8FOLD/FAQ: Your Guide to the Eightfold Universe

Dave Van Domelen dvandom at haven.eyrie.org
Tue May 9 15:35:33 PDT 2006

In article <20060509213119.77425.qmail at web31307.mail.mud.yahoo.com>,
Tom Russell  <milos_parker at yahoo.com> wrote:
>   A lot of the closed universes are closed to
>preserve the big idea, setting, or tone of the
>universe from unwanted Bendisians.  For example, Dave
>Van Domelen's ASH takes place in a far-flung future
>full of geopolitics and Machiavellian gods.  Though I
>can't be sure, I think the adventures of Docrates, the
>Mighty Supragato would be a bit out of place in Dave's

     Not necessarily.  Oh, he wouldn't be the most powerful being in the
universe...one of the precepts of the ASH setting is that no matter how
powerful you are, there's always someone stronger, so you need to watch your
step.  But a super-powerful cat would be no more odd than, say, a robotic
wolf (LU-61, from the early 90s ASH team) or a bunch of haxx0r satyrs (Peter,
Willie, etc).
     It's worth noting that a universe really has two boundaries for
insanity.  The first is that of custom...most ASH stories are serious with
perhaps a little comic relief, so there's a certain resistance to going nuts
in the setting.  The second is that of the actual limit, the amount of
weirdness the setting can tolerate before things break.  LNH202X tends to run
up against some of those boundaries, due to its ties with the LNH.
     It's been said by someone or other that a sane world is one in which
it's possible to be insane, but an insane world is one in which it's
impossible to be sane.  But that's not really correct for shared universes.
A sane shared universe breaks if you get too insane, but an insane shared
universe can always accomodate a sane, serious story once in a while (see,
for instance, Legion of Occult Heroes).

     All that said, one of the reasons ASH stays in the sane corner is that
most of the writers ALSO had silly series at the time they got involved.  I
had Dvandom Force and Crazy Guy, Badger had Swordsman, Tony had Challengers
of the Abominable, and so forth.  LNH and SG stuff would be our outlets for
silliness, and ASH for serious stuff.  But I like to think ASH could
accomodate a comedic title if someone wanted to write one.

     Dave Van Domelen, has most of the next ASH issue written.  Cyborg apes
fight giant stone beetles in the first scene.  This may not actually qualify
as "sane".

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