Left Of Center
"The last thing I remember I was in a shitty roadhouse in Barstow having a perfectly civilized conversation when some Baja-Chicano douchebag with a sawed-off 12 gauge dropped the hammers on me. There was a monster flash of light and noise and then everything goes dark. The next thing I know some yutz dressed like Prince Valiant is waking me up off the street in what looks like Colonial Williamsburg and I'm vowing to never mix Jimson Root, mescaline, and ether again."
-"Big Ed" Raznowski, Hells Angel
You are not sure how you got here, but you are pretty sure getting killed was involved. Either that or it's all a dream. Or was it seventy-seven steps down? Could it be so simple as wandering into the wrong place? Everything here is different, everything is Wrong; the sun, the moons (Moons!) the sky-everything. Is this some sort of mass hallucination or are things as weird as you keep seeing? The dwarves and elves and swamp monsters were bad enough but you swear that something out of one of H. R. Geigers nightmares just looked at you and shook its head in disbelief.
From the enormous ruined City, full of ghosts and forgotten peoples, to the things out of legend and nightmare that pass you on the streets and in the forests, everything tells you that, wherever you are, you aren't in Kansas anymore...
Some (granted, Immortal and justifiably powerful) wiseass once commented, when asked just where this Place was located; “Find the drain at the bottom of the Multiverse and look there, just left of center.”
To be more specific, this Place is the Multiversal Exception to the Rules. It is the one place in all of the habitable Universes where all the Rules of Reality work equally well. No one Power is ascendant here. All of them work at one hundred per cent. Maybe it is the center of the Multiverse. Maybe it is the Place from which the First Races arose to Sentience and Power.
It is the stage from which countless dramas, comedies, and tragedies have played out. It is also the Place where things tend to go when they slip through the cracks of Reality and are forgotten.
Funny how things work out.
The 7 Layers of Reality
- The Binding Forces of the Multiverse
- These are not just the powers that a person wields, these are the basic underpinnings for the Reality that they come from
- These are the powers that define all of Reality. Everything, everywhere in The Multiverse is based off of some variation or combination of these seven principles, except The Void and that which is Left of Center
- There is an exception to every rule
Most Common in the Multiverse (the “default setting”)
Always some of it in every Universe to a greater or lesser degree
“An Engineer Builds a Device”
This is the making and inventing of artifacts and the slow progressions of complexity (i.e.- simple machines, complex machines, electrical, electronic, thinking machines). This encompasses all the disciplines of Science up to, but not into, the paranormal or supernatural
Most versatile and varied, 2nd most common
Mixes well with all others as the lesser Layer
“A Wizard Casts a Spell”
With Magic a Practitioner channels, by use of spells, foci, or innate abilities, an external source of energy (Mana, The Force, etc…) into an outward Effect. This source of energy is a pervasive field that exists throughout a particular universe to a greater or lesser degree. The Effect or Spell has to be Cast by the Practitioner and the intended Effects laid out when it is Cast. You Tap the power, you Shape the power, you Release the power.
Power levels works in quantized steps 1 to 10 to 100 etc... Higher level adepts can be Godlike
Can be boosted by Tech, Magic, Symbol, or Faith
“A Psionic Intellectualizes a Kinesis”
This is the power of the mind. Using mental ability to alter the world around you and, to a greater extent, the world inside you. Most Psionics operate on a mental level that is far more powerful than the effects that are demonstrated by them in the physical world. It is far easier for a Psionic to grab you mentally and drag you kicking and screaming into their mental world, where the biggest brain wins-than it is to mentally pick up a rock and bash you in the head.
At the higher Levels of Psi the power of a Mentalist become outwardly more powerful (picture the difference between Yuri Gellar, Jean Grey, and Cthulhu).
“Bleeds Over” into most other Layers as a lesser power
The more followers, the more power you get
“A Priestess Intones a Ritual”
That Old Time Religion, the power of Faith. You can either be the worshipper or, if things go your way, the Object of Worship. Imhotep didn’t start out a God, he Became a God. Either way you get to use all the Faith to move mountains if you want. Just like Magic-you Tap the power, you Shape the power, you Release the power.
