I've been going back and forth this week working out some background for Ascension and how things all fit together in this shared setting that Matt and I are building.
One of the things that Matt has bern very clear on is that In the current time Ascension is the corporate headquarters for the Parasol Corporation but why they are there and what they are up to hasn't really been fleshed out.
Well, until now. What we have decided is that at some point in the past the founder of Parasol discovered a tear in the fabric of time and space that leads to other versions of Ascension (whats the point of having an infinite universe theory if you don't get to play about with it) in different planes of existence. This wormhole is know as 'The Rip' and the wealth and ideas looted from this alternate dimensions are the source of Parasols seemingly unchallengeable corporate wealth and power.
This concept of the rip also enables us to weave interesting stories into our existing characters. Why does Father Wilson believe what he is doing is right? Well an Angel told him so. But was it an angel or just some demon / alien that came through the Rip and latched onto what the good Father was already doing (an excellent excuse to get a game of Draculas America up and running)
The Rip also enables us to deal with things like the fact in one Post Apoc version of Ascension it is a zombie hell whereas in another its a Nuclear Wasteland (roll on the new Fallout rules). They are both Ascension just in one plane Parasol let loose a pathogen that turned the world into Zombies and in another they got nuked.
Now this might seem like a lot of effort to go to for a setting for our games – it makes no difference mechanically after all – but for us to see the narrative of what we are playing, which is the main driving force for our gaming, its crucially important.
It occurs to me as I write this that Ascension would be the sort of place that existed in OASIS as what we are trying to do is create our own game world that just happens to fit in with whatever we are playing at the moment. This thought makes me surprisingly happy.