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  • File : 1328044619.jpg-(181 KB, 500x681, tumblr_kwg15bO7iP1qzz5i6o1_500.jpg)
    181 KB The Library of Babel setting GM Draxxon 01/31/12(Tue)16:16 No.17751827  
    Okay /tg/, I want to run a setting idea past you:

    Based (loosely) on The Library of babel by Jorge Luis Borges (It's a short story. Pic is one of many interpretations of the setting)

    Essentially, the Library is the world, and the Library is infinite. Every room contains six shelves organized in a roughly hexagonal pattern (iirc), and each book has 80 pages made up of a couple hundred lines of characters. Each book is unique from the others, and among the gibberish and nonsense have been found the occasional works of philosophy, poetry, and science.

    My setting idea stems from making this into a working setting. The pages are formed into a paper-mache (Using the water in the closet rooms) and sharpened on the stone floors and walls for weapons. Only the richest can afford weapons and items made from the metal of the hanging oil lamps or the door rivets/hinges.Food is provided from fields of grain grown from seeds from not-fully-processed paper pulp from pages, a common foodstuff is a bookworm that has grown to enormous size, light and heat is provided from tiny orbiting suns, etc.

    >> Anonymous 01/31/12(Tue)16:43 No.17752095
    Interesting, but what would you... do? Just surviving is rather boring.
    >> GM Draxxon 01/31/12(Tue)17:42 No.17752718
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    Well that's the thing. Some species of worm may be huge and carnivorous (Slaying a pseudo-dragon. others may have evolved wings and serve as a sort of bird and some of those might be big and nasty). The short story itself centers a lot around the One Book and the attempts to find it, which is a single book containing nearly infinite pages (All the possible permutations of the library books).

    There could also be warring factions and intrigue as well between cities and towns made up of inhabited interconnected rooms. I envision some warlords destroying all the columned of rooms around their fortress, and clearing out a space around it to prevent invasions. This would give people a shock, as long distances aren't new but wide open spaces are.

    Don't forget other hazards as well, like areas where the suns have gone cold, and shed light but no warmth, and others that have engulfed other suns and even consume rooms themselves instead of orbiting past. There would also be waterfalls from overflowing sinks in the side rooms (Which flow with infinite water from an unknown source), which after enough miles of falling would simply become misty clouds.

    Warfare would be entirely novel, as you could siege people by simply sending parties of miners a few miles above their city and mining out and dropping bits of room on them. If enough of these land in an area and fill it, you might even have artificial plains, tufts of bookgrass growing on unstable foundations of shifting rock and gravel.
    >> Power Gauntlet 01/31/12(Tue)17:46 No.17752762
    >the One Book

    All books are the One Book, in one language or another.
    >> GM Draxxon 01/31/12(Tue)17:59 No.17752883
    True, and the library contains all books which ever were, are, or will/might be. The "One Book" simply contains every single one of them in the same physical space as one book, leading to all sorts of philosophical debates in the setting as to what it actually is.
    >> Anonymous 01/31/12(Tue)18:01 No.17752895
    I'd like to play a campaign in Tloen.
    >> GM Draxxon 01/31/12(Tue)18:05 No.17752935
    Maybe, but that seems like it would be a bit more of a narrative storytelling, and might not have much room for rolling and adventuring (Would go great with Amber as a system from what I understand though)
    >> Anonymous 01/31/12(Tue)18:10 No.17752975
    Text here:

    I've always wanted to run a game set in the Library, but I've never really figured a way to make it actually *playable*.

    I don't feel like the story or setting really lend themselves to combat (not that that should stop you from adding/changing things, just sayin'), but an entire campaign of sphinx-style encounters would probably get old for even the least hack-and-slash-y player.

    Good luck with it I suppose, I don't really have much to add.
    >> Anonymous 01/31/12(Tue)18:10 No.17752977
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    You have me interested.
    Go on...
    >> GM Draxxon 01/31/12(Tue)18:27 No.17753147
    I ignore the story. Really, Borges thingy only sets up the realm for the game, and one possible "Holy Grail" objective (So you could quest for the book).

    Rather, I look at what usually occurs in a campaign: Kill the warlord, defend the townsfolk, slay the monsters, uncover the secrets, etc. That operates under more-or-less the same framework regardless of setting or system. People are born, grow old, and die in the Library, and as a result human civilization, or at least an aspect of it, exists within the towering stacks of rooms.

