Re: Dominia Lore - Player Feedback

Zundy wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 10:36 pm
Sargentdsod wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 9:41 pm
Pretty much the very theme of Dominia gives these undertones. The colour, the nature of their authoritarian rule, overall it screams "Space Fascism"
Which colours? And what in their nature? I can amend these if need be.
The main flag, with the three shades of red, alongside the fact that all of their planets are given Roman-latin names, the fact that they are in fact authoritarian, "Democracy is a code word for Plutocracy" and 'stratified standard of living' bit, which are also all things that you catch at just a first glance at the lore. By the very theme of the nation it seems to be a fascist neo-roman space empire. Also, upon reading the updated forum post, I do have to say that using a Helghan aesthetic does not help the fascist undertones, as that is a fascist aggressor nation, tbf.

Re: Dominia Lore - Player Feedback

I actually don't mind the authoritarian government mindset nor do I mind that slavery was a previous component of the nation. They had to build up their industrial complex to rival some of the other relevant nationalities somehow and slavery/serfdom remains to be among the most effective ways to building up a lot of industry very quickly for very little cost, especially in the current setting with technology, this is easily feasible to do. They only need to house, feed and keep the slaves under the military thumb, which is far cheaper than giving them jobs to be paid for, social welfare benefits and etc. Moral concerns notwithstanding, try not to mistake my post as wholeheartedly defending slavery as if I agree with it.

I'm not a fan of how the Moroz Holy Tribunal is established as the state religion to be enforced. It's a plutocratic theocracy either way given how a religious authority branched away from the Emperor himself, is able to make all of the laws and also enforce them. The Emperor just seems like an easily squared-away figurehead which is the exact opposite kind of thing I'd like to see in regards to the iconic image of what I'd envision as the Emperor of Dominia. I see him more like an Arcturus Mengsk-like monarch than I see him as like an English king that bows to the whim of the Pope.

Secularizing the Dominian Empire and subjecting it to more of a truly imperialistic focus based on unifying its populace and society under a single defining will, the Emperor's in general, would generally lead to a more interesting culture thematic where the nobility are established as closely knit with other loyalists to the Dominian Throne. They were rewarded with titles, riches and land for their families' contributions to the throne, and all others are merely tools to be utilized. The military industrial complex serves a singular need to defend the interests of the 'Emperor's Will' (rather similar to the American Manifest Destiny, or the Japanese Imperial conquests of the Pacific islands) and aggressively push any detractors of this overriding ideology out of their territory. Long-term stability of the nation at all costs.

The fact that the Moroz Tribunal exists is a bit of a travesty because it serves as the singular most direct threat to the Emperor's sovereignty. In the Medieval and Renaissance era, the amount of power that the Pope and the RCC commanded was indisputable due to the amount of cultural influence they possessed in the Christian community. They could pressure monarches to bow to the whims of the Pope and the RCC administration at large, otherwise the Pope could just as easily sow dissent and eventual rebellion in the Christian kingdoms to get back at any insubordinate monarchs that had their own goals and motivations.

I'd be pretty pissed if I had to deal with this, if I were the Emperor, because it presents a lot of bureaucratic issues that I, as the great Emperor of an entire sovereign nation, does not want to have to deal with. I'm not expressing that I hate religion or anything like that (anything but, I just detest the way that the religious entrenchment is displayed, it's almost like a cliche because whoever wrote about it didn't know how to motivate a religious following properly), just that Dominia is breeding its own problems in interpretation because it's flat out a nation with a lot of religious cultural involvement that's greatly entrenched in the inherent culture associated to Dominia. And I think this is a bad thing because of it, because it's creating its own pool of characters that people have seen before (let's see, I'm pretty sure we already have religious fanatics in terms of the Marziites) and are otherwise not a fan of/are quite critical of.

Excellence is not an art. It is a habit. We are what we repeatedly do.

Re: Dominia Lore - Player Feedback

also i'll draft up of a lore canonization app tomorrow to more seriously address some of the issues I outlined because I didn't hit every single mark/problem that I have with Dominia. It's just too long and complex of a problem to outline in a single feedback post by itself.

Excellence is not an art. It is a habit. We are what we repeatedly do.

Re: Dominia Lore - Player Feedback

Dominia has about as many logical holes as most other minor factions, but it also has the unfortunate distinction of being associated with an enduring meme developed last year.

At this point, the current Dominia does not resemble the Dominia that the original player thought up and used in their backstory. That version was a bit silly by comparison, while this version has had many hours of thought and community input put into it. I would be alright with the high-level feel of this faction if its name was changed to something other than "Dominia." I feel that keeping the old name immortalizes the joke of the original faction, which people mocked for months until Zundy decided to try and take it seriously as they transitioned to staff.

