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Giulianna Lamanna
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Nuclear waste will remain dangerous and volatile for at least 10,000 years - longer than any single language or civilization has existed. Even if it all were contained in the safest area, far underground in a non-earthquake-prone area, there's still a risk that over the millennia, humans might try to live nearby or even dig underground and discover the waste. In the early 1980s, the Human Interference Task Force was established to come up with solutions to this inconceivably long-term problem. Thomas Sebeok suggested that we encode warnings in myth and legend by establishing an "atomic priesthood." This is the inspiration behind the Vulture Priests, a Fifth World religious order devoted to containing the nuclear waste the ancestors left behind. Read all about them in our new wiki article!
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Jason Godesky's profile photoGiulianna Lamanna's profile photoRon Figiel's profile photo
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I always need something to freak out about too. Lol!

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Giulianna Lamanna

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Over and over again, we've had difficulty communicating the ethos of the Fifth World at gaming conventions. At every con, there's at least one person in the playtest group (often the entire group) that wants to rebuild civilization, or make war with a neighboring tribe, or establish a family that's more "advanced" than the others. And it's not their fault; they were told it was post-apocalyptic and neo-tribal, and those words evoke those stories to most people - especially the type of genre-savvy person who regularly attends gaming conventions. Not to mention that "everyone knows" a whole lot about tribal societies that just ain't true.
And unfortunately, we happen to live in a particularly violent culture where all stories are assumed to be based around conflict. Role-playing games specifically are frequently about violence and domination. We can go on and on about what the Fifth World is NOT - but something of a dearth of story ideas to kick things off when players flounder. For instance, Raymond Chandler once said, "When in doubt, have two guys come through the door with guns." We can't use that, but what would be the Fifth World equivalent?
We have a setting that challenges people's assumptions about hunter-gatherer life, but a game that welcomes every contribution. We can't start every game off with an anthropology lecture (that most won't believe anyway, because like I said, "everybody knows" that hunter-gatherers live violent, marginal, miserable lives). But when we treat playtesters to stories that reinforce civilized assumptions, they're not really experiencing the Fifth World.
How can we better communicate what the Fifth World is all about? How do you think we could make clear to new players not just what it isn't, but what it is? And do any of you have ideas for story triggers that we can suggest, to help give players a hook when they're hit with blank page syndrome?
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Rob Bush's profile photoDoug Hagler's profile photoTom McGrenery's profile photoJason Godesky's profile photo
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+Tom McGrenery, thank you for those links!
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Have her in circles
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We're expanding the wiki with details about the Fifth World setting! This week: global warming and how it's shaped the Fifth World.
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This was a bit etic, so I reworked it into an entry for climate [http://thefifthworld.com/wiki/climate] to try to make it more emic.

In the process, I learned a little bit more about the Eocene, the last time earth had the sort of greenhouse gases that we're heading towards. There were palm trees and alligators in Alaska (and not because Alaska was near the equator then; this was only 50 million years ago, so Alaska was still damn close to the North Pole). But it would appear that there was a lot less variation by latitude. The equator may actually have been cooler than the poles. Not by much, but still. And apparently there was a lot less variation by season -- 3 or 5 degrees Celsius, instead of 12 degrees Celsius like today.

So that discards the idea we were going with of an uninhabitable equator in the Fifth World. It's all tropical, everywhere. Like a giant, homogenized, ecological ruin, that your families need to nurse slowly and surely back into their unique selves.
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Giulianna Lamanna

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If you have Netflix, check out the first episode of "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown." He goes to Myanmar and sees a ferris wheel that moves entirely by people-power. The men who make the ferris wheel turn climb up on the bars and practically do acrobatics in the air! It's something that might be possible in the Fifth World.
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It was an amazing performance. The YouTube videos I could find for "human-powered ferris wheel" were terribly boring by comparison. It made me think of what a traveling Fifth World circus might look like, carrying around old, repurposed relics like this. Probably a lot of acts like Cirque du Soleil. And of course, traveling from band to band and village to village, they could play an important role in helping spread news and information.
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Have her in circles
141 people
Audrey Lee's profile photo
Rere luvinuhoes's profile photo
Tony Love's profile photo
Melissa Kaye Moore's profile photo
Julia Ellingboe's profile photo
Sean Cortright's profile photo
Samwise Seven RPG's profile photo
Robert Bohl's profile photo
Matt Landis's profile photo
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