|Science . . . cannot exist on the basis of a treaty of strick non-aggression with the rest of society; from either side, there is no defensible frontier.|
- John Krasher Price
|There is no such thing as philosophy-free science; there is only science whose philosophical baggage has been taken on board without examination.|
- Daniel Dennet
|"They're idealists, unfortunately." |
. . . "So? My lord, there are worse crimes"
"No, there are not."
- Daniel Keys Moran, "The Ring"
|You do not destroy an idea by killing people; you replace it with a better one. |
- Edward Keating
|"Science" means simply the aggregate of all the recipes that are always successful. All the rest is literature.|
- Paul Valery
|It has become too easy to see that the luckless men of the past lived by mistaken, even absurd beleifs; so we may fail in a decent respect for them, and forget that the historians of the future will point out that we too lived by myths. |
- Herbert Huller
|"If you don't have the courage to lose, then you don't have the capacity to tell the truth." |
- Jerry Brown
|An understanding of the past might help in the present insofar as it broadens our knowledge of human nature, provides us with inspiration or a warning, or suggests plausible, though always fallible arguements about the likely possibilities of certain things happening under certain conditions. None of this, however, comes anywhere near the immutable predictive certainty of a scientific law.|
- Richard Evans
|Education is but a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.|
- Will Durrant
|I think two kinds of humanity create events: fools and visionaries. Chaos itself may be an illusion. Perhaps what we do does matter. I think it’s a chance worth taking. I’d hate to leave it all to fools.|
- C J Cherryh, “Visible Light”
|Everyone is a liar - one way or another - to one degree or another. No one can tell the truth about themselves. It is quite impossible. Something must always be justified. Always, something must be justified. We do each other dreadful harm because we refuse to recognise the foibles of others - only our own. |
- Timonthy Findley, "Pilgrim"
|Nothing exists except atoms and empty space; everything else is opinion. |
|Science is a first-rate piece of furniture for a man's upper chamber, if he has common sense on the ground floor.|
- Oliver Wendell Holmes
|Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.|
- James Klass
|Do you believe then that the sciences would ever have arisen and become great if there had not beforehand been magicians, alchemists, astrologers, and wizards who thirsted and hungered after abscondite and forbidden powers? |
- Friedrich Wilhelm Nietsche
|Learn a new language and get a new soul.|
- Czech Proverb
|Languages serve not only to express though but to make possible thoughts which could not exist without it.|
- Bertrand Russell
|"Silence is the language God speaks. Everything else is a bad interpretation."|
|It is a hard thing to speak the truth. It is difficult to make hidden forces appear.|
- Horqarnoq (Inuit Shaman)
|They [corporations] cannot commit treason, nor be outlawed, nor excommunicate, for they have no souls.|
- Sir Edward Coke
|This is business efficiency: an executive says “Look, we’ve cornered the market at last. Now that we’ve eliminated our competitors, we can increase prices as we like. But to do that, we have to keep selling. Our products last a year. If we make it last nine moths, we shall increase our sales by 25%.”|
- Herbert Lomas
|The liberation of language is rooted in the liberation of ourselves.|
- Mary Daly
|Language is a kind of human reason, which has its own internal logic of which man knows nothing.|
- Claude Levi-Strauss
|Death ... it's the only thing we haven't succeeded in completely vulgarizing.|
- Aldous Huxley
|Death is the only gramatically correc full stop.|
- Brian Paten
|The hidden stone ripens fast, then laid bare like a turnip can easily be cut out at last but even then the danger isn't past. That man lives best who's fain to live half mad, half sane. |
- Jan Van Stijevoort
|I guess if you were ever charged with necrophillia, that would be the perfect defence: I didn’t know they were dead. I thought I was having sex with a civil servant. |
- Paul Lindsay
|“A slaves road,” she said finally. “A road where my soul dies a bit each day and my feet keep moving so that another’s heart may beat.” |
- Tara K Harper, “Cat Scratch Fever”
|If any should not work, neither should he eat.|
- II Thessalonians 3:10
|Work is the grand cure of all the maladies and miseries that ever beset mankind.|
- Thomas Carlyle
|Thanks to words, we have been able to rise above the brutes; and thanks to words, we have often sunk to the level of demons.|
- Aldous Huxley
|What is most original in man’s nature if often what is most desperate. Thus new systems are forced on the world by men who cannot bear the pain of living with what is. Creators care nothing for their systems except that they be unique.|
- Leonard Cohen, “Beautiful Losers”
|Names are magic, names are all the magic there is . . . |
- Peter S Beagle, “The Folk of the Air”
|There are certain diseases I fear, Etjole. Among them are the chills and fevers a mosquito brings, the swelling of limbs one gets from an infestation of certain worms, the closure of the bowels, the clap, the spotted death, leprosy, and altruism. I count the last among the most deadly. |
- Alan Dean Foster, “Carnivores of Light and Darkness”
|They think if people possess enough they will be content to live in prison. But I will not believe that. I want the walls down. |
- Ursula Le Guin, “The Dispossessed”
|‘He’s had a near-death experience!’|
‘We all have. It’s called “living.”’
