Kem's Robot Worldbuilding Yellhole Apparently

Discussion in 'Your Bijou Blogette' started by Kemmasandi, Sep 5, 2019.

  1. Kemmasandi

    Kemmasandi Optimus Prime's disapproving eyebrows

    Apparently now I might be working on something with MlleMusketeer too, so... let's see if our two ADHD asses can stick with it lolol

    Standup comedy... now that's a thought. TBH I've been wondering about where to put the arts and entertainers in the caste system I've got for a while, and I think possibly... 'official' standup comedy is a thing, it's part of the performing arts/entertainment castes, which are uppercaste - T3, T2 even... but also there's folk art, done by people from all castes on a sort of half amateur, half intellectual blackmarket basis, and I think that sort of art has a thriving community on the Datanet because again, that's the only place you're going to get the freedom - and really the space - to put your art on show if you're not allowed access to the traditional platforms. So the official arts castes have the high production value, the big-name actors, the stuff that gets broadcast everywhere, and often it's considered to be 'good' but also it has a reputation for being kind of... toothless? propagandistic? is that even a word? lmao. So if you want art that takes an actual critical look at society, you go for the folk art - and THAT is found deep in the Datanet. I can easily imagine anonymized Datanet standup comedy, both in like a video/audio form, or in more of a text form, like... every damn tumblr funnyman blog lmao.

    (I think in some parts, the dividing line between the two art worlds is kinda blurry. I can see like, visual artists and writers especially, realising that something they're working on isn't gonna get past the censors, so they just go "Fuckit, I'm self-publishing.")
    • Like x 2
  2. Kemmasandi

    Kemmasandi Optimus Prime's disapproving eyebrows

    I gave up on the kinktober thing. It's weird, I wrote so much pure robosmut between 2013 and about 2015, and since then I've pretty much just dabbled in innuendo, I've had no motivation for the smut. (Kinda concerns me, cause I always planned for Rise to get some smut eventually but I might end up having to fade to black or something. XD)

    It's also a shame because I had every intention of it being funny smut. The kinktober prompt that spawned it was 'Distracted sex', and I immediately had visions of Optimus having a mid-coitus Matrix Vision and Megatron going "what the fuck i'm not losing to a sparkly magic bauble" and immediately upping his game. XD Optimus comes back to his body like "damn, i should have matrix visions like that more often if it motivates you so well!"
    • Winner x 1
  3. TheOwlet

    TheOwlet A feathered pillow filled with salt and science

    Honestly that kinktober idea is a++
  4. Kemmasandi

    Kemmasandi Optimus Prime's disapproving eyebrows

    Yeah, it's exactly the sort of thing I'd have had so much fun with like four years ago but I got three paragraphs in and my brain just went [fart noises]. I don't even know what's up, except for... oh wait, 2015 was the year my mental health started to get Bad again. Okay, that... explains a lot tbh. .__.

    I'll keep the doc somewhere, maybe I'll be able to pick at it alongside my fifty billion other Ideas I Want To Finish... we'll see. hfgksdjfhg
    • Like x 1
  5. Kemmasandi

    Kemmasandi Optimus Prime's disapproving eyebrows

    Forgot how much this time of year kicks my ass lmao.

    Hi yes hello I decided I needed to redo my frame types headcanon. Bonus system configuration list and rough size classes as well.

    Names marked with one asterisk in the examples column are my OCs. I marked Nautica with two asterisks because she's got an aquatic altmode but you do that by modding a flightframe so she's still technically a jet lmao.

