>A LIST OF KNOWN SECRET STATES AND SUR-REAL TERRITORIES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND NEIGHBORING LIEUS:>Absaroka>Franklin>Deseret>Cimmaron>Norton>East Dakota>Delmarva>Jefferson>Kanawha>Cascadia>Cherokee>Cahokia>Aztlan>New Dixie>American Siberia>Aldrin>Tranquility>Madawaska>Muskogee>Shasta>Winnecombe>IF YOU FIND YOURSELF IN ONE OF THESE OR OTHER CARTOGRAPHICALLY FORBIDDEN TERRITORIES, DO NOT PANIC. CAREFULLY ATTEMPT TO RETRACE YOUR ROUTE. IF POSSIBLE, LEAVE IN REVERSE AND DO NOT LOOK BACK. IF YOU ENCOUNTER ANY LOCALS, DO NOT ASK FOR DIRECTIONS. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES EXAMINE ANY MAPS UNTIL YOU ARE CERTAIN YOU ARE WITHIN CONSENSUS CARTOGRAPHY.>DO NOT DRIVE ON UNFAMILIAR ROADS AT NIGHT. PAY CAREFUL ATTENTION TO THE ROADWAY AND ENSURE YOU HAVE A FUNCTIONING G.P.S. LOCATOR OR A LOCALLY ACCURATE PHYSICAL MAP ON WHICH YOU PLAN YOUR ROUTE. IF POSSIBLE, TRAVEL WITH SOMEONE LOCAL TO YOUR DESTINATION. IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW HAS EXPERIENCED A MISLOCATION, ALOCATION, OR MALLOCATION, PLEASE CONTACT THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION WITH THE DATE, CLOSEST CARTOGRAPHICALLY IDENTIFIABLE ADDRESS OR RELEVANT LANDMARKS, AND ANY ADDITIONAL INFORMATION YOU CAN PROVIDE. THANK YOU. STAY SAFE.
>>49744075Ever since cartographers and sailors took it upon themselves to stitch the flat Earth into a finite, bounded globe, there've always been a few loose seams or pinholes or crumpled spots where the excess was pinned away.Most people never even hear about the maintenance that goes into keeping everyone's local geography lined up, although they do occasionally notice that New Zealand or Sri Lanka or some other place far from their local knowledge doesn't seem to be where they remembered it.And any misalignments can make it possible for some poor dipshit to wander over a limen and wind up in pathological geography.The age of adventurers is past; the infinite seas and lost continents and vast unexplored interiors have been steadily papered over with maps as explorers sought to find knowable territory to bridge the gaps between the edges of the known. But, beyond the 200 million square miles that have been more-or-less successfully patched together into a closed spherical manifold embeddable in Euclidean 3-space, it's all still out there; exerting tremendous pressure on the seams of reality where it's been squeezed together into border lines between states, pinched off in the middle of oceans and continents. Maintaining it is what makes reliable trade, travel, and communication possible; and more importantly, it keeps out all the things that motivated the great project in the first place. Somebody's got to do it - to go in there, to the spaces that aren't supposed to exist, the forgotten and abandoned and unexplored, and rescue the dipshits who've wandered in. To patch up the job, keeping the edges of the world stitched together, to ensure that going from east to west leads to the same place as west to east, reliably. And to ensure that what does leak in through the seams is controlled, that nobody has to worry again about walking into the forest lest the Fair Folk find them. Somebody's got to make sure the world stays true to the Atlas holding it up.
>>49744075I am interested in this topic and wish to subscribe to your newsletter.
>>49744282ancient simpsons referenceyou must be an oldfag
>>49744075Apparently crypto-geographical locations look like Massachusetts
>>49744075Hey there's nothing wrong with Cascadia, it's perfectly nice out here. You guys should come visit for our annual quartz blossom festival, it's a lot of fun.
>>49746385How'd you get in? The air got too thick for me to go any further than the border.
>>49744075go onweird geography is an interesting concept and settingsort of Fairy Land with SCP and House of Leaves and 'conspiracies are all true' flavors
>>49747390I guess I'll post interesting landscapes and places
>>49744149Kind of an interesting premise. This would be fun to have it being managed by a very dry and normally boring government branch like the Department of Transportation like the Op has. Also the more fun it subtley or not subtley pokes at the flat earth nutjobs the better.
>>49747579I know that! That's at the botanical gardens in my town.
>>49747587The idea is, essentially, that space doesn't exist. Not space as in "the place where the stars are", but space as in "that thing involving distances." There's no actual metric, affine connection, or topology governing the routes between places; there's just places, and the connections between places.Humans impose order on this, subconsciously, simply from the need to construct a coherent model of the world; this allows them to reliably locate places and travel between them using routes they've used before. Essentially, anywhere a human can actually see must be locally equivalent to flat three-dimensional space, and as they travel through the world they develop a mental map of places and routes between those places that will enable them to go back and locate them again. When you have lots of people living and communicating together, their maps necessarily have to match up in order to avoid contradictions - if someone's observed going from A to B along route C, then the observer's map must also include route C. This causes larger areas to come out to normal flat space, the horizons lining up together to form a coherent patch of land defined by the understanding of the inhabitants. Exploring the unknown, beyond the patches you've nailed down, is more or less entirely dependent on the subconscious (or consciously directed, if you're clever) expectations of what sort of things you might find in that "direction". Two people can find entirely different and contradictory things in the same unexplored space, but once somebody comes back and actually writes down a map of what they found and how they found it so it can be shared with other people, then that becomes part of the consensus mental cartography and other people who know about it can find it as well.The great task of sewing the globe together involved finding these arbitrary patches of coherent land formed by separated populations, and mapping out coherent transitions between them.
>>49744075>JeffersonShit, son, I've passed through half a dozen times no problem.
>>49744075Cherokee is totally real. It is like a place cut out of time, but it is real and super depressing to visit.Now Gatlinburg, on the other hand, I don't believe is real even though I've been there.
>>49747719Man, this is such a cool "paranormal reality" idea. If someone was to think hard enough would they be able to basically jump great distances through the gaps in the maps? Like placing a pathway that connects the border of California with the border of Germany by dipping through an anomalous space?
>>49747688Get the fuck back into your surreal territory Secret Stater.
>>49747719This was an enormous task - especially the trans-oceanic voyages, threading across space like needles, linking distinct landmasses in cases where the necessity of globally coherent geography had forced mappers to connect up coastlines all the way around.But these days, the whole globe has been publically mapped, in detail and in general, and so almost every place is held solid by the collective understanding of consensus geography. But the linking of those separately-imagined patches was imperfect - there was a near-endless catalog of minor or major contradictions, where two separated populations had developed geographies or cosmologies that couldn't quite be meshed together. As folklore fades and people continue to trust the same, centrally cross-checked maps, these are becoming more solid, but the fact is that there are still an awful lot of liminal spaces that aren't entirely nailed down, and so if one is really and truly lost - with no mental map of the territory to guide them, and nobody around who knows the territory to keep you pinned on the known globe - it's easy to wander just a bit off the map. And since that place you've just gone obviously exists - you've seen it, after all - it poses a serious risk of becoming permanently misaligned with consensus geography.(Signs of the original confusion can still be seen today, in maps of magnetic declination - while the great cartographers and explorers of old were able to get the stars to line up, at least, compass north and south remain fucky to this day.)The great unknown expanses - terra and aqua incognita, the blank spots on the map where there be dragons - may have been papered over, squeezed out as the known world was enclosed into a globe. But they still exist, and anywhere that you can get lost, that seems mysterious enough you can almost believe you might find anything - then it's all too easy to wander off onto maps that cartographers chose to throw out rather than reconcile.
>>49747719>anywhere a human can actually see must be locally equivalent to flat three-dimensional spaceMakes sense why you would want to avoid driving at night then. If you can't see where you're going, you don't know when you're out of bounds.
>>49747914The other big deal is spaces with no landmarks - the middle of the ocean, dense forests, deserts - where losing track of your location can mean a total inability to determine where you're located. One slice of ocean looks much like another, after all. This is actually becoming more common, as fewer people these days know how to navigate by the sun or the stars or know basic orienteering, so when GPS devices and other instruments fail you can become totally disconnected from the map.
>>49747832I think that fundamentally goes against the basic premise.
>>49747719did you ever play Kentucky Route Zero?it's an artsy adventure game but the primary conceit is this Route Zero connecting places that are too far or near to each other, and going to places in the past and future and places where the dead and the forgotten live. it's a super spooky and magical realism inspired game, pretty cool if you can stand the artsy stuff
>>49748032No, I haven't! Thanks for the rec.
>>49748032another thing about it is it connects to a dreamlike insane government bureaucracy building full of endless forms and drone-like office workers who may not even be aware of their strange surroundings
>>49744075The premise is very insteresting, OP. May I submit some ideas for campaign seeds?>There are some people whose perception of reality is tenuous, and they can enter these sur-real places at will.>Some of them become smugglers, getting contraband in and out of normal space and sur-real space. After all, if Aztlan's borders extend far into Mexico, you could trespass national borders easily.>Also there's the possibility of fugitives and escapees somehow ending up in the sur-real states>Also what about the 'legendary' places like Cibola-Quivira, High Thule, or the Big Rock Candy Mountains?>If there is sur-real space, could there be sur-real time as well?
>>49748091don't forget the natives of the sur-realmyths, folklore and conspiracy theories populate them
>>49747832Just the opposite of thinking hard enough, actually. If you're going to stumble upon exotic cartography in areas that are well-mapped, basically the only way to do it is if you're lost - so you personally have very little idea of where you are or what you'll find down the next road. (Altered states of consciousness may also be effective). You can't really go off the map intentionally - although other people who do have it on their maps can lead the way for you, as can familiarizing yourself with a map written by someone else which does contain it, and once you've been there, it's on *your* mental map, so you may be able to go there again. (Generally speaking you want to avoid that, though, because if you've gotten it on your map firmly enough to reliably get back on your own, then that means actually accessing the places normal geography says should be there instead becomes as difficult as intentionally finding the abnormal geography was.)However, some spaces are much easier to stumble through than others.>>49748091>Also what about the 'legendary' places like Cibola-Quivira, High Thule, or the Big Rock Candy Mountains?Absolutely. Most were on some culture's maps, but have since been papered over to get everything to agree. It's much harder to un-discover something that some people already understand to exist, and so these patch jobs are constantly coming undone.>If there is sur-real space, could there be sur-real time as well?Certainly - it's imposed by the human need for narrative just as much as space is imposed by the human need for a model. Like space, it lines up in the areas people talk about a lot, but stuff that is not frequently communicated can easily drift between two different people's experiences. This is where things like the supposed "Mandela Effect" come from, However, this is 2weird4me to try and think about, and making both space and time purely social constructs is a bit more post-modern than I'm prepared to go.
>>49744075That's the bunnyman's tunnel right?Went there with my class "pals" in high school, the faggots didn't dare walk in.
>>49748264So you're saying my brother with topographical disorientation is basically OP at breaking into exotic cartographic spaces? I bet people like that would be specifically scouted out by government organizations trying to find people who wandered into exotic cartography on accident. Just use them as the "pathfinder" of the team.
>>49748091Also, it's worth noting that there's basically no way to have secret or alternate states that doesn't involve a bit of alternate time as well, to explain how they were settled and founded.>Also there's the possibility of fugitives and escapees somehow ending up in the sur-real statesAbsolutely a thing, although the reverse happens almost as often - the Infinite Unknown is not uninhabited, not in the least, and its inhabitants don't know they're officially "not real.">>49748326Pretty close.
>>49748264I myself like the concept of sur-real time. Like, what happens to the dates that were erased when a country switched calendars? Australia's Dreamtime might be a case of sur-real time.Also, this reminds me so much of the Wanderer's Library entries.http://wanderers-library.wikidot.com/the-death-of-boris-yegorovichhttp://wanderers-library.wikidot.com/those-places-where-maps-cannot-touch>>49748326Your bro might be recruited as an agent to track down fugitives, or just checking with the locals.
Wait, so what if there are places that used to exist but no longer exist? Like Constantinople, Edo, or the territory of Deseret? Could you accidentally wander into a place that used to exist but no longer exists? Would it basically be operating as though it had existed alongside the real world all along, or would it be constantly playing over its last day in existence forever?
Sis tells me that years ago it was all they could do to nail the intersections down even a little with the signs. Doesn't work the best. Can't follow her most places except the mini mart, and even then she rounds one shelf and all we can do is meet outside again, and she's checked out with Mrs. Harding, never Joan.Sis says the ambulance can go anywhere, though. It has to. At night I listen for the siren, not far off past the back yard fence, and I know it's her.
What if it's the drawing of the sphere world onto 2d paper that forced the cartographer to leve out the forgotten spaces, bits that just didn't fit and had to be left OFF the map only to be found by those able to look beyond the directions
>>49744075 >>49744149>>49747719 >>49747900>>49748264>Crypto-cartography Hell fucking yes.The idea of "forgotten places" being breaks in navigability, rather than simply "magic places" in of themselves is really neat.
