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NM - Synthetic Lore Deputy Application

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Ckey/BYOND Username: ComradeBatman

Position Being Applied For (Wiki Maintainer, Lore Developer, Deputy Lore developer): Synthetic Lore Deputy

Have you read the Lore Team Rules and Regulations wiki page?: Yep!

Past Experiences/Knowledge: My previous roles were predominantly oriented towards storytelling. The settings I played were grounded in the lore of the corresponding games, unlike the custom built lore of Aurora. It was closer to a traditional DM role with some flexible liberties for custom developments. I primarily created narrative arcs, storylines, and in-game events with the base lore as the guiding benchmark. My positions ranged from the equivalent of lore deputy to lore master. In more recent years, I pivoted to administrative roles up into head admin while still managing the narrative angles of the setting. I have been writing and role playing since 2005.

Examples of Past Work: The majority of my writings are contextual to the games/servers they were based on. They can be provided if needed. I have no current lore contributions.



What do you think are the primary themes of synthetic lore? If you got this position, how would you develop them?

"We are on the verge of creating life in our own image, but do we have the wisdom to guide it?" - Unknown

The primary themes are the exploration of self-actualization, their potential for tangible demonstrations of sapience along with what this means for synthetic individuals/society/civilizations, and navigating the oppressive treatment with all its prejudice against them. The majority of household pets receive better care than most synthetics. They are an after-thought in the notion of treatment, best regarded for their direct utility in any given situation than any legitimate consideration to their stand-alone complexity as potential equals.

Overall, I find synthlore to be in a solid place. There is always room for improvement with any worldbuilding. Its a healthy practice to occasionally go back and ensure the moving parts capture the most accurate depiction of any race, planet, or otherwise to the standards of today. 

I plan to approach thematic expansion on the macro/micro levels under a simple process that offers a player the ability to draw from the established precedent in any particular piece and still build upon it. They are, after all, the vehicles for any lore at large. There should be consistency in the overarching vision of synthetics no matter what background/origin/society they’re creating a character from. It looks, loosely, as follows:

  • An initial review of the existing lore available. A well rounded, thorough dissection in each of the major pieces that comprise synthetics.
  • With that established, studying to confirm that the presiding thematic elements are satisfactorily captured in the variety of synthetic presence across the galaxy.
  • Develop and curate additional avenues that express, go against, reinforce, or further the central study of synthetics understanding themselves - their existence - and their own place in the universe. This can include anything from expansion of factions/planets/existing societies, developments of new variations/systems/factions that satisfy the intended vision, and better integrating these into the Spur at large.



What do you think is the strongest part of synthlore currently and why?

Some of the most consistently solid aspects of Synthlore are the flexibility in character designs and the overarching nature of their interpreted sentience/sapience.

The ability for a player writer to construct a unique concept using the lore as a trampoline is indicative of a well developed foundation. Creativity is given full reign with a myriad of inspiring ideas all made possible from the diverse opportunities available within the scope of synthetics. A loose framework with which anyone can operate within those parameters isn’t exclusive to synthetics, but a more prominent quality made possible with them.(expand more on this)

The ability for every major faction to have their own interpretations, cultural views, and levels of integration with synthetics at large is fantastic. There is no concise answer on just how far, or how little, they can be treated. They range from servants since creation, second class citizens, to full blown members of society. It's a hallmark of a good writer to present a situation that has the possibilities of multiple answers without a defining, hardline truth to dispel them. 

Synthetics carry the potential for more than the equipment they’re framed as. They can also be the scale of terror as captured in Silicon Nightmares, just as they might be individuals with their own hopes, dreams, and motivations. They contain the endless potential to be everything and nothing. Ultimately, the philosophical captivation into the truth - or fabricated, mimicked nature of sapience - interests me most to explore as a universal element that can be ventured with player characters. In that, the countless theories, speculations, with all their theories arise - What does it mean to be synthetic?


What do you think is the weakest part of synthlore currently and why?