    Notes on Frame Type:
    • Frametype refers to physical (non-electrical) schematics like skeletal structure, engine type/grade, and armor pattern. Also comes with some base coding, some inherited memory data, and some other weird shit that no-one really knows a whole lot about (because the Primacy only grants study proposals once in a blue moon). Because it's the most visible level of differentiation between Cybertronians, it tends to be the first... sorting system that they divide themselves by, resulting in stuff like Functionism.
    • Divided into three 'ancestral types' based on mythological divisions of the Thirteen. Warframes claim descent from Prima the Sword, Megatronus the Shield, Liege Maximo the Burning Torch and the Wanderer, and are distinguished by their thicker armor, more struts and shock absorbers in their skeletal system, more flex joints practically everywhere, and some more fun stuff I'm not sure how to describe as yet. Groundframes claim descent from the Record-Keeper, the Muse, Alchemist the Philosopher and Solus the Smith, and are distinguished by not having most of that stuff. Flightframes claim descent from Vector the Timekeeper, Nexus the Sundered, the Guiding Hand and the Guardian Wall, and are distinguished by being flight-capable (without deliberate modding). Over time, these three ancestral types split into several quite different phenotypes - unintentionally due to environmental pressures, such as the case of the minibots in the Cataclysm, or through deliberate engineering, such as the Second Generation military projects that led to the creation of dexters, rotaries, and flighted warbuilds ('Seekers').
    • Most Cybertronian languages have a pronoun system that can be extended into frame types; that's what the letter-number codes are. (Please imagine that they're standing in for sounds I can't possibly transcribe in human orthography lmao).
    • Coda to the above point - I really fuckin hate the Aligned canon of 'femmes are a specific frametype that make up 1 in 13 of the TF population because Solus was the only girl in the Thirteen', so it's 100% not a thing here. There are no 'girl' frametypes and 'boy' frametypes, there are no girl robots and no boy robots at all, I'm just using she and he pronouns for English-language convenience. (And in fact I used they/them pronouns for Firestar, so there will probably be more of that in the future too.)
    • Shifters have their own system configurations and technically their own frametype, but they have a 'root form' that usually conforms to one of the standard frametypes. Shifters tend to be smaller (and they're an absolute nightmare for medics, Shifter medical care is its own specialty) and are commonly classed with various minibot subtypes Jazz, for example, is an articulate, but he can make himself as big as a light standard or as small as a sylph.
    • Triplechangers also have their own system configuration and frametype, but unless they have visibly incongruent kibble (or they're using their pronoun i guess) it's common to mistake them for heavy warbuilds. (One way to tell them apart? The warbuilds tend to have narrower waists. It's not foolproof or anything, but triplechangers are generally packing more stuff in their innards. With heavy warbuilds the frametype ideal is to stuff as many important components as possible into their heavily-armored chests. Which is just not possible with the triplechangers.)
    • I have a lot of Thoughts on the individual subtypes but it's late and my brain is going full galaxy so i'll stop here for today.

    Notes on System Configuration:
    • System Configuration refers to processor schematics, (most) computer hardware, (most) software, and electrical system components/layout. It's a lot more important and relevant to your average Cybertronian than frame type is in most cases, but also largely invisible from the outside. Some system configurations are more common in certain frametypes; for example the ferus and efficiens systems are particularly widespread among flightframes as compared to groundframes, but in general any frametype could have any of the five standard configurations.
    • Shifter configuration is the only one of the special configurations that is 'natural' - it goes back to Amalgamous the Star of Chaos. The others were all the product of deliberate engineering. Although the fracture and gestalt configurations were inspired by the mythical depiction of Nexus Prime as having five component bodies, Nexus did not pass down this trait, and it was left up to daring scientists to recreate.
    • Literally any transformation-capable frametype can be reformatted into a gestalt configuration, allowing that mech to combine with up to five other mecha. (My combiners tend to look something more like Bayverse Devastator sans wrecking balls, incidentally. Love that alien look.) Theoretically you could even do it with someone like Omega Supreme (Omega-class shuttle, heyyyy) but nobody has yet because the size difference is Awkward.
    • Fracture configuration likewise is something someone of any frametype can be reformatted into - it's basically just a matter of getting an extra body or two that matches your existing frametype and creating a spark-deep network. It can be a steep learning curve to pay attention to more than one body at once, though, and that's where the special system configuration comes in. A fracturemech's frametype is whatever frametype their component bodies are - unlike gestalts, a fracturemech's components all match. They do have a combined form, but the form that counts for frametype purposes is the one that can transform - and combined mecha can't transform.
    • The Sparked Ship Special and Sparked City Special configurations are notable for having more individual variation than any other system configuration - they are tailor-made for the particular ship or city according to their projected needs and environments. They are classed as a group rather than as 'Unclassified Configurations' because they do share some basic architecture and also are uniformly ridiculously complex. Some are paired with AIs in a permanent network of sorts, and they all deliberately add lots of new stuff to their system over the course of their long long lives, in response to external pressures or even just plain curiosity or boredom. (Much like regular Cybertronians, in fact; these guys - sparked cities in particular - just aren't limited to whatever they can stuff into a frame that needs to transform on the regular.)