- Terry Pratchett, “Hogfather”
|Knowledge is gained by learning; trust by doubt; skill by practice; and love by love.|
- Thomas Szusz
|When I walk on the street counting my steps, magic keeps silent and reality stalks me. |
- William Markiewicz, "Extracts of Existence"
|From nonexistence I entered existence and what did I find? Bad weather. |
- William Markiewicz, "Extracts of Existence"
|For most people, the only one who sees into their soul is God. And most of us wish even God was a little nearsighted. |
- Joan D Vinge
"Partnership is not service but loyalty. We serve each other to better each other, man and machine. We live together by the 5 precepts. One, The highest suffer most. Two, there is no way to rule the free. Three, logic is the path to wisdom. Four, science is the way. Five, the dictates of reason are paramount over all others."
SCIENCE: A way of finding things out and then making them work. Science explains what is happening around us the whole time. So does RELIGION, but science is better because it comes up with more understandable excuses when it is wrong. There is a lot more Science than you think.
Once there were dark ages, when darkness ruled the world and men revelled in baseness and savagery, believing in things they could not prove and even things that did not exist. In this time, the men of science arose and fought a long and bloody war, of words and weapons, logic against madness, and the world was freed. Now we live in the paradise that our ancestors always dreamed of, the utopia science has created and only science can sustain. Guided by AIs, logic and reason, we have achieved perfection.
- Terry Pratchett, Wings
- Opening words of "The History of Earth," System Educational Document, Basic Level 001.
Welcome to a future. Welcome to the world of man, freed of the burdens of the past and the needs for a future, where our every whim can be real and our fantasies become reality. In this world, earth has become a vast underground city, fed by robot farmers who live on the surface, a world where people are free to take any job they wish, work wherever the wish and live where they choose. It is a world at peace, where there is no longer war, or poverty, or want.
The PCs are a family living in this age, average people living average lives that are about to change, drastically.
What if you woke up one day and found out your life was a lie? What if you woke up and found that it wasn't one? What if it was both a lie and the truth, woven together in such a way that no one knows what has been? To the Greeks, the only direction we could look was to the past, because we could see what had been done to us, while the future comes up unexpectedly behind us. There is no past to look forward to anymore, only a black wall no one may question, only truths that no one every questions.
Utopia has been achieved. Perhaps is said long enough, it might come true, or even be true. And is it, for most people. Perhaps one in a hundred people rebel, or vanish, or flee the City that has become earth. Fools, children, idealists: they are the only people who rebel and they fail, and fall, because they do not know what they want, only that what they don't want is everything. And so they fall into the cracks, into the places between the lights where the poor and broken and useless live. But even so, for the masses the world is all they know, and it gives them stability and freedom and science.