    The wafting scents of the trillions of books flow on the breeze with the mists from a fountainfall miles above you, soothing you as your feet plod in the small scrubby grass that's grown in between the flagstones in the room. The lamps here are gone; little surprise, for any room within a weeks travel of a city has usually been picked clean. You can see a scratching on a wall, and upon closer investigation breath a silent sigh of relief; some kind soul has etched a number of arrows towards the nearby cities and the number of days travel to them. Such kindnesses are unheard of in the distant shelves, when the only comfort given is that the screams of the Whisperlings aren't getting any closer.

    "We are but words on a page"
    -Phrase recited during funeral rites.
    >> GM Draxxon 01/31/12(Tue)18:40 No.17753319
    Plus, in what other setting is your blacksmith literally a paper-mache artist? :P
    >> Anonymous 01/31/12(Tue)19:04 No.17753494

    The setting is strange, but people are still people. Leaders rise, alliances form, hierarchy asserts itself.

    All the hexagons within a day's walk are subordinate to a council of librarians who, it is said, jealously hoard a modest collection of books that are not mere jumbles of random letters - few can agree on what their books actually contain, whether they are tomes of prophecy or mystic charms or unthinkable secrets, but among the endless shelves of gibberish they are a treasure beyond price.

    Not that this concerns the majority of those who live beneath their rule - they are busy enough surviving, living, loving, raising families. Neighbouring fiefdoms daren't make too much trouble, for fear of whatever secret it is that the librarians hold.

    Then, on the breezes that blow through the endless galleries, there comes something new - the faint smell of smoke. And then come the refugees, a few at first, but more and more as time passes; tired to the point of exhaustion, their dialect strange, from far-off galleries. But the warning they bring is clear enough.

    Nobody knows where it started, how far away or how long ago. From a single point it has spread outwards along the shelves and hallways and galleries, inexorable and unstoppable, consuming books, shelves, hallways and staircases.

    The library is burning.
    >> Anonymous 01/31/12(Tue)19:11 No.17753531
    >"We are but words on a page"
    >people looking for book with all books in it
    >people live in a place with all books in it
    so is the entire world set inside The One Book?
    >> Anonymous 01/31/12(Tue)19:13 No.17753538
    >Nobody knows where it started, how far away or how long ago. From a single point it has spread outwards along the shelves and hallways and galleries, inexorable and unstoppable, consuming books, shelves, hallways and staircases.

    >The library is burning.
    Hoshit. That is fantastic. That is *the* fucking premise to begin your game on. The Fire. The Library Is On Fire. That should be like, the central divergence from the story for the game because it instantly creates conflict, chaos and motivation.
    >> Anonymous 01/31/12(Tue)19:21 No.17753596
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    But isn't the point that the search for the One Book is utterly futile? That every book within the library, even the intelligible ones, is completely useless?

    The setting is fascinating, but I can't really imagine a way to make it 'gameable' without some hefty changes that rather defeat the point.

    There's conflict between the different factions perhaps. There are differing philosophical viewpoints.
    But then the focus is on the factions, because their various philosophies are meaningless.
    >> GM Draxxon 01/31/12(Tue)19:24 No.17753607
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    Continuing the writefagging if anyone cares:

    Your blade feels cold in your hand, despite the warmth of a sun merely five rooms away. It seems to be following you, your path matching it's orbit on this barren stretch of rooms. The books within here are dry, cracked, and flaking away in the ever-present heat and wind. Particles of sand sting your face as the howling gale whistles through the stairwells. As you pass, you instinctively check both up and down; you don't want to be caught unaware, and last time it was merely bandits. This time it could be a desert worm or worse. Whisperlings managed to survive even in desolate places such as these, and some rumored that they survived merely by listening to what the books whispered to them constantly, occasionally whispering back in equally insensible gibberish. You know it's just fairy tales, as no book you've ever seen has made a sound, even the Holy Concordance of Gahdsmesh, the metal-bound book the priest carried in the town you grew up in.

    You recall sitting with your siblings on the edge of one of the docks, watching the great airships light the pyres for their airbags, lifting off filled with treasure and wealth of all types. As a child you used to chase after them, stopping once you passed the seedtrees on the edge of town. How you wished you could have piloted your own airship, even no-

    Your ears pick up the sound of a foot crunching against sand, even through the howling winds. It wasn't yours.

