Author Topic: [Pitch] Unnamed Hollow Earth MUD  (Read 2274 times)

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Many Faces Offline

[Pitch] Unnamed Hollow Earth MUD
« on: April 20, 2017, 06:50:01 PM »
I was going to suggest this as a setting over in @orin's pitch thread, then I realized it'd probably lead to a derail, so...

Did you know there don't seem to be any Hollow Earth MUDs?  It may be a totally unexplored setting.  For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, the idea is that below the surface of the Earth, there may be massive cavernous pockets of space that are inhabited by humans and/or fauna and flora incognita.

Name: pending
Core Theme: Region vs. Region vs. Invaders
Sub Theme: Politics, Trade, Exploration, Steampunk

Setting: The game takes place in an undefined era, in a Hollow Earth setting.  The map is divided by a rolling ocean connected to the outside world, but unable to flood the dome because of limited points of entry and no way to displace the air trapped inside of it.  The ocean is teaming with life, some of which completely unknown to the outside world.  The setting has a constant dim green light provided by phosphorescent lichen growing along the dome.  This lichen, along with seaweed, provide fresh air to the dome.  Stone and metal are commonplace, but wood and fuel are more difficult to come by.  Power is generated using geothermal wells on land, and is either used immediately or for charging batteries.

Beyond this underground setting is an undetermined surface world nation that has discovered it.  The surface nation has sent agents to infiltrate the underground nations, but their true intentions are unknown.  It is highly suspected they are planning an invasion.  These potential surface world invaders are the only ones with submarine technology and can only access the Hollow Earth by submarine.  Their entry points are unknown.

Location:  The game takes place primarily on land, as the continental factions and archipelago compete for resources and influence.  The land is distributed between 3 of "continents" alongside the edges of the dome, a single continent surrounded by ocean, an archipelago nation,  and various independent islands.  Civilizations with access to a dome wall or a (natural) support spire tend to build into it or along it, to maximize how much flat land they have available to for crops, animals, or "wood" farming.  The game also takes place at sea, but there is no escape from the Hollow Earth.

Feature List: Crafting, exploration, research, PvP, RvR, trade, unusual setting

Playstyle: Highly varied.  Depending on how many players were around, there'd be a lot of room for people to involve themselves in politics, piracy, trade, exploration, selling out their underground brethren to the invaders, etc.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2017, 12:17:17 AM by Many Faces »

Reiloth Offline

Re: [Pitch] Unnammed Hollow Earth MUD
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2017, 09:35:47 PM »
+1
"You will have useful work: the destruction of evil men. What work could be more useful? This is Beyond; you will find that your work is never done—so therefore you may never know life of peace." ~ Jack Vance

Reiloth Offline

Re: [Pitch] Unnammed Hollow Earth MUD
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2017, 09:36:44 PM »
Excellent setting, obviously reminds me of Fallen London / Sunless Sea, but i'm down to play in that setting for sure, especially in a permadeath RPI. More thoughts later.
"You will have useful work: the destruction of evil men. What work could be more useful? This is Beyond; you will find that your work is never done—so therefore you may never know life of peace." ~ Jack Vance

Many Faces Offline

Re: [Pitch] Unnammed Hollow Earth MUD
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2017, 12:00:33 AM »
Thanks.  I actually made a concerted effort not to duplicate anything from Sunless Sea.  That game is badass and atmospheric.

I've had more time to think on it.

I'm thinking the setting should be the remnants of some great civilization that died out before what we consider recorded history.  This location could have been a scientific outpost or penal colony (or both!).  Really, the most important thing is there needs to be a good reason there would be no submarine technology left behind with the people there.

The people of the underworld should have adapted to living with higher air pressure.  It might be fun to have a bloodline of scientists (or something) who remained in pressure-locked habitation who never quite adapted in one of the civilizations.  However, the key is the invaders have been forced to try to keep all of the factions fighting because, even when they've been conditioned to the pressure, they can't last in it for more than a few weeks without averse physical or mental side-effects.  Maybe their long-term plan is to attack when everyone is weak or set up an invasion force of robots or something.  These averse effects are known, so invaders often pose as people with an excuse to travel a lot, so nobody realizes they're only around for a couple weeks at a time.

If the invaders are ever made playable, they should have an underwater base nearby with no option of visiting the surface world.  Their habitation could be at reduced pressure, so they can recover from the averse effects of the underworld but still be able to be quickly readapted to the pressure as need be.

Reiloth Offline

Re: [Pitch] Unnamed Hollow Earth MUD
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2017, 12:46:30 AM »
OK, things I like:

*Invaders from the Surface: Provides a long-lasting 'nemesis' sort of role, and an intelligent one at that. They are living breathing people, who could either have PCs amongst them, or simply serve as a constant antagonist to all. It can certainly be introduced when people are fighting each other to the point of stagnation, or loving each other to the point of stagnation. A common goal, etc.