At best, keeping the name takes that player's original idea and steals it to create something else without their permission, and at worst it just keeps the ridicule of the original idea alive. We should not be doing either of these things as staff, in my opinion.
Player of: Zahra Karimi - Jennifer Beal - Rez Adesida - T.A.K.E - Reza El-Tahir
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Re: Dominia Lore - Player Feedback

Globalization does not stop totalitarianism. As much as I wish it did, there are still totalitarian and authoritarian real world states. I don't want to go really deep into geography and political studies on my day off, but there are plenty of historial and contemporary conditions that would allow a Dominia to exist. uwu

With that said, this is a science fiction setting. What is more important than the trends of our real world is how consistent a faction is within our setting, and what roles these factions play for character creation.

I like Dominia. It fills roles not satisfied by our other factions. It is a good antagonist. Its current iteration is very nice.


Re: Dominia Lore - Player Feedback

I've seen a lot of this 'Dominia was made a meme' and 'People treat Dominia like a joke' mentality, and I can only attribute the logic to a misunderstanding. I don't think so many people (or at least, myself) think Dominia is a meme as the Moroz Holy Tribunal is a meme. Which it is. I think Dominia as a nation is interesting and I've even looked into making a character from it, but the Tribunal is my point of contemption for several reasons.
To start, the Tribunal is a meme. I don't believe the playerbase made it a meme, or that it was a meme 'before it was revamped', because when I first took a good hard look at it a couple of months ago, I saw 'theocratic dictatorship with a focus on unerring loyalty, punishment by death to heresy, and laws handed down on a regular basis by God" and realized I'd already been making memes about Dominia since around (sorry for making the probably over-done comparison) the time half of my friends started playing WH40k.
From a theological standpoint, there are no small amounts of issues with the Tribunal. For me most of them don't stem from the actual religion, but rather the implications socially and politically of it's spread and why it would've been blasted to bits by a larger power before they could finally lift off their first planet.
Naturally, there's the whole anti-IPC mentality. That's as fine a basis as any, and I'm surprised the space Catholic Church hasn't gone down the same road of obliterating them (Yeah, I'm throwing shade at my boy McJacko.) However, it has no right to exist in the larger scope of the universe as a whole. The concept that Nanotrasen and Tau Ceti looked at a religion which MANDATES that people treat synthetics as lesser beings who should be destroyed and went "Yeah
they'd make for fine workers aboard our vessels which have a significant synthetic presence" is a meme in and of itself. The first argument I can see being tossed against this is some 'Dominia has too much power / money / whatever to not let in" which is just silly seeing as how they were basically confined to the area their space-cult had control over up until slavery was banned (Which I have more gripes about, as 'Indentured serfdom where your lord can completely take everything you own if you piss him off' is still slavery.)
The point I'm trying to make here would take a text document of several thousand characters. Trust me, I know from experience. As such, I'll kind of just move to the big point, here:
Look at the Tribunal, and what it stands for, and what it demands, before putting it through a horribly mangled three two filters of Socrates.
"Would any interstellar power or corporation allow somebody with this mentality to work for them?"
And "Would anyone who didn't have a gun to their head / IMMENSE amounts of meth in their system actually believe this, or even convert to it at all?"
Naturally, I'm biased, but I'd say the first, twelfth, thirty-ninth, and one-hundredth edict don't pass this test.

Re: Dominia Lore - Player Feedback

We've done some tweeks on the Tribunal since this is a major bugbear largely down to no clarity. There has also been some clarification on the power of the Tribunal and the Emperor as there wasd a belief with some people that the Tribunal holds ultimate power in the Empire. It doesn't.
It was during this time that the Unathi pirates homeworld religion, Sk'ath, was introduced and forced upon the local populace. The fusion of the pre-imperial Ofassel religion and the Sk'akh led to the formation of Mo'Roz - the precursor to what would become the Moroz Holy Tribunal. The religion gathered momentum with the oppressed masses of the Empire and quickly led to organised protests and then attacks upon the establishment. Seryo's reign was severely hampered and he lasted for only one year.

The Keeser Era

At the end of his short reign S'kraskin Seryo abdicated to Boleslaw Keeser and retired from public life. In the following years Boleslaw Keeser reforms the government into the one present today and the planet is renamed to Dominia. He embarks on ambitious goals for the Empire, committing to them with zeal. He invests in the 7 major cities on the planet, linking them together with the Imperial Railroad in 2440. He also consolidates his power and - utilising the Empires renewed patriotism and the noble houses - organises a reform of Mo'Roz into the Moroz Holy Tribunal reducing the church's power substantially.
Synth Relations

Dominia is highly anti-synth stemming from it's relation to the Sk'akh faith, as such any and all IPC's are sought out and destroyed upon entering Dominia space. Interestingly to observers, there seems to be a disproportionately high number of shell IPC's present in the sector compared to those beliefs. Special task forces have been set up under Section 0 to tackle this perceived threat to Dominia yet it is still not unknown for shells to flee the system in search of protection.

