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The Rules - Printable Version

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The Rules - M Fnord - 01-19-2007

This is not a dystopia.
Fenspace is intended to be an optimistic near-future space opera. What this means is that neither the Earth nor the rest of the solar system are wracked by wars, corruption, crime, environmental collapse, peak oil, etc. At least, no more so than as of where we stood on New Year's Day, 2007. There are potential rough patches ahead, but the bulk of humanity is looking forward and has better than even odds of making it through with civilization still intact. There are still Big Bads, a shadowy conspiracy or two and plenty of mooks for the heroes to smack around of course, but they are defeatable.
In this light, those who wish to write stories involving catastrophic Mundane wars using handwavium-enhanced weaponry, the total corruption & greed of earthbound politics, the general apathy and/or suckiness of the human race, etc. are kindly invited to do their own thing elsewhere.
(Any attempt to argue that the world must suck because it's "realistic" will fall on deaf ears. As a wiser man than the Management once said, "Only a bitter little adolescent boy could confuse realism with pessimism.")
Rule #0: This is a collaborative writing project, which means there's a whole bunch of people adding their ideas to the pot. As a contributor, you're expected to behave like the adults that you are (or at least are pretending to be on the internet) when participating. As the man said, "Don't be mean. We don't have to be mean."
a) Offering constructive criticism (why don't you do this?) is good. Saying 'you can't do that' is not constructive.
b) Since this is a collaborative writing project, no one writer can hog all the Good Stuff without upsetting the other writers. Don't step on anyone else's toes - don't consume too much Cool at once, don't try to be better than the already-established "best in Fenspace" at something, and talk with people before you do things that No One Else Can Do.
c) When Rule #0 conflicts with any other rule, Rule #0 trumps the other rule. As Mustrum Ridcully would put it, they're "more of a guideline".
Rule #1: Handwavium is like a cat; it doesn't go where you tell it to, it goes where it wants to. If you're trying to get a random device with no plan in mind, then that's exactly what you'll get. If you have a specific device or set of devices in mind, you will get something close but not exactly identical to your specifications within these limits:
a) You can't show handwavium a picture of your desired genre vehicle and have it build one for you.
b) Handwavium has to be combined with existing hardware in order to accomplish anything. For best results the device should have some tangental relationship to the desired end goal: a car's engine becomes a spacedrive, a fence becomes a collapsible air dome, a laptop becomes an AI-capable supercomputer, etc.
c) Handwavium has quirks. The more complex and interesting the device you're trying to build is, the quirkier it will be on average.
i) Some strains of handwavium are quirkier than others.
ii) Quirks don't apply to critical life-support systems - air, water, food, sewer. Power systems can be quirky, but never to a life-threatening extent.
d) If handwavium is like a cat, then using it to create weapons is like giving a cat a bath; difficult and full of extreme pain. To wit:
i) Any attempt to use handwavium to create advanced genre weapons (phasers, antimatter bombs, any type of anime death ray, etc.) will fail without reservation.
ii) Handwavium is not naturally explosive, either chemically or nuclear. Adding handwavium to an explosive device will just destroy the handwavium.
iii) Handwavium can be used to enhance simple weaponry (swords, knives, staves, clubs, etc.) but the enhancement will not increase the total effectiveness as a weapon - a waved sword may not need further sharpening, but it won't become a Hackmaster +12.
iv) Weapons designed and built using no or effectively no (=
Mr. Fnord interdimensional man of mystery

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