>>49748795I'd guess they advanced, unless the time they're in is also sur-real time.Also gotta have to wonder, how's Fiddler's Green these days?
>>49748079That could be a thing - maybe rarer, but still existing: human intrusion or construction into the not-space.Catacombs and tunnels dug but never mapped, buried cities or streets, old buildings extended to places where there are no plans or that shouldn't exist, lost villages in the woods, territory claimed and bought from inhabitants not of this world (taking https://1d4chan.org/wiki/Breaker_666 as inspiration), roads to nowhere, cold war projects that may or may not have been built blind, even places that are just big and confusing enough inside that they reach into not-spaceI know it's not a great movie, but the Worlds End and Isla de Muerta of Pirates of the Caribbean seem like they'd fit this sort of thing
Loving the idea of this thread. Will contribute once I am able.
>>49751158A couple thoughts.If the government knows about the fluidity of our spatial reality and about the dangers of this cryptocartography, there ought to be an agency responsible for exploring these unreal places, keeping up-to-date, classified maps, and rescuing and debriefing those unfortunate civilians who have gotten themselves lost. As it's been suggested, this agency may be a special branch of the Department of Transportation or perhaps the Department of the Interior, and would be headquartered in a stately but boring looking old federal office building that may itself enclose and extend into an unreal space.
>>49747719This is quite neat idea.
>>49751382Another thought.Given the way cryptocartography works I this proposed setting, would it be better for such an agency to try and and map these Secret States and Surreal Territories confidentially, so as to better regulate their borders and lock them into their surroundings, or would it be better for them to try and "paper over" these places more thoroughly with the standardized cartography we all know in an attempt to seal the secret places away for good?Perhaps they use both techniques as needed, on a case by case basis.
>>49750641The infinite unmapped contains many things - everything, really - and what sort of things you find there is driven mainly by subconscious expectations that guide you to areas locally similar to those you're in.If you pass off the map on a road, you'll keep going on a road, though things will deteriorate the further off the edges of the map you'll go. You can even - though it's more difficult, the population density of people familiar with a region is a powerful stabilizing force - wander off the map in a city if you're sufficiently lost and happen to find a map error. (Unmarked steam tunnels, un-blueprinted annexes, unplanned side streets ...) Often these places will just be part of the territory - the contradiction between the locals' reality and ours is minor enough that people can simply not notice it, or would notice if anyone brought it up but nobody does, or would assume that their map is wrong in a mundane non-cryptocartographic fashion, and so they simply live within the error bars of consensus cartography. Our brains have vast ability to smooth over minor contradictions in observed experience, and only contradictions from the global consensus map that would be noticed by enough of the population to overwhelm local familiarity are squished. (Tangentially, this can become extreme in some cases - there are cases of blindness or paralysis where the victim doesn't notice or believe they're blind or paralyzed and cannot be convinced they are, coming up with increasingly elaborate excuses for why they get questions like "how many fingers am I holding up" wrong and why their arms aren't moving. (Of course I moved it, that's *your* arm, you asshole.))(Really tangential, but too interesting not to add - this inability to believe can be briefly cured by squirting cold water in their ear. I'm not making this up. They are very surprised by their previous behavior. Once it wears off, they're back to absolute and perfect denial.)
>>49751817So, like, in any populated area there will be most of the population that doesn't know about a particular location but finds it plausible, and part of the population that does but hasn't realized it's an anomaly and just has it as part of their local, informal consensus, and a part of the population that does know that anomaly can't exist.And as long as the part that knows it doesn't exist doesn't realize that for some people it does exist and vice versa, then dissonance remains low and the extra road or whatever continues to exist. The more minor and unlikely to come up this unmapped location is, obviously the less likely there is to be dissonance.
What would be a good RPG system for a premise like this? Maybe set in like 50s America or something like that, with lots of supernatural occurrences, hidden places and such. Maybe it could be like a mystery focused game? Featuring a party of detectives and other investigative officers witnessing some weird shit going down.
What kind of people would inhabit these places? Would the flora or fauna seem alien?
>>49752184So there's this sort of "general neighborhood" of the Consensus, stuff that may not be on official maps but is also normal enough that people can live there and other people can wander in and out without realizing it's an anomaly. They're on the same globe, just with a little tiny patch where they are, and the discrepancy is small enough and minor enough that it gets swept under a rug.It only breaks the consensus cartography a little bit - you need to know that area's map in fairly close detail to know it's not supposed to be there, and most of the people who do know the map of that area on that level of detail actually live there and are navigating from personal familiarity and asking other locals for directions instead of paper. The number of people for whom the existence of such a place would irreconcilably contradict their own direct experiences is small or separated (by distance, language, social circles, beliefs, culture..) enough from the people who have experience with it that the contradiction can exist without creating dissonance. They are, by definition, obscure, but they're not lost, forgotten, or abandoned. They also worry the conspiracy of cartographers, because once you're off the map a little bit, it's much easier to wander further still, and likewise provide poorly-constrained spots where people and things from further out can find their way onto terra cognita.This is sort of what I was trying to get at with "neighboring lieus", but "ambit" would probably also be a good term.
>>49744075OP that's just Pennsylvania...
>>49752629Oh, one more thing! The reason paper maps and cartography are such a big deal is that, since people have imperfect memories and have neither perfect (or even particularly good) senses of direction nor distance, and additionally tend to follow a "relationship between landmarks" sort of structure, mental maps are really flexible and can simply not notice major geometric anomalies.After all, the real structure of space really is just one of places and relations, and so this is much more natural.Not only do paper maps allow a consensus cartography to be written down in more detail than any individual person can hold in their head at once, and made standard enough to keep everyone on the same page, the process of forcing things to fit into a piece of paper allows you to define *geometry* in a rigorous fashion and is what makes any kind of thorough connecting-up and filling-out possible.
http://www.northofreality.com/This site has some stories kind of like this stuff around the archives. I think they're tagged as _____ States of America or something. There's a lot of them, so you'll find one pretty quick if you go through the archives
I like the idea of tunnels being one of the easiest ways to enter sur-real space if you know what your doing, sewer tunnels and drainage systems under towns can be massive works of winding tunnels that can extend for miles, it would be super easy to disappear into them.
>>49752611Depends on how deep into the frontier you go. Transitions are always smooth, since things still have to make sense locally - if you go a mile deep into off-the-map territory, it's going to look pretty similar in general biology and terrain to the sorts of places you'd find if you'd walked a mile normally from your starting point. The deeper you go, the more things diverge, and the less restricted things are to the familiar. Additionally, as you realize something's wrong, and you realize not only do you not know where you are but that wherever you are shouldn't even exist, you become less certain about the kinds of things you might encounter, and so you start to wander through increasingly broad regions of the possibility space. These days, most people have to be REALLY lost before they start thinking they might encounter lost civilizations or strange new forms of life, but deep enough off the map and you'll get there. Off-the-map regions that nonetheless have enough of a history and people with shared experience of the area to have a sort of existence of their own - like the so-called "secret states"- tend to get at least a little weird much quicker, since these regions were initially explored by people with much less of an idea of what they might find in the first place, and additionally they've had an independent stable existence for long enough that stuff from further out has had time to find its way in.
I have to say OP that while I really, REALLY love the basic premise you've laid out and have enjoyed your further explainations of the seting's mechanics, I worry that the idea may have become just a bit too complex and metaphysical for use in an actual game.
>>49753100Oh god, no. I imagine an infinite sewer, some older sewer systems were never mapped properly and just build and added on to as time went on.
>>49753176Man I was just thinking this. It's taken me an hour to really start to wrap my head around it and think about the ramifications of the settingIt really helps if you've read some SCPBut non of my RPG buddies read that shit. I'd have to send out an essay on how the setting works and the timeline of the setting. Can you imagine how much trouble early settling would have been? Finding america??Consensus reality is a bitch.
>>49753176In an actual game, all of this would be the kind of fluff you never even tell the players. The actual level would basically just be "The frontiers and unexplored places where anything might be found, the forests and mountains once known to be home to spirits, the oceans full of mysterious islands and lost continents, were never explored - we just mapped enough of them out to fit the borders together. The rest of it still exists, papered over by maps and consensus reality, but there are plenty of flaws in the maps where anyone lost enough can come unmoored from the map entirely. And, more importantly, where the things outside can wander in. The world has been explored, and so made safe for civilization, even sewed shut (a project spanning thousands of years, completed at last) into a finite globe to at last close explored space off from the unknown. Few even know how fluid space was before a conspiracy of mapmakers and explorers first began to pin it down.But people still find ways to wander in, and things find ways to wander out, and the great unexplored unknown still awaits. Are you a bad enough dude to go off the map?"And then the entire rest of the setting book is about a few particular secret places and actual player-relevant details.
There's some real opportunities for random encounters here considering some of the physics>Spanish conquistadors who got lost in the jungle finally finding their way out, to them they have been lost in the Amazon for only a month, in Terra cognita 300 years has passed>Your group finds The Hotel California, you can check out anytime you want but you can never leave>Artillery shells keep landing on a major city as the two nearest Terra incognita states have declared war on each other and the city by happenstance is between them
If you're looking for Lemurians, go looking in India or Australia. They've got a couple of colonies hidden out there in some Pinches and if you've got some good liquor and money, they'll sing their history to you. Don't stay too long, though, I hear their unreality can rub off on you. And for the love of God, don't mention Mu, that really pisses them off.Still, they've got it better than the Doggerlanders
>>49753176I've been thinking of how the idea could be implemented and I've came to the idea of it being mostly limited to areas in obscurity and low population. Highly populated places that have been colonized for a long time are mostly safe, and areas in "civilization" have been managed and tailored by the DoT to stay safe, but in more distant areas and less populated places reality can become distorted from consensus. Cities and most of the east coast of America are fine, Europe for the most part too, but places like the Canadian territories, the middle east, deep into Asia and Africa, mountain ranges, rural areas in general are more prone to these realspace distortions caused by sur-real geography. In the idea I'm fleshing out I'm thinking of it being set mostly in the Southwest of the United States, or the rural Deep South, not quite sure what exactly, but it's gotta have lots of supernatural shit going down when the players find themselves in sur-real space.>>49753340>Can you imagine how much trouble early settling would have been? Finding america??That's how it used to take so long to travel across the world, it used to be bigger, but through the manipulation of cartography we have compressed the world for our benefit, trying to eliminate the uninteresting parts to make travel easier. This of course is no small task, but every little bit counts. And this whole thing is of course far out of common knowledge, the committee that determines consensus geography and the effects it has are a well kept secret and those that try to reveal it quickly dismissed as whack-job conspiracy theorists.But this is the reason we educate people about geography so much, we want everyone to accept consensus and not let the sur-real space come into play.
>>49753340I'll be honest, that bulletin in the OP aside, my basic idea was actually more boring but easier to deal with - people don't actually know that geography is a social construct, and indeed keeping things nailed down largely depends on them not knowing this. If people realized how fuzzy geography actually is, then consensus would become far less effective; everyone sharing rock-solid cultural assumptions cultivated by being taught to view geography as inseparable from geometry does a huge part of the work. I know that "the Masquerade" is slightly overplayed, but on the other hand the idea of an ancient and powerful conspiracy of cartographers is really amusing.
Would old maps that look a lot different from our current reality hold any sort of power or significance to people who could diverge from consensus geography?
>>49753596>You control the maps, then you can control the trade. You control trade, you control where the money goes, you control where the money goes, you can control the worldSounds legit. Also explains my maps throughout history can be so varied. I approve.
>>49753340>Can you imagine how much trouble early settling would have been? Finding america??People basically don't notice how fluid geography is - if you've gone from point A to point B, then you also know more-or-less how to make it back to point A and what sorts of things you might find along the way. If I may risk ruining the magic by dropping to more prosaic language, think of it sort of like procedural generation. The world is initially a blank slate, but fills in along your path in a locally plausible manner, and you can retrace your steps to end up in the same place. You may have very little control over where you go when you're wandering into off-the-map territory - but on the other hand, you also have no control over what you're going to find when venturing IRL into territory that is real but unknown to you. Columbus didn't *intend* to find America (nor did Leif Erickson), so he certainly didn't have much control over his destination! And once he'd gotten there, he'd been keeping track of his route, so he could go back and share it with other people who could then take the same route and find the same place because they knew where it was supposed to lead. Early settling, at least in America, was made much more convenient by a determined effort to map it all out first, ensuring a consensus cartography was in place from the start. However, some settlers still wandered off to mutually-exclusive geographies, which is how "secret states" became a thing in the first place.
If you wandered far enough off the map, could you end up in an entirely different world with entirely different continents that operates with the same principles? I.e., people within terra incognita don't know they're there either and make their own maps further into the unknown, making our world unusual or an alternate bizarre reality to them?Maybe that's what happened to lost places like Atlantis or El Dorado or Shangri-La- They exist and they're pretty well-defined cities on alternate Earth, and through osmosis and luck people have visited/heard about them, but since they only exist far enough off the map...Put simply, are the areas that "aren't real" to us "real" to another world? Also, are these spaces where ghosts/sasquatches/mothmen/anything else weird comes from?
