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A lurker on this site, decided to finally introduce myself
(02-07-2020, 09:13 AM)SolarRider Wrote: Hello OA, I’m SolarRider. I stumped on your site 5 years ago from a gaming forum about a realistic space sim game. A user on a discussion I was viewed posted a link to your homepage and from there afterwards I was hooked. What hooked me was the fact Orion’s Arm take place in a highly plausible sci-fi setting which is something that I’ve always had a bit of an obsession since I was young. Another reason is OA is entirely world-building, literally excites me because it fresh ideas from people who love to speculate the future and I’ve always wanted to present my ideas. Currently I been having a huge project that I’ve been cooking on and off for almost 2 years. I also do have some questions about the setting itself. While I do have a general grasp on the lore and terminology of OA from the EG article, there are some stuff that do leave me confused. So Today, I decided to reveal myself to the OA community to ask you some questions about the setting and the rules.

Hi there! Welcome to OA Smile

Thank you for the kind words about the project! It is very much a labor of love and also just darn fun to work on. But it's also nice to hear that others are enjoying it from an entertainment perspective as well.

Over the years we've helped out a number of people with their own projects, so if you have any questions or other worldbuilding related things we might be able to advise or assist on, please don't hesitate to ask.

Regarding your questions below...

(02-07-2020, 09:13 AM)SolarRider Wrote: My questions are:

What are the limitation of SI:6 Archais. Can they/them survive on their own, creating a civilization far away without any other SI 6s around, or do they need other’s around as it mutually beneficial like for example we need other humans to survive. A human being can survive in isolation if they have skills, the knowledge and enough resources around them, however they usually will have a shorter life span than humans in a communal environment. does the same apply for them?

I'm actually going to break up the answer to this question into two parts. Re the very first sentence, I'm going to refer you to this article HERE, which is about this very subject. Please note that this is not a complete list in the sense that it covers every possible variant of some of the examples listed. For example, the inability to break physical laws leads to a whole range of specific things that transapients and archai can't do, but which aren't explicitly detailed on the page. But it hopefully provides a foundation to start thinking about such things.

Regarding the the rest of your question - In principle any transapient, from S1 on up, can survive on its own and create a civilization comparable to what those of its own S-level can create in Terragen civilization. The big difference would be the level of effort required (although the concept of LOE can be a bit difficult to pin down given the kind of technology that OA describes) and to some degree the amount of time it would take. The reason for this is that - unlike humans or other human equivalent entities within the setting, the transapients/archai don't just use tools and infrastructure created by their civilization - they are the tools and infrastructure that their civilizations use to do things. In other words, their various empires and sphere's of influence, and institutions are direct extensions of their bodies and minds to some degree or in some sense. This state of affairs is very different from anything that has existed in real life so far and makes discussions of what kind of civilization the Terragens have and what it can do somewhat...challenging to work out.

Some of the technologies that let them pull off that kind of thing include:

Self-replicating machinery
Self-managing omni-capable automation
The ability to create minds
The ability to copy minds, including their own (although for the larger Archai this will take more time and effort and may require some different approaches).

Note btw that human level minds in OA can also - in principle - take off and start an entire civilization on their own - but in their case they aren't truly doing it from scratch but are instead taking advantage of the implied support of the wider civilization in the form of tools and programs that the wider civilization has created and made available to the human level mind. Think of it as similar to the case of using a car to travel hundreds of kilometers in a matter of hours. Yes, you can do it - but that's because the wider civ has created the hardware and infrastructure that lets you do this.

(02-07-2020, 09:13 AM)SolarRider Wrote: Is it possible for transapients or even Archais to disappear willing without their superiors intervening?

Transapients can presumably become Hiders (what it says on the tin) or Leavers (sophonts who get on spaceships and aim to flee Terragen civilization) but it's unlikely that they can really do so anything to truly hide or disappear from higher transapients and archai if those beings really care to keep an eye on them. Certainly at the modosophont level the various Hiders and Backgrounders are generally considered to just be being humored by the ruling transapients rather than truly being successful (although I suppose the really successful ones wouldn't be reported on in the EGTongue).

For the archai, there is the issue of their great size which makes simply taking off or disappearing rather more challenging. OTOH, the highest archai can also create basement universes into which - given enough time - they could potentially transfer themselves and then cut off the connection back to our universe, disappearing about as completely as possible in the OA setting.

