings/Gods without going too much into any specific history.

After that it might be good to continue with the current population of Sol, i.e. introducing and explaining the concept of clades, and going very briefly into the clades common in the Sol system.
The concept of clades is very important though. Not just what they are, but also what they are not. When you explain it in the primer, for example, it says pretty nicely what a clade is, but since there wasn't much references in my brain to fall back on, I had some pretty wrong assumptions about what that entails, because there's no explanation of what they are not. By now I'm fairly certain that clades do in no way imply an overarching identity or even organisational structure between members of a clade, while my first assumption of them was that they have some form of political cohesion, possibly even governments. Basically I assumed they were OA-speak for "factions", simply because that's what most other settings would do by default. So when a concept you introduce defies "literary traditions" associated with it, it would be very helpful to point that out.
This chapter should also outline the fundamental forms of existence (embodied, sophtware, completely virtual vs. virtual presence (virch? still not sure what that means exactly), cyborgs and vecs (though I guess these fall under clades? see, confusion! Smile ), and potentially why vecs are not just considered AI.

Next, a short chapter on "architecture" might be nice to familiarise a new reader with all the crazy stuff he'll see very routinely. No great detail, just the rough outlines of structures commonly found in the solar system. For me personally this wasn't a problem as I feel mostly at home with all of that, but I imagine many people won't be.

Then a chapter talking a bit more in-dept about Gaia, other S+ entities in Sol and the concept of singularity levels in general, and how the overall government of the system is organised (I still don't quite get that from my reading so far... there seems to be some loose form of central authority called the Solar Organisation, but I'm not quite sure what they do and are responsible for exactly yet...) If there isn't a central government, again mention that, because people will expect it and just slap the job on GAIA intuitively, as she's the most powerful thing around. This would also be a good point to introduce major factions that are active in Sol itself, and a little bit of how they relate to each other and what their interests are. Though it would arguably not be such a great point to introduce planetary governments, that should stay with the specific planets. I do remember at least one player that wasn't related to a planetary government, something like NoCoZo or somesuch, I guess I'll have to look it up again. I thought I read about more interest groups, but I'm not sure anymore. That's one of the problems when you are confronted with something important while actually reading about something different at the moment: You tend to forget.

Once that's out of the way, I think it should be save going into the planets, and then in conclusion maybe a chapter on spaceflight. By what means and technologies people get around in the system as well as into and out of it, how hard or save that is, how common physical travel is at all, stuff like that that can lead one out into the wider setting.

Well, this post got way longer than intended. All just suggestions, pick anything you find helpful!

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RE: New to OA, what's a good way to "get into it"? - by jedidia - 02-14-2019, 07:06 AM

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