>>49753962>Also, are these spaces where ghosts/sasquatches/mothmen/anything else weird comes from?Not OP but that has totally been my idea for this. Been wanting to do a campaign of a game and have the players be expecting a fairly normal setting, but then it diverges into clues and incidents that lead them into a reality much different than our own.
>>49753596You mention 'the Masquerade'. Apt, because this is pretty much 1:1 for oWoD Mage. From what has been said, I'm actually kinda suspicious that this is from a Technocracy splat book.
>>49753996>The covert branch of the Deparment of Transportation is this setting's "Men in Black," except that they regulate and cover up incidents of anomalous cartography and cryptids rather than abductions and extraterrestrials and are a lot more poorly funded than their fictional counterparts.
>>49754108>be detective investigating the path of some impossible smuggling run>find your way into a secret state while on the trail>men in black suits show up at your office the next day interrogating you on what you've seen and make you take them to where it was that you crossed into the unknown state
>>49753962>Put simply, are the areas that "aren't real" to us "real" to another world? They're real to the people who live there, just like the Americas were already real to the people who lived there long before Western explorers discovered it and stitched it into their consensus cartography. Every population creates their own informal consensus geography, made coherent by the need for consistency where people's maps intersect. Geography was more fluid to people in the past, but just by virtue of having people living there and comprehending it, it isn't completely chaotic in the populated areas. Before the age of exploration, our world was also a loose collection of such separated lands.What makes our world and its general ambit special is that it is *a world*, singular - an area that has not only been mapped out, but mapped out such that it reaches back around on itself, and which has been papered over and prodded and manipulated until it actually conforms to a consistent geometry that can then be mapped out in full until one simply runs out of Terra Incognita. We actually have *satellites* - something you need a sphere for - enabling half the world to be observed at once, ensuring a level of perpetual large-scale stability.>>49754032As God is my witness, my only knowledge of WoD is what I've been exposed to through this board, and also a few hours of VtM: Bloodlines. Probably was inspired by the everything-is-a-social-construct idea from Mage, although I have never actually read or played Mage nor any of its splatbooks.If I'm going to be completely honest, this actually grew out of Welcome to Night Vale headcanon, and trying to figure out how exactly the particular sort of not-exactly-real place I was thinking of would integrate into conventional geography and infrastructure, and was then inspired by a /tg/ roleplay thread a year or two back about somebody driving into Absaroka.
>>49754257>>I swear I haven't read Mage. That's actually pretty cool. Convergent creativity. As I'm fond of saying, great minds think alike, it's just a race to the patent office.One of the elements of Mage that could be used is the conflict between people enforcing/repairing the consensus and those trying to destroy it. There are anarchic terrorists out there who regularly target GPS systems and corrupt cartographic records because they think the world is better without a consensus. They obviously have no concern for the human cost of unreliable geography, and want to plunge humanity into another Stone Age.
>>49754247>>men in black suits show up at your office the next day interrogating you on what you've seen and make you take them to where it was that you crossed into the unknown state.>Except one of their suits is really more of a dark blue than black, and each is rather cheap and worn-in.>Actually, both men look more like harried, hassled low-level bureaucrats than they do field agents.
>>49754557>where did you fella say you were from again?>"Th-the Department of Transportation, I swear we're here on very important business!">the taller of the two men, who looks rather out of shape for a government agent adjusts his scratched sunglasses as the detective gives a dismissive nod an a small "mhmm">"now I demand you take us to where you made your last arrest yesterday, this is a matter of national security.">the detective looks at the two men before standing up from his desk and heading for the door >Fine, but you two are paying for gas, it's a long drive.
>>49752329why tie it to a time at all? traveling through the aberrant geometry of these quasi-places might mean traveling to and from different time periods as well
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1YxIr3m50qL76QgwWFsnpzJywZdyaVEh4cfOkGj6kjjE/edit?usp=drive_webTried to writefag something on break.
>>49755450Well at least the players would be from the 50s. And I like the feel of the early 1950s. It's modern but not high tech. Have a good mix of urban and rural and travel tech is at a nice level.
>>49753100>>49753286Look to DARK DAYS for inspiration on modern "lost places" underground" The film follows a group of people living in an abandoned section of the New York City underground railway system, more precisely the area of the so-called Freedom Tunnel."It's also scored by DJ Shadow songs, which are fucking great AND fit the eerie atmosphere of the setting. He remixes old songs from all sorts of old, scratchy vinyl albums into hip hop beats (no actual rapping). This leads to a strange mixture of clashing styles similar to the geographies of the setting.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpXHCRYXP7s
Guys I think I found a cool name for the Agents that survey, contain and protect people from the Lost Spaces: pundits or pandits.They had to pretend to be natives to the regions they surveyed because many places didn't want outsiders in them (Tibet) and they used prayer beads to count their steps and measure distances in secret. Fucking cool.They hid maps and notes in prayer wheels. They made up and recited poems about the geography to remember it without any physical evidence.These guys were badass and a pretty good parallel to our agents if the "Natives" of lost places don't want surveyors near.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pundit_(explorer)
>>49755519nice, I can see players picking an Outsider with special knowledge, a Pandit mapper, a muscle bodyguard Agent or an Insider with weird and special interactions with the Unreal Places
Ever seen the movie Big Fish? This idea makes me think of the town of Spectre that's in the film.Hidden town out in the woods of Alabama you basically have to get lost to find, and it's hard to return to if you ever leave.
>>49747719There should be more reference to chaos theory, the way that fractals are reapeating at every level of magnification. These "spaces" should be fractal in nature and exist as spots of unknown size in between known areas.In a note unrelated to the first part.I was once elated to find a completely hidden building complete with grounds and pond hidden behind what was made to look like a square of 4 rows of houses making a box. However inside the box, just over the back garden fences of the houses was a large manor house complete with 2 large office buildings and derelict council housing blocks. What added to the mystery is that this was not on any map, even the local maps that displayed things like local parks and ponds. Almost as if it had been stricken off the records. What only added to this impression was that i found this was the location of the local council buildings and tax office. Completely hidden behind a small council building from the front. I had been there many times and never had need to explore what was behind the building. I thought to myself that the grounds weirdly mimicked the rest of the bourough almost as if it was a microcosm.
>>49755279>>49754557>>49754247>>49754108>Underfunded>Understaffed>Under the radar>In over our heads
>>49755697Pundits would be both in charge of keeping people from real space out of sur-real space and keeping sur-real entities from getting to real space. Probably work as partners with one of them on each side of divergence from Consensus. If it's the department of transportation they probably do their restitching work under the guise of roadwork. A closed road with a road team on it doing maintainence being a cover for them covering up a divergence from Consensus.America probably did a lot of work on this, finding divergences occurring most often in remote areas with low population and low development. The DoT discovering that well traveled routes and established paths were largely safe from divergences and they mostly emerged on lesser known roads and unfamiliar territory. In 1956 the Department of Transportation began the United States Interstate Highway system as a nationwide safety net to prevent the emergence of divergences.
>>49744075DCfag here. I've been to Delmarva several times over the years. There's nothing mysterious about it, at least no more so than anywhere else in the US.
>>49756273>>49756079The Phillipine DoT has a fucking kickass logo.
>>49756105Would there be any government sanctioned Secret States? Relatively stable anomalous places with towns and cities and populations all their own?Would the DoT maintain special "thruways" that utilize cryptocartography principles to act as shortcuts between different parts of the country?
>>49754405>There are anarchic terrorists out there who regularly target GPS systems and corrupt cartographic records because they think the world is better without a consensus. They obviously have no concern for the human cost of unreliable geography, and want to plunge humanity into another Stone Age.They're also, if you've only got the first book, the default good guys.
>>49756436>Implying any other thread is any betterShit taste, famalamadingdong.
>>49756317I like how vaguely cryptic the US DOT's shield looks. I recognize the design from some Ancient Greek and Japanese seals, but can't find a reliable meaning for it online.
>>49756326Probably have officially sanctioned secret states, intentionally keep them more cut off, like the internet never being introduced to places to stop the news of Divergences from spreading and stop the residents from realizing that their existence doesn't agree with Consensus.Could also exploit smaller Divergences such as ones on the scale of a single town or county for manipulating the results of elections slightly, changing what is and isn't Consensus through tiny adjustments to influence outcomes.The governments of the world probably operate shadow orgs and black sites contained within sur-real space, secret research labs and testing ranges locked away from what we know as reality, along with the sur-real properties of extensive tunnels. While Area 51 is confirmed to be an aircraft testing facility, perhaps it's also a front to hide the entrance to a government ran sur-real facility underneath Nevada.
>>49756326I'd bet the DoT probably keeps a few "stable" sur-real territories pseudo-mapped for training new agents in finding their way around such places.>>49755450If you get on historic Route 66 and try to follow an old map - from before the routes changed - wonder where and when you'd end up?
>>49756469Triskelion is what it's called.
>>49756436It's a discussion of a fictional concept, silly. We're not pretending this is real or anything.
>>49756469>>49756546I feel like a dummy for forgetting that, thanks!
I bet that some sur-real areas or cryptocartographic areas are probably warped from being pushed off the map. Especially if they've been crowded off the map by other places. The pressure could create interesting disturbances in 3space experienced inside the area. Could cause the 3space to fold into 4space or weirder things if the crowding pressure was great enough.
>>49756079>that pic the pre 1980s DoT logo>now the colors are white and blue and the triskellion is mirroredWhat does it mean?
I'd like to propose the UK faction, like PISCES to Delta Green, The Ministry of the Exterior, claiming to be founded by Sir Walter Raleigh (which may or may not be true). Probably had a golden age during the British Empire, but have waned into obscurity by the present.
>>49756697Did we end up in the wrong America?
>>49756717>tfw I traveled out of country as a child>I didn't know jack shit about trans-atlantic flight paths>mfw I could be in the wrong America
>>49756678>originally urbanization and dense cities were seen as the best measure to prevent Divergence from Consensus from occurring in geography>but as time went on they came to see that tightly packed, crowded places were almost as prone to Divergent Geography as remote areas were>not due to a lack of observation and establishment like in the case of the wilderness, but instead caused by the effect of crowding>shoving too many things into a small space would cause the pressure of realspace to displace objects into sur-realspace in an attempt to make more room>this effect of Urbanized Sur-Realspace was seen most greatly in the Walled City of Kowloon, though tiny in it's geographical footprint, the interior of the city was said to go on forever, an urban sprawl condensed into a small area>unable to manage and restitch the sheer density of the divergent anomalies the sur-real disturbance caused by Kowloon was so great that the only solution the Ministry of Transportation of the DRC could find was a complete destruction of the site
>>49756717>>49756697Normally obsessive compulsive record keepers, the agency's leadership at the time sealed or outright destroyed all evidence of what happened back then and the older agents refuse to speak of what happened, but if pressed will say that domething... Fundamental... broke in the early 1980s, and this particular covert branch of the DOT may be the only ones left from from America that came before.
>>49747747I live there. Some strange places around the area.
>>49756855I like this. "Red Badges" could be the term for DoT agents who work with crypto-geography and sur-real spaces, while "Blue Badges" are the average publicly-visible employee who isn't privy to such information.
>>49756510Consensus geography is actually very difficult to influence these days, because the locals know where stuff is and if it's not on your maps then your maps are wrong. With people living just about everywhere, no square mile untouched by human hand, and with everybody having access to maps at all times, most of cartography is effectively solved - although this also means it's extremely difficult to paper over many remaining defects that occur in populated areas, as those have also become solidified in the knowledge of locals. (Although most have yet to notice they're defects). Unless it's in the middle of nowhere, taking a town off the map is hard.Also, there's perfectly mundane ways to throw elections by manipulating consensus cartography on far grander scales than that - namely, gerrymandering.
>>49756469>>49756546>>49756662>In a nutshell, the triskelion Celtic symbol meaning deals with competition and man's progress. The Greek term triskelion literally means "three-legged," and appropriately, this sign looks very much like three legs running.>When we observe this symbol, we are taken with the concept of motion. All three branches (legs, protrusions, angles) are positioned in such a way so as to make the symbol appear as if it is in constant forward motion>the Triskelion has come to symbolize>action>cycles>progress>revolution>competition>moving forwardThe three protrusions of the triskellion converging in the middle also symbolize a trinity and their coming together, such as>Spirit, Mind, Body>Father, Son, Holy Ghost>Mother, Father, Child>Past, Present, Future>Power, Intellect, Love>Creation, Preservation, DestructionIn addition it has been theorized that the Triskellion also represents the three worlds of Celtic Mythology>The Otherworld: Where spirits, gods and goddesses live.>The Mortal World: Where you and I live along with plants and animals.>The Celestial World: Where unseen energies live and move about. Like the forces of sun, moon, wind and water.
>>49756906I really like that. Red Badges and Blue Badges. The Blues know that the Reds have wide-ranging jurisdiction and rank over them, but are kept in the dark about why the Agency exists and what they do.Also, I like "The Agency" as a commonly used name, but think that a good acronym is needed as well.
