An informal little episode to close out the year, on, appropriately, closure. Epic destinies – a concept from D&D4E for immortality, story-terminal plots, and so on, applied to HSD.
Episode #30, Epic Destinies
♃ 1.43 — Yay! Episode 30! A nice little milestone 🙂 I wonder if we’ll get to #50 by the end of 2018?
♃ 6.40 — The theme for this one is “epic destinies,” which comes out of D&D4E, but I think goes all the way to the D&D “Immortals” boxed set—you can see some chatter about the Gold Box here. I had a copy, it was exciting to read through—demigods facing off with the forces of Entropy, and each character had a quest for godhood that was along the lines of “found a religion” or “experience every class,” big sweeping hero’s journey stuff. Epic Destinies were along those lines; your character quested to be a god, a slayer of gods, an archetype hero, transcend the mortal world and become one with the Spellweave, become a greater dragon…and so on. Each would culminate in a final story that would sunset your character, helping him become part of the world and shape the world…which when you think about it is a bit ironic, since the world was shaped for him or her to begin with. The circle of life…
♃ 8.00 — you can’t see it because, podcast, and because I edited it out, but here there was a 20 second pause as Ashtaar stared blankly at me, followed by another false start. I give up. You can’t work with foxes.
♃ 13.00 — yes, there are dragons on Venus. When Venus was terraformed, it was created with a rich and uniquely Venusian ecosystem, including at least one dragon. I’ve always viewed it as the Outback of Sol. So it’s nice to hear it’s also a retirement home for Pulse executives who’ve transcended their humanoid shapes.
♃ 18.20 — I’ll just leave the Evil Dead chainsaw sequence here…
♃ 24.10 — We’ve talked about transcendent technology in a previous episode, it’s under the broad category of “Technology indistinguishable from magic.” They tend to be on a bit of a timer, as eventually, if a character exploits them, they will spiral out of control and take over the character. Whether this is “achieving your destiny” or “blowing yourself up” is an exercise to the reader.
The Nephalim Codex is pretty firmly in the “silence” portion of Sound and Silence, a book of mad occult ravings worthy of any Lovecraftian scholar. Don’t have the Sound and Silence lorebook? Consider buying it! But you can read the preview of the Codex on Tumblr.
♃ 28.17 — If you happen to care somehow, the dead gnoll god is Gorelik. There’s almost no information about him…in Demihuman Deities he has an aura that sweeps up gnolls and turns them into hyenas, so that’s unhelpful and not a great way to win worshippers. He makes a brief appearance on the side of a river in hell, a fading fragment of himself, in the very last issue of “Dungeon” magazine. There’s a little outline of the “Fallen God Avatar” epic destiny on the D&D Wiki, but sadly it’s missing most of the color text and downplayed the self-destructive power of following that particular path.
♃ 30.30 — The Black Mirror episode “San Junipero” digs into the idea of a virtual world as retirement community. “White Christmas” addresses the “personality in a bottle” story, and is, well, dark. (trailers: White Christmas, unofficial for San Junipero.)
♃ 32.53 — More about “The Werewolf Principle” by Simak, a review post with lots of vintage cover art.
♃ 38.01 — On the subject of trailers, here’s the trailer for Netflix’s upcoming “Altered Carbon” series.
♃ 39.02 — In HSD, “The Monolith” is an ancient artifact under the surface of Europa that seems to be some sort of strange gateway for dark alien energies. In 2001 it appears to be either the source of or a metaphor for the evolution of intelligence. And here’s the movie’s very enigmatic ending.
♃ 42.39 — NEVER pass up an opportunity to drop a reference to the Kwisatz Haderach in casual conversation. Basically it’s the Chosen One of the “Dune” setting. I listed it as one of my former job titles when I applied for a job at Steve Jackson Games. Which I didn’t get. Overqualified, I guess.
♃ 44.50 — HSD’s setting “Sol” has a complicated system of financial microtransactions that’s sort of a combination of social security and indentured servitude, called “ledgers.” The algorithms for the ledger system are ancient and well-protected. I imagine the secret ledger-bunkers going up like the financial institutions at the end of “Fight Club.” It will be beautiful.
♃ 54.46 — For your edification and amusement, Whines’s favorite “Housepets” strip.