    Your hand tightens around your lacquered blade handle as you run and swing onto the walkway below you...

    THIS. :D

    You're fucking right. This would be insane. "You quest is to figure out how to save the world, thanks to some dumbass who didn't put out his campfire" Smokey the Bear would be proud.
    >> GM Draxxon 01/31/12(Tue)19:27 No.17753625
    If you read the story, the setting is almost nonexistent. Borges spends like 3 or 4 paragraphs of a 15-page story describing the setting, and then the rest is about the One Book and it's different interpretations.

    This is simply filling it out, figuring out how millions if not billions of regular humans have survived in a library. The philosophical views of Borges in relation to the nature of the book and the library itself are left to philosophers and religion, in the eyes of a person in the setting. Instead, things like the different vying factions and the inherent struggle to survive and thrive become much more important than (to them) philosophical nonsense.
    >> Anonymous 01/31/12(Tue)19:28 No.17753637
    >"You quest is to figure out how to save the world, thanks to some dumbass who didn't put out his campfire"
    But man, is it? Maybe you just want to outrun the fire. Maybe you think there's a place you can shelter from it. Maybe you want to try to get *past* it, into the ash.

    Are you going to use people, prey on them, in search of your goals? Or work with them?

    What about the One Book? What if it's already been destroyed by the Fire? Oh god!

    The addition of a wildfire is a really cool element. It makes it much more suitable for actual play I think.
    >> GM Draxxon 01/31/12(Tue)19:30 No.17753651
    Yeah. Hell, it could even be a metaphor, a legend of an apocalypse passed down from olden times or the symbol of an all-conquering army marching relentlessly outwards. There would be a massive demand for metal (from the lamps) in one kingdom as one king vainly tries to build a metal shield to protect his keep, while another region might be preparing a dam the likes of which has never been seen before or since to try and quench the oncoming blaze.
    >> Anonymous 01/31/12(Tue)19:32 No.17753662
    Yeah. And absolutely everything, everything, is getting more frantic by the day. And you're right too; the fire doesn't even have to exist so long as people think it does.
    >> Anonymous 01/31/12(Tue)19:35 No.17753678
    >the Library is infinite

    Shit. Its the center of l-space.
    >> Ice 01/31/12(Tue)19:40 No.17753711
    You could use torn up cobblestones on the ends of shelving to make primitive clubs wrap them in hide taken from book bindings to make them stronger. Whisperlings sound like semi corporeal book wraiths or ideas formed of the mad randomness that is the library given shape and hungry for the minds of humans and bookworms.
    >> Ice 01/31/12(Tue)19:42 No.17753722
    Chipping away at the floor yields pebbles, those with some sense can take book bindings and make slings. The sharpened ends or even a piece of shelving can make clubs or primitive spears.
    >> Ice 01/31/12(Tue)19:44 No.17753747
    Fungi growing in damp places could be a food source, or a hazard. Large fields of toxic mushrooms could spring up all at once, an adaptation to gather more food and add to the nutrient pile.
    >> Anonymous 01/31/12(Tue)19:47 No.17753774
    Who would set fire to the Library? Likely a warlord who was troubled by many of the different factions and decided no one gets the Book. He traveled as far as he could, looking for an exterior wall, and scrawling his hate for the philosophers and their factions in the margins of the books, and when he could travel no further he set a bookshelf ablaze. As he wandered others began to follow, and now they tend the flame, guarding it and ensuring it spreads.
    >> Ice 01/31/12(Tue)19:50 No.17753804
    It is likely he set himself up as some kind of deified figure "bringer of warmth" or perhaps those who flock to his banner are the product of a life spent scrabbling for food and fighting to stay alive. The mad, the broken and the hungry. Perhaps they sweep through towns too far gone to turn their noses up at a little human flesh now and again...
    >> Anonymous 01/31/12(Tue)19:51 No.17753815
    Question, for its an odd setting and Im intrigued.

    Who built the World Library. Why. And why haven't all the books naturally decayed yet due to the passage of time?