Behind the scenes and unbeknownst to all save the elites of Dominia society, these "shells" are more often than not political dissidents and not synthetic at all. Under the laws of the state of Dominia itself as well as various interstellar laws thrust upon the Empire in the aftermath of the “Coalition Against Dominian Piracy” embargo being lifted, the Dominia government is not capable of direct political suppression - at least not without breaching the agreements put in place to lift the embargo. By utilizing the galaxy at large's anti-synth sentiment, it is able to effectively manage dissent through its "deactivation" of "synths". This is something many might suspect when looking over the statistics of shells caught and processed within Dominia, but is not a known fact. Player characters would not be aware of this, though they might be suspicious.
In regards to the Tribunal "being a meme" - Dominia was already preached as being a meme (be a few people) prior to the addition of the Tribunal. When the Tribunal was added, Dominia was still a meme (to some people). When it was all revamped, Dominia was a meme (to some people). When we had the arc, Dominia suddenly wasn't a meme anymore - the Tribunal suddenly became the new meme (by an even fewer number of people).

Regarding it's theological make up and it's incompatibility with society - it has no theological elements like the Church of Bane from 3.5e D&D has none, or the Klingon Religion from star trek. None of the fictional religions stand up to real religions (I'm sure there are a few very well thought out ones) since they're not real. In the same way we're not going to write down and draw out the entire political, geographic and stellar make up of every world and every system in the game - we're not going to draft up a theologically sound scripture for every fictional religion in game nor are we going to draft up 400 years plus of missing religious literature for every real life religion. It's just far too much work for something that's just for flavor.

With regards to the Dominians not being able to emigrate based on their beliefs - the Tribunal mirrors the Unathi Sk'akh religion and Unathi are by and large anti-synth. There have been canon cases in lore of Unathi destroying shells on sight due to their status as abominations. Their religions are also overbearing. Unathi are allowed to work within Biesel and their religions are not brought into question. The People's Republic of Adhomai utilize secret police to kill political dissidents, want to seize the means of production and believe in racial superiority. Tajaran are allowed to work within Biesel. It goes on, the Vaurca? One hive is evil incarnate and the rest are causing massive social, political and evironmental issue in their host civilisations. Vaurca are allowed to work within Biesel. Solarians - literally invaded Biesel and had to be ousted. Still allowed in Biesel.

They pass the test of "would they be allowed to work". They even have a religious law that demands they follow their host's local laws unlike any other race or civilisation - this was designed on purpose to ensure Dominia characters are not encouraged to be walking joke characters. We still get them and when we do, we deal with them like we deal with afro-hair comb-255,255,255-ghetto boyes from Sol, Allahu Akbar Elyrans, snuzzlekin Tajarans and azure-synth-loving-strong-independant-unathi-sec-women.

That aside the feedback has been great. It wasn't clear in lore why people followed the religion and the power of the Emperor v Tribunal was shakey so we've clarified it. Any more feedback is welcome and I would very much like to hear from others, especially the Dominian players if they want.

Re: Dominia Lore - Player Feedback

Regarding it's theological make up and it's incompatibility with society - it has no theological elements like the Church of Bane from 3.5e D&D has none, or the Klingon Religion from star trek. None of the fictional religions stand up to real religions (I'm sure there are a few very well thought out ones) since they're not real. In the same way we're not going to write down and draw out the entire political, geographic and stellar make up of every world and every system in the game - we're not going to draft up a theologically sound scripture for every fictional religion in game nor are we going to draft up 400 years plus of missing religious literature for every real life religion. It's just far too much work for something that's just for flavor.
But we're not asking for it to survive against real religions, we're asking for there to be some sort of effort put into a major theme of the faction. It doesn't need to have vast tomes of theological explorations but its really apparent this lore was written by people who have never been seriously religious in their life. The Moroz Tribunal claims a monopoly on truth as a new religion and so there needs to be certain things it fulfills for it to actually exist in any real setting.

1. An all encompassing explanation for the meaning of life that serves as an apparatus to bring heathens into the fold and give hope to the faithful.
2. Metaphysical objectives for both its followers and those it considers heathen.
3. A message the other faiths could not or do not preach.

Right now, the only new thing the Tribunal has introduced into civil life is violence, its message and objectives entirely reliant on the political establishment. So when this all gets put into practice, where it matters (the game) the characters come off as non-denominational Christians with the edginess dial cranked up. Any and all attempts to explore this central theme of the people just shows us a slightly different variation of 40k LARPers (who for all the LARP about God-Emperors are just angry atheists) and I don't need to tell you how they bring down the game. (I go into more detail about this on Schevs thread)

So all in all, we dont want the Tribunal gone because it doesn't stand against the true faith, we want it gone because its out of place and poorly done. The other fictional religions do not garner this condemnation because they are very rarely ever central themes of the characters unless there is a tragedy or they're a Chaplain. While with Dominians their political and religious views intertwine so often its impossible to explore these characters and actually be satisfied with either their logic or the detail of their explanations. When this happens the characters come off as completely unbelievable and its hard to muster up the effort to engage with those who exist in competition to the rest of the setting.

Edit: My favourite example actually of Dominian characters mostly being so utterly surreal in their execution was the time I constantly made fun of the Chaplains dominian faith and then the HoP told me I shouldn't discriminate. Like imagine sitting there trying to convince edict breakers to kill themselves but yet also being so soft skinned you think being bullied over the Dominian faith is too much so you report them to NT.
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