The future utopic earth is quite simply a scientific paradise. Honest. AIs and robots exist to do most manual labour and humans, who live roughly 500 years, spend their time doing whatever they wish. For the most part, people end up in the entertainment industry. By this, they entertain each other. Street dancers, singers, actors, sports players .. all those are open to the young. To the older people who begin a true profession, most jobs are technical - making sure that the City runs and helping fix things. A list of possible child and adult professions will be in the character creation section.
Life in this world is in some ways like our own. Most people spent their lives in the City, never even seeing the surface. But that's no problem since the tops of caverns are designed to replicate the sun and sky rather convincingly and even include some weather producing machines to simulate seasons. People live 120 years with ease and can get life extensions and. it is rumoured, transferred to younger bodies, if the Council running the Sector you're living in finds you worthy of that honour.
Each Council is composed of an unknown number who run each Sector (roughly 20 levels in a 10 mile by 10 mile section of the City). No one knows how large the City is, save perhaps those who make sure the Councils work and the mythical Council that oversees the entire City. Enforcement of Council laws is done by Security for each Sector. These will be covered in the jargon section as well.
Generally, technology is very advanced. Most people communicate with others via a real time Comm system and voice/thought activated internet that is very, very impressive. Weapons are advanced, but only available to Security officers. In fact, they're the only people trained and permitted to use energy weapons at all. Food production is generally done via synthesisers and robots and AIs are common, with the AIs limited by rules systems set into them to prevent them from acting against humanity. Androids are rare but a few do exist. Cyborgs are rare since most lost limbs can be regrown (if someone has the right connections and enough money, of course). Lastly, there is System, a virtual reality world that gives people breaks from like and is *the* perk for people who do any work at all. While the 'net just provides text, 3e visual and audio information, being in System is a full sensory experience, one that people have been said to kill for.
Other technologies exist and there is space flight, but very little information is heard from other colonies. Genetic alteration does exist, but it's steep and the results are never certain. Most genies, the slang term for those altered by genetics, can't get life extensions due to the changes done to them. It is considered fact that telepaths exist among genies but what others can do is generally pure rumours.
Bot - Robot, also an insult to Cyborgs and Androids
Body - Someone wanted by a Council for any reason, often dead.
'Breed - Half-breed. One of the politer terms for cyborgs..
Breeder - Geneticist
Busting - Escaping a Sector or class area of the City, also known as a Suicide Run.
Clokt - unconscious (clocked out)
Cooked - The state of someone's brain; direct reference to a drug overdose.
Cow - Easy target for a crime, or someone who has been framed for one.
Corp. - Short for a corporation, an old slang term used for Councils of Sectors. It's origin has been lost to the past and is rarely used in middle class or higher sectors.
Corpse - Corporate Security agents, again a form of slang. Generally only common in lower class areas.
Council - The ruling body of a sector. Often called Corps in derogatory slang, meaning people who treat others as if they were machines or slaves.
Croach - Snitch, often paid.
Dregs - Lower life forms. Refers to (depending on who you ask) as: a) Sector workers or b) The people living at the lowest levels of the City.
Fat Cow - Pre-picked target for some crime, often assassination.
Flew The Coop - Left the planet or sector
Freak - Mutated nut case. Also refers to someone doing really impressive drugs or a psi in some cases.
Halfman - Cyborg or someone with cybernetics visible. Considered politer than 'Breed.
Head Hunter - Someone under the employ of a corporation who searches for new employees.
Heat - Anyone wanted by a Council.
Holding - Area or building that is kept by a Sector Council for it's own uses.
Hound - Low ranked Corpse, trained to obey any order.
Jer, a - Strange folks who are often nuts and attack you for blinking at them. Often very unstable.
Jock - Pilot or driver.
Joe - Rebel, member of any anti-council group. Most people believe they are just myths.
Klod (Killed on Discovery) - an Undercover Corpse.
Krypton(ite) - refers to someone incredibly addicted to a drug and unable to get off of it.
Lassie - psi-tracker, used to find illegal (non Council sanctioned) genies with psi abilities.