    Is someone/thing going round the library restoring the books and the shelves, despite the wishes of people who would much rather have a normal world to live in?
    >> GM Draxxon 01/31/12(Tue)19:52 No.17753831
    My idea for people running a non-magic setting would be for them to be men who ahve been driven insane by the setting itself. The harmless ones simply sit and read all the books they can nonstop, regardless of their comprehension, until they starve. The dangerous ones seek to read the whispers inside others mind, and can only do so by "opening their mind."

    But for a fantasy setting (Especially relevant for anyone like >>17753678 who's read Terry Pratchett's Going Postal), the sheer presence of so much possible knowledge could create ghosts, seeking to give their (maddening and incomprehensible) knowledge to others.
    >> Anonymous 01/31/12(Tue)19:52 No.17753832
    >Who would set fire to the Library?
    a dyslexic
    >> Anonymous 01/31/12(Tue)19:54 No.17753866
    I don't think it really matters who started a fire. It's just a potential plot to explore.

    Likewise, I don't think who built it is important unless you're focusing on that. Best to leave such things vague.
    >> Anonymous 01/31/12(Tue)19:55 No.17753871

    The Fire has been burning for centuries, and on average advances at a leisurely walking pace. But it never slows in its advance, spreading out in all directions.

    Maybe in recent decades your hexagons have had the occasional madman wander through, raving about an ill-explained but all-consuming doom that approaches shelf by shelf. Nobody really paid them much mind, though, because the Library is vast and timeless, and the travellers rarely linger.

    The truth is news of the Fire's coming has far outpaced the spread of the Fire itself. These wandering prophets are descended from the original refugees, the ones who started running first and have never stopped - they weren't slowed or distracted by the people of the galleries through which they fled, and have so far outstripped the Fire's advance that they only have the dire warnings handed down through the generations from those who saw the conflagration first-hand. Many more of their peers failed to heed the warning. They slowed, stopped, settled down and made their lives in the path of the apocalypse that their ancestors fled, lifetimes ago.

    Now, though, the Fire is catching up.
    >> GM Draxxon 01/31/12(Tue)19:55 No.17753887
    Perhaps it's a shroedingers cat scenario, where the rooms don't exist until they are experienced. One can keep wandering forever, and see nothing but rooms, for they exist infinitely. Once they have been experienced, they exist and decay as normal. Archaeologists and historians can track the travels of ancient peoples based on the condition of the books in the rooms, finding mouldering books alongside skeletons and "cave" art.
    >> Anonymous 01/31/12(Tue)19:57 No.17753912
    Even if its unknown, at the very least creation myths would crop up right?

    Like there's a sect that believes "This is where god hides his truths" , or another that thinks this is where the great author tests his creations etc.
    >> GM Draxxon 01/31/12(Tue)19:58 No.17753927
    Possible event: The Invasion of Worms.

    The desert worms hadn't troubled the cooler and more temperate cities, but soon they began coming in ever increasing waves of carnage and destruction, seemingly passing through apart from the killing and eating of anything fleshy.

    Then the worms stopped, and never turned around. Now we wonder what they were fleeing from...
    >> Ice 01/31/12(Tue)19:59 No.17753945
    perhaps you could use it as an excuse for a religion to be based around maybe even the books themselves being replaced over time is enough to give rise to a pantheon? The great bookworm as a god of Rot, while a mysterious human figure in robes represents the one who replaces the books? Priests might even capture whisperlings and try to decipher their ravings or write them down giving rise to prophecy and holy texts?
    >> Anonymous 01/31/12(Tue)20:00 No.17753951
    If the books are shelved, this makes sense. There needs to be a way for the fire to spread, if it exists.
    >> GM Draxxon 01/31/12(Tue)20:04 No.17754001
    Scattered seeds from grain and grasses have resulted in clumps and tufts of grass all over the library floors. (These seeds were remnants that weren't fully pulped by whatever made the paper). Add into that the primary building material is probably paper possibly wood (From large trees from said seeds or something), and only very rarely metal, I think it's not inconceivable it could spread on it's own.
    >> Anonymous 01/31/12(Tue)20:07 No.17754029

    To be honest, it's better if no one really knows. Speculation will certainly run rampant, but the fact is that the truth lies far away, amid ashes that have been cold for centuries. The Fire exists, that's all you need. Some of the Library's inhabitants might interpret it as punishment for some perceived failing ("We were placed here to index the library, and have neglected our holy task!"), others might imagine it to be part of some cycle of death and rebirth ("The Library is burning, but a better world will rise from the ashes!"), others will simply view it as the end of all things, and face it in a variety of ways.