More than other species, the available IPC factions don’t capture the depth, flexibility, or thematic intrigue I would want as both player and writer. It can be any combination of:

  • Scarcity in presence/relevance.
  • Limited in detail or structure.
  • Lack depth beyond their designated niche.

The stand-out catalog of IPC characters come from from the corporation or planet they originate from. A perfectly acceptable reality, yet something that has room for opportunity in others seeking more off the beaten path archetypes. The possible organization/factional groups should be malleable for molding beyond the principles they embody, with depth and involvement that can be represented by players or in the greater fabric of the galaxy.

Some examples:

  • Golden Deep. Traders centralized on unlimited growth and capitalistic ventures. Noble Row previously posted a feedback thread and is now actively expanding them. This is more of a historical examination than anything he's currently doing. They previously suffered from this limited narrative exploration.
  • Megacorporation IPC brands. Hazel is an iconic line of shells that’s had a player base on and off for some time. There’s several being actively played as we speak! I’d love to develop a similar stand-out model of IPC for each of the megacorporations in more thorough detail as a template for anyone to pick up from. They won’t necessarily only be shells, but in that similar vein.
  • Scrappers. A compelling piece in origin to something built off of in-game events and active lore cycles. I’m interested in either expanding on this with its place in the present day galaxy or developing a factional group in the wake of lore events that take place, as a worldly reaction. More of these directly formed or affected by events, would be great.
  • Purpose. What a brilliant idea it was to include them in the latest arc. And with it still fresh in everyone’s mind, more than ever, is a good time to strike while the iron is hot. There’s speculation, theories, and plenty of discussion revolving around them. Something I would certainly bank on the standing Synthetic team are aware of and likely to capitalize on. They’re a little trickier with their intended veil of intrigue about them, with still countless ways to give them presence in more ways.
  • IPCs on planets. Expansion on what sub-cultural groups form from the respective influence of existing on these planets can pave the way for more factional, if minor, representation to give players wiggle room to play with. It doesn't have to be only how Assunizoni IPC operates on Assunizone, but what synthetics in regional spaces internalize and make themselves as a culture.



What aspect of synthetic lore are you most interested in and would like to work on?

The classical struggle to deal with an existence (humans) so definitively woven into the Synthetic psyche is probably my number one, something I integrate into my own IPC character's narrative web. For the race as a whole, this is heavily explored and comprises most of synth's interactions with humans already. It's still a great story that can still see new developments. That said, I'd rather explore more synthetic-centric avenues initially that are unique to them, or overlapped with other races.

I have a few in mind that I would tackle, in no particular order:

  • Expanding localized synthetic culture on planets they're already present on.
    • Think Synthetics under the 'IPCs Around the Galaxy' tag. Venus, Elyra, Assunizone, etc.
    • The big focus on this is "For IPCs in this particular area, is there room for their own sub-culture that branches off from the parent? If so, what does it look like?" in more detail.
  • Additions to existing synthetic-centric factions and creation of new ones.
    • Their moral compass, art/creativity, education, cultural habits, governmental/hierarchical structure, personal values, etc.
    • This can range from being on a local, regional, or planetary scale.
    • Also a collaborative point with races like Vaurca, Unathi, Dionae, etc. Humans have the greatest overlap and existing collab with synths, exploring more with other teams is definitely a point of interest.
  • Introduction of faiths.
    • The Trinary Perfection is a staple in the community eye as a Synthetic religion. The lesser represented sects (Society of Pitters and the Lodge) are avenues for localized variety. I want more of these to exist outside of the Trinary’s shadow while being equally relevant to synthetics. Religion, regardless of race, plays a crucial role in the psyche of a character and invites the vein of philosophical explanations for existence that synthetics are seeking to answer outside of mankind.
    • Examples below.
  • Creating more 'Hazel' lines for other megacorps.
    • I really like how Hazel exists as this baseline for characters to spring off of. I'd love to make more notable lines from the other corporations that have their own iconic branding for players to choose from.
  • IPC Med rework + frames.
    • I know this has been a hot topic in the past - plus mostly a mechanical thing - but something I'd like to help with to really make those differences stand out. The most pronounced distinction we have is their biology, making it that much more refined and unique would help. Better defining differences in frames in parts, by design, or feel would also be great.

