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Monday, November 2, 2009

[Milieu][RPG] The Quantum Nature of Reality-

Copyright (c) 2009 Kyrinn S. Eis All Rights Reserved

The Grand Tapestry refers not only to the entire Urutsk Cycle, but to the Metacosmos in which Urutsk is but one of an infinite number of Cosmoi. It is within this Metacosmos that all of the 'alternate' realities and non-'related' settings I have ever worked on/gamed reside.

The result, within game-terms, is that certain High-Order events/spells/artefacts/etc. cause the individuals within the effect to 'shift' into Threads which are more accepting of the transformed natures of perceptible reality than those of the Thread from whence the individual observers hailed just prior to the effect.
--These shifts may be so subtle that the observers will never discern a difference, as the changes take place on a scale far beyond the perceptual pale, whether vast and distant cosmic differences (the number of radio stellar objects, for instance), or sub-atomic (the local number of affine/exitonic particles varies, creating a different density of time-space, altering the trajectory of wandering debris by a picometre to crash into a planet ten millennia later).

By extension, when an alter reality or a wish spell is cast, what is the actual effect? In The Grand Tapestry, and necessarily 'in' Urutsk, the observer(s) are shifted to a thread in which those conditions exist. This is also the case with powerful effects of artefacts, probability travel, and the like. One could argue that resurrection and its related spells do the same.

This means that gamers never need fear that their Urutsk: World of Mystery games drift too far from canon as to make the setting superfluous, and likewise, that the Old School tradition of affine characters blipping back and forth between campaigns never need be a 'bad thing', only one more factor for the vigilant Referee to consider before allowing the exchange to take place in their game.
--This factor has arisen in the Playtest Campaign, as I have posted previously as regards Tybalt and Mela and their 'dopples' in the prior 'unrelated' Pathfinder game.

But, this doesn't minimise a character's life and death, as, in a sense, the Player(s) and Referee are the observers in this equation. Even the asymmetrical distribution of one character's career between campaigns and pick-up games add a depth of richness that is rarely seen in fiction.
--The meaning is in the details; in the playing-out of the events, and the reaction of the character and its fellows' reactions to the character's actions.

Perhaps a bit like our reality?


  1. this is eerily similar to the way I set up my last 3e game. Just out of curiousity, would you apply the same sort of logic to "time travel" as you do to a wish spell? Just asking because that was one of the ways that I extended the physics of my universe. I took a very similar idea (even using the term "threads", which of course is hardly novel), and extended it to apply to time as well. In essence, time did not exist in my universe, and if you could see "reality" you would see that every possible combination of energy in the universe existed in a timeless moment. I called this the Infinite Possibility Matrix (IPM), and it contained everything from the big bang to the end of the universe, and all points between. You could picture it is an infinitely large cube, made up of an infinite number of points. Each point would represent one particular arrangement of all the energy in the universe - a snapshot of the universe in a particular moment of "time". Some of these points are very close to others - perhaps differing by the "the local number of affine/exitonic particles" as you mention above. Others are quite far away. What an individual experiences as the passage of time is really a "thread" linking a series of these points together to form what we would think of as a life. Next to that thread would be a near infinite number of other threads linking very similar points representing, perhaps, that left turn down the road instead of the right turn. Time travel is really just a form of teleportation or planar journeying that takes an individual from his or her current thread into another possible combination of energy.

  2. Carl,

    I like your thinking, and very much agree with your final sentence.

    I would say that time does not exist apart from an event, so that if a distant observer were to watch a true void for ten thousand subjective years and nothing 'happened' in the void, that no time had actually passed locally in the void.

    --Neat stuff, and great synchronicity with HEROES tonight. :D

  3. Wow. Pretty cool. Has a nice Moorcockian feel to it.

  4. Thank you. :D

    I have extremely limited reading experience with Mike's work, but he and I are fairly amazed at how similarly we think, and yet reach different conclusions regarding human nature and ultimate truth.
    --I've had some great conversations with him, including at the 2008 Nebulas in Austin, TX. where he received his Grand Master Award.

    I joke that I am merely a character in one of his Multiverse stories. ;)

  5. I also felt like I was reading a paragraph out of Brian Greene's Fabric of the Cosmos, which was weird because 6 months ago I was reading Elric and Fabric of the Cosmos.

  6. 'Rusty': Wow, thanks. :D
    --Two great tastes that taste great together! ;)

  7. Leave it to me to ask the annoying question: :D

    If you shift to a thread that is like your own, but contains the new situation you wanted, then what happens to the you that was already there?

    Also, it implies that the thread you left now doesn't have a you in it.

    Do the poor suckers from the new thread get sent to the old thread, only to discover that their nice happy situation has suddenly gone sour? That would lead to philosophical casters never using "Wish." Because it would just mean another them would have to solve the problem the hard way.


  8. 1). Nothing.
    --"Where ever you go, there you are."

    2). See the above.

    3). It is possible that the aggregate of nearby threads in a cluster/knot all receive a cascading change of varying degrees as a result of the 'too-much' event, but it is impossible to know whether one has shifted, or if the thread has changed.
    --Philosophically speaking, the greater issue is: 'What is real, and how do I react to it?'
    ---However, your conclusion should always be in the forefront of PCs minds when tinkering with things too lofty for them. :D