    Notes on Size Class:
    • tbh some of those weight ranges, especially in the higher classes, are prooobably pretty low. I like the idea that Cybertronians have had a long time to solve that weight/tensile strength issue (and given the hive cities I think it's likely to have been a deliberate engineering project) but I'm really not sure and I think being sure would involve more math than I'm prepared to do lmao.
    • the main concern of size class is weight and mass rather than height per se, which is why the height classes cross over with each other and the weight classes don't. You get classed to match the weight; so even if you're, say, only 12' tall and massing to match Class 3, if you weight over 500kg you get classed in Class 4. Height does matter to an extent, however; manufacturers and builders tend to assume that if you weigh and mass a certain amount then you're going to be within a certain height range as well, for ease of standardization. And once you get much beyond Class 12, very few manufacturers and whatnot account for you anyway, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ [Imagine a Cybertronian version of the handshake meme, with the hands labeled 'shuttles', 'tryptids', and 'out-size mecha', and the caption being 'Cyber-IKEA doesn't stock stuff in my size'.]
    • Informative x 3
  6. Briar

    Briar Well-Known Member

    oooo shiny worldbuilding
    • Agree x 2
    • Like x 1
  7. TheOwlet

    TheOwlet A feathered pillow filled with salt and science

    *rubs her face on that tasty robot-biology (robiology?)*
    • Like x 1
    • Agree x 1
  8. Kemmasandi

    Kemmasandi Optimus Prime's disapproving eyebrows


    Working on those extra notes now but it’s slow going because Cat.


    His name is Trouble and that's exactly what he is lmao.
    • Winner x 3
  9. TheOwlet

    TheOwlet A feathered pillow filled with salt and science

    In his defense, what were you expecting when you named a cat 'trouble? ;P

    He's very cute tho, please give him pets from me
    • Agree x 1
  10. Kemmasandi

    Kemmasandi Optimus Prime's disapproving eyebrows

    Legitimately the very first night we brought him home, he was throwing himself off the couch and playfighting with our dog (who was a very good girl and was v v gentle with him), so it was kinda inevitable tbh XD Our initial name idea for him was actually 'Bear', after Bear Grylls, but then we realised we should just call a spade a spade lmfao. He appreciates the pets; he's the cuddliest bastard boy when he wants to be XD
    • Winner x 1
  11. Kemmasandi

