Random Conworld idea thread

Discussions about constructed worlds, cultures and any topics related to constructed societies.
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Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Post by eldin raigmore » Sat 31 Dec 2016, 04:03

gestaltist wrote:
eldin raigmore wrote:Leaving aside the gravitational physics of a toroid planet; what would its days and seasons be like?
Hard to say without more data. Where is the light source/star placed? In the middle of the torus? Or does the torus orbit a normal star? Also: which side of the torus is inhabited?
I was not thinking of a Niven ring; I wasn't think the star would be in the middle of the torus. I was, in fact, thinking the torus orbited a normal star, much as a more spheroidal planet would.
My idea is that the axis of rotation goes through the center of the donut-hole, and is nearly -- but not quite -- perpendicular to the plane of the planet's orbit.
(Maybe the angle should be about 67.5 degrees, so the axial tilt would be about 22.5 degrees?)
(Maybe the donut-hole's diameter should be the same as the Earth's? And maybe the cross-section of the solid part of the torus, transected by a plane that contains its axis of rotation, should consist of two disks about the same size as such a cross-section of the Earth?)
I was thinking that people would try (and probably succeed) to live pretty much everywhere on the planet where there was any life at all.

The parts of the inner surface of the toroid would have be eclipsed from the sun by the opposite side of the toroid. Some parts would have regular day/night cycles in their "summer" (and "spring" and "autumn"?). At those seasons of the year, when a bit of the inner surface rotated into the eclipse, it would have rotated to be not illuminated by the sun anyway (it would be " on the night side".). But for the other half(? quarter?) of the year, it would be dark all the time; when it was on the "day-side", it would be eclipsed by the other half of the toroid.

I don't know what dimensions a toroid would need to have the same volume/same mass as the Earth.
If the "hole" were much thicker than a cross-section of the "body", there'd be much less of that eclipsing I spoke of above, unless the angle by which the axis of rotation met the plane of orbit were much closer to 90 degrees. (That is, axial tilt much nearer to 0 degrees).
OTOH if the "hole" were much thinner than a cross-section of the "body", there'd be much more of that eclipsing I spoke of above, unless the angle by which the axis of rotation met the plane of orbit were much closer to 90 degrees. (That is, axial tilt approaching 90 degrees.)

_________________________________________________________________________________________

I really appreciate all the answers! And I thank everyone who even thought about answering!
I should, particularly, say that elemtilas's stories were excellent!

___________________________________________________________________________________________
elemtilas wrote:[Anyone living on the outside aspect of Toroidworld, on the spaceward side, would never know the true nature of the world. Anyone living on the sunward side would have a pretty clear idea: they would be able to see hundreds or thousands of iterations of the Green Worlds. Those living on one of the inner aspects of Everbright would also be able to see the darker stretches of Everdim high overhead.
The thing has to orbit its primary star; it can't just stay in one place a certain distance from it.
It is highly likely to rotate, too.
Likely it will rotate several times per orbital revolution.
OTOH maybe a "day" (period of rotation) and a "year" (period of revolution) could be exactly the same length; if that were the case, there'd be a side that was always "sunward" and a side that was always "spaceward". (We would say "the planet is tide-locked to its primary star".)
A "year" would be unlikely to be an integer number of "days" long; but it might, and even if it didn't, it might be close. IMO 365.25 is kinda close to integral.
The number of "days" in a "year" could be quite small, even if non-zero, and as near as I can tell it's likelier to be a whole number if it's small.
For instance, a "year" might be 2, or 3, "days" long.
Or a "year" might be 1.5 "days" long (i.e. a "day" might be 2/3 of a "year").
It's even possible that a "day" would be longer than a "year".
Could that be because the rotation were retrograde relative to the revolution?
Or could the rotation be non-retrograde, but just noticeably slower than the revolution?

If it rotates, it's unlikely that the axis of rotation is perfectly perpendicular to the orbital plane.
There's enough difficulty just thinking about the toroidal shape of the planet, without introducing the addition complexity of figuring out what happens if the axial tilt is more than 45 degrees. So I'd assume the axial tilt is less then 45 degrees (but more than 0 degrees); otherwise there'd be no analogue to "a temperate zone".