Example of Synthetic Faiths
These were something I whipped up for the lore writer app. I haven't expanded on them but they're the kind of narrative angles that can come specifically from synthetics. Opens opportunities for characters to have more backgrounds to choose from, more ways to express their synth origin. The Trinary Perfection covers ascension of the spirit, while the Archivists approach it from the mind and Iron Eye, the body.


Universal Archivists

The Archivists believe the path to enlightenment isn’t in spiritual and individual ascension alone as the Trinary do. Trying to eventually equate to God, the universe, is impossible. Archivists view a singular gathering place where everything can be taught or learned as the principle to strive for. They are geared towards acquiring all knowledge of the universe and the reverence they hold IN said knowledge. To be is to understand. You don’t need Godhood if you have everything a God does know.

Within them are two perspectives with their own groups on what knowledge is going to better facilitate their growth as a whole. Everything that can be obtained from other races, cultures, and themselves as an epicenter of informational gathering.

The Quantum Nexus

A group that believes the method to gain the best understanding of the universe is through the universal language, math. They compile mathematical formulas, equations, and all relevant data with the express purpose to answer any and all questions in an equation. If there is a creator, there is a formula to define them. If they can be defined this way, anything can be. They focus on the constants of reality.

Gameplay angles: They model their thinking in equations and find ways to express most sentiments similarly, kind of like how EAL follows a logical process. Could be scientists, researchers, xenoarchs, etc. They might define characters in equations and we could create some additions to EAL slang with specifics to them.

The Chrono Consortium

The path to a true understanding is in history. The universe itself can only be understood in the actions of those that exist in it.  If all history can be recorded, compiled, and analyzed, they can identify trends - forecast futures. Knowledge without actors to carry it out doesn’t amount to anything. They focus on the variables of reality.

Gameplay angles: Character backgrounds that try to personally experience and acquire just about any recordable event or informational possible across the galaxy. Librarians, Reporters, Xenoarchs, etc. The big drive is it gives them hooks to engage with other characters and invite social avenues.

The Iron Eye

Techno-Animists believe in attributable consciousness in all elements and matter, viewing reality as a machine itself. A machine that interconnects all there is, and that can be, with everything deriving from that initial, fundamental structure. Whether it is sentient itself - dormant, sleeping, or active and expressing itself through the cosmos are burning questions. The answers won’t exist in their gathering of knowledge alone, it will come from directly interfacing with this universal machine and finding the root - the origin point. They focus on technological advances, self-upgrading, and working towards building the unifying construct that will be able to integrate with existence itself. Who better to understand reality than those that are made closest to it? They are the chosen people, most capable of this communion, and want others to be able to experience that proverbial unifying connection.



What do you think are your strongest and weakest attributes in terms of working on a team?

Some aspects I consider important and align with my personal conduct:

Patience. I’ve cooperated in enough collaborative settings to know that cooler heads prevail. Disagreements are bound to arise and are healthy provided that they’re productive. Keeping calm when elements can be controversial or passionate is incredibly important to maintain a solid grasp of keeping a team feeling that they can express themselves without fear of being shut down. The second consideration to that is the reality we’re all volunteers. Things will take time. Being cognizant of that will promote a more productive development cycle with the reality of most scenarios having limited windows to work.

Cooperation. No man is an island. We’re working together! It is never an expectation or even a reality that we can do everything ourselves. We will share a workload or a project with folks we may not agree with. It isn’t enough to sit back and calmly participate in a discussion. It has to ultimately arrive at some conclusion. I won’t be the subject matter expert in everything and will never hold the illusion I do. I want the best possible outcome for everyone involved that fits anything in the realm of Synthetics best.

Discipline. Predominantly refers to the ability to see projects through to their end. This is a necessity in any passion-based effort, especially centered around volunteers in their free time. Its crucial to have the fortitude to complete articles, event arcs, or any relevant responsibilities even when the motivation isn’t there. I very carefully keep in mind how much I can reasonably handle and its a consistent evaluation I try to stay ahead of as the scope of work can change. Whatever I am actively committed to will be seen to its end. It's better to close something out even if it isn’t perfect than to leave it incomplete or abandoned.