    Kemmasandi Optimus Prime's disapproving eyebrows

    Notes on Groundframes:
    • Light standards are like your basic sedan, they're fuckin everywhere and most people can't tell the subtypes apart. They make up just under 20% of the population on their own, and the most common subtypes are Iaconic and Meridian; the average height is about 19' or so.
    • The smallest they go is the Tagani subtype, which is optimised for living in the mountains; they're light and agile and have a reputation for being the 'sportsmecha' of the frametype. The largest light standards are generally the Kaoni and Tarnais subtypes, some of which can be almost size class 6. The 'doorwing' aesthetic originally comes from Praxus but at this point it's present in most of the northern subtypes because Fashion.
    • Despite the light and heavy standard subtype names being based on locale of origin, they're found all over the planet. There are more of the Polyhexi light standard subtype in Helex than in Polyhex, for example.
    • Heavy standards are also super common and can be hard to tell apart. The Towers subtype is particularly difficult to identify unless you have experience; they can potentially be shorter and weight less than those aforementioned really large light standards. Heavy standards tend to be more heavyset than light standards, but the difference between the frametypes is in armor and engine grade - heavies have slightly heavier armor and more powerful engines; they're made to carry a bigger load than light standards.
    • They also tend to be found in lower-ranked castes than the light standards (with two exceptions being the priestly castes and medics, the former because size is a useful visual shorthand for authority and the latter because it's helpful for a medic to be able to manage a patient on their own if necessary). You'll occasionally see them with offroad tyres and utility altmodes, whereas that's very much Frowned Upon for light standards under a Functionist viewpoint.
    • Hesperidus class heavy standards are more or less the 'ancestral' type, they tend to be leggier and a bit lighter than other heavies. Equatorial, Boreal, and Austral types were the result of semideliberate selection for large distance haulers, in the ages before throttles and dexters. The Towers class was developed much later, to fit the Second Generation nobility's aesthetic ideals because what's the point of having a capable servant if they don't look good? (Second Generation noble culture, incidentally, is where the seeds of Functionism came from.)
    • Throttles came from the same semideliberate selection process as the bigger heavy standard classes. Cybertronian society in the rebuilding years of the First Generation was mostly made up of small frametypes (because the small frametypes were those who found it easiest to hide underground from the Cataclysm!), and so once they emerged from the cavernous underworld, they found they had a great need for larger, stronger mecha capable of going long distances without the need for refueling. (This is also the same process that gave rise to the durus and efficiens system configurations.) Throttles were the largest and heaviest of these mecha, and for a long time they were actively prized - up until supply outstripped demand and they became associated so strongly with the labor castes that as the social value of the labor castes decreased, so did the status of the throttles.
    • Most throttles are plantigrade - the unguligrade ones were kind of an experiment in weight-bearing and stability that wasn't quite as successful as its designers had hoped. Unguligrade throttles do have better shock absorbers and are lighter on their feet than their shape might suggest, but the advantages conferred by this in modern Cybertron are pretty minimal.
    • Minibots are the one frametype to have thrived in the Cataclysm. Cybertron's underworld is full of cramped and narrow spaces, so smaller mecha were able to take shelter much deeper and in many more places than larger mecha. The original minibots tended to look like a standard, simply scaled down; the frametype subdivisions occurred once Cybertronian society moved out of the underworld into the wide open plains and proto-cities of the First Generation, and suddenly being small in a world of increasingly large mecha was a scarier prospect than it had been underground. Compact minibots selected for resilience and the ability to take a pounding and bounce back as quickly as possible, whereas articulate and sylph minibots selected for agility, speed, and the ability to avoid getting hit in the first place.
    • Relatedly, it's culturally quite common and accepted for the articulate and sylph types to physically climb all over their larger brethren (provided they have the appropriate relative ranks/social status). It serves the dual purpose of putting the minibot on more or less the same level as their interlocutor, and making sure the minibot is out of the way of getting accidentally stepped on or whatever.
    • Dexters were one result of a deliberate bioengineering project during the Quintesson Wars, at a time when Cybertron was losing the fight and thus was getting desperate enough to throw whatever the fuck they could come up with at the invaders. Researchers took code inheritances from heavy standards, throttles, and heavy warbuilds to create a new type of mech, one with the inherent combat capabilities of the warbuilds and the size, strength, and most importantly the endurance and resilience of the large groundframes, which could serve as an all-rounder both in combat and in supply chains and behind-the-lines defense. Unlike some previous attempts at bioengineering, this was a roaring success.
    • Aegis dexters are often interestingly lanky in appearance - think TFP Optimus and you've got the extreme end of the scale - and heavily-armored enough that the warbuild inheritance is visible. They are the most common subtype; you'll find them most often in the military and ground freight castes. Dexters are also quite common among Towersmecha despite their size and the perception of them as being suited best to labor, hauling and fighting - the Towersmecha are deliberately invoking an older perception of dexters, the one of this is the shit that won us the Quintesson Wars, so put up or shut up.
    • Eurus dexters are some of the biggest groundframes, often outstripping the largest heavy warbuilds and coming second only to their dexter cousins, the rayets. They are much more heavyset than the aegis subtype, though again visibly well-armored. They tend to have something of an hourglass shape, and altmodes are basically limited to haulers, tanks, and guncars.
    • Rayet dexters are the largest groundbound transforming mecha bar none. They are often tall and leggy, though not to the same extent as aegis dexters, and the vast majority take on rail altmodes and work in rail-based castes. The largest can have difficulty finding accommodation and furniture that's rated for their size. Some madman once had the idea of creating a combiner entirely out of rayet dexters and these guys are now basically the biggest celebrities on Velocitron. (Literally.) Most of them get modded for maglev at some point and this is the main reason why rail freight is dominant on Cybertron: a single rayet locomotive with a maglev train can pull a kilometre's worth of railcars; a handful working together can outstrip what the biggest shuttles are capable of carrying at a fraction of the price, fast enough to get to get to anywhere on the planet within half an orn as long as there's a maglev network where they're going.

