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Sketchbook If the world is a dark mystery, let us build a fire.

This article (General Setting Details), is part of the Faction Bible series, and shows the inner workings of the faction so writers can better understand it. It is not to be changed in any way, as it is from the ample genius of one Open Sketchbook.

By its nature, it's also one large spoiler to the lore behind the Paradox universe. Read no further if you prefer the mystery.


Evil vs. Good Edit

  • Generally speaking, all factions try to do the best they can based on whatever their core beliefs and goals are. When they do bad things, they do it for whatever they consider good reasons.
    • This doesn't mean they actually have good reasons. The Chinese, the Empire, and the Syndicate for example, are selfish factions, thinking primarily of their own people, their national economy, and themselves, respectively. The Soviets operate from a very flawed base assumption of the superiority of autocratic communism. These differences are where conflict arises.
      • In other words, unless they are the Syndicate, they should have reasons to act like dicks.
  • The more evil something is, the more funny, silly, bumbling, outrageous, or incompetent the people behind it should be. You have to be shockingly evil to warrant the bad stuff you do being talked about with a straight face.
    • That doesn't mean you can't have something be seriously wrong, but because we're generally not trying to make people have nightmares/be depressed, there should be at least an element of dark humour to it, even if the humour is so dark that light cannot escape its surface. Some exceptions are alright (for example, the article on the War Wolf was intended to be unsettling) but too many of them and we start losing sight of the lighthearted nature of Red Alert. If you can't find humour in it elsewhere, dive as far as you can off the deep end and try to cross the line twice; use of kittens, nuns, and orphanages are encouraged.
  • Factions are big. Elements of a faction can do a bad thing, but it doesn't nessesarily indicate the overall behavior of the faction. Just as an instance of police brutality doesn't invalidate the concept of law enforcement, a single bad act does not make a faction teh evilz, and even the worst scumbags occasionally stop to pet a dog without making them a saint.

Science, Technology, and The Universe Edit

  • With Paradox, the goal is Plausibility, not Realism. Don't agonize over something that isn't 100% accurate, but using real facts or close enough can add a lot to the perceived realism of the work.

Assumptions Edit

  • Paradox is a setting of strange science, twisted technology and pulp fiction action. It's defined in large part by an adherence to obsolete theories and Days of Future Past. Like those stories, the setting is shaped by the science and technology. As such, even when the science is flawed, insane, impossible or downright silly, it's still science; a clockwork universe with casuality, even if the gears are strangely shaped. Everything has a rational explanation, though some things, like the Icon, may be a little too much for humans to handle. If there is a god or gods, they are the clockmaker rather than an active force.
    • Basically, the paranormal doesn't go any deeper than psychic powers, which in this setting has a perfectly rational explanation that we'll figure out someday. No ghosts, no cryptoids, no faeries, no ley lines. Vampires, werewolves, witches and magic are all out of bounds. You get my drift.
  • The universe functions in-line with modern theories (as in, 2011 modern, not 1969 modern) but the laws are a lot more like guidelines, allowing people to cheat and manipulate the universe in more direct fashion than is possible in real life. Essentially, you can fudge the numbers and use loopholes, but you can't actually break the law.
    • The original theory behind Paradox, and the reason for it's name, was that time travel was bad for the fabric of reality; every time you change something, the loopholes get bigger and the numbers get blurrier, so stuff gets wierder and wierder.
  • Basically, Rule of Cool comes first, then scientific accuracy. If it doesn't make it cooler, then there is no reason for it to be wrong.

Impossible Tech Edit

  • Counter-Gravity/Anti-Gravity. You can levitate with magnetics, with jets and rockets, lift against air, make yourself lighter than the atmosphere, pull yourself towards the moon with a tractor beam, but you can't just hover; you want to stay up, you need to expend force down.
    • Real life science just happened and reactionless drives turned out to be real. China has them.
  • You can't break the Light Speed barrier; you want to cross it, you have to find a way around it.
  • No free energy.
  • No cold fusion

Tech Nobody Has Invented Yet Edit

  • Biological Immortality
  • Faster than Light Travel, Sensing, or Communication
  • Optical and Quantum Computing
  • DNA Testing

Stuff that Hasn't Happened Yet Edit

  • Mapping the human genome
  • Walking on the other worlds
  • Human spaceflight outside the Moon's orbit
  • Time Travel (Cherdenko's machine hasn't been turned on)

Stuff Everyone Can Do Edit

  • Any tech invented by 1930
  • Everybody has medical knowledge roughly on par with the modern day, unless it's better of course!

Stuff that Isn't Worth Doing Edit

  • Bottled plasma weapons (ie, bolts instead of beams)
  • Large Scale Biotech (IE, no biological tanks, no biocomputers, etc)

Psychic Powers Edit

  • Psychic powers are the powers of the human mind enforcing itself on reality.
    • It is scary, dangerous stuff.
  • There is no such thing as psychic potential or born psychics or anything like that. Psychic powers are unlocked with strict training, determination and maybe a little bit of surgery. You don't find it out in the wild.
  • The energy for psychic powers are drawn from the alternate reality the Icon comes from, part of the two-way exchange formed by the Icon trying to break into this universe and eat all the tasty sentience.

Psychics in Paradox Edit

  • Yuriko is the setting's most powerful psychic. She aquired her powers through a River Tam style combination of brainwashing and cutting into her brain.
  • The Japanese also maintain a corp of psychics who went through a less tramatic and extensive version of what Yuriko experienced.
  • Ninjas have an extremely mild form of psychic power due to their training. This is what let the Japanese onto it in the first place.
  • Mingxia is psychic but unaware of the fact, due to her training.
  • As an extension, so are Tibetian monks (because in pulp fiction, Tibetian monks are always special) though not to the same degree.
  • Yuri was around at one point, but Cherdenko had him killed.
  • The quite a few hippies have developed psychic powers due to experimentation with LSD.
  • The Allies are in the early stages of developing a team of psychics called Lensmen.

Pages of NoteEdit

Sub-issues for their own page. If you want to see an issue touched on, add it to the talk page. Generally, these issues cover things that effect some, but not all, factions.

Faction Bibles

General Setting DetailsAllied Faction BibleRebel Faction BibleSoviet Faction BibleEmpire Faction BibleOrder Faction BibleKingdom Faction BibleSyndicate Faction BibleProtectorate Faction BibleMinor Faction Bible

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