    Some people might walk into the flames. Others might try to hunker down in the hope that they can survive long enough for the Fire to sweep past. There are bound to be countless examples of the best and worst of humanity in the face of catastrophe. And it's that humanity which is the meatiest part of it.

    There's really no need for monstrous bookworms or ghosts roaming the shelves, aside form as fearful tales told by those who have to scratch out a living in such a vast and incomprehensible world.
    >> GM Draxxon 01/31/12(Tue)20:10 No.17754062
    There could even be those who live at the edge of the flame, scavengers who pick clean the abandoned buildings and belongings of those who have fled the Fire. They might, after a long enough period of time, worship it as some kind of deity, providing for them and warming them and sending any threats fleeing before them.
    >> Anonymous 01/31/12(Tue)20:11 No.17754072
    I agree with this dude. I am also thinking that I want to make a hack to play this now.

    Nomad populations moving in front of the flame sound very cool.
    >> Anonymous 01/31/12(Tue)20:16 No.17754129

    They would, of course, meet resistance from those too infirm or stubborn to give up their homes and all they know, even in the face of immolation.

    They wrap themselves in char-blackened rags to ward off the oppressive heat and choking smoke that spreads before the Fire, and yet another piece of folklore is added to the mix - the Ash Crows who serve as the Fire's vanguard, dark, gaunt figures who scour through abandoned homes and feast on those too weak or stupid to run.
    >> GM Draxxon 01/31/12(Tue)20:21 No.17754199
    rolled 4, 2, 6, 1 = 13


    There may be another threat as well: Astrologers have noticed that certain stars in the sky have been going dark, but without sign or sight of clouds or obstruction.

    Nevertheless, they can see the stars are going dark, one by one, and each dimmed light in the sky is closer than the last...
    >> Anonymous 01/31/12(Tue)20:23 No.17754214
    Eh... not so much of a fan.
    >> GM Draxxon 01/31/12(Tue)20:27 No.17754252
    It'd be better if you wanted to run a Call of Cthulhu-esque monsters-from-beyond thingy. Or if you really, really need a second big apocalypsey thingy.

    Otherwise, the Fire is the best plot impetus.
    >> Anonymous 01/31/12(Tue)20:28 No.17754267
    Yeah, if you want to bring in that vibe it works obviously. And I guess I could see why you might, what with the reservoir of all knowledge thing.
    >> Anonymous 01/31/12(Tue)20:30 No.17754299

    I like the fact that everything in this idea focuses around books. Doesn't really need a outside influence.

    Also what if there is some kind of ink plague? An infection that destroys the text from a book leaving nothing but white empty pages. Destroying knowledge that can never be regained.

    Entire rooms have been erased and some librarians have started spreading news of this plague, rejecting outsiders for fear that they will carry the plague further into the library
    >> Anonymous 01/31/12(Tue)20:34 No.17754344
    One of the big themes of the Library is that, despite containing every possible piece of knowledge in every possible universe (given that the books on its shelves contain every possible combination and permutation of letters), that knowledge is useless because it is inaccessible, lost amongst an unimaginably more vast sea of random gibberish - the books in which the letters DON'T spell out anything meaningful. So in this house of all knowledge, ignorance, superstition and fear hold sway. It's a kingdom of ignorance.

    So people do what they've always done, and come up with stories to explain where the library came from, or why you shouldn't go wandering off into the unlit galleries. And these stories are all equally valid, and equally unprovable.

    You don't need monsters or climates or ecosystems to make it a setting worth adventuring in. The physical environment is uniform, homogenous, identical across the length and breadth and depth of the Library - endless identical hexagons of identical shelves of identically-nonsensical books - EXCEPT where it is changed by the humans who live in it. Bandits stack the books on the floor to form barricades, steering travellers into ambushes. Ego-mad kings have the books stacked into palaces with triumphal architecture - until it collapses under its own weight and he and his hubris are crushed. In other galleries, the denizens have cleared the shelves of books in favour of their esteemed dead, who are left to slowly mummify in the dry, unchanging air. When all the shelves in a hexagon are filled, the chamber is walled off with the books it previously contained.

