Mundus Novit: Alex and the Spoilers

And so the fourth episode of Mundus Novit: Dark Horizons is out. I’m hoping everyone is enjoying it so far. It’s a little bit of a mutant, as it serves more purposes than most of my writing. Not only does it need to be entertaining, but it is introducing people to a role-playing game setting. These early episodes are also introducing readers to a rather extensive cast of characters.

There’s lots of stuff in this fiction that is not presented in the setting itself. For example, while Kathmandu going “dark” is part of the setting’s secret history, there is no explanation of the cause and no mention of TANGIBLE STREAM. In fact, TANGIBLE STREAM makes no appearance in the source book at all. Plenty of other black projects and clandestine units, but no Stream. By the time the serial fiction runs its course, there will be enough information to include the Stream in a Mundus Novit game. There will also be a write-up following the format from the source book.

Mission Unlikely” included another facet of the setting hinted at in the source book, but never explicitly stated. I call them “spoilers,” and not the way one might think. Alexander Scott is a spoiler. In “Mission Unlikely,” when asked “Aren’t you Oberon?” Alex answers: “I was different since birth.”

Spoilers are people that have exhibited post-human abilities before the release of the Oberon virus. In case it’s not clear, the Oberon virus is the result of a cover super-soldier project. Out in the open, the virus infects people, then effects them — changing them. Most of the theories regarding post-humans in Mundus Novit blame it on Oberon, but if it’s all Oberon, how do you explain Alex? He’s a spoiler, he and those like him spoil the theories. The pre-Oberon post-human torpedoes all the Oberon talk.

But that’s left for your game. It’s not explicit in Mundus Novit, because the campaign is supposed to be infinitely tweakable. Sure, the source book includes secret histories that explain the existence of magic, parapsych (psionics), and Oberon post-humans, but you don’t need to use those. Just as you can ignore the existence of magic in Mundus Novit, you can ignore the existence of spoilers.

For me, it was fun to include spoilers. Sure, maybe the few spoilers out there are the exceptions that prove the rule. Maybe they are the evolutionary step, the slow introduction of natural post-humans that explodes with the accidental release of Oberon in 2003. Maybe they are something else entirely. Do you want aliens in your Mundus Novit? Awesome. The spoilers were the first alien-human hybrids.

They are whatever you want them to be. That’s the whole point of Mundus Novit. Here are the tools. Now you can build your house.

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