|A New Gem in a New World|
|You're not really sure how you fit yourself into this hole.|
Maybe you're just too big to be the kind of person who goes around crawling into strange holes. Maybe you're not from the kind of place where holes usually appear? Or maybe, instead, everything about this was completely unremarkable, until...until...
...Until something. And now you're here instead of there, and the hole keeps going in front of you while the rest of it has vanished behind you, and for some reason this isn't as alarming as it should be. You might as well keep going. You get the strangest feeling that some new adventure waits you at the exit...
You tumble out of the hole, and into a room. It's all stone and crystal and light, a cavern with carved walls and a vaulted ceiling, and out of the center of the floor rises a great jewel. It pulses with light, steady, like a heartbeat - the Heart of this place, whatever this place is.
When you look back, your hole is gone, and a strange sense of deja-vu permeates the air, as if you had been here once before.
You also feel...different. Changed. Upon inspection, you find yourself in the possession of a magical gemstone. Though it may be more accurate to say the gemstone has come into possession of you, fused to your very being, and now as much a part of you as you are of it. A gut feeling tells you that removing the gem by any means or methods is not an option, and, as you will soon come to learn, damaging it is also a very bad idea.
You find yourself turning back to the Heart and only then do you see the sign. It prompts you, cheerfully - "Touch Me!"
|How to Be a Gem|
|The information in this section will be given to characters as instinct the first time they touch the Temple Heart, except anything that's in italics, which is just OOC knowledge.|
☆ What IS a Gem?
A Gem is a gem that's a Gem!
Gems are magical, sentient rocks that can project a body around themselves. If the body is destroyed, the Gem retreats into their...gem for a period of dormancy, to plan out the structure of the new form they'll create for themselves. Gems' ability to create a new form seems to be limited to a set mass and a general default body plan, and taking on drastically different basic forms takes a lot of effort and practice.
Yep, magic. In Steven Universe canon, Gems have a small variety of magical abilities specific to the type of gem they possess. Our Gems are a bit different.
The Gems that arrive via the Temple aren't constrained to the normal abilities of their gem type - in fact, their gem type (i.e. Ruby, Quartz, Peridot, etc.) doesn't seem to have any bearing on what they look like or what they're capable of. How strange!
Also, while normal Gems are supposed to pop out of the ground fully capable of using all their powers, player characters will find their magic maturing over time as they become more used to their Gem nature. On top of that, accessing the powers they have might not come naturally to all Gems; some self-reflection never hurt anyone, right?
All Gems possess a few basic powers, though, like all powers, they may have trouble using them if they're not properly in touch with themselves.
Shapeshifting - Gems are capable of temporarily changing their form. This is distinct from the permanent reforming that happens when a gem is poofed, and maintaining a shapeshifted form takes effort. The more elaborate the shapeshift, the harder it is to hold, especially if it involves growing or shrinking to a drastically different size.For details on what kinds of abilities are allowed in Cosmographia, how characters' magic works, and the limits of default powers, check out the Powers FAQ.
☆ There's something weird about my character's body/they need to drink blood to live/they're an AI/etc.
Don't worry - none of that matters anymore. A Gem is a gem; whether your character was animal, vegetable, or mineral before, their being is now encapsulated in a magic rock. How? That's a good question, maybe we'll find out eventually!
The default physical forms that characters take will be based on the body they once had, as they understood it to be. So, a robot would still look like a robot, a human would still look like a human, and so on, as long as that's the body they recognize as "theirs".
Regarding eating and drinking and breathing and other things organic life does that Gems don't need to; it's possible for Gems' forms to include things like organs that allow them to do things the way a non-Gem would, even though they don't need to. Characters that are used to having these parts will probably include them in their physical form without thinking too hard about it.
The same psychosomatic trick might make them continue to feel hunger, or bleed when they're struck, or have bones that can break, or experience other remnants of their former nature. It can even cause them to poof under conditions that would not kill a natural Gem but would kill their original form, as their belief that they're suffering severe damage causes their gem to dissipate their form. This effect can be (but is not always) very strong in new Gems who feel a great affinity for their old bodies, causing them to make bodies with the same physical weaknesses they've always had, and may lessen over time as they adapt to being a Gem.
Whatever sensations Gems might feel in their new bodies, their fundamental nature is the same - their bodies are only projections of their gems, meant for manipulating their environment. Major structural damage to the body overwhelms the gem and will cause the body to "poof" out of existence, with no harm done to the core gem. Minor damage, instead of complicating over time the way injuries to organic life tend to, will repair itself if left alone for a while, as the gem corrects the body around it to what it "should" be.
Players can mess around with how their character experiences being a Gem, since it can be a little different for every character. If you're not sure whether something is possible under the mechanics of being a Gem, feel free to ask.
☆ My character was carrying some stuff at their canonpoint.
Characters will be stripped of all possessions upon arrival in Cosmographia, except whatever is part of their projected gem form - that is to say, their body plus any clothes or trivial accessories they're wearing.
Clothing or accessories that normally have powers may be included, as Gems' projections take into account whatever characters expect to be wearing, but they will possess no magical/technological powers or properties, as they are just basic form projections and not working magical artifacts/computers/etc. (Example: a character's bracelet normally allows them to turn into a superhero. When they arrive in Cosmographia, their projected form includes the bracelet, but it is not the original bracelet and has no transformative powers.)
☆ What happens if the gem is damaged?
Powerful impacts can crack or shatter Gems. This is very very bad. Try to avoid having this happen unless you really want a character to go out with a bang. Damage to a gem is equivalent to major brain damage, with some extra "fun" courtesy of magic. Cracked gems' forms will "glitch" wildly, their thoughts may become erratic, and their magical abilities will vanish or act out of control. Structural damage to a gem rarely stays stable, and will steadily spread through the entire gem until it shatters.