    It's the people who bring the variety and awe and horror to the setting. They're all you need.
    >> GM Draxxon 01/31/12(Tue)20:36 No.17754369
    That'd be awesome. There's a reason the scholars/nobles have a kill-on-sight order for outsiders. Maybe it makes the infected person covered with black tattoos in certain concealable areas of the body (Thinking here like the Black Death under-the-armpit pustules, but in this case it'd be a jumbled-letter tattoo on their back or chest or something).
    >> Anonymous 01/31/12(Tue)20:43 No.17754462
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    From the short story, the Library seems to extend up and down to the limits of perception, stars are unlikely to feature.

    Instead, maybe there are soothsayers who attempt to divine the future from the jumble of letters in the Library's books - they pick a random book from a random shelf, open it to a random page and attempt to find patterns in the noise. Maybe a tradition has grown up around it, with various meanings ascribed to the page having long words rather than short words, a preponderance of commas or more vowels in a row. Given the nature of people, usually the best way to start an argument is to get two bibliomancers to make a forecast from the same page.

    Except these normally-contradictory voices have all started to agree. The divinations are converging.
    >> Anonymous 01/31/12(Tue)20:44 No.17754464
    Definetly. Would also massively increase the tension in the library even if there wasnt a fire. All the books that actually made sense carefully stored away could easily be destroyed if a outsider came close and infected them.

    You could also have a kind of cult that believes the plague has a purpose (be it from a holy power or a belief that if all the books are destroyed then a way out will open) spreading it from room to room. Hiding undercover, infiltrating towns and villages.
    >> Anonymous 01/31/12(Tue)20:46 No.17754483
    I definitely agree with the 'human thing' guy and I think that an abundance of these things is too much.

    Choose a cult. Or a plague. Or a fire if you want outside tension affecting human behaviour. Don't put them all in.
    >> GM Draxxon 01/31/12(Tue)20:48 No.17754513
    The "stars" would simply be the orbiting suns, far far off (I imagine the suns would have an logarithmic heat factor, with only directly touching it causes combustion but it's hot as all get out even a dozen rooms away).

    You could even have soothsayers and seers going mad from their visions, simply screaming about "It is coming!" before collapsing, dead.
    >> Anonymous 01/31/12(Tue)20:49 No.17754530
    Another idea. Maybe there is a agency at work (the administrators or some such name) that actively tries to keep knowledge from being mis-used. Some books contain information too dangerous or a prophecy that will leave the whole library destroyed. These wandering agents travel through the stacks, retrieving all books deemed a threat by their leader. Stealing, assassinating or trading they seize the books declaring them a menace before making the long journey back to the secure vaults holding the deadly tomes
    >> Anonymous 01/31/12(Tue)20:52 No.17754572
    Hell yeah. The soothsayers already have a name as well
    Maybe they could also have a form of magic that involves the writing down of words of power into blank books. Anyone who discovers a new book that contains a new word of power jealous guards this new magic
    >> Anonymous 01/31/12(Tue)20:56 No.17754626
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    Again, the supernatural/magical element doesn't even need to be true. Maybe the Administrators believe that there are certain tomes which, when brought together, will reveal the Library's secrets.

    Each page of each book contains forty lines of eighty letters. If they can bring together the forty books that begin with one of those lines, that page's secrets will be unlocked and give the reader... well, whatever people usually want. Power. Prestige. Knowledge. The details don't matter, only that people want certain books, and will do anything to get them.
    >> GM Draxxon 01/31/12(Tue)20:57 No.17754627
    >writing down of words of power into blank books
    >blank books

    They started the Ink Plague...
    >> Anonymous 01/31/12(Tue)21:03 No.17754683
    This is where I found it, second shelf from the floor, eighteenth book from the left. It caught my eye - I could see my name embossed in gold leaf across the spine. I had no idea how this book was going to change my life.

    Most of these books are gibberish, random combinations of letters and numbers. Every once in a while you'll find something that looks like words you know, but it never really makes any sense. With all of the random noise, you're bound to see something intelligible, if only by chance. A quirk of fate, nothing more. At least, that's what most people think.

    I opened the book, MY book, and began to read it. It told me things. Everything that had happened to me was there, my whole life sprawled out across the page in black and white. It didn't stop where I found the book, either. I've known about this day for the last three years. Three years of seeing everything that lay in store for me, of knowing every twist that fate would bring. I don't think I could live without the book anymore. I've read the whole thing, cover to cover, more times than I could count. And now... it's over.