If there's axial tilt, the axis probably precesses. It probably takes many "years" to precess; it certainly must take many "days" to precess.
The axis probably also nutates (nods).
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Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Post by sangi39 » Sat 31 Dec 2016, 06:30

You can tell the same lie a thousand times,
But it never gets any more true,
So close your eyes once more and once more believe
That they all still believe in you.
Just one time.
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Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Post by eldin raigmore » Wed 04 Jan 2017, 06:18

Wow! [:D] [B)] [O.O]
Thanks!
I want to follow up on some all of those links.

I can't rate him anymore because I can't sign on to YouTube anymore.

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(BTW what accent is that?)
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Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Post by Egerius » Wed 04 Jan 2017, 09:37

eldin raigmore wrote:(BTW what accent is that?)
Some Irish?
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Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Post by gestaltist » Wed 18 Jan 2017, 13:16

It's usually assumed in fantasy that gods can communicate effortlessly with humans. They appear and speak to them in an understandable language. What if learning a language was as much of a problem to a god as it was to a person? Would gods try and learn human languages to get believers? Or would people try and learn the gods' languages to talk to them? What if gods couldn't even communicate via language and could only do so with visions, or with emotion, or with gusts of wind?

I feel like this area hasn't been explored enough.
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Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Post by Evynova » Wed 18 Jan 2017, 14:21

gestaltist wrote:It's usually assumed in fantasy that gods can communicate effortlessly with humans. They appear and speak to them in an understandable language. What if learning a language was as much of a problem to a god as it was to a person? Would gods try and learn human languages to get believers? Or would people try and learn the gods' languages to talk to them? What if gods couldn't even communicate via language and could only do so with visions, or with emotion, or with gusts of wind?

I feel like this area hasn't been explored enough.
Gods are allegedly omniscient. Language is definitely not a barrier to them if they can do anything. This said, if gods were for some reason limited in power, I think it would make sense for the believers to learn the god's language and not the other way around: the servant adapts to his master. This could be fun and interesting though, the idea of life-long priests teaching the gods' language(s) to the younger newbies.

Gods are also supposed to be omnipotent, so there is no reason why they could not directly talk per se into whoever's head he/she wanted. But then again, if for some reason his/her power is limited, he/she could communicate via subtle signs. This is typically how most pagan human societies interpret messages from the otherwordly or from spirits. Except if he/she is particularly fond of seeing his/her followers scratch their heads, I don't see why an all-powerful god(dess) would not communicate in the most straighforward, unambiguous way possible.
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Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Post by Creyeditor » Wed 18 Jan 2017, 15:06

gestaltist wrote:It's usually assumed in fantasy that gods can communicate effortlessly with humans. They appear and speak to them in an understandable language. What if learning a language was as much of a problem to a god as it was to a person? Would gods try and learn human languages to get believers? Or would people try and learn the gods' languages to talk to them? What if gods couldn't even communicate via language and could only do so with visions, or with emotion, or with gusts of wind?

I feel like this area hasn't been explored enough.
Apart from the problems already mentioned, if we assume a very mighty (not almighty) and very wise (not omniscient) god, they would probably only learn languages that are a) very stable (in the sense of being understandable for a long time) and b) very common. So gods *here* would probably speak Latin, English or Mandarin Chinese [:D]
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Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Post by gestaltist » Wed 18 Jan 2017, 15:23

Evynova wrote: Gods are allegedly omniscient.
Not really. The Christian God is omniscient, most gods aren't. Greek gods were decidedly not all-knowing, most fantasy gods aren't either, as they are more based on Greek polytheism. Not even Muslim Allah is omniscient, I think, since I came across the notion that "Allah doesn't see what happens under a roof", at least in popular Islam.
Language is definitely not a barrier to them if they can do anything. This said, if gods were for some reason limited in power, I think it would make sense for the believers to learn the god's language and not the other way around: the servant adapts to his master. This could be fun and interesting though, the idea of life-long priests teaching the gods' language(s) to the younger newbies.
This can go both ways. What if gods work like in the Discworld and their power grows with more believers? It would be more important to a god to communicate to people than the other way around in that case. Or what if the gods' language uses instruments that humans cannot replicate. What if gods "speak" with complex audiovisual patterns, or with some form of EM waves that humans can't produce? It'd be up to the gods to adapt to humans if they want to be understood.
Gods are also supposed to be omnipotent, so there is no reason why they could not directly talk per se into whoever's head he/she wanted.
Same as with omniscience. This doesn't hold true for most gods in fantasy and history.
Creyeditor wrote: Apart from the problems already mentioned, if we assume a very mighty (not almighty) and very wise (not omniscient) god, they would probably only learn languages that are a) very stable (in the sense of being understandable for a long time) and b) very common. So gods *here* would probably speak Latin, English or Mandarin Chinese [:D]
This is a very good point, and I find it hilarious in a way. A god trying to maximize their influence learns a lingua franca. Once they learned a human language, they'd probably try to keep it from changing so they don't have to re-learn. Gods as the ultimate prescriptivists?
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Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Post by elemtilas » Wed 18 Jan 2017, 18:32

