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Writing as done In-Character (as an explorer)?

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#1 rivenwanderer

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Posted 19 December 2008 - 05:38 PM

Is there a guideline somewhere about what Writing from a purely In-Character perspective would be like? By which I mean an explorer from the surface, in the context of Uru/MOUL, writing an Age. (I honestly was not actively around MOUL that much, so forgive me if this should be obvious.) Things I am interested in include:

-how much an explorer would understand what they were doing vs. how much they would be experimenting, tweaking, and crossing their fingers
-when writing an Age, how much the explorer would know about its history on a geologic scale--would they know whether an island was raised up from the ocean floor by geologic activity versus being a former mountaintop that rising ocean levels had turned into an island? Or would they link to the Age not knowing exactly why it looked the way it looked, and piece together a history based on their observations?
-what sort of access to stoneworking tools would an explorer have access to? Could a single person (or a single person and a friend or two) hollow out a room-sized cave, carve walkways into the sides of cliffs, etc? I'm assuming the D'ni had machines and/or chemical processes for doing something like this, but what about explorers?

I've been extremely leery of working on projects entirely from an IC perspective, but I thought it would be interesting to try it out--to see what can be done within the most stringent possible constraints. Which dovetails nicely with my wish to work on something purposefully small rather than the epic projects I keep dreaming up smile.gif

If any of this is definitely unknown and may be expanded on later by Cyan, I can deliberately leave it vague in my project idea also.

Edited by rivenwanderer, 19 December 2008 - 05:38 PM.

#2 zander

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 06:29 AM

This is a very important question, and needs thinking about.

I think it's safe to say that most explorers won't have a thorough grounding in geophysics, chemistry, geology, biology, botany, zoology and so on, and it's important that that not be seen (from an IC perspective) as a barrier to Age Writing. My feeling is that the Art is prescriptive more than descriptive--that you conceive the Age as what you want it to be, and it comes into being (yes, in this context I'm a creationist biggrin.gif ) with whatever physical characteristics and "history" is required to make it that way. Knowledge in those fields would obviously help to make better and more stable Ages, but it should be possible to make a stable Age using simple common sense. And a certain amount of experimenting, tweaking and crossing fingers. smile.gif

Also, to minimise the amount of in-game time spent chiselling away at rock faces, mining and smelting iron and constructing foundries and workshops and such like, I think it will have to be accepted (finally!) that the supposed D'ni "rule" about not Writing artifacts into an Age was more of a guideline, and more honoured by Atrus in the breach than the observance. Stoneship is clearly (from its journal) an early effort, and what happened with the ship there should not be taken to mean that Writing in artifacts never works. Again, specific features such as caves, steps, walkways and such should be fairly easy to Write in.

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