>>49747841Not Anon, but Atlanta... I haven't been there in forever, I need to go to it sometime.
>>49756845Alternatively, it could simply be that the enormous size and complexity, as well as short line-of-sight, present in a city means that the areas even locals can confidently remember in detail are much smaller, and generally center on main roads. Everyone's always a little bit lost.So yeah, everything's very solidly nailed down, but there's an infinitude of little niches and nooks and crannies and alleys where things are a *little* bit off, and the abundance of liminal spaces - subway stations at 2 AM, crossroads, abandoned buildings, confusing freeway interchanges - means plenty of opportunities to wander a bit.It's very hard to go far off the map - but easy to wander around the local ambit of plausible locations you might find within city limits.
>>49756678>>49756845>the urbanization induced divergence was also the reason the United States had began to push for the formation of suburbs after WWII>though the Autobahn had decreased the effectiveness of exploiting the Divergences to avoid German fortification, in a method similar to what would inspire the US' own Interstate Highway, the tightly packed design of German cities still allowed for such Divergent Geography to emerge, making combat in the urban environments of WWII difficult for both sides>in addition to their interstate web of highways the United States also sought to find the right balance between urban and rural areas to prevent the emergence of Divergences>and so the suburb was brought into the mainstream, denser than rural towns, but not so dense as to cause sur-real space anomalies, and create an extra layer of fortification over America to prevent invaders from being able to exploit sur-real paths, in addition to the tactical advantage that a dispersed population would provide against enemy bombings
>>49756855You know...This could by why they're perpetually understaffed and underfunded, and made to use antiquated technologies and techniques. In order to continue to exist in our America, their connections within the Department of Transportation and relationships with the US Government have had to be faked, spoofed and forged.
>>49756971>triskelion symbolizes moving forward >post 1980s DoT logo appears to be rotating clockwise like the passage of time
>>49757269>whereas the inverted triskelion of the pre-1980s DoT appears to be rotating counter clockwise, as if to show moving backwards
>>49757100Either way the effect is the same, the only difference is how the method in which it is achieved.As if the reason behind these sur-real space anomalies occur could ever be fully explained, the important thing is knowing that they do occur.
>>49756079"I've been to at least 150 US crypto-territories. One was only accessible by taking a left on a road in flyover state and letting go of the steering wheel. I almost got shot in because they thought I was a Chinese communist. I once took a 4 hour train journey to a city where they'd never heard of George Washington. I've interviewed immigrant Lemurians, tracked down refugees from Mu and even arrested a phantom hitchhiker (that took 2 weeks longer than expected, had to take it out of my holiday allowance). My ex-wife took the house, the kids don't call and all I've got to look forward to is a Cup Noodle and a 6am alarm. So I think I deserve a nap, alright?"
>>49757142>American soldiers were intentionally disorganized as the generals were made aware of these sur-real disturbances, so they intentionally gave soldiers shoddy directions as a way to force armies into "accidentally" finding sur-real paths to their destination, making it incredibly hard for an enemy army to plan against an American offensive >although the mere concept of the idea was incredibly risky, and many soldiers were determined as missing in action due to this strategy, it nonetheless proved to be effective
>>49757142This stuff makes it sound like anytime you step outside without a map you end up in some ethereal nowhere place. The more you explain things like the this the less rare and mysterious they become. It's ironic really what yall are doing to the concept.
>>49757427I think of it more as the locations being incredibly hard to find, but still the mere existence of them would be a threat to the stability of the Consensus world the Pundits had created, so any method possible was taken to prevent their discovery.They aren't common by any means and it would take a trained person, or someone from a Divergent location to be able to reliably access a sur-real place, to a normal person they're still relative impossible to come across intentionally, but normal people aren't the ones who cause problems. Plus there are other reasons to build suburbs and interstate highways that make practical sense to the masses, this was just a contributing factor.
>>49757427It's what I worry about, in part, when I'd suggested earlier that we might be overthinking the mechanics of it a little.
>>49757316Well, the difference between "get lost, find self in Night Vale or something, can never find home again" and "get lost, find self in old library with very odd books, can never find it again after you make it home the next day" is sort of important. Cities have strongly nailed-down maps of what *kinds of places* exist within them due to all the population familiar with individual areas, but the maps themselves are somewhat fuzzy on where exactly things are - as in>>49751817>>49752629there can be *multiple* strongly nailed-down places which happen to overlap, and everybody who knows about them doesn't realize the other exists.So if you're in official-map New York, and you go to an unfamiliar old>>49757427Yeah, I'm no fan either. I like my Weird Shit In A Mundane Setting to be normalized and small - not vast and powerful ancient secret conspiracies of great leaders and grand plans lurking behind every action, but homespun, narrower ancient secret orders of librarians or cartographers or milkmen, and all-natural organically-grown weird shit that doesn't seem to have been planned by anyone at all. Not world-shattering grand mysteries and secret powers, but just esoterica and skills that some people know. Weird that's been weird long enough that it can pass for normal. Less like finding Excalibur in a lake and conquering Britain, more like turning over a rock and finding it's the shell of an insect, which hisses irritatedly at you and goes back to sleep.
>>49757427I'd say it's not anywhere. It only happens in specific locations, backwater nowherevilles, remote state borders, places that are poorly recorded and sparsely inhabited. It's not everywhere, but it depends on a few contributing factors, the individual's knowledge and also a just sheer chance. To an untrained person, who's lived their life firmly planted in Consensus geography, the odds of accidentally wandering into a Divergence are slim to none. >>49757489I think this is the kind of stuff that only exists in the vacuum of deep within the fluff. It's the base explanation of why a concept works and how things happen, but not something that would be demonstrated as concrete mechanics.
>>49757427I personally would like to keep it weird and rare.However, it's interesting if regular old Joes ended up in situations where they're way over their heads. Like the story I posted of a guy who ended up being employed not by the city he was from, but by a sur-real city in a false state that never existed. Besides, a few thousand incidents over a few years still makes up a small percentage of the population. Plus, I'd imagine that specifically trying to manipulate cryptocartographic spaces, like our cannon for Kowloon, would end up having a bunch of nasty effects that regular people just end up getting caught up in. There's probably a goodly number of people still wandering through Kowloon's sur-real spaces without a ways back into the consensus reality. Only ways into a Kowloon that doesn't exist anymore.
>>49756510There's some difficulty with using the sur-real spaces for black sites though - keeping them black while still using them and still getting to and from them isn't easyThe Department of Transport's Agency has a military counterpart, in one of the NGA's offices - they're more likely that the Agency to actually use cryptocartographic areas, but they're not bad guys - a lot of their job is watching boarders they have to make sure no-one else knows exists
>>49756273>>49756906Five second photoshop
>>49757585>not vast and powerful ancient secret conspiracies of great leaders and grand plans lurking behind every action, but homespun, narrower ancient secret orders of librarians or cartographers or milkmen, and all-natural organically-grown weird shit that doesn't seem to have been planned by anyone at all.I think the geographers that determine consensus wouldn't be some kind of all powerful conspiracy group, they'd just be loosely organized individual cartographers and their cohorts. Some might try to conceal things from people, other are truthful and honest in their reporting, but there's no grand plan between them.The closest we get to this is people like the Department of Transportation in the United States, or China's Ministry of Transportation attempting to manage these things, but it's simply to grand of a task, or more accurately, too many small tasks at the same time, for them to be able to handle. They do their best to maintain safe thoroughfares that should always be reliable, and address any major issues, such as organized crime syndicates managing to enter Deseret and use it as a smuggling route across the Southwest, but other than that a lot of issues go unreported and unresolved.The geography of the world is simply too big of a task for anyone to ever fully have under control.
>>49757617>However, it's interesting if regular old Joes ended up in situations where they're way over their heads.YES THISAlso, many more people, I'd say, wander outside the map at least once in their lives - they just also wander back in again, having seen some weird shit that they never manage to find again. Nothing flashy and super-paranormal - a beautiful and unexpected view they can't find again, or an abandoned structure in the woods, or a conversation with a very unusual person who they think was *probably* crazy, or a bookstore that stocked books they look for again but can never find, or a concert for a musician they've never heard of playing a distinctive genre they can't track down again. It's just very rare for somebody to find themselves so lost they wander into an entire state that never existed, or even a particularly weird town.The government doesn't really have a solid handle on it either; these events are rare, generally unreported, and poorly understood, and even knowing that this is a thing is classified. But since it's very rare and seems absurd to most people, the people responsible for keeping track are also poorly-funded and understaffed. The Ancient and Esoteric Order of Cartographers has a pretty solid handle on things, thank you very much, but keeps tight-lipped, only passing the occasional tip or request without really explaining why. (This frustrates the hell out of the government people, but they're often very helpful to agents in trouble, just recalcitrant about information.)
Funes the Memorious will solve all these problems.
>>49757730I mean, like, the stuff about how surreal geography is extensively exploited by the government, the whole highway system and development of the suburbs were measures to deal with it, etc, etc.That's the stuff I'm not a fan of. Definitely a fan of the stuff you're talking about.
>>49757617>Besides, a few thousand incidents over a few years still makes up a small percentage of the population.It's also comparable to the number of unsolved missing-persons cases each year.
Thing is, thanks to the abundance of maps and GPS systems, the modern world is more stable than ever. We've all spent enough time on Google maps staring at our immediate area that the stability of the Consensus reaches much further out around population centres.To put it simply, you have to go somewhere really remote to deviate massively from the Consensus and find any sizeable area of Terra Incognita. The only thing keeping most of the so-called Secret States linked to our navigable world is the stability projected by their own inhabitants- a force pushing back against our efforts to map over them. This is complicated somewhat when the local Consensus of a Secret State has its own defined borders with our world- effectively making them closed pockets of sur-real space, which, for whatever reason, have not been included in the global Consensus. Going Off The Map into one of these regions, while still not advisable, holds significantly less peril than straying into Terra Incognita proper.A notable example is the remote Scottish village of Kilkenmore, Perthshire. Those traveling through the area without first familiarising themselves with it have a small chance to stumble across the tiny hamlet of sheep farmers. Continuing along the single road leading through the area, the wanderer will reliably find themselves back in the Consensus, almost exactly at the same point they went Off The Map, with no other ill effects than their journey taking ten minutes or so longer than expected.
>>49757903I'm of a similar mind myself.I like the idea that perhaps, before the 1950s, the US Government treated reports of Secret States and Surreal Territories as myths, tall tales and superstitions. However, when the Interstate Highway System was built and more modern mapping and surveying technologies were utilized, the Government was forced to take these reports seriously and authorized the formation of the covert branch of the Department of Transportation to deal with what they had discovered.
>>49757617Yeah. I just like the idea of strange places lurking just behind the everyday, like if you go exploring somewhere unfamiliar and get lost there are secrets to be discovered almost everywhere - not just that you can find all kinds of things, but that you can actually slip outside reality a little.And I like the idea that there's still room for fantastic voyages to places nobody has ever heard of, wonders that can still be unexplored in a world of Internet and tourists, still places where there may be dragons - even though everywhere has been explored, the frontiers are still there, if you know where to find them.
New Dixie? what makes up New Dixie?>DO NOT DRIVE ON UNFAMILIAR ROADS AT NIGHT. PAY CAREFUL ATTENTION TO THE ROADWAY AND ENSURE YOU HAVE A FUNCTIONING G.P.S. LOCATOR OR A LOCALLY ACCURATE PHYSICAL MAP ON WHICH YOU PLAN YOUR ROUTE. I really need to get some topographical maps in case both my phone and GPS go down.
>>49757985That's what I was trying to explain here->>49752629The places that still exist off the map are mostly places that the locals can't be convinced doesn't exist, because they live there or have personally been there, and it's just a normal place to them rather than some anomaly. But in a world where basically everything has been nailed down, there's often just no room to put them on the official map without distorting or overlapping something else already established as real. Some people may be equally convinced they're not real, since when they went there they wound up not passing through that area or finding something else occupying that space, but the anomalies are minor enough, or the two groups of people separated for some reason, that this disagreement never comes up in conversation, or else the anomaly is experienced frequently enough that the people who don't experience it are in the minority.And they're mostly places which could, plausibly, be there; just that to some/most people, they aren't.
>>49757985That's exactly the sort of stuff I was thinking! Nice! We should probably try actually fluffing some of these locations, or writefagging about what happens in them. I always wind up getting too in-depth about the mechanics of stuff that nobody actually cares about or wants to know, and then neglecting to actually expand on the important parts of the concept.
>>49758119>We should probably try actually fluffing some of these locations, or writefagging about what happens in them.>>49744075>>Absarokahttp://archive.4plebs.org/tg/thread/42495825/
>>49758246>>424990055 was me.
>>49757985Makes me think of when I was driving home from my grandparent's one night and took a wrong turn, my GPS was able to take me back home, but it added an extra 15 minutes to my trip and took me to a part of my state I had never seen before, passing roads I had never even heard of before.It was a really strange experience for me because I usually have a general idea of where I am in my local area, but this place was completely foreign to me, with roads a lot rougher and hills a lot steeper than most thoroughfares in my state.Since then I've made sure to stick to my preplanned routes.