    This day is the last day written about - the day I meet you. And then.... continued in volume 2.
    >> Anonymous 01/31/12(Tue)21:09 No.17754739

    The Ink Plague is a cover for a cabal of thieves who have worked out how to make blank paper from pulped pages. They steal valuable books, tattoo the text onto their own skins, then destroy the original and replace it with a blank-paged copy. Why? Maybe they feel that the Library is not a place for humans - but by tattooing texts onto their skin they become not humans but books. After a fashion.

    They're insane, obviously, but then so is the Library.
    >> GM Draxxon 01/31/12(Tue)21:19 No.17754864
    That'd be cool. They could be an assassin-type group who seeks and kills those they deem to be hoarding books (Putting them at odds with kings and scholars and the like)
    >> Anonymous 01/31/12(Tue)21:29 No.17754975

    It's also an effective way to get said kings and scholars to reveal where their most precious books are.

    Tell them there's a mysterious plague that's erasing the words from books, then watch where they go to check on their prized collection.
    >> Anonymous 01/31/12(Tue)21:34 No.17755023
    Personally, if I was a PC that had found their own book, I would skip to the end and try to rewrite it. A 2nd edition copy of [Name]
    >> GM Draxxon 01/31/12(Tue)21:45 No.17755129
    Some form of money might be pages from books, ones that contain a passage that might be valuable (The more on a page, the more the page may be valued). It's subjective, of course ("No, I won't sell this sword in exchange for a love song, but I will for your instruction on how to attack an opponent blindfolded). Obviously, this won't be valuable in an illiterate area (So they'd use traditional barter), but I could see this as somewhat common among nobles and merchants.

    This could make reading distant books lucrative, and lend to some kings having mining camps of people scouring books for barterable phrases.

    Plus, once they've looked through all those books, they're going to discard the nice, tinder-dry books right on the floor...

    For the Fire...
    >> Anonymous 01/31/12(Tue)21:57 No.17755267
    With paper mache seeming to be a bit brittle I think I'd do the Dark Sun thing and on a critical failure the weapon breaks. but that's my opinion.
    >> GM Draxxon 01/31/12(Tue)22:02 No.17755323
    That's exactly what I was thinking. For all intents and purposes, sharp as steel, but much easier to turn or break a blade.
    >> Anonymous 01/31/12(Tue)22:19 No.17755518
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    Something else to bear in mind - bodies are commonly disposed of by being thrown into the central void of each hexagon, which extends infinitely up and down.

    These bodies fall for so long that they decompose on the way. Which means that, since these shafts are infinitely high, there is a steady stream of human remains in various stages of decomposition constantly plummeting through each and every gallery, from still-warm corpses to dry dust and fragments of bone.
    >> GM Draxxon 01/31/12(Tue)22:54 No.17755866

    "We return our dead to the dust from whence the Library came."
    >> Anonymous 01/31/12(Tue)22:59 No.17755932
    >the One Book
    Where are you getting this from the story? Just curious, my take on the Index was that it was distinguished from other books only by its contents, it's not the Book of Sand.
    Polite sage for not contributing to the setting.
    >> GM Draxxon 01/31/12(Tue)23:43 No.17756398
    It's been a few years since I'd read the story, but I remember it as being the essentially ur-book of the setting. It just seemed like it would be appropriate as a major quest point, but you could always ignore it as a DM or relegate it to a pantheon of some sort like previous people have mentioned.

    Personally, I'd run it as a pool instead, made of shimmering letters of light with the occasional wisp of silver text emerging before rejoining the pool.

    Also, why sage? :(
    >> GM Draxxon 02/01/12(Wed)00:18 No.17756813
    Here's a couple setting-related ideas I've had:

    ---Coins are smelted from oil lamps in exact diameters using the holes left from rivets in door hinges. These are very rare, but they are more common among nobility.

    ---Likewise, kings often have a suit of chainmail made from interconnected chains which are used to hang the lamps from the ceiling.

    ---Possibly some stone weapons use a stone bookend (Bookend is a simple right triangle). This would also make it easier for people to chisel stone later, by using the existing bookends (Could also use them as the club heads mentioned above).