Mental - Often used as "gone mental." Refers to someone who developed psi powers or being attacked by them.
Personnel officer - A pretty way of saying Slave trader.
Psyche Rat - Sniffer for Councils; often a telepath trained to find and disable others like him or her.
Rutting - Having sex with someone of another class. Very derogatory.
Schlep - to leave, generally leaving evidence you were there.
Schooled - trained in something.
School-eyed - Dazed. Often someone in shock who has learned stuff outside of the education system.
Shadow - Areas of the City only nominally under Council control (for a variety of reasons).
Skyed - Slang abbrev. for School-eyed, or someone in a permanent state of shock.
Slave Driver - The Councils.
Slave Herder: Person responsible for moving large numbers of slaves from one place to another for sale
Snake - a) any member of a corp b) a low life that thinks only of them self
Sniffer - Person trained to detect used of psi powers or other abnormalities. Almost all work for Corporations.
Sparked - On drugs so strong you think you'd God. Immune to psi, but get cooked really really fast.
Tek - High Tech
Wage Rat - Same as Wage Slave.
Wage Slave - Anyone earning a living with a Sector for money.
Zipped - High on illegal adrenal drugs. They make you Superman, but you become you're own kryptonite
Note that slave, wage, corpse, corp. etc. references aren't ones the PCs are likely to know if they live in a middle class or higher sector.
MAKING YOUR PC
Make a normal UA PC. If you don't know how, ask someone else or the GM. A sample sheet is below. As the PCs are all one family, a group background should be decided (depending on what kind of family you make, almost anything is possible.) The family idea is being used because it gives PCs a viable reason to work together and isn't done often in RPGs that I know of.
Now we get into the fun stuff. Each PC should have there general education skill as their childhood entertainment one. Adult PCs should have another skill at 30% minimum that is their current profession. Children will obviously have just the childhood skill.
The "childhood" skill is an entertainment oriented skill. System programming (Making cool areas) is one, street theatre, acting, dancing, Zero G sports and the like. Adult professions are based on technical skills largely, mechanics of sorts and the like. Most people don't really bother to learn those skills, since unless they really need money (say, for extended life) the City provides.
Additionally, each PC will gain one Mind and Soul skill (at 20% each) that se hem apart. The Mind skill will be a psychic one, the Soul magic in nature. The awakening of these will be RPed during the first and/or second session of the game and changes the PCs. In a world where science is the only religion, what the PCs have gained will set them apart, somewhat drastically. Each players psychic and magic power should be limited to a specific area of effect (telepathy - just reading minds, for example). The magic ones will be discussed between the player and GM, but a vague idea is each PC having one of the 4 elements at their disposal, or schools of magic more akin to D&D, such as illusion or something like all. All the PCs need to have different powers, so that working together becomes necessary often enough.
|The most important of all sciences man can and must learn is the science of living so as to do the least evil and the greatest possible good. |
- Leo Tolstoy
|... there is nevertheless a great naivete in any view that would see the scientist as some kind of automaton driven by the Holy Trinity of Rationality, Objectivity, and Open-mindedness.|
- Mark Buchanan
|I am my own God. We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state, and our educational system. We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us. |
- Charles Bukowski
|The factory of the future will have to employees, a man and a dog. The man will be there to feed the dog. The dog will be there to keep the man from touching the equipment. |
- Warren Benis
|He knows. And knowing, he acted. That is the very definition of a rational man.|
- William Barton and Michael Capobianco, "Alpha Centauri"
|Real education happens when you pick up a fact here, and another fact there, and put them together and get an insight.|
- Terry Pratchett
|Without any paradox I would boldly say that history is the most living of things and there is nothing more present than the past. |
- Canan Groulx
|Politics are about power. We cannot escape that truth or its consequences. We dream of a better world, but it is in Utopia -- that is, nowhere.|
- Denis Wiliam Brogan
|None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free. |
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
|Pure truth, like pure gold, has been found unfit for circulation because men have discovered that it is far more convenient to adulterate the truth than to refine themselves. |
- Charles Caleb Colton
|. . . his dreams must have seemed to close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him -- somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city . . . |
- F Scott Fitzgerald
|“The truth is like sunlight, and people used to think it was good for you.”|
- from “King of the Hill”
|“I do not mean to say that they are without the reasoning faculty, but they certainly appear excessively stupid. I understand that their numbers decline each year, -- if they were wholly extinct, I do not think the human nation would be a great sufferer by it.”|
- Hugh Gray, commenting on the Indian population (1809)
|As soon as questions of will or decision or reason or choice of action arise, human science is at a loss.|
- Noam Chomsky
|That state is a state of Slavery in which a man does what he likes to do in his spare time and in his working time that which is required of him.|
- Eric Gill
|They cannot scare me with their empty spaces|
Between stars -- on stars where no human race is.