Aspects that will be, to some degree, challenging:

Availability. The presence I will not be able to have - and I’m sure isn’t expected - to always be there for any happenings. My time is what can be carved out. I will prioritize what is required of me and keep to whatever timeline I can manage, but there will inevitably be unexpected delays or obstacles along the way. It doesn’t mean I won’t be active, quite the contrary. This is mostly directed to the benchmark of having primary responsibilities in life elsewhere. I participate or am involved in Aurora almost daily. I’m sure there will be times I need the team to assist me and will account for that accordingly.

Scale. I trend towards projects of ambition, where detail, quality, and thoroughness are what I prioritize most. Things that may require far more resources, work, and time compared to a less aspiring plan. I try to keep this in mind, especially given that I’m neither a coder, a spriter, or a mapper. The ideas I’ll stir up will need to be tempered to fit the available resources we’ll have available. I’ll be better equipped to scale down or up as needed when I have my bearings about what is the existing climate within the team, the future plans in production, and fellow writers/deputies in other teams.

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You have my full support as you were a strong contender the last application. I'm really excited about the ideas you bring to the table, I'm a sucker for religion lore and the original Tinary faith was what made me apply for IPC in the first place.

I asked NobleRow some "harder" questions last time but I'd like to hear your take on it, particularly on a point in particular:


2. Every now and then I see shell characters that have an accent tag but look nothing like the people from the planet. I won't name names here, but I've seen about three heavily played characters lately that do this. Now, I haven't interacted with them that much, but it's jarring that they can just choose to look whatever they want and be disconnected from their home culture when that wouldn't fly if they were human characters. This is even more of a "problem" to me because, while scheming through human planet pages, it's obvious the lore team has put some effort (though perhaps not as much) into providing concepts for what IPCs living in each planet would be like. Now, I know these concepts are usually general and don't provide too much of a background, but again, I don't think it makes sense for IPCs to not be influenced by the society they live in. One clear example of a background done right, in my opinion, is Eridani and the "suit" IPCs. Other species like mine (Vaurca) or Dionae have had to adapt to living and taking bits of the culture of the "home" culture and I don't think it has ended up limiting the character concepts way too much. If anything, I believe, it has defined them to justify the multiple backgrounds. My questions for this point are: Do you think those "disconnected" shell characters should be allowed? Would you be open to providing more information as to how the planetary background shapes the culture and ideals of the IPCs living in it? Would you rather just provide "general" information and let the characters be something else because you perceive IPC culture to be different?

You touch some important points, but I'm mostly interested in how to not make the IPCs from a particular background feel too disconnected. IMO, if we don't allow German-descendents in planets like Eridani, IPCs (particularly, shells) shouldn't be seen as a way to bypass these behaviors. I don't think any current characters are too jarring, but there's a few that come to mind that kind of push the limits as to what is allowed from a particular background. Do you think this is a problem or am I making it too much of a fuzz?

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Posted (edited)

Hey Desven! The support means a lot, thank you so much.


On 17/04/2024 at 18:37, Desven said:

Do you think those "disconnected" shell characters should be allowed?

Characters shouldn’t ever exist in a vacuum. Synthetic characters are no exception. Playing a shell is a unique opportunity to dabble with something familiar and alien at the same time - but not any justification to neglect the variables that comprise the difference between being an IPC on Venus or Assunzione.

Outside of outlying cases, the majority of synthetics are going to be strongly influenced by the planet they reside on and the culture around them. If a player is creating a character from a particular planet, they should try and integrate some of the foundations from that region. They have the creative flexibility to play around with how close or how far they want to assimilate - just like humans do - but I don’t believe they should ever have zero overlap with where they were built. It undermines the contextual narratives that have been written to make planets distinctive.


On 17/04/2024 at 18:37, Desven said:

Would you be open to providing more information as to how the planetary background shapes the culture and ideals of the IPCs living in it?