Shattering is like death, but worse; the Gem as a whole ceases to be, but the fragments of their gem remain sentient, acutely feeling their incompleteness, wishing to become whole again, but unable to recombine.
The kinds of powers that can repair cracked or shattered gems are very rare.
☆ I've heard some things about "fusion".
Fusion is something that all Gems are capable of. It offers advantages in battle, and also some neat CR opportunities!
Read all about it on our Fusion FAQ.
☆ What's this about the Temple being a "home point"?
When Gems make transport bubbles, they can send those bubbles back to a location they consider "home".
For arrived Gems, this location is the Heart Room of the Temple. But there's more to it than that - the bubbles' destination is based on deeply-set emotions, and the reason they so consistently land in the Heart Room is that the Temple Heart itself has an unexplained effect on the Gems that tumble out of their worlds and into its room.
The Heart itself is an object of something like familial affection, and being around it - in the Temple, or in Waverly Bay - gives Gems a background sense of belonging, comfort, ease, and being "at home". Depending on how in-touch they are with their emotions, Gems may not notice the effect until they stray far from the town and the temple, and have a distinct sense of being "away from home". Staying away for long periods of time may spark feelings of being out of place and unable to settle down, and nostalgia and longing for the Temple. The intensity of this effect can be different for each individual Gem, from a faint feeling of appreciation to a strong emotional attachment.
So, while it's not outright mind control and it doesn't directly prevent Gems from leaving, Gems can have a reason from the beginning to want to stay in Waverly Bay and protect it and its world. Players can use this "pull" as wanted/needed to keep their characters near the Temple and get them invested in living their life there - the Temple is home, and the Temple Gems are like family!
|So, that's what Gems are. But what do Gems do?|
☆ Well, for one, they have a look around the spooky room they landed in. What's out there?
The rest of the Temple, and from there, the cute little town of Waverly Bay! Read all about it here to get oriented so you can get out there.
☆ What are these monster things?
The world of Cosmographia is populated not only by humans, animals, plants, and other organic lifeforms, but also dangerous gem monsters. Thanks to explanations from SU canon characters early in the game's history, the Temple Gems are generally aware of what these monsters actually are, and the information is passed on pretty quickly to new arrivals.
"Monsters" are Gems that have been corrupted by a mysterious force - not cracked, but magically altered on a deep level. The exact source of the corruption is not widely known. The corruption is not normally contagious, and the only known way for it to spread is for an uncorrupted Gem to fuse with a corrupted one. Restoring one of these corrupted Gems to their original form is a very rare event and no mean feat.
Corrupted Gems are just as magically mighty as they were before their corruption, and with their minds and forms twisted, they can pose a serious danger to the Earth and its inhabitants. It's common practice by the Temple Gems to find, fight, and poof these monsters when they're encountered. But, in the name of sympathy for the fallen, it's also common practice to bubble them after their forms are destroyed, placing them in a state of suspended animation until a way to heal them is found. Corrupted gems left unbubbled will reform within an hour.
☆ Where do monsters appear?
Monsters will occasionally stray close to Waverly Bay and the Temple, either by coincidence or out of an apparent interest in the Temple itself. These monsters should be taken on immediately to ensure the town's safety!
More dedicated hunters can pursue monsters across the game world, though finding a roaming monster with no leads takes dedication.
Certain outlying areas accessible by warp pad are places monsters are drawn to.
All three of the above options involve players inventing monsters to occupy their posts and threads. If you need ideas, or cues for the kinds of forms and powers these monsters have, look over the corrupted gems that have appeared in Steven Universe. (Please limit player-made monsters to exclude corrupted gems that "control" Gem artifacts, like the Pyramid, since those artifacts may conflict with the game's overarching plot!)
Finally, if making up your own monsters just isn't doing it for you, mod-created monsters can be taken on through bimonthly events or Excursions.
☆ How do events work in this game?
Game-wide, mod-run events occur every two months, usually taking place over the third week of the month or thereabouts.
What exactly events entail varies by the event! Some are "curse"-style events, which place characters in an unusual situation to spark new CR and interesting interactions. Some are more story-based events where players participate in the game's metaplot or are given some problem to solve.
At the end of each event, event participation can be turned in to give characters new powers, upgrades to old ones, or gifts from home.
☆ Tell me about new powers!
ICly, characters gain new powers as they get used to being a Gem. OOCly, new powers are rewarded for event participation. Check out the Powers FAQ for more detailed info.
☆ Can I run a plot/build a building/blow something up?
YEAH NO ABSOLUTELY WE LOVE QUESTIONS LIKE THIS
If there's anything you want your character to do that requires information that's not up publicly (like "what would happen if my character did ____"), or you would like to run an event with wide-ranging effects, feel free to contact a mod or hit us up via screened comment on the Calendar page. Though we may deny some requests if we feel they aren't in the game's overall best interests, Cosmo's setting and plot are fairly flexible and we love seeing players bounce off of each others' ideas. The game's backstory is full of secrets to inspire your characters to explore, but ultimately, the game is about the life your characters lead as Gems, and any player contributions that build on that are more than welcome.
The Waverly Bay Locations page has a form for you to submit any character-made locations, such as businesses, public facilities, or cool piles of rocks. The Outlying Locations page also has a form for submitting things characters have done to warp pad destinations.
|Need a clarification on a game mechanic? Spotted something we forgot to cover? Throw us a question via a comment to this post and we'll tell you whatever you need to know!|