    Notes on Flightframes:
    • Light jets are most of what came through the Cataclysm unharmed; jets have always tended larger than groundbound frames because of their engines (both physical size and the size of the tanks needed to hold enough fuel to keep them going) and also their wings. The frametype subdivisions among light jets therefore are divided by engine grade and how far a jet can fly without needing to be refueled, and therefore size.
    • Flightframes in general can be easily modded for aquatic altmodes, but it is most common among light jets. This is a fairly comprehensive mod, involving most bodily systems, but it's not considered a reformat because it's not really changing any of the frame's basic architecture (although wing area is usually significantly reduced). By contrast, modding a warframe or a groundframe for a fullyaquatic altmode requires a full reformat.
    • Super-light jets are the jet equivalent of minibots, fairly common and especially well-suited to city life. They are often small and agile enough to fly indoors, and like groundbound minibots are prone to climbing their larger brethren. Flightframes tend to dislike this more than groundframes do, so the subtype as a reputation for being particularly scatterbrained and tactile.
    • Heavy jets diverged from light jets twice - once during the Dynasty of Primes, and once again after the Cataclysm. The largest Dynastic flightframes were simply too large to take shelter underground as the meteorites began to hit. As such, while light jets are one of the five most common frametypes, heavy jets are much rarer, and tend to be limited in the job they do and the castes they occupy. Like light jets, the subtypes are divided by engine grade and range, and overall size.
    • Shuttles diverged from heavy jets relatively late; during the Quintesson Wars, as a product of the increased need for rapid long-distance transport. The smallest shuttles usually look very similar in root-mode to the Erebus-class heavy jets (and even their frame blueprints and code inheritance is extremely similar at a glance), but where heavy jets are limited to atmospheric flight, the shuttles are capable of spaceflight. Consequently the heavy jet >> shuttle reformat is one of the easiest to do.
    • Omega-class shuttles are the biggest transforming Cybertronians, period. They can range significantly in root-mode size, up to 90' tall, and are extremely rare; all those in existence were created by cold-construction in several waves during the later Imperial expansion period, explicitly to augment imperial Cybertron's colonial forces. During the Age of Rust, very few remain, all of which were assigned as peacekeepers to colonial outpost worlds.
    • Satellites diverged from heavy jets during the First Generation, in an experiment which took the lonely high-altitude communications relay hubs and stationed them on the edge of space, orbiting Cybertron like the moons. These first satellites were heavy jets which underwent a fairly simple reformat to make them spaceworthy and give them powerful inbuilt communications hardware. In the early years, these mecha underwent many more mods to make them more efficient at their jobs, and new satellites were designed according to a particular psychological profile - many of those early recruits were simply too social for the job. Quickly, a new frametype emerged.
    • Most satellites belong to the Perseid and Lyrid subtypes. These are common in public, private, and military enterprises alike, and are capable of limited atmospheric flight. The Eridanid subtype is rarer and less maneuverable in atmospheric flight; Tryptid satellites, the largest, are not capable of atmospheric flight at all beyond what is necessary to reach orbital altitude, but are capable of short-range interplanetary flight.
    • Satellites and shuttles both contain base coding that prepares them for long periods of solitude. Satellites especially spend most of their time hooked into various planetary networks and may have lively online presences, but depending on their jobs they may go entire vorn without being in the physical presence of another mech. They have a reputation for being very self-sufficient as a result, and often experience culture shock upon returning to their planetary bases.
    • Rotaries were created in the same no-holds-barred frenzy of military experimentation that created dexters. These are the odd ducks of the flightframe family, inherently flight-capable but sharing more of their code blueprint with groundframes than with flightframes. Cybertronian rotaries are augmented with jet engines, increasing their load capabilities and range to an extent. Their specialty is in slow flight and hovering; they were designed essentially as aerial assault platforms. They are heavily-armored, usually have two or three different engine systems, often bristling with gun placements, and most of them are rather large. Small rotaries exist, but in the modern world they have an increasing tendency to cross over with VTOL jump jets in the smaller Seeker subtypes. (Think quinjets, or maybe Whirl.)
    Notes on Warframes:
    • Light warbuilds and heavy warbuilds are primarily distinguished from each other by armor grade and intended combat role, with heavy warbuilds taking on direct combat roles and light warbuilds primarily intended for ancillary roles (though they are perfectly capable of combat if required and do share the combat optimization of the warframe class as a whole). Light warbuilds have a lighter armor grade, and do not get quite as large as heavy warbuilds, but otherwise they can be very hard to tell apart.
    • Skirmisher class light warbuilds are optimized for ranged combat and awkward terrain; they are light and agile with a lot of gun emplacements and highly developed sensory processing with built-in targeting software. Scout class are optimized for information gathering and being very sneaky. Ranger class combine the two previous types with a focus on long-term missions and endurance. Executive class are the rarest subtype, with a focus on large-scale data analysis and command.
    • Chevalier class heavy warbuilds are optimized mainly for speed in close quarters combat. They range across four size classes and account for the largest percentage of the warbuild population. Reinforcer class are optimized for holding a defensive line; they have the heaviest armor and generally the biggest weapons. Frontliner class are optimized for breaking the other side's defensive line; they have the second biggest weapons and are generally the biggest mecha on the field. Frontliners tend to be what other mecha think of when they hear the word 'warframe', despite being relatively uncommon.
    • Flighted Warbuilds are often called Seekers, a reference to their tendency for target fixation. The nickname caught on in common parlance for being less of a mouthful than the original term. Seekers originated from the same source as dexters and rotaries; their initial code blueprint was a blend of flightframe physical capabilities with warframe armor, weapons systems, and skeletal architecture. Despite having inherent flight capabilities, Seekers are counted among the warframes because they possess all the extra bits that make warframes what they are. They are by far and away the most successful of the wartime frametypes, with a population five times as large as the dexters and nearly twenty times larger than the rotaries.
    • Seekers are divided into three subtypes by size, intended combat role, and range. Skirmisher class are the smallest, agile in the air and best against aerial opponents, but also have the smallest range. Bomber class are the largest, with the longest range, the highest top speed and the biggest guns, but also the least maneuverable. Multirole class strike an elegant balance between these two, and are generally considered the archetypal Seeker.
    • Triplechangers also originate from the wartime developmental period, but remain exponentially rarer than the other three warborn frametypes, primarily because of the cost associated in building a triplechanger frame. They are divided into two subtypes by size and potential altmode groups: Ouranos class, which generally take one large grounded altmode such as a freight hauler and one small jet or aquatic altmode; and Atlas class, which generally take one very large grounded altmode such as a locomotive or a tank, and one large jet or aquatic altmode.
    • Informative x 2
  12. Kemmasandi

