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Sex in the Shadows (serious thread; don't be a heel)

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martinchaen

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« Reply #30 on: <04-27-14/1450:31> »
Namikaze,

What's your source for the info on Shedim? As per Conspiracy Theories (page 136), they're declining in numbers, and the Watergate rift "was believed to be a direction connection to a metaplane"; that doesn't mean they're gone, though.

Crimsondude

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« Reply #31 on: <04-27-14/1706:06> »
Also while I'm glad the sheddim are gone (no stealing my body while astral projecting) where they just dropped or is there an ingame explanation about what happened to them.

The explanation is that when the Watergate Rift was closed, the shedim sort of vanished.  No one knows where they went, and there's certainly some possibility that there are a few left over, but it appears that the connection between our plane and there's is closed.  If one were to encounter shedim now, they're nowhere near as scary and powerful.

The out-of-game explanation is that shedim were a tie in with Earthdawn, which is no longer an IP owned by Topps.  This means that Earthdawn can't be used by Catalyst, and can't be tied in to Shadowrun anymore.  Of course, this might change in the future (as this IP has changed hands more times than Paris Hilton's sex tape).
That's not quite right.

Master shedim can't summon new shedim, but those on Earth remain unless and until they are killed or they figure out a way to reconnect to their home plane some other way, which is so "far" away that the rift was a sort of door jamb even though new shedim didn't come through the Rift and so it's not like the portal was closed, per se (See every sci-fi blockbuster of the last decade). It's complicated. There's an artifact in Clutch of Dragons that might itself allow them to do that, or help, or ??? :D

As for the OOC reasons, I don't recall it having anything to do with Earthdawn. First of all, I don't think the shedim are Horrors. Ultimately, Horrors need and want life to continue, albeit corrupted; shedim want the death of all things. But aside from that I think that the way I pitched it was to change their threat dynamic, to create a couple of plot threads, and for other reasons I won't discuss.

The Rift closure does have a Horror connection through Aina, but that's for another day.


I got long winded, but my point was that sex IS important to any large scale social setting, but to dwell too much on it for too long in character, tends to creep players out a bit.
It's a fun little balancing act with every group.
It's also a cultural thing the publishers have to worry about. RPGs still have this stigma and publishers still have that concern about being seen as corrupting influences, and because the U.S. is so weirdly tolerant of violence and fearful of sex, it is something that just gets a very light touch if at all because RPGs are aimed at males age 10-up. With regard to Shadowrun, this is a policy decision that Catalyst and Topps have to consider.

That said, the Sixth World is pretty damn liberal when it comes to sex, sexuality, and gender. There are some rather powerful gay and lesbian plot characters, and some are LGBT but it's never been mentioned. I made DeeCee, locally and the UCAS federally, a gynocracy by today's standards and it didn't even register with me nor with the characters in the text. I didn't even notice it until I realized I forgot to add an entry for Anne Penchyk and then looked at all the named figures and realized that in a book titled Conspiracy Theories no one even suggested (I don't recall. My memory's hazy because I just finished law school finals and I'm still consumed with statute sections and case names) that the UCAS government was run by a feminist cabal or, because I mention Penchyk and this was what I was checking, Mantis Spirits via the Empowerment Coalition/Timmons Fund — either as Mantis spirits or simply their allies like Penchyk, who is canonically an ork (and is old enough that she needs to be replaced soon).

I'm getting away from my point, but there soft limits to what most RPG publishers will touch, and for SR there's also the complication that violence is so predominant to the game that probably pushes the line further along the sex and violence spectrum. Of course this is all my personal opinion. But it's the same line of reasoning I've inferred when it comes to publishers (RPG and others) covering faith and religion. Yes, there's enough material already out there or hinted at to write a Deep Shadows book on religion, but even when discussing new religions or religions that have changed pretty drastically, e.g. Roman Catholic Church, to say it requires a delicate touch is a tremendous understatement.
« Last Edit: <04-27-14/1734:50> by Crimsondude »

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #32 on: <04-27-14/1713:58> »
The shedim are pretty much related to the Horrors iirc, but it's not as if they're now a big IP violation (just like how Ghostwalker is still around), so that I doubt that is why they were made less massive a threat.
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Namikaze

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« Reply #33 on: <04-27-14/1747:05> »
So...  not gone.  But not growing, and declining all the time.  They're rare though - that's the point I was getting at.
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Crimsondude

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« Reply #34 on: <04-27-14/1751:56> »
On the subject of trasngender people in Shadowrun, this is one of those things that kind of brings the dystopia out of the setting for me a little bit. Yes, it's a grim dark future, but holy crap some of this stuff is amazing! Imagine having a transgender individual at your table and saying, "Gene therapy and medical science has advanced to the point that sexual reassignment is basically perfected, but no guys, Evo is seriously bad and evil for umm reasons."

Hahaha.  Totally.  But that's the best part of the setting, that even the "worst" corps make huge contributions to society.  Hell, I think Stuffer Shack is owned by Aztechnology for christ's sake.  And let's not forget that every runner uses something made by Ares or SK.  Also why the Sixth World is still worth fighting for--  It may be dystopian but that doesn't mean there's no good in it.  If dystopia meant that, then you'd end up with too much Darkness Induced Audience Apathy and nobody would care about the characters.
We are well aware of that. But good doesn't always mean good for everyone, which is why I think Horizon in particular went over like a lead balloon with some people. Though the sheen has been tempered since.




So...  not gone.  But not growing, and declining all the time.  They're rare though - that's the point I was getting at.