Evynova wrote:
gestaltist wrote:It's usually assumed in fantasy that gods can communicate effortlessly with humans. They appear and speak to them in an understandable language. What if learning a language was as much of a problem to a god as it was to a person? Would gods try and learn human languages to get believers? Or would people try and learn the gods' languages to talk to them? What if gods couldn't even communicate via language and could only do so with visions, or with emotion, or with gusts of wind?

I feel like this area hasn't been explored enough.
Interesting idea! I think PTerry comes closest to exploring the idea in Small Gods. As I recall, gods start out "small", mere whisps of divine energy. Obviously unable to speak or communicate (much like babies) and have to sort of grow up and gain belief power before they can manifest or communicate with believers.
Gods are allegedly omniscient. Language is definitely not a barrier to them if they can do anything. This said, if gods were for some reason limited in power, I think it would make sense for the believers to learn the god's language and not the other way around: the servant adapts to his master. This could be fun and interesting though, the idea of life-long priests teaching the gods' language(s) to the younger newbies.
Though I think a smart and entrepreneurial god would ditch that feudal master-servant thing in favor of a more democratic approach. Learn the humans' language first, that way when you manifest, it's to everyone and hey presto! instant bump in followers! Once you've got their attention and fervor for smiting the enemy, then you can start laying on the fascist overlordship!
Gods are also supposed to be omnipotent, so there is no reason why they could not directly talk per se into whoever's head he/she wanted. But then again, if for some reason his/her power is limited, he/she could communicate via subtle signs. This is typically how most pagan human societies interpret messages from the otherworldly or from spirits. Except if he/she is particularly fond of seeing his/her followers scratch their heads, I don't see why an all-powerful god(dess) would not communicate in the most straightforward, unambiguous way possible.
Makes sense. Though as others have pointed out, not all gods are omni- everything. Most, in fact, are decidedly not. They're little more than jumped up humans with extra cool powers.

As far as conceiving stories or inventing worlds, I think much would depend on the model of godhood chosen or discovered for that world. The model in Small Gods is that gods is first that the main gods don't just pop into lightning-hammer throwing existence with temples in every city and a fervent priesthood and second that all gods require the faith of their followers to even exist. The main gods are the main gods because, well, everyone believes sufficiently in them to keep the manna flowing. When a new god comes along, it's a struggle to gain a sufficiently large believer base to keep body and soul together. As it were.

Other models certainly exist and will naturally effect how gods communicate with potential followers.

In The World, for example, the Creator and the Firstborn of the many kinds of created peoples are already communicating well before the creation of the universe itself. At that, er, time, I would hazard the guess that not only communication of a heart-to-heart nature, but also via speech and even song (which the children learn by and by).

When these Firstborn descend into the created world to get everything in shape, they eventually meet a number of races of being capable of communication. Many by language, others by other means. Those that can talk with mouths, they teach language and song to. Not like in a classroom, though! I'd imagine the first learning was more like by osmosis, kind of like how L1 speakers learn. Other speaking peoples wait long before their descendants discover and devise speech on their own.

Even though these Firstborn Powers are by no means omnipotent or omniscient, communication and language are already part of their being and thus no great roadblock to forming relationships with their younger cousins born of earth.
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Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Post by eldin raigmore » Thu 19 Jan 2017, 07:36

gestaltist wrote:It's usually assumed in fantasy that gods can communicate effortlessly with humans. They appear and speak to them in an understandable language. What if learning a language was as much of a problem to a god as it was to a person? Would gods try and learn human languages to get believers? Or would people try and learn the gods' languages to talk to them? What if gods couldn't even communicate via language and could only do so with visions, or with emotion, or with gusts of wind?

I feel like this area hasn't been explored enough.
I didn't read the whole thread yet, so I may be stepping on someone else's response; sorry.