I have it in me so much nearer home
To scare mysefl with my own desert places.
- Robert Frost
|Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.|
- Rudyard Kipling
|The belief that words have a meaning of their own account is a relic of primative word magic, and is still a part of the air we breathe in nearly every discussion.|
- C.K. Ogden and I.A. Richards
|To make a thief, make an owner; to create crime, create laws.|
- Ursula Le Guin, “The Dispossessed”
|What is robing a bank compared with founding a bank?|
- Berholt Brecht
|A government that is big enough to give you all you want is big enough to take it all away.|
- Barry Goldwater
|. . . a person possessed of reason must appear to be sane at all times.|
- Timothy Findley, “Headhunter”
|Man is a rational animal who always loses his temper when he is called upon to act in accordance with the dictates of reason.|
- Oscar Wilde
|A myth is a female moth.|
- Student Bloopers
|“Each of us singly wields the power output of a Mesopotamian Empire -- without even thinking about it. We can afford to.”|
- C J Cherryh, “Visible Light”
|"Every reform, however necessary, will by weak minds be carried to an excess, that itself will need reforming."|
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge
|We mortals are composed of two great schools |
Enlightened knaves or else religious fools.
|The bitterness ended when I realised that I was simple a lesser tool of economics, and the surest means of escaping a tool’s fate was to become one of those who could afford to buy tools of his own. |
- Cheryl J Franklin, "The Light In Exile"
|JOB: Just Over Broke. |
- Zig Ziglar
|To feel debased, you must have the feeling that you deserved better . . . |
- Carolyn Gilman, “Halfway Human”
|A person who can offer things is an oppressor, lady.|
- Ian Watson, "Books of the Black Current"
|"You're forgetting that in an emotional response, rational thought has no place. If you can manage to invoke two or more conflicting emotional responses, rational thought has no chance."|
- Tanya Huff, "Sing the Four Quarters"
|The supreme test of any civilisation is whether it can socialise men by teaching them how to be father’s. |
- Margaret Meade
|The measure of a man’s true character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out. |
- T. Macaulay
|To dream of the person you would like to be is to waste the person that you are. |
|Control does not come from strength, and strength does not come from anger; how, then, shall control come from anger?|
- Daniel Keys Moran
|"It would seem that you have no useful skill or talent whatsoever," he said. "Have you thought of going into teaching?"|
- Terry Pratchett, “Mort”
|A man should preserve his integrity, though he must sell his soul to do it. |
- Eric Nicol
|The value of experience lies not in seeing much, but in seeing wisely.|
- Sir William Osler
|You grow up the day you have the first real laugh at yourself. |
- Ethel Barrymore
|Many people genuinely do not want to be saints, and it is probable that some who achieve or aspire to sainthood have never felt much temptation to be human beings.|
- George Orwell
|One, with God, is always a majority, but many a martyr has been burned at the stake while the votes were being counted. |
- Thomas B. Reed
|I will be brief, but not as brief as Salvador Dali, who gave the worlds shortest speech. He said, "I will be so brief I am already finished," and sat down.|
- E. O. Wilson
|Progress is a comfortable disease.|
- E. E. Cummings