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Teruvar and PSI

Something that has been present throughout my development of the StarCluster game has been the presence in the setting of PSI. This was been vitally important in StarCluster 1E (2002), slightly less so in StarCluster 2E (2004), and has become less and less important since. In StarCluster 3E it was definitely de-emphasized, and in StarCluster 4E it will be entirely optional, with PSI skills being completely removed, replaced by using normal skills with PSI, as I did with Lowell Was Right!. My other games frequently become laboratories for new ideas which later become integrated into StarCluster.

What does this have to do with Teruvar? Game designer +Kyrinn S. Eis asked me on G+ if Teruvar had PSI. If so, they could co-habit the body of a Human or Jeshen, bestowing long healthy life in return for service as a representative. That is such a sweet idea! Still, the possibility of a being of Teruvar scale having PSI just scares me. What if they just casually decided to take over the people inside them as meat puppets? What if they got angry and decided to order a world to commit suicide? What if they just let go an angry bomb that worked like a massive EMP and wiped the minds of a world's entire population clean. How do you fight that kind of power?

Answer: You embrace it. PSI is optional in StarCluster 4, so let it be a similar choice on the group level. I can supply some ideas, but I won't make that final decision. Here are some interesting possibilities, and here are some frightening ones - you decide if you want this in your setting. StarCluster 4 is all about choices - the full game lets you choose setting, game mechanic, and virtually everything about the game. You select from the choices, and the pdf is generated with those choices. Turn and face the strange!
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Data page for the Teruvar world Kerea. Look up my last few posts for more on the Teruvar. Let me know what you think!
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In regards to my last two posts on the Teruvar, a hypothetical question: Would the Jeshen/Humans transport some Teruvar seeds from their home star to another if asked? They would see no direct benefit from doing so. Teruvar seeds take thousands of years to transform an asteroid into a Teruvar, and millions of years before any Jeshen or Human could actually live in it. The seeds themselves are gigantic and massy, requiring a specially built ship. I doubt they would do so through sheer altruism.

I may introduce this as a plot seed or something... 
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Teruvar: Sapient Worldlets in Jeshen Space

One of the ten systems in Jeshen Space is the home of the Teruvar, a gigantic sapient species who live in free fall. They face their sun in orbit in the Goldilocks Zone of that star, soaking up and utilizing the solar energy. When a free-falling Teruvar egg lands on a rocky body, it burrows into it, consuming and changing the rocks into part of itself. Over time it begins rotating and expands out into a thick, hollow, rounded disc, with a transparent membrane keeping air inside, and letting in the sunlight.

There is a spire in the center, reaching almost to the membrane, covered with reflective 'leaves' which scatter the light around into the interior. Living things have evolved in the hollow interior, an individual ecology for each Teruvar, which work as sort of intestinal flora and fauna for the host. No two Teruvar are alike, though they are similar enough to know that the root creatures everything evolves from are a part of each egg. They communicate with each other by reflecting light in flashes out the membrane.

There are many Teruvar in the "shell" orbiting the star, but seven of them have invited Jeshen and Humans to live inside them. They are curious and intelligent, and enjoy the company. These seven have each extruded a dock opposite the spike and membrane window, at the center of rotation, to accept Jeshen Space ships.

Inhabitants of the seven can speak with their Teruvar host by addressing any natural place by the Teruvar's name. The Teruvar's internal sensors can hear and reply. It is oddly like addressing a real living god, though the Teruvar have not asked for worship.
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Huh! I thought I was the only gamer on G+ to love that show! I thought it was consistently excellent in every department, and was hugely disappointed that it was cancelled.

I started watching it because it was based on the premise of an immortal who was not a vampire-type inhabiting a world of normal people. This is always an interesting problem in roleplaying, especially with my own Blood Games series of games, which has immortals exactly like Henry Morgan - people who only found out their immortality after their first death.

I was blown away at how well the show was written and acted. Everything worked believably, and was revealed in dialog without any infodumps beyond the title scenes. Wonderful!

Thanks, again Mark! :D
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I keep hoping against hope some other network distributor would pick it up.
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Wait 'til I finish High Strung! :D
There are a few obvious choices I could have gone with, like Over the Edge, Unknown Armies or (the game I about posted) Low Life...but Tools of Ignorance has to take the cake. Why? For starters, a lot of people don't even kno...
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There is a point there.
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Politics and Teruvar

One of the realities of living within a Teruvar is that you are there on sufferance. The Teruvar itself is, in essence, the absolute monarch. You, after all, living inside the body of a much larger being. Unlike any other form of government, where the government gets its power from the people, the government of the Teruvar is the Teruvar. Essentially, you have no more vote in what the Teruvar does than does a single E. Coli organism in the gut of a Human.

Now, this does not mean that the inhabitants of a Teruvar have no power. After all, E. Coli can make a Human very conscious of their presence collectively,  but the Humans must rely on the Teruvar's innate decency and willingness to allot them some say. All of the Seven have pledged not to eject their peoples without warning or without time to relocate. After all, what is Human or Jeshen scale time to a Teruvar? Still, each agreement is between the Teruvar and the people who live inside it.

