Welcome to The NOTION

The sweeping skyline of Satyrine, shrouded in mist

What is this?

Greetings, Vislae. Thank you for taking time to look into this project. This document provides an overview of:

    • What this is and why I’m making it
    • A broad outline of where it’s all headed, and
    • How you can get involved

Why this?

I am trying to make 3 things here:

1. A creative haven for fans of Invisible Sun

I think a lot of folks feel like Invisible Sun is a special game, and I want this to be a place where folks can create and be inspired by each other’s creations surrounding the world of Invisible Sun.    

In this sense, The NOTION is something like a fan fiction site.

2. A shared vision of Satyrine

Because Invisible Sun works so hard to root its characters in a rich world (each Vislae knows where they live, who their neighbors are, and what their neighborhood is like), and because most of us will use Satyrine as a home base, this game has an MMO-like quality, in a way I’ve never seen in a tabletop RPG. This is reinforced by Monte’s Directed Campaign — my table in Arizona and your table in Australia may be playing with the same concepts, themes, props and characters within the same week. This is fascinating to me.

I love the idea that my table’s characters not only hang out in the neighborhood where your game is taking place, but that an event in our campaign affects your game down the road. Imagine this: My Goetic summons a demon that originated in your campaign. In the course of my mission, this demon loses its left arm. I add this note to that demon’s page on the wiki, and next time you summon him, you decide to include the detail that he now has one arm. The world lives and breathes in a larger way.    

In this sense, The NOTION is something of a social experiment.    

3. A useful reference tool

I want this to be a fantastic reference tool for a GM who needs a quick NPC, or a player who wants to draw inspiration for her next Arc. My UX & Product design background kick in here — I want to make sure it’s as quick and easy as possible to access preset lists (e.g., all Beings which can be summoned) or advanced searches (e.g., all magical objects which are located in Fartown).

In this sense, The NOTION is something like a Wiki.

Why now?

I am so excited about the pending arrival of the Black Cube and Invisible Sun, in just a few weeks’ time. I was a beta tester for the game, so I have all kinds of things to say about it — but can’t until the game ships. So! This gives me a place to put my creative energy in the meantime. Also, to be perfectly honest, I have realized over the past year how essential it is to be putting something beautiful out there into the world, rather than just consuming. For me, this is an expression of that.

Why the tabloid/gossip rag theme?

The decision to frame The NOTION as a tabloid is not only aesthetic; it serves several functions.

A general newspaper theme addresses goal #1 above by allowing contributors to work in many different ways, small and large. You might enjoy writing tweet-length Rumors, headlines that suggest strange goings-on in Satyrine — or you might want to write a 1500-word exposé on the true identity of Ravens. Either would be totally appropriate. As the site will be updated regularly, it also lends to the sense that Satyrine is a living, breathing place.

The tabloid theme addresses #2 specifically, by dodging the question of veracity. A paper of record like Satyrine Infinitely (May it rot in the Dark!) needs to be reputable and base its writing on Truth. We are unconcerned with such things. If an NPC is reported dead by your campaign and living in mine? No matter: Rumours! Hearsay! Surreal magic.

The meta-narrative of a team of reporters addresses #3, by explaining why we know what we know about EVERYTHING across the Suns. Journalism!

I am also super jazzed about the possibilities for meta thinking — I love the idea that attentive readers can over time find clues throughout our entire site that allow them to piece together the real story about who The Editor is and why he hates Satyrine Infinitely so much, or what it’s like inside the office of The Notion, or why Zero’s Bar is renting an entire upper floor to The Editor… I also love the idea that each of your PCs could actually also be moonlighting as reporters for The NOTION in your home games! Meta meta meta…

How are you going about this?

I am working on the UX and design for the site. My friend Damien (also a player in my Invisible Sun beta test group) is working on the development. This all hobbyist/volunteer stuff, so it’s a work in progress and will happen on a timeline that befits those realities. 🙂

While all of that is happening, my hope is to get you all started writing and creating content, so by the time the game ships, we can publicly launch the site and it will have enough content that its purpose is apparent. Then, all Invisible Sun players everywhere can begin adding content from their own games.

For right now, while the game is still under wraps, we are fortunate to have three excellent MCG-sanctioned public narratives to draw from:

1. A Woman with Hollow Eyes, by One Shot RPG

2. The Raven Wants What You Have, by Monte Cook Games

3. Some in-world snippets from the Incantations Podcast, by Dr. Scott Robinson and Dave Hanlon

My hope is that if we make something worthwhile, each might be willing to tell their followers/listeners about The NOTION once it launches.

One other practical note — this will not be a place to post detailed MCG content. There may be a page on our site that talks about King Nine (an actual character from the lore; Monte spoke about him publicly at Gen Con last year) — but the page will be a stub, and differently styled. It may contain a sentence or two of summary information, with a page-number reference back to the proper Invisible Sun source book  — and whatever Rumours our users have posted about how King Nine appeared in their home game. We will all be responsible for making sure content posted to the site is in accordance with MCG’s rules for such.

Is this sustainable?

This will be a lot of work! We’ll have to see. My hope is that we eventually have enough community interest that we can share the maintenance duties across a team of trustworthy people and keep things running.

If it becomes genuinely useful to the community, I may at some point look into the possibility of setting up a Patreon or looking at other means of offsetting costs and time. I always intend the site to be free, however.