Setting: Possession

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Setting: Possession

Postby diagrapher » Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:21 am

During the 1960s, magical regions which have come to be called "Warps" began spontaneously, and the rate at which they appear has been increasing.

A warp contains the same general sort of terrain as the area did before, but is much larger internally and its internal layout is continuously changing and harder to navigate- for example, vegetation might become thicker, hills steeper or streats more confusingly arranged. Furthermore, people who enter a warp seem to be transported to near the middle of it.

At some point between entering and escaping a warp, anyone who gets lost in one will be "Warped". When a person is Warped, they seem to be subjected to unpredictable and sometimes bizarre alterations to their memories, personality and/or body. But all three of these things, and especially their personality, will normally remain more-or-less recognizable. Sometimes, a Warped person will also gain superpowers or (especially if they are engineers) futuristic engineering knowledge; some people enter Warps intentionally in the hope of getting powers or technology. The changes have been becoming increasingly dramatic since the 60s, the superpowers more common and more powerful, and the technology more advanced.

At some point days or years, and generally at least months, after escaping a warp, a person's original, unwarped mind will "wake up". This "Original" will have no memories or experiences from after the Warping. From then on, the Original and Warped will have to share a body. Exactly how this works varies from person to person; some are awake alternate days. Some switch out unpredictably or in response to specific stimuli. Some struggle over control of the body when they disagree. Some function in other ways.

Generally, governments try to secure and maintain control over Warps, and ensure that people only go through if they're going to use any powers or tech either in service of the government or of people who have paid the government a lot of money. Often people are not allowed into Warps unless they are either soldiers or engineers. In less politically stable parts of the world, there are Warped supervillain-warlords. Some criminal organizations also have control over secret Warps which they sell access to, and of course people continue to sometimes walk into newly formed Warps by accident.

Public opinion on Warped includes "basically the people they were before but with a magic affliction and possibly superpowers", "potentially dangerous and untrustworthy alien entities possessing people", "potentially dangerous and untrustworthy newly created people stuck in other peoples' bodies" and "people from alternate timelines stuck in lives almost but not quite their own". In fact the latter is true; a Warped is an otherworldly alt of the Original whose mind and body are copied onto that of the Original.

So far no Warped has come through with magic which could be learned by others, although a few have had magic which could be transmitted by more difficult means such as (several different sorts of) vampirism. None of these conditions have yet become widespread.
Last edited by diagrapher on Sun Dec 10, 2017 3:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Setting: Possession

Postby Alicorn » Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:33 pm

Can you give examples of some alterations?
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Re: Setting: Possession

Postby diagrapher » Wed Nov 08, 2017 4:16 pm

So, the original concept for the setting was that the warped entities would be alts from other universes, and I've been going back and forth on whether that should be the case? Also I'm now thinking maybe Warps should have only started in the 50s so that society isn't sure what to do about them.

If the warps just change people rather than swapping in alternate universe versions, examples of changes to personality might include changing someone's gender, making someone obsessed with a particular goal, or making someone less emotionally regulated. Examples of memory alterations might include erasing or adding memories of specific people or making someone remember the events of their life and those of people they know personally having happened several decades earlier than they actually did.
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Re: Setting: Possession

Postby Kappa » Wed Nov 08, 2017 7:23 pm

A world that stapled forks of your alts onto you as a magic system would be awesome. Although I imagine it would get really crazy really fast, depending on the range of worlds it was drawing from.
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Re: Setting: Possession

Postby diagrapher » Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:41 pm

Kappa wrote:A world that stapled forks of your alts onto you as a magic system would be awesome. Although I imagine it would get really crazy really fast, depending on the range of worlds it was drawing from.


Yeah. The potential to get crazy fast is one the main things that's been pushing me away from it. 'Though I think most alts neither have any magic at all nor useful understanding of sci-fi technology. And most people probably don't consider the potential benefits of warping worth the drawbacks, and access to known warps is probably restricted anyway.

I'm thinking most but not all Warped come from Earths, and if the warps are new they're not only getting more common but possibly also getting alts from increasingly weird and high-magic worlds?

I think that, at the beginning of the story, no Warped have had transmissible magic, which may be a general limitation on what worlds Warped can come from.

I'd be interested to hear what versions of this world people find more interesting?
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Re: Setting: Possession

Postby Kappa » Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:15 pm

I'd personally find it most interesting to play in if it was the alts thing, because then I could mess around with alts in a fun new way. "Nobody has transmissible magic" is a reasonable constraint, but "nobody has transmissible magic until somebody figures out how to use Magic A to give people Magic B" might be a fun plot or subplot.
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Re: Setting: Possession

Postby diagrapher » Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:48 am

So, if warps are a new thing, probably governments would pretty much all have taken possession of them before anyone found out about the powers and kept control of them afterwards, aside from some probably being kept hidden.

Also, the first people to get superpowers were probably prisoners sent into them by the sort of government that would send lots of prisoners into warps to see what happens (I think animals can also be warped, but at a much lower probability than humans' 100% and with less likelihood of getting powers if they are warped). Such governments probably then kept the possibility of superpowers secret as long as they could; they might not have been able to conceal that something weird had happened, but may have tried to make sure all that was heard by most people was "when we sent prisoners into a warp some kind of magical monster came out". If they didn't manage to kill the superpowered criminals, or hadn't had very tight information security on the tests, or started seeking loyal volunteers to enter warps for the sake of the Motherland, they probably couldn't keep it quiet forever. But this probably helped shape attitudes towards the Warped.
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Re: Setting: Possession

Postby Kappa » Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:42 am

Heh. Nice.
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Re: Setting: Possession

Postby diagrapher » Sun Dec 10, 2017 2:43 pm

Original version of OP:

An Earth with magical regions called "Warps"

Warps appear and disappear spontaneously, generally lasting centuries. A warp contains the same general sort of terrain as the area did before, but is much larger internally and its internal layout is continuously changing and harder to navigate- for example, vegetation might become thicker, hills steeper or streats more confusingly arranged. Furthermore, people who enter a warp seem to be transported to near the middle of it.

At some point between entering and escaping a warp, anyone who gets lost in one will be "Warped". When a person is Warped, they are subjected to unpredictable and sometimes bizarre alterations to their memories, personality and body. All three of these things, however will remain more-or-less recognizable; they are the same person altered rather than a new person, although not everyone sees it that way. Sometimes, a Warped person will also gain superpowers; some people enter Warps intentionally in the hope of getting powers.

At some point days or years, and generally at least months, after escaping a warp, a person's original, unwarped mind will "wake up". This "Original" will have no memories or experiences from after the Warping. From then on, the Original and Warped will have to share a body. Exactly how this works varies from person to person; some are awake alternate days. Some switch out unpredictably or in response to specific stimuli. Some struggle over control of the body when they disagree. Some function in other ways.
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