Not necessarily rare, but they don't have the luxury of being the endless horde charging from over the hill threat they were feared to be when introduced (and which has been used to good effect at times). Though it's not as if they go away immediately when their host bodies die.

The master shedim are more strategic now. And with 15 years time better at manipulating people into destroying themselves.


Oops. I didn't say that last thing.

Senko

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« Reply #35 on: <04-27-14/1817:29> »
Hmmm I'll have to look into the watergate rift then.

Namikaze

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« Reply #36 on: <04-28-14/0204:50> »
The master shedim are more strategic now. And with 15 years time better at manipulating people into destroying themselves.

And this is why Crimsondude is a freelancer.  With all of 19 words, he can scare the piss out of me.  :P
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BetaCAV

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« Reply #37 on: <04-29-14/1534:38> »
Given that one can get a cheap piece of hardware to continuously "buzz" the pleasure centers of the brain (24/7, even), there's nothing preventing a market for creating completely artificial genders... which adds another twist to the "connector conspiracy". But you can accomplish the same thing without involving anyone else, making the only real difference one of shared experience and companionship. Which sounds pretty awesome... but that's what BTL is for. (Welcome to the 6th World Metahuman Experience Roller Coaster. Please keep all body parts inside the thread until the post comes to a complete stop.)

Then there's a big issue of sex with manifested spirits, services, and binding. The euphemisms are thick here because... they are. Ever wonder how someone gets the Spirit Bane NQ? Well, that's several ways right there. It's exotic enough people will pay big nuyen for it, and the profit margin is gigantic (big, big love). Don't ask about blood mages' involvement in this trade.... you really don't want to ever know. But if you're lucky, you'll only find out through BTL. Another good reason to ditch the chip habit, especially if you're left with a "favorite".

Suddenly, Evo isn't looking so bad... unless... oops.
« Last Edit: <04-29-14/1548:54> by BetaCAV »

firebug

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« Reply #38 on: <04-29-14/2036:15> »
Then there's a big issue of sex with manifested spirits, services, and binding. The euphemisms are thick here because... they are. Ever wonder how someone gets the Spirit Bane NQ? Well, that's several ways right there. It's exotic enough people will pay big nuyen for it, and the profit margin is gigantic (big, big love).

That's an interesting topic...  Some traditions, I bet sexual intercourse with some spirits wouldn't be considered horrible or even necessarily weird.  I'm sure there's probably several Japanese Kami that would probably be considered to grant you good luck if such a thing happened. I think Voodoo would consider having sex with someone who's currently acting as a cheval to a spirit to be a great honor, even.  Some traditions, like perhaps Black Magic, may even have spirits who would willingly participate in an orgy or some who would just willingly have sex with metahumans in general, as those kind of carnal acts may be considered empowering to them.

Of course, none of these traditions would have a positive view of binding spirits and ordering them to perform those kinds of acts with other people, especially those who are not related to the tradition in any way.  On top of that, depending on the laws in the area, such a thing could be considered akin to beastiality more than rape if spirits are not recognized as sapient beings by the government.  Or on the other hand, if they're considered more to be the "property" of the magician who summoned them, then legally there's no laws being broken.

It would be an interesting story focus, or even just an interesting discussion, because of all the facets involved.  Of course, it could also just be used in a situation where everyone knows it means trouble--  And could very easily drive an Awakened PC to want to get involved.
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gmoney999

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« Reply #39 on: <04-30-14/1724:05> »
In parts of the real life middle east you can marry djinn, even with the approval of local clerics. 

Namikaze

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« Reply #40 on: <04-30-14/1829:31> »
In parts of the real life middle east you can marry djinn, even with the approval of local clerics.

What?
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gmoney999

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« Reply #41 on: <04-30-14/1844:13> »
Djinn or Jinn - Spirits mentioned in the Koran.  Westernized version would be genies, but Djinn are usually much scarier.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jinn

Some websites cover the theological debate about whether you can actually marry djinn.  It seems like most of the websites are based in the west (like the UK for example) and say no, but acknowledge it is a legitimate debate.  http://www.daruliftaa.com/node/5412
http://www.islamawareness.net/Jinn/fatwa_marry.html

But I have always heard that there are Islamic clerics that authorize Djinn/Human marriage. 

Here is a economist article on the Djinn http://www.economist.com/node/8401289 (which briefly mentions Djinn Marriage).

Here is a crazy weird video of a woman calling into a shaykh on a television program in the UK.  She says she is possessed by Djinn. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MR3pNUT81o (creepy)

edit:  I should clarify that I don't actually believe in Djinn
« Last Edit: <04-30-14/1940:18> by gmoney999 »

gmoney999

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« Reply #42 on: <05-01-14/0021:34> »
Sorry guys.  I shouldn't have referenced anything in the real world.

SirValeq

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« Reply #43 on: <05-02-14/0920:37> »
What about simsense porn-stars? Did anybody come up with any interesting ones during their gameplay? There's a lot of different jobs which could involve them. Some of them could actually be funny and not at all disturbing. Imagine the runners going incognito for a casting to steal some recordings or extract a "star" for another studio. :-)

farothel

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« Reply #44 on: <05-02-14/0937:35> »
Not a simsense porn star, but one of the characters I play in a PbP on this forum is a troll who worked at a 'massage' parlor for some time (big regret being the obvious flaw to take here).  So far it hasn't come up in the game and the character keeps a low profile about it as well, but it has to potential of giving great roleplay.
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