*The ambiguity of where and when it takes place. A sort of 'Long time ago in a galaxy far far away' moment, wherein it could be a long time ago from a previously amazing civilization fallen into ruin, or far in the future with the same results. Old technology could be construed as magic, and new technology may fuse medieval function with odd trappings.

*It sort of reminds me of Under Tuluk, or a viable civilization living beneath another, where both require none of the other to survive, yet are at odds with each other.

*It leaves room for both magic and science to exist, or to have different cultures/societies treat such things in their own way.

Things I would suggest (loose brainstorm):

*Have the Invaders seeking a new home, because their own world is in a state of near-destruction and ruin. They are fleeing something -- Whether it be a disease, an alien race, or themselves.

*Have the cities/townships/cultures be based on different RL comparisons, with a twist. A 'New Jamestown' replete with Voodoo-esque idol and polytheistic worship, mixed with sophisticated social atmosphere. A sort of "Venice Italy" where canals intersect with some of the only fresh water available and mix with the underground ocean, and small islands have been connected by bridges and even tunnels, where magic is legal and science is forbidden. A sort of 'Kyoto', where small feuding warrior-sects pay homage to a self-proclaimed God-Emperor, and it is forbidden to enter its palace, where it's meanwhile a millennia-old visitant from another place, stuck in the core of the world.  Make the setting familiar but strange, different.

*Have the Invaders need to wear sensitive 'suits' to remain at their own pressure, which are susceptible to damage and destruction from the hostile environment they are in. They may be 'invading', but they are at a slight disadvantage. Meanwhile, make their weaponry and technology vastly superior, bordering on the realm of magical science. Their pressure above is so drastically different that the bends would kill them almost immediately -- This wasn't a rendezvous, it was a hail mary.

*Avoid the 'Gothic' sort of theme/time period/realistic setting, as to avoid any comparison to titles previously mentioned.
"You will have useful work: the destruction of evil men. What work could be more useful? This is Beyond; you will find that your work is never done—so therefore you may never know life of peace." ~ Jack Vance

Many Faces Offline

Re: [Pitch] Unnamed Hollow Earth MUD
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2017, 01:08:00 AM »
*The ambiguity of where and when it takes place.
I was thinking more alternate history timeline, but in a world where there was an advanced ancient civilization that collapsed and is otherwise unknown outside of the underworld.

*It leaves room for both magic and science to exist, or to have different cultures/societies treat such things in their own way.
I'm really against magic for this setting, even if it's handwaved as technology.  I am totally fine with complete bullshit technology though.

*Have the Invaders seeking a new home, because their own world is in a state of near-destruction and ruin. They are fleeing something -- Whether it be a disease, an alien race, or themselves.

*Have the Invaders need to wear sensitive 'suits' to remain at their own pressure, which are susceptible to damage and destruction from the hostile environment they are in
That's not going to work.  The idea with the invaders is they're forced to play the long game.  They have to get the nations to weaken each other because there's no way they can muster enough forces to invade and occupy.

By design, their purpose in this game is as a counterbalance to the status quo, not to serve as a group that can be united against.

*Have the cities/townships/cultures be based on different RL comparisons, with a twist. A 'New Jamestown' replete with Voodoo-esque idol and polytheistic worship, mixed with sophisticated social atmosphere. A sort of "Venice Italy" where canals intersect with some of the only fresh water available and mix with the underground ocean, and small islands have been connected by bridges and even tunnels, where magic is legal and science is forbidden. A sort of 'Kyoto', where small feuding warrior-sects pay homage to a self-proclaimed God-Emperor, and it is forbidden to enter its palace, where it's meanwhile a millennia-old visitant from another place, stuck in the core of the world.  Make the setting familiar but strange, different.
I was thinking another route.  I want everything to be totally foreign, reflecting a human culture that evolved in a totally alien setting.

Orin Offline

Re: [Pitch] Unnamed Hollow Earth MUD
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2017, 01:48:35 AM »
In some ways it reminds me of the backstory of the game Xenogears, where an ancient highly advanced civilization collapsed and their story is slowly learned over the course of the game.  Magic unfortunately would have no place in this game if I understand it right, but science, research, and technology would.  Caches of old technology, research stations, and weapons seem like what the common people would fight over in their day to day (beside the invaders).

I really like this idea but I'm not too familiar with the setting.  I'd be down to explore the concept further and talk about getting a test server setup.  Maybe a wiki would be in order to get the game concept fleshed out?
That which I am is not which I was; I am what I am

Many Faces Offline

Re: [Pitch] Unnamed Hollow Earth MUD
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2017, 02:07:36 AM »
Possibly, though the current design is built around long-running, slow region vs. region conflict.  Not a lot of large-scale fights.  From what you mentioned in Discord, it sounds like you wanted meat-grinder style PvP with large groups of people.  It'd need to be revamped for that.