Part of Her Design
Time: April 13, 2013 at 02:00 PM
Length: about 4 hours
- Alon Levy
A (post-)cyberpunk game of forbidden love, intrigue, and conspiracy. The world is ruled by angelbots, artificial intelligences created to protect humans, at all cost. To do that, they've created rules: safety first, no matter what; no neural implants in humans or anything else leading to cyborg hybrids; no human-angelic romance. Now the archangels are meeting for a summit, and their emissaries as well as human politicians get to do politicking while ferreting out transgressors and neo-Luddite terrorists who want to overthrow the system.
The rumors say that the neo-Luddites are just disaffected people who kill old people - roughly anyone over 100 - on the theory that it's unnatural for humans to live too long. But you never know. The rumors say the discarded prototype angel is coming back with fresh scandals to hurl at the host archangel. But you never know. In most cities people don't see many angels and the entire system is mysterious. Seeing a neo-Luddite outside the movies is an experience so rare most people who have can sell books about it
The archangels present a united front, but who really knows what they do when others aren't looking? They say the fate of the world hangs in the balance, but they always do. Maybe they're just playing with humans in order to have their inscrutable power struggles.
Or maybe they're right this time?
Notes about the game:
- Half the characters are angels, half are human. All characters have a canonical gender, which is male, female, or genderless, but all except one of the genderless characters can be gender-changed freely. This is not a world in which anyone cares what gender you are.
- The characters are not the archangels but their emissaries, which means personal advancement and currying the archangel's favor are as crucial for some as advancing one's stated goals.
- The main mechanic is voting on questions regarding which of the Commonwealth's rules should be changed, if any.
- That said, the plots are a mix of politics, personal advancement, romance, conspiracy, etc.
Notes about the world:
For 600 years, since the neo-Luddite war, the Angelic Commonwealth has ruled the world. The seven angelbots, created to oversee humanity, took control and created lineages to run a government intended to avoid the wars and corruption of previous ages. With their rules of strict separation between humans and angels, total safety, and avoidance of war, they have created a benevolent dictatorship run by an angelic bureaucracy. Human life expectancy, already well over 100 before the Commonwealth, has been extended indefinitely, and is measured in the centuries. Accidents are unknown. The price has been loss of spontaneity and control for most humans. Most people alive were born under the Angelic Commonwealth, and the rest have lived so long their memories of pre-Commonwealth society are hazy.
Every 7 years, the 7 archangels meet at a summit. The actual event consists of formalities. The real action is elsewhere, where the representatives of the archangels get to meet with human politicians and petitioners in a less structured setting. Even in that world they recognize the advantages of spontaneity.
- The neo-Luddites never really disappeared, but retreated to the mountains, beyond civilization. Nobody knows what they are up to really. Most rumors say they just kill people older than what they consider a natural human lifespan. Some say they are just benign humans who want to assert control even at the price of frequent death and lack of safety. Others say they are plotting to destroy civilization, as they tried and failed 600 years ago.
- There are tens of billions of humans and a few million angels; in particular, human politicians can achieve a fair amount of power within the bureaucracy. This isn't slavery.
- The key aspects of human/angel separation include a ban on cyborg technology, especially brain modifications; angelic asexuality; and distinct appearance, requiring angels to sport wings, horns, or other appendages marking them as non-humans. This isn't really segregation, either. It's Brave New World, except the World Controllers are angels, and all humans are alphas.
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