>>49758352>>49758246>Absaroka, once known as "The Real Forty-Ninth State," exists today as a collection of long-overgrown towns and outposts within a dense, mountainous woodland region secreted away between the states of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming and Idaho.>The primary means of ingress by unwary civilians and "tourists" is by means of bad directions and anomalous roadmaps followed while traveling along Wyoming State Highway 224, prompting the establishment of the state's Department of Transportation HQ along that route.>To date, the gas station at which these directions and maps have been obtained has not been found.
Anytime I drive though Texas to Colorado, the amount of ghost towns you see are pretty eerie. Especially ones that look fairly modern. It also makes me feel melancholy thinking about what it's like to be in a dying town. If you're a kid, you know when you get a job you'll move away and never visit unless it's to see Ma and Pa. And if you're old, you sit around watching a place you grew up in become more and more empty, interred in that cemetary in what will soon be a place no one ever visits.That's why I either want to be buried in a city, or just have my ashes scattered.
>>49758691It's called Equus Oil. The gas station, mean. I've been there.
>>49758903Funny, I'd heard it was called the Stop 'n Gas...
>>49758105>>49758119How about places that have been intentionally removed from maps and general knowledge, like Russia's closed cities or various towns in America that had their populations relocated for government projects? Terra Nihilum.Also thinking about about the ideas revolving around Divergence in clearly mapped areas and inspired by the pic in >>49757142, what about suburban sprawl being an increasing source of divergent locations? An urban area will net you some streets and alleyways, maybe a building or two, that shouldn't be there, but a suburb can create a massive labyrinth. Nearly identical homes and landscaping, similar economic conditions, a dearth of landmarks, and inhabitants who only know the route from their house to the exit.
>tfw you're actually from East Dakota
I think that the beset government agency for the PC's to be a part of would be the US Department of Geological Survey, which as a bonus is even less known and more boring sounding than the DoT
>>49760057It's just USGS, it's part of the Dept of the Interior.
>>49760057>>49760080For some reason, I still like the DOT for this. They've got a good balance I think, of an agency that everyone thinks is boring but that potentially has a lot of power behind the scenes.
>>49760252Either way the Corps of Engineers has to be at least an affiliated group, constructing massive cartographic anchors and controlling the behemoth topographic riverine pathways across the continent
>>49760370Is that the I-15?
>>49752329Illegally mining skeletons, the fiend!
>>49760370>>49760482It sure looks like it. I swear I've driven that part of I-15 on the way to California.
Is Springfield in Terra Incognita?
Look, you've got a cute concept and all, but it needs more rules or borders than just "human consciousness" because as it stands, a buddy of mine can knock me out, blindfold me, dump me in a cornfield somewhere, and I could wind up in a Wyld Hunt less than half a block from an apartment complex. There need to be some reasonable limits set on how easy it is to "get lost" as it were.
>>49761904To accidentally "get into sur-real territory" (A) you need to "get lost" (B). [A => B]It doesn't mean that whenever you "get lost" you "get into sur-real territory" [B => A].
>>49761904I was never a big fan of the collective-consciousness metaphysics angle. If I were running a game based on this premise, which I might, I would drastically simplify things. There are pockets of surreality out there across the US of A, places, locales, townships, even whole states and territories that aren't on any of the standard maps where weirdness reigns. These places are normally hidden and missed without a thought by the general population, but one particular Agency within the Department of Transportation has made it their business to map and patrol these phantom places while saving the people that occasionally stumble across one and get lost.
>>49756906>>49757029What if there are other badges, Black perhaps, that are from a divergent United States that is mostly empty and dead, it got caught under and behind our reality when the maps were drawn. They see OUR geography and history as the Divergence that needs to be remapped and wiped out. The Black Badges are lesser in number, much lesser, due to their dead world, but they are fanatical and dangerous.Our Reds and Blues are waging a secret war with the Black Badges over territory and the price of failure is literally our histories physical existence. These are some very bad people who will stop at nothing to regress geographic areas, caring not for what happens to the Over Worlders who get trapped, crushed, erased and distorted. Strange machines that distort the world, assassinations of Red Badges on assignment, and the subtle brainwashing of rural populations to misremember the Consensus are some of their tactics.
>>49762265I'd say at this point you should spin off another thread because your idea is highly specific and ultimately only uses the basic idea of this thread as background fluff. It could stand a lot of fleshing out as it's own thing.
>>49761904There's two factors - how good of an idea you personally have of where you are and where you might find yourself, and how solid the map is at that point.Places near other people are generally pretty solidly tied down, since all the people living there know you're not about to run into a Wyld Hunt or whatever, and they are actually personally near to the area. You might manage to get lost enough to actually have a very strong chance of slipping if your friend dropped you off in the middle of a forest in western Canada with nobody around for a hundred miles, and also if you hadn't planned this beforehand and had no idea what fucking continent you were even on.Most people never get nearly that lost, and so also need to run across one of the rare map defects where official reality is less authoritative, and get 'lucky' enough to roll the alternative space instead of the official space. Most people who slip outside actually only go a little bit off track, although while there some might pick up a gas station map or something and end up getting directed further out.On average, a bit less than a thousand people in the US every year are unlucky enough to accidentally go far enough out to actually notice something weird's going on. Not all who are lost wander.The triumph of reliable, authoritative cartography (in this setting) is one of the greatest victories of the human race, stealing the spotlight from the eradication of smallpox (or it would, if it wasn't secret.) The geographers won. The world's been mapped. The edges are sealed together and the spirits have been papered over. The forests and roads are safe, even at night. The englobement project has been so successful that we can even maintain satellites, tracing a reliable route over the sphere, localizing anyone who asks within a few meters. Most common defects are so minor that those in the know never even notice; even the major ones take seriously bad luck to stumble through by accident.
>>49758743damn that's fucking depressingI think Forgotten People are the saddest concept
Just thought I'd throw the thread up on Sup/tg/ for archival. Vote it up if you care to:http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?searchall=Pathography+-+Forgotten+Places%2C+Lost+Spaces+>>49762345>>49762265I feel like this idea is one possibly way things could go, should a DM decide they want to give their PCs a big bad conspiracy to fight, but I liked the relative simplicity of our potential Red Badge / Blue Badge dichotomy to denote DOT agents who were members of the AGENCY and those who were not. If an opposing faction were added, I wouldn't make them an alternate-reality offshoot of the Agency but perhaps some sort of Conspiracy Theory / Hacktivist /Tourist group with a penchant for exploring these secret places, posting what they find and investigating the DOT's cover activities.
>>49762345just trying to give some flesh to the world, the people and un-people you might meet there
>take a trip to New York to visit my friend >whole world seems to have changed behind my back >can't find any flights or buses back home >nobody even knows what I'm talking about when I ask for directions back to Lincoln if I tried to drive there >people act like I'm crazy when I show them my map of the American Federation I... I don't belong here.
>>49762462>http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?searchall=Pathography+-+Forgotten+Places%2C+Lost+Spaces+Absolutely archive it, really enjoyed this thread, it's what I come to /tg/ for!Probably the best thread up in a while.
Most people overestimate their skill at navigating. As some have said unless you have a very intimate knowledge of every road around you can very well end up lost on your hometown. For example:>Need to take a shortcut to friend's house, done this a few times already.>Be driving, take the next exit on the highway>The exit takes you the wrong way, unkown highway, follow the flow and the road signs>Take a new exit, end up in a deserted suburb you've never seen, not a single soul around>Take out map, no record of that place, follow the road for a few miles>End of the road, now semi wilderness with that abandoned suburb at the distance, turn back>On the road meet other cars as confused as you, make a line and return to the main highway using the same roads>Eventually get back to familiar roads, nobody believes the story about that place and why you were late.And this was without supernatural influence.
>>49762607This is exactly the sort of stuff that "going off the map" usually entails.
>>49762607>On the road meet other cars as confused as you>Eventually get back to familiar roads, nobody believes the storySounds like Bakersfield, CA, man. I used to live near there, drove into the city maybe five times, got lost every single time. This was before GPS on phones, so I would have like the mapquest directions. Constantly running into streets and getting taken to areas not on the directions.People in that city seemed to know it, too, because when you would pull up next to them they would immediately ask if you were lost. One time when I was lost I pulled into a parking lot and as soon as I got out of my car, the nearest shop door opened and this guy comes out of the shop asking me where I'm trying to go. He had seen me pull in and look around, and came outside with paper and pencil to draw me a map. I couldn't fucking believe it. I even had a guy walk up to me once and ask me for directions, WHILE I WAS LOST.I probably only spent a grand total of two hours in that town over the years, but I asked for directions more there than the whole rest of my life combined.
>>49744075>tfw you've been living in Norton for five yearsWait, what?
>>49744075Every time I look at this OP the territories on the list change. Seriously.
>>49763571Not really, I'm south of the border but that story is really interesting too.They renovated some roads and built some new ones so everyone became confused at that area of the city. I guess? I still get seriously disoriented when driving around near that zone.
>>49761303I just took it to Vegas a month ago.
This would totally be a satisfying reason to use the Roanoke colony in a campaign.The colonists had to leave in a hurry. Nobody took the time to make a map.
>>49752329>What would be a good RPG system for a premise like this?part of it depends on both how combat heavy you plan on it being(as such anomalous regions are bound to have freaky stuff living in them), and how much of the weirdness you'd want the PC's to be able to use for themselves, the systems that best come to mind for this(assuming one wants systems with some crunchyness) would probably be;BRP/Call of Cthulhu(low combat/low PC weirdness)Savage Worlds(high combat/low to medium PC weirdness depending on what supplements besides the core rules one ends up using)Strike! RPG(high combat/high PC weirdness)>>49754257>If I'm going to be completely honest, this actually grew out of Welcome to Night Vale headcanon, and trying to figure out how exactly the particular sort of not-exactly-real place I was thinking of would integrate into conventional geography and infrastructure, and was then inspired by a /tg/ roleplay thread a year or two back about somebody driving into Absaroka.have you ever been in any of the Night Shift threads we've had on /tg/ before, cause this idea and that one would gel together really wellalso ironically probably the best fictional example of this thread's concept would be the Simpsons, as I'm sure most of us have banged our heads against the issue of "where the hell is Springfield?" before>>49755279>>49756079https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvKs2VLmVnY
>>49752329>Maybe set in like 50s America or something like that, with lots of supernatural occurrences, hidden places and such.personally I think sometime between the late 60's and early 90's would be better(my preference is early 70's myself, as the gonzo weirdness of the era is a perfect fit for this setting concept)>>49755450well our Pundits of the DoT need to come from somewhere/when>>49757029>>49757193>>49757629way I'm seeing it, while the DoT is the organization that's in charge of Consensus Geography in the United States government, said CG tends to cross over with various other weird crap that pretty much every other branch of the federal government(and even some state/territorial governments) has a secret branch that gets involved in DoT Red Badge business at some point or another(even if their main domain is something besides CG), and most of those often deal with more flashy threats to the American Status Quo, so they often get better funding(although to be honest it's actually not all that low, just that Red Badge field agents often have to get a bit more creative than say a Man In Black agent would)
>>49758952don't you mean the Gas-N-Go?
>>49760376as I suggested in >>49765178 pretty much every segment of the US government has a secret branch that gets involved with DoT Red Badge business at some point or another, the truth is that various Supernaturnal dealings of any sort are of too large a scale and variety(not to mention jurisdiction crossing) for any agency to truly go it alone, so yeah there's a secret section of the Corps of Engineers that often colludes with the Red Badges, just as the Red Badges might need MiB assitance with a Consensual Geography case that has turned out to involve Extraterrestrial entities(and then later on both have to bring in the ATF cause it turns out the aliens are smuggling death rays to the Cartels in exchange for cocaine)
>>49765229>>49765178I don't know.Personally, I'm inclined toward limiting Government involvement in secret states, surreal territories and cryptocartography to a single agency like the covert branch of the Department of Transportation that we've been talking about so far. I feel like the idea looses some of its mystery and its mystique if it becomes this wide-ranging Governmental conspiracy. Too many people would know about this weirdness. Too many people would know how to deal with it.>>49765054PCs working for the DOT definitely might have more in common with the Blues Brothers than the Men in Black.
>>49765188>>49758952>>49758903>>49758691I like the idea of giving the Station from Night Shift a cameo of sorts. This transit point through which a lot of weirdness that the Agency tracks passes. This legendary white whale of a surreality that the Agency has never quite been able to pin down on the map. Several agents have made it their lives' work to track it and map it, and a few may have been ruined by their obsession with the Station.
what kind of creatures , monsters or deities could live in those surreal places
>>49766418Since they inhabit sur-reality, they could be things that local myths and legends describe as calling the place their home. For example, I live in New Jersey. Should I stumble deep enough into Terra Incognita, then I have a chance of finding the New Jersey devil. Doubly so if I get lost in the Pine Barrens.