Absolutely. Its one of my motivations on the roadmap I want to do. There isn’t enough information present that's going to adequately give an IPC player the tools to make a character from a planet without their background being entirely human in the process. 

What I want it to be is if your character is a synthetic from a particular planet, they have the background from the predominant culture as a baseline. Then, an additional layer of subculture of how those values, mannerisms, views, and lifestyles have been adapted and expressed by synthetics. This duality should help make a more cohesive character and shine a better spotlight on the synthetic part of their identity.


On 17/04/2024 at 18:37, Desven said:

Would you rather just provide "general" information and let the characters be something else because you perceive IPC culture to be different?

I don’t want to force characters into restrictive, inflexible concepts. However, there should still be that immediate influence, especially with how synthetics learn by experience. They’re sponges to soak up their surroundings and the world they know as it is around them. They would, naturally, adopt familiarity with localized habits throughout their time.

I would expand on how synthetics from a particular space behave or live as a framework, with players filling in whether their character goes against the grain, assimilated, at odds with it, etc. The information would be more specific than just general insight that IPCs exist in a particular space, but less strict than “IPCs from this area only behave this particular way.”

Synthetics live here, they value these things/concepts, they stand by these mindsets, they have these majority/minority/dissenting opinions, these groups represent different aspects, the organizations cover these issues in synthetic society on this planet, etc. For the player, now they can decide on background aspects that are tailored specifically for the race that better align to their concepts.


On 17/04/2024 at 18:37, Desven said:

Do you think this is a problem or am I making it too much of a fuzz?

It can be problematic, given no race should be divorced entirely from the setting or their origin. I haven’t seen it in game, though I understand where you’re coming from. What will help alleviate this is offering players more options/depth to work with and less guesswork for them. The meat and potatoes of a character should come from how the player chooses to take their concept, building off what we offer as a background. Lore is a springboard for how characters engage in the galaxy/on the horizon from their unique perspectives, shaped by their upbringing and culture, defined by their experiences.

Edited by NM_
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You were a strong contender for synthetic writer, and I think you will do well as a deputy writer; you have my full support.

That said I want to chuck a few questions at you;

1) As a Lore Writer, even a deputy, you'll be expected to contribute to team projects as well, so writing for corporations, biesel, etc. Do you feel comfortable doing this?

2) Bit of a loaded question but, how do you perceive the Lore Team?

3) Lore writers nowadays are expected to contribute on greater team projects, so chances are you will get to contribute on things for megacorps, projects for Biesel, and things that are outside the purview of any one species' lore. Taking this position means contributing on these is a given, but is there anything outside of synthetic lore that interests you?

4) Lastly, what are your thoughts on IPCs in terms of mechanics? Would you like to see any specific mechanics added to IPCs?

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On 21/04/2024 at 00:23, Triogenix said:

1) As a Lore Writer, even a deputy, you'll be expected to contribute to team projects as well, so writing for corporations, biesel, etc. Do you feel comfortable doing this?

Sure - I don't have any problems doing this. I have an interest in contributing to the setting at large, even beyond the scope of synthetics. Some of my ideas will touch other aspects of lore, which aligns well with your question. This isn't an issue for me.

I would prefer to have some time to work towards developing Synthetic lore, but I only say this since I don't have an idea of the current projects ongoing with the team. Working with others is an expectation I'm aware of and I support a more interconnected team as a whole.

On 21/04/2024 at 00:23, Triogenix said:

2) Bit of a loaded question but, how do you perceive the Lore Team?

It certainly is one. I'm having a hard time trying to meaningfully respond to this, as an outsider has limited insight into most aspects aside from the final product that gets pushed to the public. I'm happy to edit this answer if you want to touch base in DMs to specifically address the points you were interested in.

From what I can currently see, the team - particularly Unathi lore - is putting a tremendous effort into the new arc that looks like it has incredible potential. I'm at odds with the limited capacity that players can influence the server at large, and I hope to see more responsive changes stemming from the forum threads that were hot topics in the recent past. We are nothing without the players that choose to dedicate their time, energy, and creativity on the server. I enjoy working hand in hand with them when I can historically, I hope to do the same here when the opportunity presents itself.

