Friday, August 17, 2018

Notes on a Hypothetical Far Future 5e


As frequently happens when I have things I need to work on, new ideas try to woo me with their siren's song. I'm putting so notes here to try to exorcism the demon of distraction for the time being.

The idea is far future science fantasy, akin to some "Dying Earth" works, only the Earth may not be dying, necessarily. There would be no return of magic, but rather Clarkian sufficiently advanced technology was be perceived by the present, post-technological society as magical.

Here are some thoughts on the setting:

  • Influences would include: Viriconium by M. John Harrison (general vibe), Catch A Falling Star by John Brunner (future tech and decadence), Ventus by Karl Schroeder and "The Far End of History" by John C. Wright (AI entwined with nature to become "gods"), Rob Chilson's Prime Mondeign series (general vibe and hyper-technologically managed ecosystem where humans have forgotten how to use most things), The Fractal Prince by Hannu Rajaniemi (technologically realized spirits).
  • Like in Numenera, technology would be pervasive and usable fully on by some. We'll bother a term from Tony Daniel's Metaplanetary and call this nano, and pico- (perhaps even femto-) tech "grist." 
  • Wizards are hackers, clerics are inheritors of ancient command codes liturgies, sorcerers are "cyborg" mutants, and warlocks make deals with wild and dangerous AI.
  • Magic items would most likely move in a Roadside Picnic direction.
  • Everyone is effectively living in an ancient landfill. Dungeons are the remnants of archaeological digs or salvage jobs into the strata of the refuse of previous civilizations.


3 comments:

Anne said...

"Everyone is effectively living in an ancient landfill. Dungeons are the remnants of archaeological digs or salvage jobs into the strata of the refuse of previous civilizations."

I love this image.

Is there any way this could be part of the same setting as your science fantasy world?

Trey said...

Ever since I had this idea, I've wondered if this was a better fit for some of the material I have written the science fantasy thing, though I hadn't previously considered linking the two in someway. I suppose it's possible this could be earth of that setting, since they wouldn't really interact. Since I also wrote at least one post about lost Earth in Strange Stars, I guess another option is that it's Earth in that setting.

Unknown said...

Great ideas. I'm stealing at least one of these right away. Dungeoneering in an ancient tech heap sounds like a great adventure.