(02-07-2020, 09:13 AM)SolarRider Wrote: For a Sophont whether they’re Modosophonts, Transapients, or even Archailects, do they need to have a set of instructions or acquired knowledge of the process to in order ascend/transcend to the next toposopic level, or are they able to do it independently and in their own way? What I noticed is that in the case of Modosophonts ascension/transcension, most of the time they get help from Transapients. 

It is possible for sophonts to ascend/transcend independently, but it can be extremely dangerous to do it that way - not just to the sophont attempting to jump to a higher S-level, but to innocent bystanders or even the entire local civilization.

The act of jumping to a higher S-level involves (in part) rewriting your own mind from the inside. Due to various factors, including the unique nature of each individual mind, the insetting limitations of any mind to fully and completely understand the mind of a being of the same S-level (including themselves), and things like chaos theory, there is always an element of uncertainty to the process, and a number of possible failure modes. These include the sophont actually ending up less intelligent than when they started, going insane, seeing no difference at all, experiencing only a partial jump in which only some parts of their mind jump to a higher S-level (transavants), or...becoming a blight or a perversion. A transapient that is also utterly hostile to lower S-life forms or that is insane in dangerous ways, or both.

Now to all of the above, add in that even an S1 level mind can - with moderate effort - restructure an entire solar system and/or manipulate lower minds to a degree that would put the best con artist who ever lived to absolute shame - and consider the potential consequences. Entire solar systems have died (or worse) as a result of an ascension/transcension gone wrong.

For all of these reasons, nearly everywhere in the Civilized Galaxy strongly encourages (in polite phrasing) that any attempt to ascend/transcend be supervised by a transapient of equal or higher S-level than the level that is being aimed for.

(02-07-2020, 09:13 AM)SolarRider Wrote: A Canon/lore question: my big project is creating a unique meta-empire with a twist, it’s about an isolate terragen civilization that are located currently around 200-300 ly away from the current extent of the Terragen Sphere, is there any rules that can be against the idea, or can it be lore-breaking for the setting since terragens has always been concentrated in the Sphere

The big question that comes to mind reading this is: How did they manage to get far enough ahead of the expanding Terragen colonization wave to set up their own civilization (somewhat dependent on how big this empire is)? The wave isn't moving at the speed of light, but it is moving at a significant fraction of it and so there would only be a limited amount of time for the civ to get going and expand to whatever size it is.

It might be argued that the Terragen Sphere is where Terragens are to be found, so this civilization would - somewhat by definition - be in the Terragen Sphere by dint of existing and being Terragen. But that may be neither here nor there.

Beyond the above, I'd need to know more about the civilization in question before I could make much more of a determination about potential issues or conflicts that it might cause in attempting to add it to the setting. Can you tell us more about it?

(02-07-2020, 09:13 AM)SolarRider Wrote: Also any tips about creating a policy, I would very much appreciate it.

I would say that the most important thing you can do is to create a consistent set of rules for your setting - and then stick with them even if they limit what can be done in that setting. This doesn't mean you can never ever expand or change the rules of your setting after the initial creation - but that should be a last resort, not the first response to any limit that you run into.

The rules may be hard science (convenient because most of it has been created for you in real life), but don't have to be.

The big thing you want to avoid is setting things up with such a loose set of rules that virtually anything goes and virtually all problems can be solved by invoking the 'particle of the week' or a 'subspace wedgie'. At that point, worldbuilding becomes so open ended that (IMHO) it starts interfering with the creativity of your setting because there is little or no incentive to try to solve problems with anything but yet another 'particle of the week' or 'subspace wedgie'. So even if you want to have your setting include some type of exotic fictional particles or subspace wedgies - it is better to give them clearly defined limits and applications.

Beyond that...

Limits - the more capable the tech, the better it is to also include what its limitations are in the description.

Make sure your bad guys can shoot straightSmile

Hope this helps. Please feel free to ask any additional questions as they come up. Part of what we do here is answer questionsSmile

And once again - Welcome to OA!


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RE: A lurker on this site, decided to finally introduce myself - by Drashner1 - 02-07-2020, 01:27 PM

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