In a story entitled "Green-Eyed Lady" I read once, there were two intelligent species; a very-long-lived one (with great intelligence but almost no technology) and a much shorter-lived one with much greater ability to develop technology.

The protagoniste is the Green-Eyed Lady.
Spoiler:
(She and her kin are rather "bug-like".) Her tribe worships (if that is the word) a being the refer to as "God", Who is a very ancient member of the other species -- one of only two left, at the time of the story.
She is selected by (as near as she can tell) the priesthood, to join their ranks.
They tell her that God Itself selected her.
Their religion's central dogma is that, in the beginning of time, God defeated the Evil One, and went on to engender all other living things, who are Its children.
They tell her:
* God didn't defeat the Evil One, rather God only tricked it.
* God only ever had one child, and the Evil One killed that child.
* The Evil One is still alive.
* And a lot of other things.
She says "Who dares speak such blasphemy?" and they answer "God does".

----------------------

Anyway: their first language was invented by God, who employed their ancestors to help It trick the Evil One into thinking that God was dead (along with the rest of Its race, which the Evil One did indeed succeed in wiping out.)
God has been guiding the culture and the evolution of the Green-Eyed Lady's species ever since.
Priests have to learn that version of their language which God speaks; it's too much effort for God to keep up with the (to It) very rapid and random language changes, while also protecting them and Itself from discovery by the Evil One.

(The Green-Eyed Lady eventually becomes the Chief Priestess, and succeeds in setting in motion the plan by which her people and their God can finally actually defeat the Evil One and attain spaceflight. At a very advanced age she asks God (by then they are on very friendly and familiar terms) to euthanize her, and so she dies.)

-------------------------

I don't know whether anyone else on board recognizes that story?

But, anyway, it's an example of a situation in which the "mortals" have to learn the "god"'s language, because the "god" can't (afford to) keep up with the variations.
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Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Post by gestaltist » Thu 19 Jan 2017, 09:26

A very original story, eldin. I'm glad you posted this. Shows how much can be done with the idea of communication between gods and humans. Do you remember the author of the story? The only thing Google gives me is some pop song when I search for "green eyed lady".
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Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Post by eldin raigmore » Thu 19 Jan 2017, 10:59

gestaltist wrote:A very original story, eldin. I'm glad you posted this. Shows how much can be done with the idea of communication between gods and humans. Do you remember the author of the story? The only thing Google gives me is some pop song when I search for "green eyed lady".
I didn't, but I found it!
The Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Weird Fiction Magazine Index: Stories, Listed by Author wrote:TELLURE, ALISON J. (chron.)
* Green-Eyed Lady [First One], (nv) Analog Mar 1 1982, as “Green-Eyed Lady, Laughing Lady”.
Analog Anthology #7 1983
* Green-Eyed Lady, Laughing Lady [First One], (nv) Analog Mar 1 1982; also as “Green-Eyed Lady”.
* Lord of All It Surveys [First One], (ss) Analog Jun 1977
* Low Midnight [First One], (ss) Analog May 1984
* Skysinger [First One], (ss) Analog Aug 1977
I think maybe "Lord of All It Surveys" may have been a prequel, about the Evil One.
At any rate, there was such a prequel.

These stories were all part of a series entitled "First One":
The Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Weird Fiction Magazine Index: Series List wrote:First One
Alison J. Tellure:
Lord of All It Surveys (ss) Analog Jun 1977
Skysinger (ss) Analog Aug 1977
Green-Eyed Lady, Laughing Lady (nv) Analog Mar 1 1982; also as “Green-Eyed Lady”.
Low Midnight (ss) Analog May 1984
"Green-Eyed Lady" appears to have been the only novella or novelette in the series.

The Sugarloaf song was popular about 1970-1974; Ms Tellure must have started writing her story-series before 1977, though the main story (the one with this title) wasn't published until 1982.
It's not clear to me she was thinking of the song's lyrics when she decided on the title; "Green-Eyed Lady, Laughing Lady" doesn't seem to occur in the song's lyrics.