    Kemmasandi Optimus Prime's disapproving eyebrows

    Notes on Monophase Frames:
    • The defining characteristic of monophase frames is that they do not transform. They are a product of the Golden Age colonial push, built to sacrifice transformation ability for defensive size and self-sufficiency. The latter means that they are their own transport, accommodation, and energy-production facility; they do require an intermediary to act for them in the physical world of Cybertron, due to being too large to participate in most real-world social environments. This intermediary is called a keynote, drawing from the much older practice of symbiosis between Cybertronians and minicons, wherein the Cybertronian 'host' is referred to as a keynote. (Similarly, the heart of a gestalt network is also referred to as a keynote.)
    • Sparked ships came first; the logical conclusion of the Omega class shuttle program. The enormous spark of a sparked ship, created by energy drawn from the Well of All Sparks over a full day, allows such ships to support bodies and systems exponentially larger than an Omega class shuttle - large enough that transformation became impossible, and even larger; enough that the loss of transformation capability was worth it. Sparked ships could carry propulsion systems capable of reaching far-flung corners of the galaxy; necessary in the years before the space bridge network, and could monitor and control their own life-support systems, making decisions in extremis and allowing mecha on board to be placed in suspended animation for the length of the journey to ensure that the ship reached its destination with plenty of resources with which to build a colony.
    • Sparked cities followed soon after, as an extension of the same program. The first sparked city, named Boreas, was placed on Cybertron, becoming a satellite city of Protihex. The advantage of sparked cities over traditional cities was that they could be built with extremely limited mobility. Place a sparked city by a rich mineral vein as a convenient residence for all your workers and smelters/refineries, and once the vein runs dry in the future, the city can, over several months, recycle much of its mass, allowing for efficient transport to the new location and in the process reducing itself to its most fundamental skeleton, at which point it it can simply pick itself up and walk to the next location.

    Notes on Unclassified Frames:

    • This is where the mad science happens. :D
    • Unclassified frames are built from scratch. They might start off from the base of a recognised frametype (most do because it's easier) but then be modified past the point of recognition for some reason - to fulfil a task that requires unusual specs, usually. It takes a lot to make such a frame 'unclassified' - you have to change multiple systems in a pervasive manner. One example are the handful of 'living gun emplacements' that were created during Nova Prime's colonial wars, mecha whose entire frames were built around an enormous plasma gun. These mecha did not live long or comfortable lives; the stresses of firing that gun ultimately proved too much and the design was shelved indefinitely.
    • Red Alert is the only unclassified frame I've thought much about; he has most of the outward features of a standard Cybertronian (he looks like a particularly tall heavy standard) but his 'alt mode' is basically him wiring himself into a very special supercomputer, one of three that monitor the Grid at all times. He's stuffed full of interesting nanocircuits that don't look like anything much until he's in that alt mode form, at which they reveal themselves to be thousands of very small processors geared toward a single purpose - data monitoring. (If you're doing stuff on the Grid, you've got a one in three chance of Red Alert being your own personal FBI agent meme.)
    • Informative x 2
  13. TheOwlet