>>49766418I would imagine that many of the creatures and entities you'd discover in these secret places would be pulled from or at least inspired by the myths, legends and history of the surrounding region:>Native monsters of land, sea and air>Ghosts, specters and haints aplenty>Folk that time seems to have forgottenSome might also be a bit more surreal, possessing no deeper significance on the metaphysical level than that they fit the locale, thematically speaking:>Dark entities that live within shadows>Eldritch beings asleep and dreaming>Locations that are somehow alive
>>49766716I love that second part. Go too deep into Terra Incognita, and you will find things that make no sense. You might lose your shadow....or gain another.
How about a couple random Lacuna:>A deep, wooded ravine sits like some kind of surreal, inverted mountain in the midst of a dense forest. The further in and deeper down the PCs hike, the more impossibly large the trees grow and the more primeval and ethereal the wildlife becomes.>Somewhere in the middle of the Nevada desert is a quaint little suburb that looks like it was pulled straight out of the 1950s and is home to a small population of similarly antiquated men, women and children. Within a few hours of the PCs' arrival, the suburb will be destroyed by an atomic blast.
>>49744075>Delmarva>Little known/dangerouslol I live on the eastern shore of md and this area isn't as backwaterbas you'd think
>>49767048Not the region of Delmarva, the state.
>>49766855I think that it works on a case by case basis. Some of these hidden places are more benign than others, like Bigfoot Forest or the Secret State of Cascadia or the Agency's HQ. Many are much less friendly, like the Wendigo Woods, or the Ever-Burning Everett Neighborhood in Chicago, or the Winchester Mystery House. Some are just plain incomprehensible, like the Möbius Thruway, or the Cadillac Wasteland, or the Magic Putt Minigolf Course.
>>49765229I feel like the DoT efforts to maintain consensus routes between locations would also explain why road crews are so bloated with workers. Having many minds working to keep a linear path helps reinforce a weakening consensus. Sure the physical job of paving could be done with a machine but the people are needed to rebuild the mental image of the road...That is, until GPS came along. Global mapping satellites help keep equipment anchored in real space, letting DoT cover more ground.
>>49767140>Winchester Mystery HouseMaybe it was a an experiment to induce a sur-real Divergence, the real reason the woman built it being driven mad by a trip to a Divergence while in a city or something. The excuse of her being haunted by ghosts was made up as a cover up.You know they recently discovered at 161st room nobody knew about until now.
>>49767140I agree, bit I was talking about wandering further off map, such as following a road that the locals tell you not to, or walking deeper and deeper into a forest that is off map.>>49767214GPS was one of the big victories for the DoT
>>49767140>Möbius Thruway>A common form of hazing amongst covert DOT operatives is for senior agents to ask new recruits to meet them "just past Exit 8" along a particular decommissioned highway in Upstate New York. Once the unwitting rookie passes the Exit 8, however, they find themselves driving the same eight-mile stretch of road over and over again, until they realize that they've been duped and pull off at Exit 8 the next time it comes around again.
>>49766418[muffled cumbia playing in the distance]
Bridges could be an important thing, somehow, but I'm not sure exactly what would make them significant, I just like the idea of it.
>>49767332After all this talk I still can't say I'm really a fan of the metaphysics at work with the whole Consensus / Divergence model of cryptocartography. It feels too complex, pseudoscientific and all-encompassing to me. Taking the Winchester Mystery House as an example, it takes a locale that could stand in its own with its own history and mystique and makes it just another government experiment in the science of secret spaces. I'm not meaning to say that the idea is a bad one, honestly, but I worry about the homogenizing effect this might have.That being said, I do really like the idea of a government-sponsored laboratory independent of the DOT trying to nail down just how pseudospace works. Perhaps some underground facility, with rooms, tunnels and model towns built of prefabricated concrete in which researchers tried to induce spatial anomalies. The results of their research, of course, would not have been pretty or pleasant.
>>49767679I wasn't saying the Winchester Mystery House was government sponsored, it's a crazy lady doing crazy shit.
>>49766855>>49766716There's a few mentions further upthread that one of the big motivations for the original englobement project was to make sure there were no regions where monsters and Fair Folk could live, by sealing off the frontiers where more unknown land could be found and exploring the mysterious spaces to paper over them with regions where they were known not to live.
>>49767679>Consensus / Divergence model of cryptocartographyMaybe this is just one of several proposed "models" of cryptocartography that the DOT works with? Sort of like how weathermen need to use several different forcasting models to track and predict the weather.
>>49767679You're right, honestly. Any actual storytelling should scale back the metaphysics to the point where they retained only the skeleton, if that - enough that you couldn't usefully explain anything specific in terms of them, just as a background to the fact that there are weird places lurking anywhere. You might never even explicitly mention them, just vague allusions and a source of occult-technobabble which secretly actually means something.They're only there because I've got a touch of the 'spergers, and tend to really focus on systematizing things to the point where I get distracted from the actual *point*, which is telling the stories and writing the fluff that that's all supposed to be the backdrop for. I just really want to know how things work - in practice, what is the actual craft of magic? If a room's bigger on the inside than the outside, what happens if you drill through a wall? If I want to tell stories about cool undiscovered stuff, how the hell would we not have found it already? Why do the floating islands in my setting actually float? - and then end up exploring the sidetrack instead.
>>49767764>Consensus-Divergence Model>Folkloric/Narrativist Model>Wilson and LeFleur Model
This premise is so Unknown Armies I might just have to steal it
>>49767865>Wilson and LeFleur ModelIs this a reference to something (popular occultists? Shea Anton Wilson & somebody?)
>>49767865>and no model is ever entirely correct
Do sur-real states still pay taxes?
>>49767845The conversation and the metaphysics involved have, likewise honestly, been really interesting and in many, many settings I love magic systems that are as well-thought out and well understood as this one is. Believe me that I don't mean to put down all the thought that's been put into the idea in the least. It's just that in setting that are heavily steeped in horror or even just surreal spookiness, I feel like less explanation can oftentimes make for more intrigue.>>49767721Sorry, you're right, you'd never said government there.
>>49767949Absaroka and Jefferson definetly do, they're practically recognized as full states.Next thing you'll be saying you've never heard of Buffalo. Though one strange thing is that Deseret and Rio Grande are not US states, they're entire nations sealed into Sur-real space that are hidden within the territory of the United States.
>>49767934>No model is entirely incorrect either.This is why they need all three when trying to gain some understanding of how these anomalous spaces exist and how to deal with them.>>49767933The names themselves have no meanings, though the fact that one of them could belong to a spiritualist is a great coincidence. Originally I'd thought that they'd be two agents who'd stumbled across a new way of looking at things while doing something completely mundane and trivial, but having a model named for two spiritualists might be better.
>>49767949Yes. You really think the IRS would not make sure it gets its money?
>>49768150Just change the name of your idea to something silly like the "Sub Sandwich Model" or the "Parcheesi Model" or something.
>>49767628Bridges symbolize connecting two different places. The most well known bridges are landmarks that everyone has a rough idea of where they are and what they look like. Bridges in heavily populated areas or that are major landmarks could be massive anchors, helping pin that entire area in Consensus Geography. However, bridges that are forgotten and abandoned have a much higher tendency of becoming links to sur-reality, sending you off the map when you traverse them.
>>49768393>However, bridges that are forgotten and abandoned have a much higher tendency of becoming links to sur-reality, sending you off the map when you traverse them.Especially covered bridges, because you can't see the world around you. That's why we stopped using them.
>>49767628>>49768393Bridges are not only landmarks, they're utilitarian landmarks that hundreds to thousands of people use every day. And not only that, they're landmarks that the DOT is directly responsible for building and maintaining too. I would say that this not only makes bridges excellent cryptocartographic anchors, but makes them fantastic Agency rallying points as well. Some of the larger and more famous bridges may even have ready rooms secreted away inside them in case of paranormal trouble.
If you've been driving for a while, then you will know this feeling. The one where a familiar road, something that you have driven or walked down hundreds of times, suddenly seems...off. Something about it seems alien, like there should be something else in that place. But then after a minute or two you pass a familiar landmark, and all seems bright and cheery and familiar, and you know exactly where you are.You might have drifted into a Divergence. Be glad that the Divergent road linked up to the one you were trying to reach. If that happens, never ask for directions. Use a map that you brought with you, or preferably a GPS.
>>49768852What about those times when you're driving, and you can remember your departure and your arrival but not much in between?
>>49747482Ahhh!Haunted Ferris wheel!
All the talk of GPS and such makes me like the idea of a 1950s setting more. Early early days of the interstate, still plenty of cross-country routes, lack of navigational technology. Makes it seem easier and more plausible to run across things like >>49747482>>49747729>>49755789And other weird goings on in the woods.But we still have towns and cities for urban spooks, and tunnels and storm drains to explore.
>>49768913That means...something, may have helped itself to part of your mind.
>>49769016You could also potentially go with the excuse that GPS locators may not always work properly in these secret places, and that satellite imaging might not be able to see some of them at all.
>>49769061That's one of the ways you know, as a civilian or an agent, that you've crossed over into a surreal space. GPS malfunctions.
>>49769016Plus, there's a lot more "weird" speculative fiction for the Fifties than there is for the modern day that's set in our world. You'll get cryptids either way, but take a look at comics or scifi serials and you'll see a lot more stuff that could work for this in the fifties.
> "Red Badges? Yeah, I do know about those damend Red Badges. I'll tell you, I was here before they changed our logo, and back then we were all Red Badges."> "Then they change our logo, but some of the nitwits in the Departament keep using the old badges, despite we were all told to use only material with the new logo. But those were some old high-ups in the Departament, so they just kept the old ways."> "But then some new idiots come to work using the old badges. Not old, they were new, but the design was the old, see? They come bossing us around, and we weren't going to take that."> "Yeah, we started mocking them, we weren't taking any of that shit. But the next day some old Red Badge comes over, my boss was fired right there, in front of us, just for not following orders from some new guy using a stupid red badge."> "So you should follow the Red Badges, boy, for if they are not some real high-ups in the Deparatament, they are protected by those that are. Or else you could get fired, see?"> Will Geller, blue badge
You know, we still need to name this covert branch of the Department of Transportation we keep talking about. How about:>N.C.N.S.A.>National Cartographical and Navigational Safety Agency
> "Our work isn't easy, remember. Our job demands a lot of understanding, attentio to detail an silence. But we have a lot to do, few lads and even less money."> "So never forget our unofficial motto, Red Badges, the Triple U."> "Understanding. Understaffing. Underfunding."> Daniel Green, Red Badge, on his first lecture for Red Badge recruits
>>49769791Awesome.>>49769835>N.C.N.S.A.>National Cartographical and Navigational Safety Agency>F.C.N.S.A.> Federal Cartographical and Navigational Safety Agency>N.N.S.A.>National Navigational Safety Agency>F.N.S.A.>Federal Navigational Safety Agency>N.N.O.S.A.>National Navigation and Orienteering Safety Agency>N.O.N.S.A.>National Orienteering and Navigational Safety AgencyEtc. etc. etc.
>>49769982Might want to put "surveying" in there somewhere.
>>49769925Underfunded . Understaffed . Underestimated
>>49769982>>49770040NANSA (often confused for NASA): National Area Navigation and Survey Agency
>>49768393The technical term for this is a "liminal space" - a threshold or transition between two things, a place or time that exists on a border.>https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liminality>The spatial dimension of liminality can include specific places, larger zones or areas, or entire countries and larger regions. Liminal places can range from borders and frontiers to no man's lands and disputed territories, to crossroads to perhaps airports or hotels, which people pass through but do not live in: arguably indeed all 'romantic travel enacts the three stages that characterize liminality: separation, marginalization, and reaggregation'. In mythology and religion or esoteric lore liminality can include such realms as Purgatory or Da'at, which, as well as signifying liminality, some theologians deny actually existing, making them, in some cases, doubly liminal. "Between-ness" defines these spaces. For a hotel worker (an insider) or a person passing by with disinterest (a total outsider), the hotel would have a very different connotation. To a traveller staying there, the hotel would function as a liminal zone, just as 'doors and windows and hallways and gates frame...the definitively liminal condition'.>More conventionally, springs, caves, shores, rivers, volcanic calderas - 'a huge crater of an extinct volcano...[as] another symbol of transcendence' - fords, passes, crossroads, bridges, and marshes are all liminal: '"edges", borders or faultlines between the legitimate and the illegitimate'. Oedipus (an adoptee and therefore liminal) met his father at the crossroads and killed him; the bluesman Robert Johnson met the devil at the crossroads, where he is said to have sold his soul. Major transformations occur at crossroads and other liminal places, at least partly because liminality—being so unstable—can pave the way for access to esoteric knowledge or understanding of both sides. Liminality is sacred, alluring, and dangerous.
>>49768852Okay, this is super autistic so bear with me, but can we not do the Capital Letters for Important Concepts thing? It feels really artificial and just rustles my jamborees.Like, just "divergence" or something. We all know what you mean.