In 2013, a Jack McTaggart Mystery story with the shorter title ("Green-Eyed Lady") was published.
Not sure whether Chuck Greaves was thinking of that song or not!
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Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Post by gestaltist » Thu 19 Jan 2017, 12:52

Thanks eldin! I will see if I can get my hands on the actual test.
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Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Post by eldin raigmore » Fri 20 Jan 2017, 19:01

gestaltist wrote:Thanks eldin! I will see if I can get my hands on the actual tesxt.
There's another story, in which three intelligent species --- humans, a species much longer-lived than humans, and a species whose adult lives last about three days to a human --- are all living in the same interstellar volume of planets and stars and star-clusters.
The long-lived ones ask the humans to solve a problem of the short-lived ones.
Success in that mission requires the humans to see the viewpoints of both of the other species.
Human scholars find that they quite accidentally become founding prophets of religions to the short-lived species.

Unfortunately I haven't been able to find it, or its author. But I bet it was published in one of the SF magazines published in the 1970s to 1990s.
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Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Post by Keenir » Sat 21 Jan 2017, 06:25

eldin raigmore wrote:
gestaltist wrote:Thanks eldin! I will see if I can get my hands on the actual tesxt.
There's another story, in which three intelligent species --- humans, a species much longer-lived than humans, and a species whose adult lives last about three days to a human --- are all living in the same interstellar volume of planets and stars and star-clusters.
The long-lived ones ask the humans to solve a problem of the short-lived ones.
Success in that mission requires the humans to see the viewpoints of both of the other species.
Human scholars find that they quite accidentally become founding prophets of religions to the short-lived species.

Unfortunately I haven't been able to find it, or its author. But I bet it was published in one of the SF magazines published in the 1970s to 1990s.
Petals Of Rose? there was an exceedingly short-lived intelligent species there
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Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Post by eldin raigmore » Sat 21 Jan 2017, 13:35

Keenir wrote:Petals Of Rose? there was an exceedingly short-lived intelligent species there
I'm almost sure that was it! Thanks!

[hr][/hr]
gestaltist wrote:... What if gods couldn't even communicate via language and could only do so with visions, or with emotion, or with gusts of wind?. ...
In the recently* televised (mini?)series about Noah, that's how the Biblical God communicated with Noah. (In the version actually written in the Bible, God does speak to Noah in Noah's own language, whatever that was.)

*"Recently" to me, at least. I'm a sexagenarian, though, so it might not be so recent to those of us under thirty; even less so to those under twenty!
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Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Post by Creyeditor » Mon 13 Feb 2017, 00:29

I just remembered an idea I head for my pre-war conworld: telepathic parrots that can be used as telephones. [:D]
Also most biggish plants will be either tree ferns or ginkos.
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Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Post by k1234567890y » Sat 01 Apr 2017, 23:42

I have some ideas of a conworld, you can click the following link to see them:

http://sta.sh/01k5slutgwed

how do you think of them? should I put it up and make it a collaborative project?
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Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Post by Dezinaa » Fri 22 Sep 2017, 04:55

I've been nerding out about sign languages recently. Turns out there are a lot more similarities between spoken language and signed language than I thought! They even have phonemes, which for sign languages, are meaningless hand shapes, movements, locations, and orientations that form meaningful words and phrases when they're put together. It's super cool. Now I really want to make a conspecies that communicates solely through sign languages. There would be lots of interesting consequences for culture.

By necessity, conversations would only allow one person to talk at a time.

Vocalizations could be used for emphasis, onomatopoeia, and getting someone’s attention, but there would be no full-fledged spoken languages. Some simple messages could be conveyed vocally, like “Stop,” “Hello,” “Help me,” “Excuse me,” etc, and highly specialized trade-specific signals.

Communicating while using one's hands for something else would be akin to talking with your mouth full.

They would still have written language, but I imagine it would look something like :wikip: ASLwrite.

Singing and dancing would be combined. It would use rhythmic, exaggerated hand movements and body/foot movements. Instead of bands having a lead singer, they would have a lead signer. (Something like :yout: this, minus the actual singing, of course.) The implications for poetry are pretty beautiful too, in my opinion. :yout: See here

Individuals that break/lose one or both of their arms (assuming this species has two arms) would have a difficult time communicating.

The advent of telecommunication would be delayed, because there doesn't seem to be any intuitive way to transcribe sign language into a Morse Code-like system.

I have to put this all in a conworld! This new aspect of conlanging/conworlding is exciting.
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Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Post by Creyeditor » Fri 22 Sep 2017, 07:50

I had a similar idea. One interesting aspect is that there might be a special 'spoken language' for blind people [:)]
Dezinaa wrote:By necessity, conversations would only allow one person to talk at a time.
Why?
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