    TheOwlet A feathered pillow filled with salt and science

    Okay so i've recently been rereading parts of Rise and i had some thinky thoughts

    Would it be okay to dump them in here?
  14. Kemmasandi

    Kemmasandi Optimus Prime's disapproving eyebrows

    Absolutely! :D I’m working on the next chapter rn and it’s been somewhat hard to wrap my head around the story again, so it might even help me with that if I’m lucky xD
    • Like x 1
  15. TheOwlet

    TheOwlet A feathered pillow filled with salt and science

    Okay so this is about the part where Elita and aeguro offer Orion patronage and it's mentioned that Tower mechs name that sort of thing 'getting oneself a pet,'

    And then follow it up with 'we think it sounds homey'

    And i've been thinking about that specific thing and whether it's just Max Privilege Showing, because being called someone's pet is... Well it's at best mildly insulting and at worst entirely dehumanizing?
    And since neither of them strike me as mean enough to do that to him...i wonder if they cannot concieve how it might read to him because they're never been in that Position (or at least not very often),
    OR if it's.. Well, a pet to many people is considered a beloved family member, no? And moreover...Aerugo has been built and meant to be an alpha's companion. His path in life was always intended to have his closest personal ties to a mech who has power over him by sheer virtue of their Station. Even if Elita tries to keep it balanced, the game is stacked in her favour in a pretty massive way, should they have a falling out (related: that thing were Tower mechs take lower caste lovers? Oh Boy i have thoughts on that)

    So i wonder if internally, both of them think that 'pet' isn't such an insulting thing to be because of thd nature of their own relationship and the powerdynamics there in. Because even if they're not present in private? They absolutely are in public.
    • Like x 2
  16. Kemmasandi

    Kemmasandi Optimus Prime's disapproving eyebrows

    shoves delicious analysis into my face

    I love this so much - power dynamics is a huuuuge thing for Cybertronian society in general because of the caste system, but I’ve always had the conception that the Towersmecha take it to a whole new level and while iirc when I was writing that section I was kinda seat-of-pantsing it, it absolutely fits into the overall idea.

    It’s like... if you’re a Towersmech, there are no Equals. People are either your Betters or they are Below you. If there’s no clear social superior in the conversation, younger mecha are supposed to defer to elder (but also you can’t ask outright because then you’ll be interpreted as either wanting power over others [this is Bad because hubris] or you’ll be interpreted as wanting to be dominated [which is bad bc then ppl will think you’re a pushover and you might get Socially Demoted]). Between near equals, this sort of thing is mainly a formality - you gotta work out who’s the superior in part so that your pronoun system and language makes sense! High Iaconian considers the ‘social equals’ register very rude, because either way you’re rejecting your interlocutor’s rank, which is a v v Important thing for these guys. But between some social groups, it can take on aspects of belonging to a more powerful force, and in this case it’s often initiated and encouraged by the lower-ranked mech, because one relatively easy way of gaining social power when you’re ranked low is to... ride the coattails of a much more powerful group. The Alpha clades all have what I think I might have called ‘subordinate clades’ - basically, Beta clades bound in a social alliance, providing support to the Alphas in various forms, and receiving the clout of an Alpha name in return. If you can say you’re acting with the approval of, say, the Cavalier Sun, then people are going to think twice about messing with you even if you’re a total nobody. Which is basically how patronage works with non-Towersmecha as well, but Betas have a lot more social power than non-Towersmecha, sooooooo yeah.

    So Towersmecha - Betas especially, given that they’re the ones on the lower end of this interaction type - can get really cavalier about the existing power differentials in their lives because it’s just the way it is for them. Kind of like the way the nastier implications of the ‘know your place’ thing were invisible to Orion until recently.

    (I think Elita at least has a slight perception that referring to a person as a pet might be seen less positively outside of the Towers - she is aware that they’re kinda living in a weird social bubble and that ‘real life’ for everyone else involves shit she can barely comprehend, but, like Orion, she hasn’t really processed it yet. That said, she - like all Towersmecha - is so immersed in this culture of testing people to see where the dynamic of rank goes and acting upon it - that it was probably at least partially intentional. Only she would intend it to be read as ‘so we all know I’m the leader here, right?’ Whereas someone outside that dynamic might read it as ‘I don’t see you as fully a person.’)
    • Informative x 2
  17. TheOwlet

