I've come up with this strange world where everyone has a dependent of sorts. Like a child but they live within another dimension. Think like a game avatar but they live their own lives and make their own choices (largely). The Guardians, will look over each of these dependents (really need a better name) and have a small degree of control over the environment, similar to a guardian angel or Jiminy cricket with the ability to aid the dependent.

The guardians point of view:

They wake up and logon, yes like logging into a game but it's work for them, and help this dependent with their quests and tasks and what not just like a game. and they get money and status based on how well their dependent is doing.

The dependents point of view:

A magical voice and sprite appears from time to time aiding them in battle, with inventory and other matters. like transporting their loot back to their basecamp, which for the guardian could be as simple as click an drag to a basecamp tab.

The real question:

Why would the society of guardians implement such a system in the first place? I'm thinking that this "game" is similar to mining for bitcoins so they have some sort of cryptocurrency or the like, but doesn't seem compelling enough.

  • $\begingroup$ Re: "dependents (really need a better name)" - how about wards, charges or protégés? $\endgroup$ – G0BLiN Dec 12 '17 at 11:36
  • $\begingroup$ hmmmm, i like wards, but protégés sounds abit strange to me for this world i dont know haha. Thanks for the input $\endgroup$ – Matthew Ng Dec 13 '17 at 1:26

Think of this from a Buddhist or Hindu point of view.

Your Guardians are more like a Bodhisattva; they don't have a requirement to come back and help the dependents, but in so doing they provide guidance and leadership (not only for the dependents) but increase in status to some degree with their own kind.

The Dependents on the other hand welcome the intervention of the Guardians as it allows them the opportunity to learn from the decisions the Guardians make, and become better themselves as a result.

The only thing that is missing in this scenario is the opportunity for the Dependents to become fully enlightened and take their rightful place as a novitiate among the ranks of Guardians.

That aside, it would be clear that the Guardians have a clear purpose in assisting the Dependents. This purpose is guidance which means that the true measure of their success is the success of the dependent. If you overly coddle your dependent, they don't fare well when you're not around as they can't act independently. Do too little, and they are at a disadvantage compared to other dependents with a more active Guardian. The balance that gives them the right amount of support while learning to do for themselves would result in a thriving dependent, and a commensurate increase in prestige and status for the Guardian.

Of course, if the Dependents could become enlightened and join the ranks of Guardians, that would be a major point of prestige for a Guardian if they bring a large number of dependents into their own ranks.

Come to think of it, this is not really any different to what we find ourselves doing as parents every day. We are often judged according to our children's behaviour and choices, at least up until a certain age. This is just a less connected version of that.

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  • $\begingroup$ Hmmmmm nice thoughts man, i didnt think about the enlightened part at all. and also the entire Buddhist view on this. It seemed alot less spiritual when the deity is some dude at his desk using hotkeys to help the dependent rather than a golden shining divine being. thanks for the input! Also, you sound like a parent haha $\endgroup$ – Matthew Ng Dec 12 '17 at 8:42
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    $\begingroup$ I can see it now; all the Gods get their own offices, but the Angels, Saints and below have to sit at hotdesks. :) And yes, I'm a parent. :D $\endgroup$ – Tim B II Dec 12 '17 at 8:46

It's a somewhat common trope that the power of a godly being comes from their followers. The number of followers and the amount of praying/gratitude they have directly affects the power of those beings.

In a similar fashion, a Guardian's very own health may be linked by the appreciation/gratitude of their dependent(s). If a dependent is doing terrible in life, they will find their Guardian angel to be terrible useless. But if the Guardian does a good job, the dependent's gratitude strengthens the Guardian.

In the Guardian's society, a badly performing Guardian would appear sick and weak, whereas the most active Guardians are the ones who boast of the best health and, possibly as a result, a better social status.

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  • $\begingroup$ hmmmm this idea is a good one, never thought of the health being linked. something i should explore should be the prospect of having more than one dependent, wonder how that will work tho $\endgroup$ – Matthew Ng Dec 12 '17 at 9:28
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    $\begingroup$ You don't need to have more than one Dependent per Guardian for this to work - just have some sort of hierarchy of Guardians (think "pyramid scheme", just perhaps not that malevolent). Say the Guardians Anubis, Toth and Baast are all under Ra - if Anubis's Dependent is well cared for, both Anubis and Ra benefit (improve in health, power, status etc.), if Baast messes up with her dependent, both Baast and Ra will feel the reprimand (and possibly also Anubis and Toth, since their "master" is somewhat diminished) - obviously, you can have multiple levels in this hierarchy... $\endgroup$ – G0BLiN Dec 12 '17 at 11:47

A few options.

  • Self defence: There could be some race in the other dimension which is trying to 'break through' to the guardian's dimension. Giving great prestige to any guardians who train their dependents well.

  • Moral duty. Maybe there's a group of people who are using a similar system to negatively affect the dependent dimension. The Guardians accidentally gave people in a 3rd dimension their technology (in their first foray into inter-dimensional communication), so the guardians are acting simply out of a moral duty to stop them.

  • Science! There could be great technological achievements in the dependents' dimension, and maybe the guardians seek to understand them so they can be used for their own advantage (maybe to stop some impending natural disaster?)

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  • $\begingroup$ i like the Self defense one! The science one not so much because i intended for the dependent dimension to be less technologically advanced, thus them seeing the guardians as sprits rather than just someone talking to them through technology. $\endgroup$ – Matthew Ng Dec 12 '17 at 9:45
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    $\begingroup$ Maybe not technology then, but ancient knowledge? ... Or maybe they have something but don't know it, like abandoned technological relics from a previous civilization, or maybe they're immune to some inter-dimensional disease, and the guardians need to find out how, but to do it they need to support the dependents' civilization until they can sequence their own DNA!.. I'd read that book! $\endgroup$ – JeffUK Dec 12 '17 at 15:16
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    $\begingroup$ oh my god, yeah, their actions are not totally altruistic and they want to gain the immunity to a crippling illness that is systematically destroying their civilization and their only hope is obtaining a cure from this "third-world" dimension. $\endgroup$ – Matthew Ng Dec 13 '17 at 9:27

Being a "Guardian" type being is boring unless you have something to do. The anime "Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?" explores this trope using the Greek pantheon.

Out of sheer boredom the gods created a world with game like rules, which they then entered with self imposed constraints. In the world, they act as patrons of associations of adventurers, within those self imposed limits, and compete for status through the exploits of their adventurers.

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Why not consider it entertaining ? For example some mobile games are of idle nature where you set up things let them progres and from time to time interact with them.

In your case this alternative dimension could easily be a simulated universe where the guardians play competing with each other similar to nowadays esports where the goal is to create the ultimate legendary warrior or whatever class that other being would end up being. The depicted ecosystem that i imagine after reading what you said makes me think of a Diablo or any Moba scenario where the player is actually at a professional level and wins money by competing in tournaments or streaming.

About an alternative name maybe "Keepers of fate" or something by those lines

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  • $\begingroup$ nice! keepers of fate is a great replacement name for the guardians thanks! but i was thinking more a replacement for the dependents haha $\endgroup$ – Matthew Ng Dec 13 '17 at 1:25
  • $\begingroup$ @Matthew Ng the faithfuls could be a nice spin to them, considering they consider the"players" godlike beings. And you can expand on that religious aspect further later down the line depending on what's your intentions for this world n,n $\endgroup$ – Kaotis Dec 13 '17 at 8:32
  • $\begingroup$ oh snap! yeah, could turn this abit more religious. Wondering what new things this would make. It's like everyone had their own personal god. $\endgroup$ – Matthew Ng Dec 13 '17 at 9:26

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