>>49770614aaaaaaaaaaand there's the name of the setting. Liminality is a fucking great name
>>49770614>National Agency for Liminal Safety and ControlOn official paper the Agency is made to deal purely with those crossroads and borders where jurisdiction changes. The rest of the DoT calls them the Inbetweeners to their face and Spanners behind their backs, as far as they can tell they just exist to get in the way
>>49770790What about simplifying that just a little bit to National Liminal Safety Agency or N.L.S.A.? I really love the term "Inbetweeners," but think that it might be better suited as a nickname that agents have for each other. Within the Department of Transportation at large, N.L.S.A. operatives would be Red Badges in reference to the antiquated shields they wear while standard DOT agents wear the modern shields and are referred to as Blue Badges.
>>49770614>can pave the way for access to esoteric knowledge or understanding of both sides. Liminality is sacred, alluring, and dangerousDoes this mean there are cults/rogue researchers/crazy people that seek to use the liminal space and the things within for their own gain?
>take a thing that is interesting because it is undefined>define it
>>49771318Sounds good to me, I think I will just expand the list of nicknames that the other DoT employees use, Red/Blue being the more casual, non-confrontational ones whereas stuff like Spanner or Loafers (low impact job) are for antagonistic ones
>>49771453It's almost like we've been working to define things since man was first capable of higher thought.
>>49771473The thing I think we ought to be careful of, where interdepartmental nicknames and insults are concerned, is that standard DOT employees and agents don't know what N.L.S.A. operatives do or how important their job is. Because of this, the sorts of insults and nicknames Blue Badges might make up for Red Badges might reflect their perceived role as mysterious yet underfunded busybodies.
>>49771778Hence the generic terms, all the lower level emploees see when they come in is that they get in the way and hold up the process for reasons they don't know (hence spanner in the works), whereas the Reds just see the Blues as sitting in comfy positions that don't expose them to the same amount of dangers
>>49770637But anon capitalization is standard for proper nouns.
>>49771868OH.Well don't I feel like a chump! With all the talk of liminality in this thread, when I read "Spanner" I thought it was a reference to their job of spanning the space between spaces and bridging gaps! That's actually a pretty clever name that works on several levels. My mistake!
>>49771967Huh, to be honest I never even considered that direction. Neat, thanks anon
>>49771868I like it. I think we should also try to come up with some kind of categories for phenomena that would be found in sur-real geography. The way that the Red Shields would define anomalies. >Anomalous Roadway>Anomalous Population>Anomalous Entity >Consistent Traversal Point
>"You'll know 'em when you see 'em, even before they flash you that weird red badge they've got.">"They all seem to wear these really cheap, worn out suits. Like they can't afford any better. Like they sleep in 'em too.">"They got this weirdly nervous nature too, always lookin' around, even when they're talkin' to you."
I love this concept, some inspired write faggery for you all
>>49772691>Divergent Ground (Places that don't have roads but go into surreal-space, like a plain or a mountain range)>Anomalous Nation (Nation that don't exist according to agreed upon realspace)>Transitory Zone (Places that are diverging in a marked amount currently)
What about what's going on in airspace? Because it seems like an area that would have a lot more bleed over than usual and would be a neat way of explaining weird meteorological events or the Ghost Riders. How would the agents respond to it or is it just useless to try? Or perhaps some people on the upper level of NOAA are also in on it. They distribute meteorological reports across the country so that all of the local news and weather stations are on the same page and agree on what is going on overhead thus reinforcing our expected weather patterns
>>49768913>>49768852Highway Hypnosis and Lost Time could definitely be concepts heavily used in this setting.Red Badges have to be hyper-aware when staying on track and certain Lost Places REQUIRE you to zone out and go into Highway Hypnosis in order to enter them.The building of highway Rumble Strips was entirely thanks to the efforts of the DoT. These highway noisemakers were installed to ensure normal drivers do not undergo Highway Hypnosis or nod off into microsleeps that may cause entry into the surreal places. If there are long stretches of road with these strips you may be in a "fault line" border area."Highway hypnosis, also known as white line fever, is a mental state in which a person can drive a truck or other automobile great distances, responding to external events in the expected, safe and correct manner with no recollection of having consciously done so."https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highway_hypnosishttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rumble_strip#History
>>49773173>>49773153>>49773132It's *definitely* cool, but you should probably have written that out in a text editor instead of MS Paint so you could actually spell/grammarcheck it. It could really use a second pass for editing.
>>49770146I like Underestimated being in there as part of the unofficial motto of the Red Badges.I think the official one would be more pompous and ceremonial. Something to put on letterheads. Maybe a simple Latin phrase.>>49770614This reminds me that JANUS would be a good patron for the seal of the DoT under agency Red Badges belong to. He's the two faced God who looks to both the past and future and presides over crossings, gateways and travel. A perfect god for our Traveler agents.>In ancient Roman religion and myth, Janus (/ˈdʒeJnəs/; Latin: Ianus, pronounced [ˈjaː.nus]) is the god of beginnings, gates, transitions, time, doorways, passages, and endings. He is usually depicted as having two faces, since he looks to the future and to the past. It is conventionally thought that the month of January is named for Janus (Ianuarius)>Janus presided over the beginning and ending of conflict, and hence war and peace. The doors of his temple were open in time of war, and closed to mark the peace. As a god of transitions, he had functions pertaining to birth and to journeys and exchange, and in his association with Portunus, a similar harbor and gateway god, he was concerned with travelling, trading and shipping.There could be an exploration of the ancient rites and names of things related to Janus if we want to incorporate them somehow. Also, the month of January being the first of the new year and New Years being the transition could also be times where the pathways are very open to the Surreal Places. Another thing to think about is the folklore on Crossroads as places for meetings, deals and otherworldly beings. The Fairy Folk were said to watch them, gibbets and hanged men were placed at crossroads as warnings, and demons would strike deals with travelers here. Robert Johnson - Cross Road Blueshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsB_cGdgPTo
>>49774121Yeah this is definitely a rough draft, I want to clarify the history of the chain of rocks some more and try to flesh out the Cahokia mounds connection, another idea I want to incorporate is the inclusion of Samuel Clemens/mark twain as a founder of the corps, possibly a resident of the lost states, why else would he have two names?I kind of see this as a briefing paper for the department and would like to see some others develop similar treatises for their own local regions, I found it interesting how the actual dates were matching up with the earthquakes and other events in my story
If you're lost, once you've reached the liminal space between all the possible sur-realities, this is essentially the last place where you have any choice on if to go on into a different space, or to go back to where you started. Directions would be mostly a guide to recognize this liminal space, and what 'direction' to take would take you back home to prevent an accidental misplacement. An important part of the DoT's work would be to catalogue these liminal spaces. Since purposefully finding them is impossible, directions would take the form of a simple, vague instruction: 'turn right at the eagle', that is to say, if you find yourself 'at the eagle', turning right will lead you back to the starting point. Any other direction will lead you elsewhere. This is as close as it gets to consistently finding the same places, and it still carries a lot of unknowns. Length of distance is not consistent, and as such, some places can't be reached without some sort of subsistence, you might be traveling for hours, maybe even days. Still, I think it's correlated to the general area of the liminal space. A liminal space that is housed in the state of North Dakota takes a lot longer time to find than one that is housed in a 4-block radius, by a factor of hours or days.I can imagine the actual cataloguing to be complicated, but I figure a 'breadcrumbs' approach is practical. You leave behind marks to find you way back, and every couple of minutes you attempt to trace back your steps. If your marks have dissapeared, you've found the liminal space. If you do this but find yourself at the starting point, you've passed it, but you've determined the 'way back' direction. A single liminal space could take a week to find and catalogue... Reds probably hate these jobs most of all.
>>49765979well it's more that the DoT is the one that has primary jurisdiction over Consensual Geography, but other weird things that show up in the Secret States often tend to cross into the jurisdiction of other Secret Agencies, so you have to deal with the red tape and bureaucracy that comes with it(this is also why the DoT Red Badges have a relatively low budget compared to the other Secret Agencies, most of them are older then the Red Badges, and as such managed to claim a larger piece of the black money pie, helps that things like Aliens and Demon Cults are a more obvious threat than Consensual Geography usually is, so it's easier to rally money from the Secret Government for them than it is for the Red Badges)>>49766104I was thinking something different, where the region The Gas-N-Go is in(technically there's dozens of Gas-N-Go's, but this is the one specific to Night Shift) was one of the earliest Secret States that the Red Badges managed to semi-stabilize, at least in terms of space, if not time(time is wonky in the Night Shift region)>>49766418theoretically anything, although the closer you are to the "Real World" the more mundane things usually are>>49767214exactly(which must mean that Orange County, California must be a secret hive of Secret State entrances, cause there's a ton of road work in that region for a county that's probably the most "normal" in California)>>49767949depends on the Secret State, and how aligned with the United States it is
>>49769982I like NONSA the best, especially as it leads to the nickname "The Nonsense Agency", one of those nicknames that can be be both respectful and derogatory all depending on how it's said
>>49773328the FAA has responsibility for things in the sky above a certain height, which leads to rivalry between their Secret Agency and that of the Red Badges/NONSA, despite both technically being part of the DoT
How about Centralia?
>>49776709>Nothing ever happened. Not even this.How appropriate for sur-real territory.
>>49775734I would think that the Agency would technically have authority over every other branch of the Department of Transportation and beyond, but that they would constantly be butting heads with other bureaucrats, agents and employees when attempting to exercise that authority.>>49775635N.O.N.S.A. is pretty good.>>49775577I think that if I'm able to run a game in this setting, that I would make crytocartography the primary form of weirdness and our DOT Agency the only agency that's really handling it all, at least currently.
I remember a greentext NOPE story on /x/ about a guy whose friend can ride the distance of three states in one night. He tried it once with his friend, but something happened and said friend never tried 'fast-traveling' again.Could it be that said friend is a trespasser, smuggler into sur-real places, perhaps?Also maybe something on sur-real time: much like sur-real space, you must lost track of time before you can access sur-real time; at least, that's one way of entering it. In some cases, sur-real time is tied to a sur-real place, much like eternal Carcosa - in other cases, sur-real time just intrudes upon a real place, like Groundhog Day. The changing of official date/time units could also cause pockets of sur-real time to occur, like when Soviet Russia decided to switch from Julian to Gregorian calendar in 1918, or when Revolutionary France decided to make its own calendar. Sur-real time could be short - there's myriads of nanoseconds of sur-real time - to impossibly long, like the Dreamtime of Australia, which had persisted, persists, and will persist.Incidentally the Dreamtime is a rare case in which a sur-real time attaches itself to a certain real-world culture, instead of a sur-real place.Usually these sur-real time has been long past and unaccessable from real-time and real-place, but in some cases, the method of traveling to or from sur-real places sometimes diverts the traveler into sur-real time.
>>49744075Wasn't that in the movie the road?
>>49744075this some SCP shit right here.
OP missed a few
>"It makes you think, doesn't it? All those places that could be hidden? I mean, from ancient times people have been papering over the world, planning routes, registering discoveries, finding new paths and abandoning old ones, that were the forgotten and maybe never mapped again.">"Sometimes I find myself looking at those old world maps. I always thought of their shapes as a lack of knowledge by the cartographers of yore, but since I was brought into the agency... all I can think of is the places they have known and are now lost to us.">"Were these places simply forgotten? Or were they deliberately removed from the map? I am not sure. But I would like to find some of these lost lands."
>>49758903You ever heard of the Zero? I need to get to Dogwood Drive.
>>49778281Several of these states need to exist.Mostly the Midwest divisions.
>>49755697>the cartographers dragged a bunch of outlying inhabited sur-realities kicking and screaming into what we know of as the world>only for them to near-immediately be conqueredrly makes you think>>49756326>Would there be any government sanctioned Secret States? Relatively stable anomalous places with towns and cities and populations all their own?and now I'm imagining little bits of the country that fell off the map. counties that wanted to split from their own states and all that jazz. hamlets you find mentioned in old letters and burnt tax forms.Would anyone try and get them back?>>49757142>the sameness of suburbia isn't a bug, it's a feature
>>49762265eh, puts a little too much weight on a vast conflict for the fate of reality instead of dozens of groups trying to manage the unmappable
>>49766418people and animals mostly, especially in... I think the term was adjacent lieus? The Sur-realities next door. Of course, it might be the Passenger Pigeon you see flocking around, but it's still something that existed.
>>49767949Not even technically not existing can stop the IRS from beating down their doors.>>49767865That sounds like pretty good idea there.