    TheOwlet A feathered pillow filled with salt and science

    Tastyyyy. Listen i got many thoughts on the power dynamics between clades because good Lord my brows are lifting into orbit each time it comes up in verse. Just. So many layers. It's a real issues onion.
  18. Kemmasandi

    Kemmasandi Optimus Prime's disapproving eyebrows

    Ahaha, yeah, I’m having fun with all those layers of Fucked Up tbh xD Megatronus Was Right, at least where it comes to the Towers xD
    • Agree x 1
  19. TheOwlet

    TheOwlet A feathered pillow filled with salt and science

    Like, to come back to cross-tier romance: i'm wondering if it's so en vogue in alpha/beta clades, how much right to opt out the target of affection has.

    Like, if You're not even legally permitted to talk to someone, how the hell do You work up the courage to tell them to go fuck themstlves if they get pushy? Like, i can see a lot of scenarios there were the lower rank Party goes with it out of sheer fear about what happens if they don't (-bonus factor: iaconians keep their fields close to their chest,meaning that someone can just willfully ignore signs of rejection much easier)
    Or even if they go with it willingly...what if they break it of? I feel like a jilted alpha lover is a worst case scenario for many many people, with the bonus that 'outright rejection' probably is a personal insult/powerplay to these people, going by what You said above. And prolly not just for the targetted mech but their friends/family/clade too.

    Leaving the lower rank mech in a freaking catch-22 because they can't feasibly say no, they can't back out later, and they have zero realistic control unless the highrank Party is genuinely smitten enough to actually Never mind the potential pressure to 'take one for the team' to avoid repercussions for everyone or perhaps even get money/Prestige/connections out of it.

    So i REALLY wonder how many of the romances of this type that take place are romamces at all, instead of drawn out hostage situations.
    • Agree x 2
  20. Kemmasandi

    Kemmasandi Optimus Prime's disapproving eyebrows

    Yep, that’s pretty much it. There’s not a whole lot of room for mutual anything when it comes to a Towersmech and a lower ranked mech tbh, although the level of ‘oh god this isn’t okay’ can vary between Towersmech/Non-Noble T1 (this is almost certainly a Political Thing and therefore probably Complicated in terms of the lower ranked mech’s agency), Towersmech/Priest-caste mech (romanticised as 'forbidden love', tends to be rare because the priestly castes have the might of the various Priesthoods behind them), Towersmech/Professional-caste Mech (which tends to be what the romance novels are about, in the vein of ‘handsome prince whisks plucky heroine off to a life of riches and glamour’; in reality it tends not to work out nearly so well), or Towersmech/Servant-caste mech (which... yeah, are invariably horror stories). And because so much of their society is about hierarchy and obedience and serving the greater good and knowing your place, all the stuff that goes into making this sketchy-to-horrific is swept under the rug.

    In theory, someone who was pursued by a Towersmech has the right to refuse their attentions - there are laws about it, because a fair few of the mecha who make the laws have had this experience as well. But, as with everything else in the Empire, the lower you go down the caste ladder, the less protection there is in practice. Orion, for example, would be at the Professional-caste level; his recourse if he were pursued would be to go to the Iacon Record-Keeper's clade and its clade leaders, tell them what was going on and hope that they had the clout to get someone to tell the pursuing mech to knock it off. (Which would probably work with a Beta towersmech; the Record-Keepers aren't that powerful by themselves but they are the center of a complex and powerful network as the people who quite literally preserve history, and they have a lot of groups who would like to stay on their good side. For an Alpha Towersmech? This might not be enough.) Or, alternatively, Orion as he is now would go to Elita and Aerugo, and Elita would either have the clout to solve the issue herself, or, she would go to her clade kings (her paterfamilias - 'parent' for a Well-born Towersmech) and tell them something like "Hey, this one asshole is making moves on my pet, can you pretty please tell them to stop?" This would work on pretty much anyone except the Prime.

    Whereas someone like, say, Ultra Magnus? A servant, even one who is rank-exempt? Yeah, they're pretty much fucked.

    The one saving grace here is that these relationships are generally discouraged by Towersmecha - they still happen, because this is a caste that as a rule does not like to be told no and has more than its fair share of overentitled assholes - but casteism can work in the lower castes' favour here; the general attitude toward mecha who pursue these sorts of relationships is something like "Ugh, you're really going to be like that with someone so far beneath you?" [insert judgemental sidelong look.] Those that happen tend to be hidden, which of course is bad news for the likelihood of abuse.
    • Informative x 2
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