Symbol (aka Diametric Opposition)
Requires that there be an opposing force
“A Semioticist Effects a Resonance”
This works one of two ways. Either there exists, somewhere in The Multiverse, an Artifact of Great Power (which by virtue of Its existence is a generator of Power) that you can tap into or you have created a Symbol of Power that you bear on or within yourself. Either way, you can change and alter that Symbol to channel its power to create effects. This is not magic, but if you look at it sideways and squint a little you might be excused for calling it magic.
Works equally well in most of the Multiverse but is very hard to master
Occasionally mistaken for Natural Laws
“A Quantum Mechanic Spins a Formula”
Mathematics taken to its most paranormal degree. A Quantum Mechanic (Reality Bender, Mathemagician, Spinner) can perceive the mathematical underpinnings of The Multiverse and change the equations to alter local Reality. A competent Mechanic will do this while working with the natural physical laws of the particular Universe that they are in, making for an almost seamless change to the world. Less competent ones cut and paste as they go along, leaving gaps in the fabric of Reality.
There is only one Aspect Universe, The Netherworld
The Netherworld is accessible from almost all other Universes
“An Avatar Raises an Attribute”
Aspects are the physical anthropomorphication of a particular abstract Concept. Some Aspects are Created by the Fabric of The Netherworld and others start off as mere mortals and develop into an Aspect. The Avatars of Death are an example. As is Arthur Pendragon, who is the Aspect of Secret Knowledge. They can be the Aspect of a Place (Genius Locarum) or a Thing (The Underground Railroad) and can take Forms both Minor and Godlike. All are connected to The Netherworld and Their Avatars are usually much more powerful when encountered there.
Places of Interest
Left of Center-Player Information
Things to Remember When Traveling Left of Center:
- Things tend not to have proper names, the people you are fighting are called The Horde, the city they come from is called The City, the river Riverton is next to is called The Great River, etc.
- It is never fully day, it's always a bit overcast.
- The night sky is unrecognizable to anyone; for example, there are nebula remnants in the sky, Aurora Borealis displays are common, and there seems to be more than one moon.
- Things always seem a bit further away than they really are.
- Concepts live here, so things can occasionally seem a bit off kilter.
- The Night-and-Day cycle seems to work on a standard 24-hour period.
- Everyone you talk to speaks your native language, albeit with odd accents and idioms.
- Everything works, Technology, Magic, Necromancy-you name it and it will function here.
- There are natives here. For example, everyone in Riverton except Twowaters was born there.
- There is a horizon, it appears to be about 20-30 miles away.
- The sun, when you can see it, appears to be a normal yellow-white dwarf, just like where you came from. It doesn't always rise in the same place, however.
- Humans are not the only racial type here, for example Riverton is about 50% human, 30% Dwarves, and 20% other humanoids (green skinned w/gills, blue skinned, four-armed, a few elvish-types, a couple of Genetically Perfect Humans, and a few creatures that look like a cross between a known animal and a human). Outside of Riverton, there is a more diverse distribution of creatures.
- Geological features tend to conform to normal expectations.
- There is evidence (outside of The City) of an older, vanished civilization (Bridges, Roads, Aqueducts, Buildings, etc. that conform to a standard architectural style). To all indications it is long gone. Evidence would seem to indicate that they built to last.
- There is a paved road that runs North-South and another that runs East-West, they are known as The Great Northern Road and The Trading Road by the people of Riverton. They are both about 50' wide and appear to be indestructible by any means that you possess. These are artifacts of the Ancient civilization that was there before.
- Everyone you meet will tend to take things 'in-stride,' it's nigh-impossible to impress the natives with displays of "Magic."
- Everyone but you seems to understand what a Concept is.
- Many of the soldiers that you encounter in The City will have no clue what's going on.
- The common term for people like you is 'Travelers.'
- People around here tend to use barter, but gold, silver, gems, and booze always seem to be welcome.