>>49778558>Clandestine DoT conspiracy versus transdimensional IRS revenue collectors
>>49778668>DoT agents trying to keep one of the most stable Sur-realities from being hit with more than 200 years of back taxes>DoT agents pounding down detour signs and route markers to keep the IRS from stumbling off the map>DoT agents shredding files before someone shows up to check on how they're spending their budget>DoT trying to prevent sur-real NIMBYists from keeping vital Real infrastructure from being built>DoT working with the Census to stitch in a few counties that fell off the map before a presidential candidate that promised them big budget cuts gets elected>DoT shredding files about the time they forgot Wyoming was an actual place>DoT agents stumbling into a US embassy somewhere else in the world, ragged and carrying paperwork>DoT agents accidentally get handed normal DoT work, have to handle it>DoT agents having to negotiate with their Canadian counterparts after it turns out a small portion of the border got undone>DoT agents finding everyone's left socks>DoT wakes up to find a major road leads to Rome>DoT has to figure out how to stop local pizza chain from making good on their 30 minutes or less promise after they do so cross-countryno wonder they're underfunded
>>49778897>>DoT has to figure out how to stop local pizza chain from making good on their 30 minutes or less promise after they do so cross-country>On the one hand, total infrastructural, societal and economic collapse. On the other, my favorite pizza place might actually deliver it warm this time. Decisions...
>DoT agents still can't find everywhere, even though issues from the otherwhere still present problems>everything's always on the brink of astronomical failure if too many people so much as start believing what they've seen with their own goddamn eyes>they're still looking for a cartographically-unstable town that ordinary citizens of cartographically-stable Chicago can literally see the fucking LIGHTS from every single night off in the distance if they look>metropolitan subway train conductors have to be checked-in on repeatedly just to make sure they aren't fucking DEAD because ghost conductors taking people to the wrong places literally always happens every single time one dies and shows up to work - and if they do realize they're dead and become ready to take the next fork to the afterlife while already transporting passengers, severe consequences ensue>meanwhile, not every abandoned complex of tunnels or barely-inhabited neighbourhood is actually a cartographically unstable location, and DoT agents are always fucking up knowing the difference - and sometimes a stable place gets marked as unstable and the residents get in a panic upon receiving notice that they don't legally exist>on the other hand they have places that BECOME cartographically unstable, either as natural entropy winds its path or as a consequence of the growing Problem, and they have to be the ones to tell everyone to leave because a highway is being built through their homes
According to my dad, he's been through something like this before>early 80s>driving from San Antonio to Pleasanton at night>comes across a large snake at a fork on a country road, run over>road should not be forked>one road goes downhill and the other doesn't>the downhill road gets steadily steeper, to the point where it wouldn't be safe to drive>takes the other road>on the return trip he finds the dead snake but the road is straight
These places exist within "well known" areas too, so long as they are confusing to navigate and familiar to relatively few people. Perhaps they were built atop the seams, or by denizens of those lost places that showed up on the wrong work crew one day.One such area is known as "mall space", a winding series of corridors and back access hallways used by staff to get in and out without being seen by the customers along the main concourse. To employees, these drab hallways are familiar and lead where they should, but when others wander in it is easy to become lost, sometimes very lost, and emerge in unexpected places. Such was the case in 1996 when a young man entered the back hallways of an Ohio mall only to emerge from another mall in Texas a mere hour and a half later.
>>49778462>The Black Badges are lesser in number, much lesser, due to their dead world, but they are fanatical and dangerous.The idea is that they are a constant concern, not that they will end the world. They can't raise an army, their world is depopulated. They can only do small disruptions so far. PCs would come into conflict with them, yes, but they could also find themselves cooperating in a Surreal Place that neither faction is native to in order to survive. >>49780477"Mall space" is also akin to "campus space"; these are both part of "the nondescript". Anywhere with multiple corridors and sub-basements may contain this anomalous space. A certain sameness bordering on the dreamlike can be detected by the trained.With so many college and university buildings built in the same Brutalist and Collegiate Gothic architectural styles, the bland classrooms and drab hallways may come unhinged. DoT usually has a small persistent check-in presence nearby, perhaps in a utility sub basement with no discernable access points. "Student Orientation" was created to prevent new students from becoming reality-lost. Maps and guides and room numbers all in a row. The vast majority of students thus know their way around the campus consensus.
>>49778897>>49779061>>49779483This is what I love about using the D.O.T. and the N.L.S.A. as the protagonists in this setting. Yes, they're a secret, Men In Black styled government agency that has to deal with secret states and surreal territories and eerie, otherworldly dangers that threaten the safety of American citizens and our very perception of how the world ought to work, but they're still a government agency, and they still have to deal with everything that comes with being a government agency. Funding concerns, staffing woes, red tape, inter-agency squabbling, logistical issues, overstressed and overworked employees, and a variety of bizarre issues that no one is quite prepared to solve.It all feels somehow refreshing.
>>49778281Hey i drive to McDonald three times a year to visit my grandparents. It's a really nice place.
>>49781172I have to agree anon>>49779693And if the Red Badges were not underfunded and overworked they would be knocking on your door soon to question you about your dad's experience. >>49779061I fucking kek'd
>>49778281They forgot the 20 times Vermont said they were going to secede.
Here's something I thought up based on previous discussions that might be of use:>While building the interstate highway system in the 1950s, cartographers, surveyors and engineers were able to prove the existence of secret states, surreal territories and other instances of "pseudospace" using the new technologies they had at their disposal.>Faced with much more than the earlier pieces of anecdotal evidence supporting the existence of the paranormal, the US government authorized a Commission on Liminal Spaces, Cryptocartography and Non-Euclidean Navigation (CLSCNN).>Based on the further findings gathered by the commission, two new governmental agencies were established in the late 1960s to regulate and study pseudospace. The first was the National Liminal Safety Agency (NLSA) which was integrated into Department of Transportation (DOT) upon its founding and was meant to explore, map and stabilize these lost and unreal regions for the safety of the American people.>The second was the Liminal Space Research Office, a covert department within the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) that was tasked with finding domestic, scientific and military applications for the liminal spaces and surreality that had been discovered.>In the beginning, the NLSA and the Liminal Space Research Office worked together in tandem, the first organization doing much of the field research for the second and the second organization providing vital new technologies to the first. After a while however, it became apparent to the Agency that the experiments being run by the Office were growing increasingly dangerous, causing a falling out between them.>So it was that in the early 1980s, the Office conducted an ill-advised spatial manipulation experiment within their research facility, a place that like the Agency's HQ was likewise a very powerful but relatively stable liminal space. This experiment broke a LOT of things, destroying the Office and leaving the Agency standing alone.
>>49771428In fact, the idea of liminality is a little bit more complex. You can't gain nothing lurking too long in the liminal state, and in the moment that you transform yourself in a connoisseur of both worlds, you turn yourself in a monstruous and incomplete being. You have a foot in this side of the treshold and the other in a non-place ¿how can you call yourself human in that case? This danger of the inbetweens is present in numerous myths and legends of many cultures: if for some reason you find yourself in the under/other/spiritual world you must never, lets say, eat the local food, because this other side is everything that humans are not. If you dare to taste the otherworldly meal you are condemned to never go back to the world of men. In other legends, if you bring back something alien with you, your own people can expel you because you have threatened the very fabric of society. Is because of this that in many societies the people more close to the other side (shamans, etc.) are maintained away: not because they need peace or something like that, but because their liminal condition means that they no longer can participate in the village’s worldly life (you always have the risk that your local shaman might go full non-human, and you do not want to be around when that happens).It’s like the idea of consensus geography in this thread: you can bend the normal world every now and then (in fact, in ritual liminality, the controlled risk of puting stability in danger and subsequently saving it from chaos is useful to reinforce said stability, like an exhaust port) but you can never bring in too much abnormality without erasing the very fabric of reality. tl;dr the liminilaty is no profitable, because is everything and nothing at the same time. Sir, you need borders in your map.
>>49781791I really like how you described this. I still think some cults that worship otherworldly things that they have seen or discovered would be a cool antagonist group.While the Red Badges try to anchor Consensus Geography, the insane remnants of the Black Badges follow their own agenda, there are others that unwittingly find these places and become obsessed with trying to map them or discover what lays beyond that strange forest. Some of those people come back changed by what they found. And some never come back.
>>49781791It's interesting that we have two very different approaches to this setting, one highly being metaphysical with talk of Consensus and Divergence and Liminality, and the other highly narrativistic that focuses on the myths, talk tales and urban legends that have sprung up around such places.
>>49781962I'd say both are equally valid due to the nature of this concept. It's up the writer or the GM to decide what works and what doesn't, and they wouldn't be wrong.
>>49744075>LEAVE IN REVERSE AND DO NOT LOOK BACK.But if you're leaving in reverse then looking back is looking away from the forbidden area.
My brother in law seems to have encountered these areas in a decently sized city. He dubs it Undiscovered Akron, a section of town he only finds when lost from trying to take a shortcut. The first time he was alone and described it looking much like any of the older areas of town, yet suffering decades of neglect. He did say they had a place with incredible fried chicken though. Tried to go back for the chicken but couldn't find it again until he was driving with a friend who gave bad directions. Completely different part if town, same Undiscovered Akron but he said it felt more decrepit and less inviting the second time. They did not stop for chicken.
What would happen if someone flew into an anomalous zone? And if nothing is actually certain, then what the fuck would our probes actually see on other planets? Maybe the true chaos that is "spacetime", remade before our eyes in screens and images to submit before human sanity? The truth only their lens can see?
>>49781941>insane remnants of the Black Badges follow their own agendaBlack Badges aren't insane.
I bet our Red Badges get into the best car chases.
>>49782290>>49781941>>49781529I think that instead of having "Black Badges" as such, you could have remnants of this destroyed and defunct sister agency, badgeless but not without their secrets.
>>49782290My bad. I was under the assumption that the collapse of their version of America had left it a desolate wasteland, and that they had been driven mad by the tragedy.
>>49782438I think the appeal of the Red Badges is that despite being a government conspiracy they're functionally a normal government agency with a weird purview.>>49782489Correct on the first part, not on the second. Their actions are completely logical and probably their best chance at survival.
>>49782541I see. >>49782398Car chases?>Chasing after someone who is using sur-real territory to smuggle goods>Chasing the person for a while>Hey that looks familiar>Caught in a mobius loop while chasing a smuggler
what unreal places exist in your country ?
>>49782541Oh, I'd just mean that instead of having BOTH heroic Red Badges and villainous Black Badges, we instead have our Red Badges ocassionally run afoul of nameless, faceless, badgeless remnants of the group that once researched these paranormal places alongside them.>>49782577We may need a new thread, but think we might want a new opening post that is slightly more accessible to readers.
>>49762462>go under the arch>road continues as usual>climb up the side, go over the arch>no road
I live in Amsterdam and sometimes get lost a little when I try to take shortcuts or actually take a longer route to get around chokepoints. I try to estimate how far I have to go through a street until I can make a turn to where I will have circumvented the chokepoint, but I end up in unfamiliar locations, and have to consult the maps at bus or tram spots.Ofcourse, this has to do with me being mediocre at estimating distances and how sometimes a street has a very slight curvature that eventually does amount to a significant turn (like 45) degrees after you've gone a good distance through it. Still, the stuff posted in this thread reminds me of it.
>>49767628>jump off a bridge as a suicide attempt>it actually lands you into a river in terra incognita
>dad died before I was born>right before I'm moving out on my own, my mother gives me a red badge>'he would've wanted you to to have it'>it's a department of transportation badge>not very special but it's something, keep it on me at all times>one time when going innawoods with friends, get lost while gathering firewood>after one hour of wandering I see a campfire>looks like they got someone else to gather firewood>as I get close I find out they're not my friends at all>4 people are sitting around the campfire, fiddling in little notebooks, maps are scattered all over, no tent, just a land rover parked near the campfire>'Agent! What are you doing out there?'>recognizing their badges I think of pretending to be one of them, ask them for directions>they give me exact instructions on how to return>find our camp again>forgot the firewood, friends are mad
>>49782279Everything people can directly observe gets pretty directly nailed down, forced to collapse to a coherent state by the evidence of our own eyes.The cartography of the fixed stars and at least the general visible positions of the naked-eye visible planets has been known since antiquity; although getting all the stars visible from different places to line up was a bit tricky, explorers managed it admirably.Much more was, without his even realizing it, almost single-handedly nailed down by Galileo, whose telescope enabled direct visual observation of the planets as bodies with terrain rather than points of light.(Although the early age of astronomy and mapping the sky did produce some crypto-celestial conflicts of its own as the scientific community built Consensus - there were a couple now-discredited planets, for instance, and for a while it was uncertain if Saturn had rings or wings or handles. And there's the Martian canali, of course, and the vast and unmapped terrain that never existed beneath the clouds of Jupiter and Saturn.But the lack of horizons to obscure what might be around the next corner, and the sharing of observations, makes astronomy generally less subject to this. (There is at least one secret space probe orbiting the inner planet of Vulcan, though.)
>>49782438I sort of like the idea of Black Badges just being bitter diehards from way back when, wanting to radically change things. Having lost favor during the shift in the 80s, a couple dozen struck out to do some ambitious shit to prove their ideas were worthwhile.Needless to say they're a huge pain in the ass.The Black Badges just being tarnished Red Badges, literally and metaphorically.Just my shitty thoughts on the matter..also who else /page 10/ here?
>>49785603/page 11/ by now.Good thread, everyone.
The agency fluff is cool and all but PCs in this setting could also be regular journalists, truckers, couriers, private investigators and anyone that could get lost and stuck in one of those places.The red badges being helpful NPCs or antagonists even