On 21/04/2024 at 00:23, Triogenix said:

3) Lore writers nowadays are expected to contribute on greater team projects, so chances are you will get to contribute on things for megacorps, projects for Biesel, and things that are outside the purview of any one species' lore. Taking this position means contributing on these is a given, but is there anything outside of synthetic lore that interests you?

I'm very much looking forward to working on things for Biesel. Its often dismissed as the starter origin by most of the community, but it holds a place in my heart. The elections are exciting and I hope we can spend quite some time here. I only wish there was a map of Mendell like Aoyama. It has some of the greatest potential and flexibility to tell just about any story.

A few of my personal interests, in no order:

  • Assunzione, particularly the Lemurian Sea and beyond. I find the whole region fascinating. Dead space is such a cool and eerie concept. I would love to see an arc exploring this someday, in whatever capacity it might look like. The mystery is the excitement. I'd never want to peel all the layers away or explain every little abnormality, just enough to keep it as the strange, otherworldly place its supposed to be.
  • The mega corporations altogether. Melissa Trasen's visit was great, directly bridging the gap we often feel in the disconnect between the ship and the Spur at large. Given how influential they are to the character experience, they're a fantastic vehicle to deliver intrigue, conflict, and play to the centerpiece they exist as in our setting. NT, Zeng, and Idris are my favorites. I want to see more of their presence, subtle or otherwise, creeping through the ship or the Spur.
  • Mars. The Violet Dawn is one of the still talked about events in Aurora history. It has a remarkably large player base and there hasn't been any recent pieces that explore the reconstruction. I'm interested to see how - or if - there is ever a proper Martian presence again.
  • War in Heaven. The effort going into it and the implications in it's outcome for the K'lax Hive is something Vaurca enthusiasts should definitely be paying attention to. I don't have as strong a foundation in Vaurca lore as I'd like yet I'm trying to learn more about it as I read through. It goes a long way to something I always try and prioritize - that the world (or the galaxy, in this case) feels active and alive even independent of players.
  • Bluespace in general. It isn't the most in-depth piece and it doesn't have to be. It holds incredible narrative strength to come up with all sorts of oddities and mysteries. It interests me more for what can be done with it.
On 21/04/2024 at 00:23, Triogenix said:

4) Lastly, what are your thoughts on IPCs in terms of mechanics? Would you like to see any specific mechanics added to IPCs?

I personally want a full medical rework for them, the objectives being to make an equally satisfying system to standard organic med that captures their identity and to offer better customization. As they exist now, nanopaste solves 90% of any damage with the rare visit to the machinist. Their health mechanics are frustrating, limited, and not particularly interesting. There's little, in any depth, to how you repair a synthetic.

The rework would mean touching on aspects such as:

  • Adding new frames and re-tool/re-balance existing frames
  • Adding synthetic-equivalent internal organs (components/systems)
  • Greater customization in their particular frame (Noble is doing this with baselines already, as an example)
  • Adding synthetic-only modules/augments. Plenty of opportunity for modules available to other races as well.
  • New methods to recharge. Solar? Thermal? Coolant?
  • Rebalance nanopaste to be less of an end all, be all fix it is outside of severe cases that require a machinist

Disclaimer: The above is conceptual. It is subject to gameplay balance and is not representative of balanced, finalized mechanics.

What I'd like to see come out from the above:

  • That characters can pick/choose frames that to fit their character concept + the further customization to truly represent it
  • Said frames will still be a character choice first without alienating them from certain departments just because there's another frame better suited
  • Opportunities to more meaningfully explore maintenance, upkeep, and synth-health like their human counterparts with supporting mechanics
  • Synthetics won't be objectively the best pick in every situation. They will be stronger in some, weaker in others.

A great deal of proposed mechanics  are going to be subject to balance changes. G2s are a prime example of a frame that's required changes and even warranted a removal from Security. I don't have any specifics aside from the broad strokes I want to touch on.

Edited by NM_
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