    ---If certain areas get flooding on the floor (Easy to plug drain on the endless fountain in the side room), this can lead to rivers and marshes since all the walkways have small lips on the edge -> some kinds of worms have adapted to that (aka leeches)

    ---Airships would be common, essentially being a hot air balloon with sails on a light frame, somewhat like a Chinese box kite but designed to hold some cargo. Really busy merchant areas might artificially mine and enlarge the passages to allow larger/more shipments past.

    >> Anonymous 02/01/12(Wed)00:22 No.17756851
    I actually had something sort of like that. A bunch of fringe mages had set up in the town, and one of them had suddenly vanished, taking a ton of rare artifacts with him. He was a numerologist whose ability was to use scrolls to manipulate magical energy levels, and he had used the artifacts to create a pocket dimension.

    By the time the PCs got to the pocket dimension, he had been removing the brains of vagrants and other people for a while, hooking them up as a sort of central processor for the pocket dimension. When the PCs entered it, it looked like a library, but each book was full of script, in an either on or off state, flickering constantly. He was working on a computer.
    >> GM Draxxon 02/01/12(Wed)00:24 No.17756875
    With enough waterwheels, buckets, and levers, given the infinite space both horizontally and vertically, you could probably do that here too (Or at least easier than in D&D and resorting to pocket dimensions). It'd probably end up as a wierd Turing machine instead of a true computer though.
    >> Anonymous 02/01/12(Wed)00:34 No.17756991
    That's what the ants are for.
    >> GM Draxxon 02/01/12(Wed)00:50 No.17757174
    So does anyone think this would be very compatible with a high-magic/tech setting? Seems like it would run great with Darksun for a rule outline, but I don't know how well vanilla D&D or something like CoC would work (I don't know if CoC can be played in a non-semi-modern setting).
    >> Anonymous 02/01/12(Wed)03:20 No.17758601
    So this is Nihei's Megastructure in form of a library?
    That's actually mad cool.
    >> Anonymous 02/01/12(Wed)03:21 No.17758615
    Pretty much.

    I am probably going to try my hand at an Apocalypse World hack for it. I think it will fit pretty well.
    >> GM Draxxon 02/01/12(Wed)03:23 No.17758627
    Sort of (If you're referring to the Blame! manga), but set in a more medieval/early Renaissance period.

    Although that does bring up the awesome idea of running it in a "futuristic" setting. Perhaps some lucky shmuck found that the ink in the letters can be used for basic circuitry, and that entire computers are made from sheets of paper wired together and powered by some kind of crude van de graff generator for energy.
    >> Anonymous 02/01/12(Wed)04:16 No.17758983
    Yeah, there's a lot of things you can do to mix it up.
    >> Anonymous 02/01/12(Wed)04:33 No.17759063
    It's even worse. There is no original terrain. Everything is the same, everywhere you look. There is nothing more interesting than an oil lamp, or a crude implement made from a scavenged doorknob. There are an infinite number of books, but there is nothing to read. There is no outside. There is no escape.
    >> GM Draxxon 02/01/12(Wed)10:09 No.17760739
    And therin lies the madness. People suggested that you could have the insanity take the form of mad men, or actual ghosts or something. Add into the monotony something inescapable like the Fire, and you have a good recipe for entire cities going mad with fear...
    >> Anonymous 02/01/12(Wed)14:09 No.17762558
    Well people will try to change that.
    >> GM Draxxon 02/01/12(Wed)14:43 No.17762917
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    You could even include a sect who believes the original form of the Library is purity/divinity, and people altering it is sacrilege. At a harmless level, they might just protest the existence of cities or destruction/mining of rooms. At a more dangerous level, they might spearhead crusades attempting to "restore" the library.

    Hell, since they believe in the purity of the library and not sullying it with settlements, they'd be like a roving Crusade. People might try to appease or redirect them ("Those guys over there have been destroying rooms! We're just borrowing books temporarily"), or they might send undercover "priests" to convert others to their cause and swell their numbers (Perhaps they prefer to capture the citizens to avoid their blood "needlessly staining the sacred floors," and use them as front-line disposable troops).

    Another idea I had was that some regions might not use worms or grain for foodstuffs, and instead resort to cannibalism for a meat source (Prisoners of war, criminals, the poor, etc). Heck, this would be a great way to insert pseudo-vampires if you wanted to run a WoD or something in this setting too.

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