There must be a high degree of trust between the two for any such agreement to be made. Generally speaking, a Teruvar controls the number of people living within, and any single person may be ejected - that is removed from the covenant which binds the people and Teruvar, and thus forced to live elsewhere. A Teruvar often will select a person, Jeshen or Human, to represent them in talks with the rest of Jeshen Space. The representative will negotiate any deal, then submit the deal to the Teruvar in question, who can say yea or nay. In any case, the seven inhabited Teruvar all have thus far elected to retain control of access, and not delegate this power to the people within.

So far, the Teruvar in general have thus far chosen to drastically limit the number of people inside them. Where a large Teruvar may be theoretically able to support tens of millions, none has so far granted more than a tiny fraction of these numbers access. Within the Teruvar, the settled scale is very small, and the people within live a more rural lifestyle than many in Jeshen Space. Children are very limited, under replacement by default, with increase coming through permitted immigration. This may be due to various reasons - a desire to keep control by the Teruvar, a need to know each settler personally, a preference for the natural ecosystem, or many other reasons.

Each Teruvar is an individual, with individual rules and cultures inside. The settlers stay on good terms with the Teruvar, for obvious reasons, and thus personal freedom is generally very good. Teruvar are not micro-managers. As long as the inhabitants stay within the guidelines set down, they can do pretty much what they want.
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+Benjamin Baugh - First look. A Teruvar from the outside. You are seeing the side facing the sun, as the other side is just rough rock. The reflective spire is the whiteish glow in the middle left of the green area. The green is the vegetation showing through the bulging membrane that keeps the gasses of the atmosphere in. Painting the inside will be a much more involved thing. :D 
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More on Teruvar, the Sapient Worldlets of Jeshen Space

The fully adult size of any given Teruvar varies widely, depending greatly on the size of the initial asteroid or moon. The more mass, the greater the fully grown size of the Teruvar. Generally speaking, the mass of that rock is the mass of the Teruvar, though there is some small accretion of rocks, ice, and dust over the immense lifespan of the creature. Of course, the size of the the Teruvar is far, far larger, due to the great gas bubble within.

Because the gravity of the worldlet within the Teruvar is artificial spin gravity, as one moves toward the central spire, gravity becomes less and less, though the air pressure is constant. The back wall of the Teruvar, opposite the clear membrane, and from which the spike protrudes, is covered in vegetation, with strange zero and low gravity creatures abounding. The rim, on the other hand, is home to more normal ceatures, who walk about, rather than brachiating or flying or crawling through the vegetation.

The amount of spin gravity depends on the diameter of the Teruvar and the speed of the spin. Since even the smallest Teruvar is many tens of kilometers across, the coriolis effect at the rim is seldom great enough to be noted. As one ascends the back wall, of course, the diameter becomes smaller and thus the coriolis effect becomes more and more powerful, and may become difficult. The variation at the rim is a continuum between a third of a G in the smallest and something over a G in the largest. In the seven Teruvar accessible to Humans and Jeshen, all fairly large, the variation is between 0.77 and 1.05 G, all perfectly healthy for both species. This is probably not coincidence.

Generally, the central spire glows from reflected sunlight at a level uncomfortable to look directly at, though it will not permanently blind. Light levels inside are lower than a sunny day on planet, more like a cloudy day, and the source is far more diffuse, but there is plenty of light to power photosynthesis. The rapid light changes that occur when Teruvar are communicating can be disconcerting. Most inhabitants close their eyes when this is happening, standing or sitting still until the communication is over.

Water circulation within the Teruvar is constant. The water is pumped up the back wall through tubes, and out into the central spire, from which it falls periodically as rain. There is some purposeful leakage along the back wall, surfacing as springs. The total amount of water in the Teruvar is determined by the amount of ice in the original asteroid or moon, plus whatever ice the outer surface captures.

Scientific opinion is divided on whether the changes over time in the flora and fauna of the interior are controlled by the Teruvar to some extent, or are entirely driven by natural and sexual selection. Some in the "Control" party suggest the seven Teruvar open to Jeshen and Humans are experiments of the Teruvar as a whole, so they may create their own sapient animals by copying what they like.
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Real World always trumps Stuff We Do For Fun! Do what you got to do, Tommy! We'll still be hare!
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Thanks Tommy!

Yeah - the Jobs were supposed to be self balancing, but there's not  enough "Pull you away from the music" going on for the brtter jobs.

I love the "Too big for the band" thing! Great idea! :D
This is one of those that I was dying to read when it was announced: An RPG about playing members of a rock band, by the guy that made an RPG about playing members of a baseball team. ETHICS IN GAME JOURNALISM DISCLAIMER: T...
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+Adam Schwaninger - Remember that fantastic commercial for (IIRC) Cartoon Network that featured Josie and the Pussycats going through various incarnations like Kiss-metal and country and electronica? Like that! :D
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Ha! Everyone here in the Boston area knows about the Great Molasses Flood! :D
Over on the Mirror.co.UK website, there is a recent article titled "Dead weird: After the 'atomic wedgie' here are 21 of history's most bizarre deaths" that got me thinking about how to start tabletop RPG scenarios.  I think ...
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+Franck Michaux Don't worry, we've all seen Red Dwarf, so can handle vindaloo monsters and suchlike. 
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As far as I know, I'm the only clash bowley on the net, so you've come to the right place! I design, write, and publish roleplaying games

My game design blog is I Fly By Night and you're welcome to drop in!
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